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Restaurant & Hospitality

The restaurant and hospitality industries present specific and unique legal challenges, and as your business grows and changes, so will your legal needs. Gentry Locke’s attorneys advise restaurants and hotels on a vast range of issues, whether those clients are a one-store operation or a national chain.

Headed by Group Chair Paul Klockenbrink, attorneys within Gentry Locke’s Restaurant & Hospitality Law group regularly counsel restaurant and hospitality industry clients in these broad categories: labor and employment, franchise agreements, supplier and vendor contracts, food and beverage licensing, lease negotiations, risk management, crisis management, real estate, land use and zoning, tax matters, and premises liability.

Specifically, we provide legal counsel to businesses in the following matters:

  • Employment disputes and litigation including defense of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, EEOC charges and administrative proceedings, and the enforcement of non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. We can be there every step of the way, from the litigation stage to the appeals process before agencies and federal and state courts
  • Wage and hour claims including issues involving classification, work time, overtime, tipped employees, split jobs, permissible deductions from pay, DOL audits and child labor
  • Union avoidance and representing employers in unfair labor practice litigation before the NLRB, collective bargaining, and arbitration
  • Employment handbooks, employee contracts, and personnel policies and procedures
  • Employee incentives and fringe benefit plans including 401(k) plans, performance bonuses, stock options (ESOPs), matching contributions, elective deferrals and rollovers
  • Immigration issues including legal requirements of I-9 Forms, and drafting grant proposals for training non-English-speaking immigrant workers for hospitality industry needs regarding language and occupational skills
  • Franchisor/franchisee relationships including preparing, negotiating and reviewing franchise agreements, and assessing and minimizing the risks associated with franchisor control over franchisees’ day-to-day business operations
  • Building code, sanitation, and environmental counseling and management
  • Intellectual Property management including trademark registration and conflicts, trade name registration, copyrighting of logo and menu, and trade secret protection of brands and any proprietary products that may be developed and marketed
  • Business organization including forming or restructuring restaurants to shield clients’ potential liability to employees, customers, independent contractors, and other third parties
  • Purchase, sale, or transfer of business assets including property, equipment and inventory
  • Tax issues including government incentives and tax credits
  • Local, state and federal land use and zoning ordinances
  • Negotiating, preparing and reviewing agreements between restaurants and vendors
  • Insurance matters including equipment breakdown, personal property and medical payment coverage, and accounts receivable
  • ABC license and restaurant license applications, counseling on license compliance, and defending alleged license violations

The members of the Restaurant and Hospitality law group  also have access to resources at the national and international levels through our affiliation with ALFA International’s Hospitality Practice Group. We encourage you to review our Restaurant and Hospitality Practice Group attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your company’s legal needs.

Have questions? Contact us.