Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Restaurant Wars

I remember one of my favorite assignments in third grade was to create a restaurant concept and menu. How this related to anything we were learning at the time, I am not sure, but I loved it.

I still daydream about what kind of restaurant I would want to open. Alex and I conjured up a restaurant of “pocket foods” around the globe; Liz and I envisioned a Mexican/Vietnamese fusion restaurant; Ben and I joked about starting up Legal Liability Confections if the law thing did not work out for both of us; and I am sure my family discussed bringing actual Vietnamese food to our hometown. If I ever made it onto Top Chef, I would be ready for the Restaurant Wars episode.

Going to work at the courthouse, however, causes the dream to die just a little bit every day. Even though I have only been working for a week and a half, I have seen so many cases about restaurants. Bankruptcy, closures, rent issues, management disputes, contract matters, employee issues, you name it. I bet that if you listed your ten favorite restaurants in the city, at least one of them would be going through a major legal issue. I was shocked to see how many familiar restaurants were on the docket.

What makes the restaurant business so litigious? I have heard it is because it is a high-risk endeavor, led by people idealistic people who often have little business sense. They just love food. Throw in colorful chef personalities and a cutthroat industry, and you wonder how any restaurant stays in business.

Although I highly doubt I would ever try to open up a restaurant considering how risk-adverse I am, at least I would have the legal education to fight off any lawsuits.

No comments: