Hospitality, Food and Beverage

Representing a number of hospitality, food and beverage businesses for more than 40 years, Gould & Ratner lawyers serve clients ranging from manufacturers of consumer-branded and private-label products, to food product and ingredient distributors, to service providers and restaurants.

We have performed a wide variety of services for these dynamic businesses, including often serving as de facto outsourced general counsel, as well as:

  • Acquisitions/divestitures
  • Management incentives
  • Distribution/supply/sales agreements and relationships
  • Dispute resolution
  • Human resources and employment 
  • Food and safety issues
  • Food recall issues
  • Collection and customer/supplier dispute issues
  • Real estate issues
  • Tax and financial planning for the companies, owners and management team

Our hospitality, food and beverage clients are located throughout the United States. In addition, we have assisted these clients as their needs arise in many different countries worldwide thanks to our seamless web of geographic coverage worldwide through Law Exchange International and other relationships.

Many of our clients in this dynamic industry retain us as their general counsel, where we provide a 360-degree holistic approach to serve their business law needs, including:

  • Entity formation
  • Inter-owner relations
  • Employment law, human resources counseling and training
  • Structural and organic changes
  • Third-party agreements
  • Protection of valuable intangible assets
  • Dispute resolution
  • Reorganizations
  • Real estate

Our lawyers have deep roots and specific knowledge of the food and beverage industry. We are not just mere technicians that apply our craft oblivious to the industry and business context.  Our clients know that we understand their businesses and are committed to helping them succeed.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a leading private label food manufacturer enforcing non-compete agreement with former employees.
  • A private equity fund purchase of two seed manufacturing and distribution businesses in the upper Midwest for $30 million each, and the accelerated sale of one business for many nultiples of old price.
  • A leading branded food company received a venture capital infusion, refinanced bank debt and incentivized management.
  • A leading national food products distribution company purchased separate businesses in New Jersey, Minnesota, Iowa, Georgia, Texas and California and established operations in Canada and Mexico.
  • A rural private equity investment fund made many growth capital investments in agricultural chemical products and seed distribution companies.
  • A Chicago-based consumer branded caramel apple manufacturer obtained Series B financing.
  • A private equity fund purchased for $40 million a Southeastern-based “soil to oil” supply chain manufacturing business with operations throughout the world.
  • A Chicago-based consumer branded gourmet pretzel manufacturer handled many equity, distribution and other strategic transactions.
  • Negotiated an agreement with the City of Chicago for a $4 million grant from the City’s Department of Environment for assistance with the re-development of the R.R. Donnelly building into the city’s first major “Carrier Hotel.”
  • Represented a hospitality company in the disposition of a portfolio of Holiday Inn Hotels, including the negotiation of purchase and sale agreements and all aspects of closing of the transaction.

Hospitality, Food and Beverage Team