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FRANCHISEE 101: All in the Family

Some creativity can help in passing a former franchised business to the next generation, particularly if the franchisor has no part in the franchisee's succession plan. A federal court in Nebraska preliminarily enjoined...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Injunction Bottleneck

A restaurant franchisor, World of Beer Franchising ("WOB"), recently lost an appeal to enforce a post-termination restriction against a franchisee launching a competing business. Both the trial and appellate court ruled...more

Restaurant Industry Gets Another Chance To Chime In On Menu Labeling

Franchisors in the food service industry have until January 18, 2018 to comment on the latest version of the Food & Drug Administration’s Menu Labeling Guidance. The FDA released the draft November 7th. This version includes...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Thirty-one Flavors of Fees (Or Just One)

Baskin-Robbins charges a dairy supplier a so-called "commercial factor" fee for the right to make and sell Baskin-Robbins proprietary ice cream to franchisees. The supplier's pricing to franchisees includes an amount equal to...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Arbitr-“all”

A federal court in New Jersey granted a franchisor's motion to compel arbitration of disputes involving seven frozen yogurt franchises, even though the claims were subject to different arbitration provisions in different...more

Beep: Your Hamburger is Ready

Analysts predict robots may take nearly 40 percent of U.S. jobs – particularly the ones that require lower education levels – in the next 15-20 years. The study was released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and was based on...more

Accidental Franchise = Potential Lawsuits, Fines + Other Penalties

Business owners looking to expand may leave themselves vulnerable to several obvious losses, including those related to finance, brand identity, and customer loyalty. Resources, including exemplary human resources, are...more

FRANCHISOR 101: A Clean Sweep

A federal court recently held that under California law, cleaning services franchisor Jan-Pro Franchising International (Jan-Pro) was not the employer of its unit franchisees. The franchisee plaintiffs failed to show that...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Upgrade Your Metal

A federal court in New York denied a franchisee's motion for preliminary injunction that would have prevented its franchisor Metal Supermarkets Franchising America (MSFA) from installing technology upgrades in its stores....more

Before Franchising Your Business, First Consider These Factors

Franchising is so much more than casual burger chains with drive through windows and dollar menus. It’s an industry that incorporates a wealth of blue and white collar services; distributes both high- and low-end products...more

Pass the Beer: Craft Brew Distribution Law in the U.S.

How do Americans get their stouts, ales, pilsners and porters? Beer distribution, no matter the variety, is funneled through a highly regulated three-tier system: brewers at the top, distributors take their cut in the middle,...more

Franchise Litigation Rising Over Dietary Considerations

Rising concerns over food sourcing and preparation is leading to more and more litigation for restaurants and franchises. Most of the lawsuits claim discrimination, which makes sense as many dietary strictures are rooted...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Squeezed at the Pump

Most dealership and franchise agreements require the franchisor's prior written consent to the transfer of a business from one franchisee to another. The new franchisee is often required to sign the franchisor's then-current...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Selective Enforcement of Franchise Agreement Provisions

A franchisor's ability to set renewal terms can bind franchisees to terms in a later franchise agreement before the renewal agreement even exists. In a recent case, a franchisor could enforce a hypothetical non-compete...more

Six Ways Franchisors Can Reduce Joint Employer Liability Risk

In January 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that indirect control or the reserved right to control, even if unexercised, could be sufficient grounds to find a joint employer relationship between a...more

Disabling Code: Franchisors Should Ensure Digital Properties Are Accessible

Are we still in the dawn of the digital age, or have we moved on to mid-morning yet? Only time, and your company's web site and applications, will tell. Unfortunately, when it comes to website accessibility, it is still...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Manual Overload

A franchisor's investment in brand standards, protection and control often comes at a cost when a consumer believing or claiming to believe the franchisor and franchisee are the same, seeks to hold a franchisor liable for a...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Cold Brew Remedy

Beer distributors can be on common footing with their franchisee counterparts in bargaining with brewers or suppliers. Depending on the jurisdiction, distributors may have protection through beer distribution statutes...more

So You Say You Want a Revolution? Franchises Evolve as Retail Declines

You’ve seen the news: retailers are struggling. Traditional anchor stores like Macy’s and Sears are closing up shop, creating a domino effect of fiscal death for shopping malls across the country. The Los Angeles Times...more

Trimming the Fat: Restaurant Menu Labeling Rule Under Further Review

In 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a/k/a “Obamacare”, the federal government set provisions mandating restaurant chains provide nutrition information for menu items. The U.S. Food and Drug...more

FRANCHISEE 101: McDonald's Shaking Damages for OT Policy

In Los Angeles Superior Court, McDonald's claimed victory when 6,600 workers seeking $41 million in back pay and penalties came away with less than 2% of the amount sought in a claim that the fast-food giant cheated them out...more

Will Minimum Wage Hikes Kill Restaurant Jobs?

In 1981 “Video Killed the Radio Star” was the first music video MTV broadcast in the United States. The song was actually written a couple of years earlier, appeared on an album entitled The Age of Plastic by the Buggles, and...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Donut Franchise Relationship Dissected by Court

The parent of Dunkin' Donuts was named along with Starbucks and about 80 other coffee sellers, distributors and retailers in a 2010 lawsuit alleging violations of California's Proposition 65 and Safe Drinking Water and Toxic...more

Old Grounds: A Lack of Prop 65 Warnings Brew Trouble for Coffee Franchisors

California Prop 65 warnings – many residents barely notice these anymore, as we’ve lived with Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act notices for over 30 years now. They appear at gas pumps; in apartment and office...more

Franchise Law: Burden of Joint Employer Just Got a Little Lighter

Direct control, indirect control…these are the employment litigation phrases that had franchisors cowering in duck-and-cover positions over the last few years. But the Department of Labor just issued a statement to breathe...more

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