As the economy sputtered in 2007 and crashed and burned in late 2008, so went the restaurant leasing market in many parts of the country. In stark contrast to the frenzied, debt-fueled restaurant development during the mid-2000s, the end of the decade was marked by unprecedented industry contraction in many cities, which continues today. Noteworthy… Continue Reading
I. Restaurants build moats around brand names and products with effective trademark registration and enforcement strategies. A “moat” is a deep and wide trench around the rampart of a fortified place (as a castle) that is usually filled with water. The purpose of a moat is to create a protective barrier around an important strategic… Continue Reading
The big business of alcohol has traditionally played out through quiet boardroom deals, agency relationships, and gentile hallway politics in the corridors of our state capitols. But recently, it has become a high-stakes game in increasingly public forums. Post-prohibition regulations cloud the production, importation, distribution, promotion, and retail sale and service of alcohol in ways… Continue Reading
In an ideal buyer’s world, every potential buyer or bidder in an auction would be able to negotiate a full financing contingency as a closing condition to an acquisition. However, in a competitive bidding scenario or even in a scenario where the seller has considerable leverage in the transaction, a buyer sometimes must forgo the… Continue Reading
Restaurant owners have many motivations for forming joint ventures; a primary one is to finance expansion. These arrangements go by many names, including strategic alliances and corporate partnerships, and they join complementary strengths: a restaurateur may be looking for money sources or an experienced local partner to replicate the restaurant concept in an unfamiliar market… Continue Reading
Along with enjoying the decline in target valuations caused by the economic downturn, both strategic and financial buyers have enjoyed leverage in negotiating seller liability provisions in merger and acquisition transactions. As the economy improves, it is expected that sellers will regain some leverage in negotiating these provisions. Due to the restaurant industry’s retail and… Continue Reading
Whether your business is a grand restaurant or a humble diner, if you are performing or playing music for the enjoyment of your customers there is a price to be paid. The good news is that the price is affordable and the licensing arrangements are quite streamlined.
There are two kinds of bankruptcy: liquidation and reorganization. Chapter 7 governs the liquidation of all debtors. Chapters 9, 11, 12, and 13 provide for reorganization of different types of debtors – municipalities, companies, farmers, and individuals. Liquidation is straightforward. A trustee is appointed to investigate the debtor’s assets, liquidate nonexempt assets, and distribute… Continue Reading
Restaurant businesses attract more affinity investors than most other businesses. Affinity investors tend to value the non-economic benefits of their investment more than the economic returns. They value their ability to associate with the restaurant’s management and staff, and they enjoy the recognition they receive from friends and business associates. They also may believe that… Continue Reading
As 2010 is coming to a close and the first wave of effective dates for employer sponsored health plans are coming due, healthcare reform is beginning to feel like a reality. Is there any chance left that it might actually “go away” …like, not really happen?
The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied review of the 9th Circuit decision upholding the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance after it was challenged on the grounds that it was pre-empted by federal ERISA law. The Supreme Court’s denial of review prompts this “refresher” on the ordinance–and the ramifications for employers.
You just got an “SSN no-match” notice – an employee’s name does not match his or her Social Security number. Now what? Is it grounds for termination? Should you give the employee a deadline for resolving the discrepancy? Should you ask the employee to submit new documents to re-verify his or her employment eligibility?
In 1996, Los Angeles County began assigning letter grades to restaurants based on sanitary inspections, and requiring restaurants to post their grades. The thinking was that if restaurants are forced to post an A, B, or C grade in their front window, consumers will vote with their feet and avoid restaurants with low grades. Owners… Continue Reading
With the proliferation of mobile food facilities (commonly known as “food trucks”) in the Los Angeles area comes increased scrutiny and efforts to address concerns such as public safety, traffic, parking, sanitary conditions, and the impact on traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants. For instance, it’s been reported that some food trucks currently operate without proper permits and… Continue Reading
Due to the popularity of gift cards in restaurants and retailers, federal and state governments have increased their role in regulating gift cards. In this legislative update we’ll focus on “closed-loop” gift cards, those that are issued by a specific store or restaurant and which may only be used at the issuing store or restaurant. … Continue Reading