Restaurant Expert Witness, Restaurant Consultant, and CEO, Howard Cannon, says, "A lot of people are trying to save money when they start a restaurant, and I get that, but many make fundamental business mistakes like choosing the wrong supporting cast right from the start or choosing to use no lawyer at all because they think they can get what they need from some sort of website." In Cannon's opinion, that simply isn't the case. A bad decision of this magnitude right from the start can be the difference between ultimate success or failure. Sadly, many times, restaurant owners don’t actually realize the magnitude of this mistake until they have a legal matter that requires real industry knowledge and expertise, and then it’s too late.
"It's always better to see a lawyer who knows the market - an industry specialist - before you really need him or her," advises Cannon. "There are many restaurant and hospitality industry lawyers across the country, and they will know your business. They are out there and the great ones are worth every penny.” Cannon recommends that new restaurateurs and franchisees spend some time interviewing prospective lawyers and other professionals, "Find out what they know. Do they actually have restaurant expertise? They might not admit that they don't, and it's up to you to scope that out. Ask them some tough questions and spend what you can afford to get the best. That choice may make the difference between your restaurant's failure, mere survival, or phenomenal success."
Mr. Cannon encourages those who want to start a restaurant to get good specialized advice before they ever open the doors. "Some restaurant owners never see a lawyer until they are in some kind of trouble. Even then, too many of them mistakenly think they can get good legal advice from any attorney. All attorneys are not created equal. If they don't know the restaurant business, they could do more harm than good. Plan for success right from the start. A really good restaurant lawyer or hospitality lawyer can help with things like franchise agreements, operating manuals, employment agreements, property leases, supplier contracts, and other legalities that could be a big problem later if they're not done correctly right from the beginning."
Howard Cannon is a highly recognized restaurant expert witness. He is an author, speaker, consultant, expert witness, mediator, analyst, and CEO. Cannon is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Restaurant© - found in 76 countries around the globe. He has experience in both State and Federal cases. Howard Cannon can be reached at RestaurantExpertWitness.com or at 800.300.5764.