Managing FDA and USDA Compliance

The last few years have seen tremendous changes in the food industry, including passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act; continued criticism of the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) process; increased enforcement of and litigation about food claims and classifications and their intersection with marketing and advertising efforts; and increased demands of managing national and […]


Chip-and-PIN (EMV) Credit Card Liability Shift is Oct. 1: Are You Ready?

October 1 is right around the corner. Hotels and restaurants: are you ready for what’s in your customers’ wallets? As payment card transactions have supplanted cash and check-made purchases, point-of-sale (POS) devices have become a necessity for many businesses, particularly those in the hospitality industry: from the biggest hotels to smallest cafés and bistros. But […]


Berkeley’s Measure D: What Distributors, Restaurants and Retailers need to know about the Berkeley “Sugar Tax”

According to its backers, the Berkeley “Sugar Tax” is the future of sugar in America.  Berkeley’s Measure “D,” which garnered an overwhelming 75% “yes” vote, imposes a general excise tax of $0.01 per ounce on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages and the sweeteners used to sweeten such drinks:  this amounts to a 12 cent tax on a […]


Five Tips To Launching A Franchise Program Successfully

CONGRATULATIONS!  You’ve spent years building your business, developing a loyal following, and honing your operations into a replicable format.  You own two, three or maybe ten different locations, all profitable, and understand your business inside and out.  You know the right demographics and cost to jumpstart new locations.  You’ve cultivated reliable supply relationships, built a […]


Twelve Tips for Franchisors to Reduce Joint Employer Risks Under Today’s Legal Standards

Franchise agreement recitals declaring your franchisee to be an independent contractor, not an employee, are not dispositive! Until now, the spotlight has never shined so brightly on franchising and, specifically, on whether franchisors are responsible for their franchisees’ activities. On July 29, 2014, the NLRB’s General Counsel announced its plan to sue McDonald’s for numerous […]

NLRB Will Charge McDonald’s as “Joint Employer” For Franchisee Labor Violations

In a move with far-reaching ramifications for all businesses that license their brands to independent contractors including franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced on July 29, 2014 that it has authorized the filing of administrative complaints against franchise giant, McDonald’s USA LLC, for unfair labor practices involving workers at franchisee-owned restaurants. The NLRB […]

TTB Changes Course on Oregon’s Wine Growler Law

 On April 25, 2014, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB), the federal agency that regulates and taxes alcohol producers, suspended a March 2014 wine growler ruling that would have unnecessarily required wineries and retailers to register as federal taxpaid wine bottling houses before selling refillable wine containers.  For wineries and restaurants looking […]