Restaurant Industry

News & Analysis as of

Service Trade Dress?

When most people of think of trade dress protection they primarily think of a good. Generally, protecting a product’s configuration, which can never be inherently distinctive, or a product’s packaging, which can be inherently...more

Here's a tip: Don't skim from employee tips

Hospitality industry employers take note: If you claim a “tip credit” toward the minimum wage for any of your employees, you need to make sure that all tips are properly distributed to employees. A recent case from the Fifth...more

Set Pickup Location: Uber Is Coming to Retail

On-demand delivery services, such as Uber and its competitors Lyft and Postmates, are increasingly taking steps that have the potential to offer a counterpunch to online retailers such as Amazon and may shake up the brick and...more

The Legal Implications of Restaurant-Designed House Brand Craft Beers

The craft beer industry has been growing at an unprecedented clip in the last few years. Breweries are opening up at an increasing pace throughout the United States as consumers skew more towards locally produced products and...more

Federal Circuit Affirms Refusal to Register “Churrascos” Based on Genericness, Despite Prior Federal Registration of the Mark

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s refusal to register the stylized mark CHURRASCOS for bar and restaurant services based on genericness. In re Cordua...more

Food & Beverage Alert: Compromise Reached on NY Brunch Bill

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reached a compromise with state legislators that will allow restaurants and bars to serve alcohol on Sunday mornings, starting at 10 a.m. In addition, restaurants and bars outside New York...more

Illinois Attorney General Sues Jimmy John’s Over Non-Competes

Last week, the Illinois Attorney General filed suit against Jimmy John’s, alleging that the company’s non-competes violate state law. These non-competes prohibit all employees, including sandwich makers, from working during...more

Are you ready? Ontario's Healthy Menu Choices Act in effect January 2017 - key highlights

The Ontario Healthy Menu Choices Act, 20151 and its regulation2 become effective January 1, 2017. The Act, which received Royal Assent in May 2015, sets out the parameters for menu labeling when a food establishment has 20...more

Attorney General Madigan Sues Jimmy John’s over Non-Compete Agreements

On Wednesday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against fast-food franchisor Jimmy John’s and several Jimmy John’s franchisees operating in Illinois claiming that Jimmy John’s and its franchises unlawfully...more

Big Changes Coming to Pennsylvania's Alcoholic Beverage Market

On June 8, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law the first major overhaul of the Commonwealth’s Liquor Code since the end of Prohibition. Wolf heralded the measure as enhancing customer convenience while providing...more

Tipping the Scales: Restaurants’ “Service-Included” Trend Is Not for Everyone

One big trend in the restaurant industry is no-tipping policies, replacing the optional gratuity line on the bill with a “service included” mandatory charge or higher menu prices. After a number of successful restaurants...more

As Affordable Care Act Enforcement Looms, Some Lessons Learned From Massachusetts

As the ACA audit era approaches, many employers are wondering: what will happen? What sorts of documentation will the IRS request? What industries will be targeted? And what can employers do to prepare? In this post, I...more

The Customer Is Not Always Right: The Dangers Of Third-Party Harassment Claims

Like most in the hospitality industry, you are constantly balancing many competing demands. At any given moment, you could be focusing on managing staff performance. Or perhaps you are reviewing your employment policies to...more

Sodium Labeling Coming Soon to New York City Restaurants

Some folks are feeling a little salty about last week’s turn of events in the New York City sodium labeling ordinance saga. On May 26, 2016, a New York state appellate court lifted a temporary stay on New York City’s...more

[Webinar] Could My Company's Website Violate the Americans with Disabilities Act? - June 14th, 12:00pm EDT

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), places of public accommodation must ensure equal access to the goods and services they offer to disabled individuals. Is a company website subject to the ADA? The answer to...more

Noodles & Company alerts customers of credit card compromise

According to Noodles & Company (“Noodles”), it received information from Visa that Visa cards used by customers at its fast-food chains since January have “possibly” been compromised. It is presently investigating unusual...more

O’Charley’s diners warned of payment card data breach

Diners who used credit and debit cards at the Tennessee based O’Charley’s restaurants between March 18, 2016, and April 8, 2016, were notified by O’Charley’s of a data breach that affected its point of sale systems. Consumers...more

Restaurants and Food Retailers Are Now Required to Post Proposition 65 Warning Signs about BPA in All California Locations

As of May 11, 2016, all businesses that distribute or sell food and beverage products in California that potentially contain bisphenol A (BPA) are required to provide a warning under California’s Proposition 65 to consumers....more

Retail and Hospitality Employers Grapple With the DOL's Final FLSA Part 541 Regulations

For over a year, retail and hospitality employers have been anxiously awaiting the issuance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime regulations—regulations which many had predicted would impact retail and...more

Generic Churrascos at the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit recently provided additional guidance concerning whether an applied-for mark is generic in In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., (May 13, 2016). This case stemmed from the United States Patent and Trademark...more

Watch Out: Ontario Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitzes/Initiatives Are Coming

The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently announced its 2016 and 2017 enforcement blitz and initiative schedule. In an effort to emphasize the importance of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring employer compliance with both...more

Enforcement Date & Notable Differences In FDA’s Final Guidance For Menu Labeling

On May 5, 2016, FDA published a Notice of Availability (NOA) of its Final Guidance on menu labeling, entitled “Guidance for Industry: A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods -...more

FDA Announces Availability of Final Guidance on Menu Labeling

On May 5, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the availability of its final menu labeling guidance, “A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II...more

FDA releases final guidance on menu labeling – new compliance date of May 2017 expected

The Food and Drug Administration has released its final guidance for industry on compliance with federal menu labeling laws. This highly anticipated document provides answers to many frequently asked questions and addresses...more

Crowdfund Your Restaurant: New Equity Financing Option Could be Industry Game Changer

Have you always dreamed of investing in a restaurant, but never had the capital necessary to make that vision a reality? Or, perhaps you are an aspiring restaurateur looking to engage local food lovers more deeply in the...more

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