SWBC Insurance Services Success Story | Southside Flying Pizza

An Insurance Services Success Story: Southside Flying Pizza

Insuring cutting-edge technology like autonomous pizza delivery robots comes with unique challenges.

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Southside Flying Pizza has been a fixture of Austin’s trendy South Congress Blvd. for 16 years. Operator Art Goldstein has witnessed a near-total evolution of the industry over the past decade and a half, including the rise of online food delivery apps and the evolution of off-premise dining. He’s weathered a global pandemic that turned his industry upside down but met the challenge with creativity, resilience, and tech-driven solutions.

Art recently encountered a new challenge—incorporating robot delivery drivers into his business model. SWBC Insurance Services was there to provide expert advice on how this would impact his coverage every step of the way.

An Innovative Leader in the Restaurant Space

“To be innovative means that you get a certain thrill out of trying new things,” he says. “Meaning that it’s a joy to come up with a new idea. Being innovative is finding the new thing that can bring joy, that can surprise and delight the customers.” As innovative as Art Goldstein has been with his restaurant operations, SWBC has been there every step of the way providing creative coverage solutions that are able to meet all of his unique needs for on-premise, off-premise, and to-go dining. We’re even working on getting him insurance for the robots!

Challenges Insuring Cutting-Edge Technology

Insuring self-driving cars, pizza delivery robots, and other autonomous technology tends to make underwriters uneasy. Under normal circumstances, when underwriters gather data to analyze risk, they’re examining past loss trends and using that data to determine a product’s risk profile and insurability.
Most robotic technology is so new, the manufacturers don’t have extensive loss history to review. They simply haven’t been around long enough to learn what kind of insurance issues they’re going to run into. It’s a significant unknown, which makes underwriters hesitant to take on the risk.
However, as evidenced by Southside Flying Pizza, this technology has arrived and SWBC is driven to find a clear solution.
When you work with SWBC, you gain an experienced team of insurance professionals dedicated to ensuring your business is properly protected. 

The SWBC Solution Going Above and Beyond for Our Clients

Finding commercial insurance solutions for restaurant operators like Art is something we take personally at SWBC. “That’s what I love about working with restaurant owners,” says Gina Wallisa, Art’s commercial insurance agent for Southside Flying Pizza. “They’re passionate and resilient. They have heart.”
“When Art initially told me he was going to be using the robots to deliver pizza,” Gina says, “I started calling markets to figure out who might be willing to entertain this type of risk. I explained to Art that this would be a challenge, but one I was willing to accept.” Want to read the full story? Download our PDF!

Southside Flying Pizza and SWBC Commercial Insurance: A Soaring Success Story

Restaurant leaders need a commercial insurance agent with a sophisticated understanding of the unique challenges of this industry—someone who knows the struggles they’re facing and can provide real-world solutions to constantly evolving needs. Working with SWBC for his commercial insurance needs has certainly paid off for Art:

“Prior to SWBC, I worked with a big captive insurance company, and every time I needed something tended to, it was “well, that may not be something we can do,” or “yes, but you’ll need to get a secondary line.” They didn’t have the robust ability to pick from all the different carriers and options out there.

Working with an SWBC insurance agent is like working with a really good mortgage broker, they can actually broker deals, negotiate on your behalf, and not be overlooked. They’re an intermediary that is creating value for both parties. With SWBC, I feel like they’re always on my side, are fair minded, and treat me well.”

“It’s nice that SWBC not only knows my business—they also understand all the different types of coverage I need and are able to tell me the things I don’t know to ask about. 
– Art Goldstein, Owner and Operator, Southside Flying Pizza

Conclusion: Moving Forward with Creativity, Resilience, and Tech-Driven Solutions

No industry was hit harder by the upheavals brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Restaurant owners across the country met the unprecedented disruptions with creativity, resilience, and tech-driven solutions. These qualities are now driving the evolution of a new normal for restaurants and the dining experience.
SWBC is committed to providing insurance solutions to meet our clients’ unique business needs. With robust industry knowledge, our experts can help restaurant operators navigate the changing landscape of technology-driven to-go sales and make sure they have the coverage they need.

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