Restaurant Industry

News & Analysis as of

New York: Restaurants: To Register or Not?

I was in Tribeca in New York City a couple of weeks ago going to a familiar haunt: WHITE STREET located on West Broadway. Being the trademark nerd that I am, I wondered if the restaurant had a trademark registration for WHITE...more

When Good Food Goes Bad: Contamination and Product Liability

Last week, lunch came back to bite dozens of unsuspecting diners throughout Washington and Oregon. Something in Chipotle’s fresh, healthy, and responsibly-sourced fast food caused uncharacteristic sickness for those...more

Tip Pooling Tax Implications—What Employers Need to Know

The sharing of tips is referred to as “tip pooling,” “tip splitting,” or “tip sharing.” For purposes of this discussion, we will refer to the sharing of tips as tip pooling. Tip pooling occurs generally in two forms....more

Dealing with Restaurant and Retail Leases in Bankruptcy

The recent Great Recession and the wave of bankruptcy filings that accompanied it presented a number of challenges for landlords and tenants. Yet, as the economy has recovered, we still continue to see restaurant and retail...more

Coffee and Tipping Do Not Mix: Fifth Circuit Rejects Behind-the-Scenes Baristas’ Tip Pooling Arrangement

In Montano v. Montrose Restaurant Associates., Inc., 800 F.3d 186 (5th Cir. Aug. 28, 2015), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a decision of the Southern District of Texas in which the trial court had...more

Hospitality, Food and Beverage Industry Newsletter

We are pleased to share the first edition of our Hospitality, Food and Beverage Industry Newsletter with you. This Newsletter addresses important recent legal developments affecting the hospitality and restaurant industry and...more

Will Your Workers Go On Strike On November 10? What You Need To Know

Employee walkouts and protests are likely to occur on a massive scale across the country on Tuesday, November 10, spurred on by the union-supported “Fight for $15” movement. Low-wage workers seeking higher pay and possible...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: October 2015

Labor and Employment - Plaintiff Wage and Hour Lawsuits Continue to Climb - Wage and hour litigation has become what some call the new "workplace revolution." Data from the Federal Judicial Center indicates that...more

Comment period for FDA's draft nutrition, menu labeling guidance ends Nov. 2

On December 1, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration published its final rule on Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments, 79 FR 71156. This rule requires restaurants...more

Tip-Toeing Around Class Actions: Can a “No Tipping” Policy End Wage and Hour Litigation in the Hospitality Industry?

Joining a budding national trend, renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group last week announced that he will eliminate formal tipping at his restaurants starting in 2016. Meyer stated that the new...more

Minimum Wage Increases: Not a Simple Topic for Discussion

On October 15th, 2015, I was part of a panel/roundtable discussion regarding minimum wages. The panel was presented by the Government Affairs Committee of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce at the request of the City of...more

How Long Was That Slipping Hazard on The Floor?

Woodland Hills personal injury lawyer, Barry P. Goldberg, fields many questions about premises liability, slip and falls and business owners’ liability. The most common misconception is that a store owner is somehow...more

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Overtime Rule

The Department of Labor's controversial proposed changes to the "white collar" overtime exemption regulations came under fire during a House Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations hearing on October 8,...more

Update on New Orleans Zoning Ordinance

The new City of New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (“CZO”) became effective on August 12, 2015, but various interested parties have already begun the process of amending this newly-adopted ordinance. Last Thursday,...more

New York "Supersizes" the Minimum Wage for Certain Fast Food Employees

On September 10, 2015, the New York Department of Labor issued an order increasing the minimum wage for fast food employees at certain fast food chain restaurants in New York State to $15 per hour. This increase fixes the...more

Trade Secret Sauce: Trade Secrets, Not Copyright, Protect Chefs

While they say that a grand jury could “indict a ham sandwich,” the First Circuit recently reminded chefs that you can’t copyright a chicken sandwich. Specifically, a former employee of a Puerto Rican Church’s Chicken...more

ACA Menu Labeling Requirements: Draft FDA Guidance

The FDA’s 105-page final rule on chain restaurant nutrition labeling of menu items now has an associated, 53-page, draft guidance document, supplementing the FDA’s 132-page Food Labeling Guide, we learned from the September...more

Stores for Sale! Retailers and Restaurants Spin Off Real Estate

Several major retailers and restaurant chains have recently engaged in a variety of transactions to spin off their real estate and lease it back. Retailers and restaurants are suddenly doing them, or considering them, at an...more

Fifth Circuit Tips Its Hand as to Analysis of FLSA’s Tip Credit

Restaurants throughout the Fifth Circuit, and even beyond, should review the recent decision of Montano v. Montrose Restaurant, which discusses the often tricky and always fact-intensive question of whether a restaurant...more

Don’t Get Burned: Five Considerations When Leasing Restaurant Space in an Office Building

Leasing restaurant or café space in an office building requires certain considerations that a restaurant tenant may not encounter if it typically leases space in traditional retail settings. It is also important to realize...more

Achiote Restaurant Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Young, Male Mexican-American Workers Were Sexually Harassed by Restaurant Manager, Federal Agency Charges - SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A San Ysidro, Calif., restaurant which serves Mexican food just north of the U.S.-Mexico...more

August 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

August 2015 was not a vacation month for independent contractor cases. No less than seven major litigation events transpired this past month, highlighted by more of the same as well as some new developments. Several companies...more

Fifth Circuit Rules on Tip Pooling

In Montano v. Montrose Restaurant Associates, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was presented with what may seem like an easy issue:  does including a “coffeeman” in a tip pool invalidate the tip credit? ...more

Le Cirque to Pay Over a Million Dollars for Wage and Hour Violations

The tipping suits keep coming against upscale eateries in New York City, with Le Cirque being the latest to come under fire. In September, 2014, a lawsuit was filed, alleging that the restaurant violated the Fair Labor...more

Louisiana Federal Court Cautions Against Seeking Enforcement of Invalid Noncompete Agreements

In what should serve as a cautionary tale to employers with noncompete agreements, a federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana allowed an unfair trade practices claim to survive against an employer that attempted to...more

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