Aside from food, menu design, décor, and personable help, a restaurant’s name is its calling card and chief intangible asset. Protecting that name under trademark law is a key part of corporate due diligence. Too many restaurateurs, however, mistakenly believe that seeking trademark protection merely involves filing a form with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). They forego legal counsel, assuming they can secure protection themselves and save some money. In the end, they…Continue
Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on April 9, 2013 at 12:14pm — No Comments
Every restaurant knows that food can be dangerous. If a chef uses adulterated chicken in a Waldorf salad, he risks his patrons’ health and his restaurant’s reputation. The food a restaurant serves can create less obvious legal risks. Many states regulate offering specific foods, and there is little consistency from state to state. New regulations pop up based on trade association lobbying efforts or the whims of local politicians. The result is a morass of legal regulations that affects…Continue
Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on April 4, 2013 at 8:56am — No Comments
I rarely feel compelled to give my opinion publicly, but this one has me fuming. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City wants to ban supersized soda and sugary beverages sold at restaurants, delis, food carts, movie theaters, and arenas. The ban would apply to any container holding more than 16 ounces, and if passed by the NYC’s Board of Health, could go into effect as early as March, 2013. Violators would face fines.
Truth be told, I do not drink soda, even small serving sizes, and I do…Continue
Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on June 13, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
A recent study showed that men are more creative when drinking beer. Whether this is true or not, the study may lead to bars and restaurants being more bold in advertising their happy hours. Indeed, restaurants and bars are increasingly turning to social media and mobile campaigns to promote happy hour specials. They may advertise on their websites or their Facebook pages, or they may push messaging via cell phones.
Happy hour advertising may seem like a great way to draw in…Continue
Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on April 25, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments
Many restaurants do not disclose the price of specials or cocktails on menus, hoping the impulse to imbibe will sway the customer. Restaurateurs should be aware that this practice has legal risk.
In February, 2012, the Cheesecake Factory announced that it would begin posting drink prices at its Massachusetts locations. This announcement came after a patron’s attorney threatened to sue under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) because the restaurant charged $11 for a…Continue
Restaurants frequently market through a sweepstakes or contest on Facebook or other social media. A prize promotion can publicize an updated menu, the opening of a new location, the revamping of a menu, or promote loyalty among followers.
Yet, in their enthusiasm for using this exciting marketing tool, restaurateurs frequently expose themselves to legal risk. Here is a list of ten mistakes that restaurants frequently make in launching a social media prize…Continue
Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on February 22, 2012 at 8:35am — No Comments
What: Rewards, Challenges and Legal Risk in Social Media and Online Contests, Sweepstakes and Prize Promotions webinar
When: At your convenience, between December…
Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on November 30, 2011 at 4:08pm — No Comments
Last week, I discussed how the NLRB’s August, 2011 report on social media investigations has ushered in a a new age of corporate social media policies. We find little solace in the recent administrative law judge ruling that Knauz BMW had fired properly an employee because some of his Facebook posts were not protected (others were). The same ruling also declared the employer’s policy overly broad and ordered the dealer to post a notice…Continue
On August 18, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Acting General Counsel released a report concerning social media cases in the past year. Anyone involved with developing or enforcing social media policies should read this report, coupled with the September Hispanics United of Buffalo decision. Together, these developments have ushered in a new age in drafting corporate social media policies.
There are some misconceptions among employers that the NLRB’s…Continue
Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on October 6, 2011 at 11:12am — No Comments