Follow Chris Linkedin Twitter
Email Chris Email
Legal Issues
Feb 1, 2018

Common Legal Issues in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

Sponsored Content provided by Chris Hinnant - Member Attorney, Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms, PLLC

The natural beauty of the Coastal Carolinas makes these areas a perennial favorite with tourists. 

The tourism industry is important to the Carolinas and brings in millions of dollars every year. Restaurateurs, tavern keepers and hoteliers from the Outer Banks to Hilton Head face a number of potential legal issues over and above the challenges associated with day-to-day operations.

An awareness of certain legal issues impacts every business, and the restaurant and hospitality industry is no different. For instance, selecting the appropriate business entity with which to operate under is an important consideration for almost any business, including when a business owner launches a new hotel, restaurant or bar. 

Lease agreements and other commercial property transactions are a common consideration for retail establishments, just as they are with any number of companies. As businesses build their brands through logos, marketing slogans and the like, trademark law can become a consideration. The list of legalities faced by business owners goes on and on.

Some legal considerations, though, if not unique to the restaurant and hospitality industry, are at least more commonplace for those businesses.

A patron who slips and falls on a hotel’s property may assert a claim for premises liability. A bar or restaurant owner whose bartender or wait staff serves alcohol to an underage or intoxicated patron may be faced with a lawsuit if the intoxicated or underage patron later injures another party as a result of their intoxication. Known as dram shop actions, these lawsuits carry significant exposure and are becoming more prevalent in both North and South Carolina.

Immigration issues may even come in to play at hiring time, particularly during the height of the tourist season.

Knowing the legal issues surrounding such risks can help business owners in the hospitality field recognize their potential liabilities and take steps to limit their exposure.

We will be featuring a multi-part series of Insights articles identifying and explaining these and other legal issues faced by business owners and operators in the hospitality industry. The articles will address North and South Carolina law, including both the similarities and pertinent distinctions in the law for both states.

There is no foolproof way to protect business owners in the hospitality industry from every possible liability. However, understanding the most common pitfalls faced by hoteliers, tavern keepers and restaurateurs can go a long way to prevent, manage and limit the risks associated with these types of business operations.

Christopher M Hinnant is a trial lawyer and member of Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms PLLC’s Wilmington, NC office. Hinnant is licensed in both North and South Carolina, and concentrates his practice in civil litigation, including dram shop liability, premises liability and restaurant and hospitality law. He has handled cases in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. A significant portion of his cases involves catastrophic injury and wrongful death. Hinnant also has significant experience with medical malpractice matters, complex commercial litigation and construction matters. To contact Hinnant, call (910) 679-4329 or email him at [email protected].
 

Wbj bwph blockad chris 80
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Leath 683x10242

Avoiding HR Nightmares: Help is Here!

Lisa Leath - Leath HR Group
Tysonemery

Protect Yourself from Cyber Crime in Real Estate Transactions

Tyson Emery - KBT Realty
Yasminheadshotwithlogo

Word Power

Yasmin Tomkinson - Cape Fear Literacy Council

Trending News

NHRMC Buys Wilmington Property From International Paper

Cece Nunn - Aug 15, 2018

Untappd Leads Pack Of Local Firms On Inc. 5000 List

Christina Haley O'Neal - Aug 15, 2018

Wilmington Brewing Co. Plans Expansion

Christina Haley O'Neal - Aug 16, 2018

Trampoline Park To Open Saturday At Mayfaire

Johanna Cano - Aug 16, 2018

Law Firm Moves To Murchison Building

Johanna Cano - Aug 15, 2018

In The Current Issue

NHRMC Earns National Cancer Accreditation

The Commission on Cancer recently granted three-year accreditation to the cancer program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center....


Hitting The Right Note On Music Careers

For those in music, hitting the road full time can take a mix of talent and business know how....


Record Rainfall Bogs Down Construction

Record rainfall this summer in Wilmington is not just dampening spirits and dousing beach vacations. The weather is also affecting commercia...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2018 Power Breakfast - Dishing on the Restaurant Biz
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes