Common Legal Issues In The Restaurant Industry

Restaurant owners face unique legal challenges that other business owners don’t. As a busy restaurant owner, it might be tempting to try and deal with legal issues yourself to save money, but the reality is that a modest investment in professional fees can prevent major headaches and save thousands later. Any time you are entering into a contract or facing a legal issue, you need to work with an experienced business lawyer who can navigate the maze of complicated state laws while protecting your best interests.

Common Legal Issues In The Restaurant Industry

Lease agreements are one of the most common sources of legal issues in the restaurant industry. Most restaurant owners do not own the building housing their eateries, and instead lease the space, but if the lease is not properly drafted it can lead to unpleasant surprises and conflict. Restaurants have very specific needs regarding the space they inhabit. Leases that do not address things like utility requirements, regular deliveries, the condition of any parking lots and the exterior of the building, use of the space, exclusivity, and hours of operation can easily cause tension that escalates into a full blown lawsuit. Because of the fast-paced and complex nature of the business, the restaurant industry is extremely vulnerable to contract disputes. Because a restaurant relies heavily on relationships with vendors to provide them the food and materials they need to operate, just one breach of contract could bring business to a screeching halt.

Texas Liquor Laws

Another common source of legal issues for restaurants involves Texas liquor laws. Texas liquor laws are particularly complex and the business lawyers at Adair Myers Graves Stevenson help clients obtain the appropriate licenses needed in order to operate. In one recent case, a client came to us because they were unable to obtain a liquor license for their restaurant. The client had a lawyer in California set up a majority ownership for a new restaurant in Texas in the name of a non-US citizen. This lawyer was unfamiliar with Texas liquor laws, so they didn’t know Texas requires a US citizen to be the majority shareholder of any restaurant or bar seeking a liquor license. One of our experienced business attorneys, Kenichi Yagi, was able to set up an additional entity for the business, enabling it to meet Texas liquor license requirements.

Experienced Business Lawyers

Houston is known as a hub of the hospitality industry, with many award-winning restaurants and bars and the Hilton College at the University of Houston. At Adair Myers Graves Stevenson, we cater to the hospitality industry and our experienced business lawyers help resolve a wide variety of legal issues in an efficient, thorough, and cost effective manner. If you would like to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys, contact us today.