The difference between restaurant insurance and business insurance will reflect the difference between a restaurant and a business that serves, but does not cook, food. Any business can sell food. But, once you begin preparing it on the premises, you are now running a restaurant, and conventional business insurance simply won't do.
A restaurant carries many of the same risks as any other business. There is theft, vandalism and robbery to worry about. You have liability concerns, with businesses being a major target for injury claims and lawsuits. And, of course, there are all those professional liability concerns. The additional risks carried by a restaurant have to do with the fact that the food is prepared, cooked, sold and served all in the same building. That is, you're not selling prepackaged potato chips and bottles of soda. Instead, you're taking ingredients such as raw hamburger meat, onions and cheese and transforming them into edible dishes. These items can spoil if stored improperly. And they can make people sick if undercooked. Trusting in the abilities of your staff to make those items fit for human consumption is critical.
When selling prepackaged food items, food handling is less of a concern. Or rather, it's not a concern for the person selling it. If there's something wrong with a bottle of Coca-Cola, that's for Coca-Cola to answer to. When there's something wrong with a ham sandwich that you're serving at your cafe, that's going to be on you.
The liability risks of a steakhouse will be considerably greater than those of a coffee shop that only serves a few pastries on the side. Still, both will want to ensure that they are carrying adequate restaurant insurance to cover the risks.
Laws may vary from state to state. In some areas, a gas station might be able to sell burritos and sandwiches made on the premises under their basic business insurance plan. But you never want to start selling your own food items without talking to your insurer and making sure that you're adequately covered.