Restaurant Industry

News & Analysis as of

P.F. Chang’s CGL Insurer Seeks Declaratory Judgement on Data Breach Claim

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro made headlines when it recently reported that 33 of its restaurant locations spanning 18 states suffered a data breach in connection with the restaurant’s point-of-sale payment systems. While the...more

Brand Standards Are for Everyone

Now more than ever, it is important to understand brand standards: why they are set; how they affect franchisors, franchisees, and customers; and what the boundaries of brand enforcement policies should be....more

EEOC Sues Sushi at the Lake for Disability Discrimination

Cornelius Restaurant Unlawfully Refused to Hire Applicant Because of Amputated Arm, Federal Agency Charges - CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Greenhouse Enterprise, Inc., dba Sushi at the Lake, which operates a restaurant in...more

Cybersecurity Litigation Monthly Newsletter

As we described in July and September, P.F. Chang’s was hit with three putative class actions following its announcement of a point-of-sale data breach. On August 29, P.F. Chang’s moved for dismissal of the first two cases,...more

Businesses Anxiously Await NLRB Decision on Joint Employer Standard

Many are up in arms following a memorandum issued by the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) authorizing employees of a national restaurant chain to argue that the franchisor is jointly responsible...more

Public Projects and Business Losses – Who Gets What and When?

Most of us have been inconvenienced by road construction or other public works. Streets can be more congested, exits closed, and traffic re-routed, making it more difficult to get to the restaurants, yogurt shops, book...more

“Hurricane” Servers at Pat O’Brien’s File Suit for Stolen Tips and Unpaid Wages

Bartenders at the popular New Orleans watering hole, Pat O’Brien’s, have sued the bar in federal court claiming that managers regularly took money out of their tip jars, causing them to receive less than the minimum wage....more

Fifth Circuit Allows Title VII Suit Against Franchisor to Proceed Even Though It Was Not Named in EEOC Charge

In order to sue under Title VII, plaintiffs must first file an administrative charge of discrimination against their employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In many cases, the charge misnames the actual...more

Huddle House Sued by EEOC for Racial Harassment

Managers of Pine Bluff Restaurant Subjected Black Employee to Racially Hostile Work Environment, Federal Agency Charges - PINE BLUFF, Ark. - H2H Enterprises, Inc., dba Huddle House, violated federal law by subjecting a...more

6 Quick Lessons from Jimmy John’s POS Data Breach

According to public releases by Jimmy John’s (the sandwich shop franchisor) and Signature Systems (the point of sale (POS) system provider for 216 Jimmy John’s locations), malware was installed on those POS systems through...more

EEOC Sues Texas Roadhouse for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Restaurant Manager Subjected Class of Females, Including Teens, to Abuse Including Sexual Selection, Federal Agency Charges - CLEVELAND - East Columbus Host, LLC, dba Texas Roadhouse and Ultra Steak, Inc., violated...more

Preparing Hospitality-Related Entities and Retailers for Hurricane Season

With that vivid memory and hurricane season in full swing, it’s imperative that businesses such as hotels, food service establishments, and retailers evaluate and discuss disaster planning preparedness, proper emergency...more

McCormick & Schmick’s to Pay $1.3 Million and Provide Significant Injunctive Relief to Resolve EEOC Class Race Discrimination Suit

Two Baltimore Restaurants Subjected Black Workers to Discrimination in Hiring and Work Assignments, Federal Agency Charged - BALTIMORE - McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc. and McCormick and Schmick...more

NLRB Forces Restaurant to Allow Posters Insinuating Germ-Infested Food - Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act Guarantees...

The Jimmy John's sandwich franchise must have been surprised to learn that it had violated federal labor law when its disciplined employees who had posted hundreds of signs around its outlets suggesting that its sandwiches...more

Blackstone and Booze: Wisconsin Court of Appeals Discusses Retroactivity of Judicial Decisions

On August 26, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals released Mixx Night Club v. Milwaukee, 13AP2599, an opinion analyzing the retroactivity of Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions. The case began with a rowdy nightclub in...more

The "Winner" and Other Losers: What "Winning" That Wage & Hour Suit Might Get You

Before the Labor Day holiday, I read on Twitter about the supposed “success” a restaurant had in defending its wage and hour practices at trial. I did a double-take. After reading the Southern District of New York’s opinion...more

Protected Concerted Activity on Facebook: The NLRB “Likes” This

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to expand its interpretation of the forms of employee online behavior that constitute protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act. Recently, in Three...more

Reading the NLRB Signs at the Triple Play Sports Bar

In Three D, LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31. (August 22, 2014), the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee “liking” a status on Facebook is engaging in protected concerted...more

Avoiding and Defending Florida License Tax Audits

Florida hotels and restaurants are facing license tax audits, assessments and penalties in increasing numbers. A "license" is statutorily defined as the granting of a privilege to use or occupy a building or real property....more

Another Real Lulu: Anatomy of an Affidavit

On Tuesday of this week, we discussed the trademark infringement case filed by Lulu’s Market & Deli against Lulu’s Public House (depicted above), here is a link to a pdf of the Complaint. As you will recall, we...more

California Supreme Court: Holding Franchisor Liable as Employer Depends on Level of Control Over Day-to-Day Employment Decisions

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (August 28, 2014): On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a franchisor that did not exhibit the characteristics of an “employer” was not...more

Organic Internet Growth: New .ORGANIC Domain Names Launch

If an organic standards body has approved you or your product, you are likely eligible to register an .organic domain name. Interested brand owners should apply as soon as possible and before the sunrise period closes on...more

Sal's Mexican Restaurant Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Charge Involving a Teenager

FRESNO - Sal's Mexican Restaurant in Fresno, Calif., has settled a sexual harassment charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $15,000, the federal agency announced today. The EEOC had charged...more

Food, Folks, and Franchise-Wide Liability: NLRB Signals Intent to Pound Square Joint Employer Peg Into Round Franchise Hole

A big part of what makes the franchise model of business attractive to small business owners is the opportunity to own and operate their own business, but with their entrepreneurial risk backstopped by a known regional or...more

Update on Orozco v. Plackis: was franchisor’s principal the employer of franchisor’s employee? Fifth Circuit reverses – 3...

We reported in September 2013 about Orozco v. Plackis, a case out of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in which the plaintiff (a cook in a franchised restaurant) filed an action under the Fair...more

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