Restaurant

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Restaurant

Serving Up Straight Talk to the Restaurant Industry 

As restaurant companies become larger and their business practices more complex, they face legal challenges similar to any large-scale business enterprise.  

Issues that our restaurant clients face include raising public and private capital, mergers and acquisitions, complicated financings and sale/leaseback transactions. Often, restaurants also need legal guidance in real estate, contract, regulatory, intellectual property, and labor and employment matters. 

Andrews Kurth lawyers who practice in the restaurant industry provide comprehensive counsel to restaurant companies and their owners, operators, managers, landlords, tenants, franchisors and lenders. Drawing upon our firm resources worldwide, we counsel the restaurant industry in such areas as: 

We seek to resolve problems and create opportunities for our clients by delivering effective and efficient solutions to issues arising in: 

Corporate and Securities 

Our lawyers with experience in the restaurant industry represent acquiring companies, targets and investment advisors in high-profile business combinations, financings, joint ventures and securities transactions involving foodservice companies. 

We have experience with stock purchases, asset purchases, spin-offs, cash offers and tender offers, as well as initial public offerings, REIT transactions, mergers and acquisitions and sale/leaseback transactions. Our lawyers understand asset management issues as lenders, owners, operators, tenants and managers see them, so we can effectively anticipate problems and identify opportunities. 

Representative matters include: 

Litigation

Andrews Kurth’s litigators prosecute and defend jury and bench trials, including injunction proceedings, in all courts and other tribunals nationwide for restaurant companies. 

Our litigation experience includes handling matters for American Express Company, Boston Market, McDonald's and Saltgrass Steakhouse Restaurants and a multitude of lenders. The range of disputes that we handle includes: 

Restaurant Restructurings

Andrews Kurth represents clients in every aspect of corporate reorganizations, in-court and out-of-court. As experienced advisors at all stages of the process, we guide restaurant clients on corporate restructuring, disposition, loan settlements and restructurings, reorganization and receivership proceedings. 

We typically handle matters involving a high number of stores in many different states and manage the attendant number of interested parties. Our range of client representation includes: 

Our significant restaurant restructuring experience includes:

Restaurant restructurings are unique in that the goodwill of a restaurant operator and the related franchise may rapidly erode in a restructuring. To obtain our clients’ goals and protect their interests, we work to emphasize cost-effective and practical solutions tailored to each situation. 

In our restructuring counsel, we include the recommendation of effective third-party auditors, operators, brokers, auctioneers, title companies and vendors with significant experience and honorable reputations with respect to this industry. 

Financing and Tax

Andrews Kurth represents both lenders and borrowers in financings involving the acquisition of, or investment in, restaurant properties. We also counsel on the refinancing and/or restructuring of existing debt through structured finance transactions, including mezzanine loans and sale/leaseback transactions. 

These financing transactions typically involve multiple parties, such as lenders, owners, operators, managers, tenants and franchisors, and properties in multiple states. We have significant experience handling large multiple property/state transactions. 

Our approach and results are efficient and effective, and marked by clear communication and strong organization. We complete legal and due diligence requirements, and prepare and negotiate closing documents in conformance with local law requirements. 

Securitized Lending

Our lawyers who practice in the restaurant industry also advise loan originators on securitized lending programs and loans intended for securitization. We have closed thousands of mortgage loans secured by properties involving quick-service restaurants in multiple states. 

In our counsel to casual, upscale specialty restaurant chains, we have advised in "whole-company" securitizations of the cash flows from company-owned and franchisee-owned facilities, as well as all related advertising revenues. 

In complicated company restructurings, our Tax practice group is able to support any needed tax planning and to resolve reporting and filing requirements. 

Andrews Kurth lawyers’ experience includes a large number of securitized lending transactions such as: 

We have also counseled on several non-securitized financing transactions ranging from deals involving over 800 Pizza Hut locations in 26 states to deals involving only a few locations of a local chain for clients such as Saltgrass Steakhouse Restaurants. 

Business and Real Estate Transactions

When restaurant companies grow, our lawyers handle every aspect of the real property transaction, from financing to construction and zoning approval.

We have advised restaurant companies in numerous land purchases, construction, development and restaurant acquisitions, and understand the legal and local law requirements that apply to foodservice operations.

Using broad industry knowledge, our lawyers advise clients on resolving construction, development, zoning and environmental issues. Within the restaurant sector, our real estate experience includes all lease negotiations for Luna De Noche Tex Mex restaurants, Good Eats and Cool River Steakhouse, both owned by Consolidated Restaurant Corporation. We have also counseled Landry's Restaurants, Inc., on real estate leasing, development transactions and project development matters.

Labor and Employment

Andrews Kurth lawyers advise on unique workforce issues facing restaurant companies. Issues we counsel on include:

Intellectual Property

Andrews Kurth helps a wide range of restaurant clients obtain, protect and enforce patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and other intellectual property rights.

For example, we have handled everything from restaurant industry patent litigation to trademark infringement actions and trade secret aspects of "secret" recipes for nationally branded restaurants. Representative matters we have handled include:

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