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Category Archives: Litigation

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South By Southwest Deaths Highlight Alcohol Issues For Texas Restaurants

Posted in Alcohol, Asset Protection, Commentary, Employees & Waitstaff, Legislation, Liability, Litigation, News, Recent Law Trends

Three people are now confirmed dead in the recent car crash tragedy at South By Southwest. (Click here for the article by Quita Culpepper from KVUE.com.) According to the article, these people were “injured on Thursday, March 13 outside The Mohawk when Rashad Owens, 21, is said to have barreled into a crowd of festival-goers… Continue Reading

Removing Customers: When Can A Texas Restaurant Ask A Patron To Leave?

Posted in Commentary, Employees & Waitstaff, Legislation, Litigation, News

Last week, the Washington Times published a very sad article. It reported that a Texas war veteran was kicked out of the River Side Inn Marina, which is a restaurant in Houston. The story stated that the veteran simply had a service dog that helped him with his post-traumatic stress disorder. For the full story… Continue Reading

Can Texas Restaurant Owners Deduct the Costs of Repairs From Lease Rental Payments?

Posted in Contracts, Legislation, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation, Real Estate

Nearly all restaurant tenants face challenges with their lease at some point.  Often these challenges come in the form of needed repairs to the property caused by the landlord’s substandard maintenance of the property.  The landlord may delay making necessary repairs, make inadequate repairs, or even refuse to make some repairs. After haggling with the… Continue Reading

The Top 7 Things To Consider Before Buying A Restaurant

Posted in Acquisitions, Alcohol, Contracts, Corporate Entity, Employment, Intellectual Property, Liability, Litigation, Real Estate

There are so many things to consider when buying a restaurant that we decided to break that list down to just seven issues. If you only look at these issues, you should avoid most of the big hazards when you buy your next restaurant. Now, this assumes that you have some idea of the restaurant… Continue Reading

Top Ten Tax Mistakes for Restaurant Owners

Posted in Corporate Entity, Employees & Waitstaff, Franchises, Liability, Litigation, Real Estate, Recent Law Trends

We all know how important restaurant taxes are to restaurant owners. Last week, our own tax counsel, David Gair, outlined his Top Ten Tax Mistakes for Restaurant Owner on TexasTaxTalk.com, so TexasRestaurantLaw.com decided to share it as well. Here is the list in its entirety: Employee Classification – Misclassifying workers as independent contractors and not… Continue Reading

What Is Restaurant Intellectual Property?

Posted in Acquisitions, Competition, Contracts, Employees & Waitstaff, Intellectual Property, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation, Vendors

At TexasRestaurantLaw.com, we have covered “Who Owns Your Restaurant Name?” and “Is Your Restaurant Recipe Safe?” However, we have not previously discussed the many parts of restaurant intellectual property. This post shows some of the most critical pieces that encompass restaurant intellectual property. Your Name & Brand We all hear that branding is everything. Likewise,… Continue Reading

How To Deal With Restaurant Partner Disputes

Posted in Commentary, Contracts, Corporate Entity, Franchises, Franchising, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation

There are many motivations for restaurant creation and investment. However, these different desires can lead to conflict, so how are restaurant operators, owners, and investors supposed to resolve these conflicts? This post answers that question, and it gives a game plan to operators, owners, and investors to deal with these inevitable conflicts. Step One: Avoid… Continue Reading

Sugar And Horses: How To Deal With Restaurant Supply Issues?

Posted in Commentary, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation, News, Recent Law Trends, Vendors

Two recent news stories present the issue of how restaurants should deal with supply issues. The first story is the infamous horse meat scandal that has plagued Burger King in the United Kingdom since January. Click here for that story. The second story appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal. It deals with the fact that… Continue Reading

When To Terminate A Restaurant Transaction

Posted in Acquisitions, Commentary, Competition, Contracts, Franchises, Franchising, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation

Restaurant transactions are similar to the old Kenny Rogers song, The Gambler – “You’ve got to know when to walk away, and know when to run!” Perspective is so important in general, and in restaurant transactions, you must know when to move forward on deals and when to kill them. But how do you determine… Continue Reading

Biggest Legal Causes Of Restaurant Failures

Posted in Acquisitions, Commentary, Franchises, Franchising, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation, Real Estate, Recent Law Trends

Just this week, two of my favorite restaurants in Dallas closed operations. This led me to consider the biggest issues I have seen that factored into a troubled restaurant. A few of these may not be a surprise, but you may be shocked at others. Consider this list of top legal reasons why restaurants fail:… Continue Reading

The Absolutely Essential Issues In A Restaurant Lease

Posted in Acquisitions, Contracts, Corporate Entity, Franchises, Franchising, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation, Real Estate

Leasing is a big issue for restaurants. Almost all restaurants at least start out leasing their space. Often, restaurants are required to lease their space to capture the prime locations of a given area. For these reasons and many more, it is vital for restaurant owners to pay close attention to leasing terms. The following… Continue Reading

Can An Email Bind Your Restaurant Like A Contract?

Posted in Acquisitions, Commentary, Contracts, Employees & Waitstaff, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation, Recent Law Trends, Vendors

We all think of email as a convenience. The same is true for text messages. These are just easy ways to communicate. They don’t really mean anything. Right? Wrong! Email and text messages are some of the most dangerous tools created. They are powerful. They are permanent. And in Texas, they are binding. Don’t believe… Continue Reading

The Single Biggest Mistake Made When Selling A Restaurant

Posted in Acquisitions, Contracts, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation

Now that we’re all stuffed and overweight after Thanksgiving, I thought that I would mention another type of over-doing it: your representations to a potential buyer when you decide to sell a restaurant. These representations are critical to the success of a sale, both before negotiations begin and after you close on the sale. With… Continue Reading

Restaurant Non-Competes: Are They Worth It?

Posted in Contracts, Employees & Waitstaff, Employment, Liability, Litigation, Recent Law Trends

A funny thing happened recently. When Lauren Drewes Daniels at The Dallas Observer featured TexasRestaurantLaw.com last week at this link, a controversy ensued between folks that commented on the article. The dispute involved whether non-competes were valid and enforceable in Texas. Apparently, it is a common myth that non-compete agreements are not enforceable in Texas,… Continue Reading

Is Franchising The Only Key To Restaurant Success?

Posted in Contracts, Franchises, Franchising, Legislation, Liability, Litigation, Negotiation

We talk a lot here about franchising and for good reason. After all, many restaurant owners make great money by developing or buying into a great franchise concept. However, some restaurant owners take a  different approach: they develop their own brand and remain the key figure in each additional restaurant. Stephen Pyles is one such… Continue Reading

5 Top Strategies For Protecting Your Restaurant And Personal Assets

Posted in Contracts, Corporate Entity, Liability, Litigation

How safe are the assets in your restaurants? Are you personally liable for your restaurant’s liabilities? These are two of the most common questions we get from our restaurant owner clients, so we thought we would share five of the top strategies we use to shield our restaurant owners from liabilities at their restaurants, which… Continue Reading

Is Your Restaurant Recipe Safe?

Posted in Acquisitions, Contracts, Franchises, Franchising, Intellectual Property, Liability, Litigation

Did you know that KFC uses two different companies to blend the herbs and spices that make up its secret recipe? One company blends part of the spices, the other blends the remaining spices, and a computerized processor mixes them together so that neither company knows the full recipe. Like the Colonel, you may have… Continue Reading

A Fight Broke Out At My Restaurant – Am I Liable?

Posted in Liability, Litigation, Real Estate, Recent Law Trends

Whether a restaurant or its owner is liable for restaurant fights depends. “Depends on what?” you ask. Let me tell you by asking and then answering the following questions: What Did The Police Say? No one can escape personal liability for their own, direct actions. No amount of insurance, legal maneuvering, or other actions will… Continue Reading

Restaurant Trade Fixtures And Equipment – What Belongs To You And What Belongs To The Landlord?

Posted in Acquisitions, Contracts, Liability, Litigation, Real Estate

Co-Authored by Matt Sanderson & Lindsey Postula THE MYSTERIOUS TRADE FIXTURE What are trade fixtures? Trade fixtures are the equipment that a tenant uses to operate its business. Although they are not considered to be real property (which means they don’t fall into the definition of fixtures), they are generally attached to the leased premises… Continue Reading

To Partner Or Not To Partner: Top Things To Consider Before Bringing On A Restaurant Partner

Posted in Acquisitions, Corporate Entity, Franchising, Litigation, Recent Law Trends

Many of my clients think that partners and shared ownership are great. They are right, to a point, but there are often times that partners are more a pain than a benefit. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of the benefits and drawbacks of partnering your restaurant business. Benefits of A Restaurant… Continue Reading