Our Hospitality Industry
Practice Group Contacts

Jonathan Blute, Director

Email: jblute@mpbf.com
Direct: 415.962.2808
   

Patrick Wingfield, Director

Email: pwingfield@mpbf.com
Direct: 415.962.2862

Articles and Presentations

Hospitality Industry

Bars / Restaurants / Food & Beverage / Wine

A fast-paced industry like hospitality requires a team of attorneys who are in tune with the business’ ever-changing dynamics.  Our experienced, highly capable attorneys are equipped to assist in every aspect of your enterprise – from forming your company to representing it in administrative proceedings and litigation. We can also help you develop a comprehensive strategy to expand your operations and address any project-driven problems that might arise.  We know the industry and we know that it is unlike any other.

There are five key aspects with which most hospitality industry clients need legal assistance:  

We are experts in the five corners of owning, managing, and operating bars, restaurants, and wineries.  We represent the full spectrum of restaurant types – national and regional chains; franchisors and franchisees; upscale, top-tier establishments; chefs’ restaurants; casual dining; quick serve restaurants; food trucks; and stand-alone facilities. Our team also represents executive chefs and restaurant design and development companies. No client or establishment is too small or too big for our team to handle.

Our hospitality clients rely on us for corporate matters such as entity formation, business planning, and corporate governance; real estate transactions, including leasing, acquisitions and sales; ABC compliance; drafting employment agreements, handbooks, and policies; trademark issues; and litigation, including defending against claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, wage and hour violations, ADA compliance, food poisoning, trademark infringement, and civil rights law.

Representative Matters

  • Serve as outside general counsel for a private chain of restaurants based in Southern California that has multiple units and concepts.  In this capacity, we manage and oversee all litigation and provide a full range of core legal services.
  • Regularly represent national restaurant franchisor in connection with the negotiation of franchise leases and ancillary documents.
  • Restaurant (2015-2016). Represented a new restaurant and its sole owner in a trademark infringement case brought by a multi-million dollar restaurant chain.  Achieved favorable settlement and dismissal of action with prejudice.
  • Privately Owned Hospitality Train (2015-2016). Represented and obtained an amicable resolution for train owner, operator, and employees in a high-profile civil rights and discrimination lawsuit arising out of the alleged wrongful removal of eleven women from a privately owned wine train.
  • Restaurant Chain (2015). Represented burger chain in a wrongful termination, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit. Successfully procured early dismissal with prejudice.
  • Wine Importer (2015). Settled workers’ compensation claim pre-litigation on behalf of international wine importer.
  • Restaurant Chain & Food Manufacturer (2014-2015). Represented terminated corporate employee of a national restaurant chain and producer of convenience foods in connection with the breach of a severance agreement. Achieved early favorable settlement.
  • Restaurant (2014-2015). Represented an officer of a new restaurant in a trademark/copyright infringement case brought by a competing chain. We brought a successful motion to dismiss and thereafter obtained a complete dismissal for our client.
  • Restaurant Chain (2014). Represented a small chain of Mexican restaurants in a trademark infringement case brought by a competing chain. We successfully defended against a motion seeking a preliminary injunction based on the alleged infringement and settled the case on favorable terms, enforcing the initial settlement after the plaintiffs attempted to renege.
  • Fast Food Establishment (2014). Achieved settlement of a lawsuit alleging sexual and racial harassment, battery, and wage violations on behalf of local branch of a national restaurant chain.
  • Multi‐Unit Restaurant (2014-2015). Represented multi-unit restaurant start up in connection with corporate formation, business planning, and raising capital and securities compliance.

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