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Austin TX Business Law Blog

Sunday, August 23, 2015

BBQ Bans & Other Legal Issues Facing Restaurant Entrepreneurs

What should we be considering as we plan to open a new restaurant in Texas?

Restaurant start-ups are a hot industry right now, and entrepreneurs are too often mired in the details of menu and décor to consider the legal ramifications of embarking on their new venture. Fortunately, The Kumar Law Firm can help organize and protect your team, whether you operate a food truck or a five-star rooftop restaurant.

The initial steps in creating a restaurant business are pre-planning and choosing a suitable, appropriately zoned location. Finding the perfect location depends on a number of factors, with some restaurants -- such as barbeque joints -- having additional hurdles to overcome. Earlier this year, for instance, the Austin City Council considered a proposal to regulate barbeque smoke known to waft into residential areas – apparently bothering nearby neighbors and causing a nuisance for other surrounding businesses. The council, however, ultimately voted 4-0 against the measure, while encouraging residents to make use of the city’s 311 service to launch complaints about “air pollution.”

Once beginning restaurant entrepreneurs have chosen an appropriate location, they must consider the various state and federal food safety regulations, which govern everything from food temperatures to proper cooking techniques. In addition, businesses must maintain a sizable insurance policy to cover liability stemming from foodborne illnesses. Such illnesses are not always preventable, even with the most careful preparation techniques.

Of course, hiring and maintaining employees also requires legal knowledge, particularly in regard to insurance, taxes, payroll, anti-discrimination policies, and other human resource issues wrapped up the opening of any business. An experienced start-up attorney can be invaluable in helping to draft contracts, defend against vendor/customer disputes, and offer general legal advice, not only during the first few years, but throughout the course of enterprise's operation.

If you are considering starting up a restaurant business in Austin or surrounding areas, please contact a business law attorney at The Kumar Law Firm at 512.960.3808 so that we can supply you with information about how to best protect your assets and ideas.

 


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