Category: Restaurants

Credit Card Evolution: Goodbye John Hancock

For years, the signature requirement for completing a credit card transaction has felt something like an  obsolete means of confirming a user’s identity . Effective this month, however, four of the country’s largest credit card providers: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa, will no longer require a signature to...
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Settlement Opens Door For Outer Borough Outlet Centers

In August 2017, Simon Property Group (“SPG”) and the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York (“NYAG”) entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance (the “Settlement”) regarding alleged anti-competitive effects of radius restrictions used by SPG in leases at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (“Woodbury Commons”)...
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Update: Tip Pooling by Restaurant Owners Remains in Flux

This past April, we reported on a recent Ninth Circuit ruling which upheld a 2011 Department of Labor (“DOL”) rule that prohibits restaurants from instituting tip-pooling arrangements that include both front-of-house staff that are customarily and regularly tipped (such as waiters, waitresses, bellhops, and service bartenders) and back-of-house staff...
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Cannes Brick and Mortar Retail in the United States Make a Comeback?

2017 MAPIC Conference in Cannes, France Last week, a contingent from Goulston & Storrs attended the annual MAPIC conference in Cannes (pronounced “Can”), France for the seventh consecutive year. We expected to field questions about the challenges facing brick and mortar retailers in the United States as well as...
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Robots Will Reshape – Not Replace – Retail Work

As we have discussed in earlier blog posts , rapid changes in the retail landscape due to the rise of e-commerce and a shift in customer’s interests from old-school, one-stop department store shopping to experiential retail, has led to a recent wave of retail bankruptcies and store closings.  The...
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A Nation of Shopkeepers

David Rabinowitz and Matt Epstein who, with Nancy Davids , co-chair Goulston’s Retail, Restaurant and Consumer Group , spent some time in London last month surveying the retail landscape. There are both similarities and differences between the US and UK markets. Of course, the impact of ecommerce on bricks and...
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Give Me a Break: Break Me Off a Piece of That…Meal Kit?

Short on time and patience, consumers are jumping on the bandwagon of meal kits and meal kit delivery services, which have taken the retail food industry by storm.  Meal kits and meal kit delivery services – such as, Plated , Blue Apron , HelloFresh and Purple Carrot – are...
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Tip Pooling by Restaurant Owners-Remains in Flux

Restaurant owners with tipped employees should take note of several recent court cases which may affect their ability to cause restaurant employees to participate in “tip pooling,” particularly in instances where back-of-house employees are included in such tip pooling arrangements. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers to...
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The Ascendency of Accessibility: Surge in Website Lawsuits Continues

The proliferation of accessibility lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has not abated. It is well-documented that ADA-related litigation increased by 37% from 2015 to 2016, which is symptomatic of long-term trends. Growth is fueled in part by litigants’ increased focus on internet-based technologies,...
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ICSC Mid-Atlantic Conference & Deal Making Recap

With seemingly all of the country’s attention focused on Washington DC lately, we snuck out of the District and across the Potomac River to National Harbor last week for ICSC’s 2017 Mid-Atlantic Conference and Deal Making . The conference was very well attended, and the mood among attendees and...
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Upscale Food Halls—On Trend and On The Rise

The growth of high-end food halls is taking off around the country as consumers seek fast, fresh, high-quality, chef-driven meals with a local touch, and as landlords seek to cash in on the continued growth of fast-casual dining. These boutique-style, upscale food halls are modeled more after famous European...
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Mobile Payments: Exciting but Unknown

Mobile payment options are no longer the wave of the future. They are already here. It was projected that there would be almost 450 million mobile payment users worldwide by the end of 2016 . These users generated $60 billion in mobile payment sales in 2016 alone.  Certain studies...
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The Power of Pop-ups: From Fad to Retail Mainstay

Pop-up stores or “flash retail” have graduated from passing trend to popular practice. Historically utilized for the sale of seasonal products (think temporary stores that only sell Halloween costumes ), the pop-up has evolved into an attractive option for retailers of all shapes, sizes and experience. Smaller, emerging companies...
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Food For Thought: How Delivery-Only Food Service Is Impacting Retail Real Estate

Today’s consumer is a tricky one – she is impatient and demanding.  She requires excellent service in the blink of an eye (or perhaps, more appropriately, in the swipe of a finger), and likes to eat meals made with high quality ingredients. Celebrity chefs have taken note. Chefs like...
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Return of the Food Trucks – New Offerings vs. Old Favorites

It’s that time of year again: flowers are blooming on the Common, the Red Sox had their opening day, and the best parts about Boston summer have started to reappear. This year, however, many of Boston’s beloved food trucks almost did not. Food trucks began to really take off...
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Bite Kite Rides into Town: Cambridge Start-Up Tests New Trends in Fast Food Delivery

Take-out customers want quality food without complication and want it fast – with an emphasis on fast.  In a service market increasingly focused on instant gratification, fast food providers are striving to reinvent delivery services to meet the demands of customers who have very little time to spare but...
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What’s on the Menu? A Look at the New FDA Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) Labeling Requirements

We recently reported in to our clients  about a little-known element of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) that will require many QSRs (Quick Serve Restaurants) to provide specific calorie and nutrition information to their customers and on their menus. Mandated by the legislation, it was left to the Food...
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When Fashion Met Style…Spin-Off Stores

Over the past few years, there has been a discouraging rash of mall vacancies and closings, as traditional department stores and retail chains have had to close shop, lick their wounds, and get back to the drawing board in hopes of reviving their brand names and regaining a foothold...
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Would You Like Fries with that Sweater? Retailer and Restaurant Pairings

As retailers continue to embrace the omni channel retail experience, our blogging team explores consumer behavior behind the new trends. One topic we have followed lately is the convergence of retail and restaurants. For years restaurants have put roots down in highly-trafficked areas like shopping malls, tempting weary consumers...
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A “New World” of Fashion and Food

In a world of Instagram, Facebook and SMS text marketing, being fleet of foot in an ever-changing world of retail advertising and sales is the name of the game. As retailers and restaurateurs navigate the treacherous waters of effective advertising, an amplified sense of haste has motivated these proprietors...
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Clowning Around and Reheating the Breakfast Wars

Taco Bell has joined the breakfast wars through the launch of its first breakfast menu . Taco Bell’s initial maneuver in this ongoing battle for breakfast customers takes direct aim at McDonald’s iconic breakfast menu . Taco Bell’s television commercials feature individuals named “Ronald McDonald” attesting to their “love”...
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A Glimpse into ICSC’s Annual Conference in New York

Snow and cold greeted the more than 7000 attendees for this year's ICSC National Conference in New York City ! Notwithstanding the inclement weather, attendees were busy between the two program venues, the Hilton and the Sheraton, but the energy was high. Overall, a big success for the ICSC...
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Liquor Licensing Changes in Massachusetts Impact Landlord-Tenant Relationships

Retail landlords and tenants are heavily impacted by recent changes in liquor licensing forms generated by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) and increased background investigations related to license applications. Although Massachusetts restaurant and package store operators have long been accustomed to disclosing financial, operational and personal information...
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Zoning for the All-In-One Commercial Space

Many zoning regulations were drafted decades ago in an era before all-in-one superstores. Accordingly, the form and structure of these regulations often reflects a single use-based regulatory scheme, with lists of dozens of commercial uses that are permitted in each progressive zone category. Today’s all-in-one commercial establishment typically provides...
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Restaurant Paradox: Encouraging and Discouraging New Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Research has suggested that zoning can have both anti-competitive and pro-competitive effects on retail establishments. The anti-competitive effects may be caused by limiting the number of certain types of retail establishments, by prohibiting some types of retailers, or by encouraging certain types of retailers over others. Other research has...
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