Kyle-Beth Hilfer's Blog (9)

The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Trademark Applications

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on April 9, 2013 at 12:14pm — No Comments

When Food is Dangerous: Hidden Legal Risks on Menus

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on April 4, 2013 at 8:56am — No Comments

Freedom Fizzles in NYC with Proposed Super Sided Soda Ban

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on June 13, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments

Happy Hour Advertising and Unhappy Legal Complications

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on April 25, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

The Case of the $11 Margarita: Is It Legal to Withhold Menu Prices?

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on March 27, 2012 at 3:18pm — 6 Comments

Ten Legal Errors Restaurants Make in Their Social Media Sweepstakes and Contests

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on February 22, 2012 at 8:35am — No Comments

Collen IP Hosting Free Webinar for FSMU 2011 Attendees: Legal Issues in Social Media and Mobile Marketing



What: Rewards, Challenges and Legal Risk in Social Media and Online Contests, Sweepstakes and Prize Promotions webinar 

 

When: At your convenience, between December…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on November 30, 2011 at 4:08pm — No Comments

How Restaurants Can Draft Social Media Policies to MInimize Legal Risk of an NLRB Complaint

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on October 14, 2011 at 7:22am — 8 Comments

The Age of Corporate Social Media Policies 2.0 (aka What the NLRB Did This Summer)

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…

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Added by Kyle-Beth Hilfer on October 6, 2011 at 11:12am — No Comments

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DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

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