The Benefits of Hiring a Specialized Franchise Lawyer

Unlike general practice attorneys, specialist often have experience developing franchise-specific documents. They also know the latest federal and state franchising regulations. Only about one out of every 500 U.S. attorneys focus on these laws.

The Benefits of Hiring a Specialized Franchise Lawyer

By Harold KestenbaumHarold Kestenbaum
President at HLK P.C. Law Firm | Franchise Lawyer

It’s becoming more and more important to hire a lawyer who specializes in franchise law if you run a company involved in franchising. Recent legal developments pose serious new challenges for franchise companies. For example, the National Labor Relations Board changed its rules about employer liability during 2015. The revised rule treats franchisees and franchisors as joint employers in many situations. This means both parties could suffer when current or former staff members initiate lawsuits.
Overtime Changes

Additionally, the federal government has proposed major adjustments to overtime rules. They could go into effect as soon as late 2016. Although the details remain unclear, regulators will probably increase the minimum yearly income for overtime exemptions. This amount may rise to $40,000 or $50,000 and start increasing with inflation. The government could also enact stricter rules to reduce the number of workers who don’t qualify for overtime.
Dispute Resolution

These and other changes increase the likelihood that franchised businesses will encounter complex legal disputes. For instance, a staff member could bring lawsuits against both joint employers when a supervisor breaks overtime rules or fails to maintain safe working conditions. Franchisors also face franchisee legal action under various circumstances, such as when supply expenses are deemed exorbitant. A lawyer who specializes in franchise law can help defend businesses in any of these situations.

Disclosure Documents

When franchise companies write disclosure documents for franchisees to read, it is vital for franchisors to hire attorneys with the appropriate expertise. These lengthy, complicated documents must contain accurate information so as to protect companies from lawsuits. Many franchisees pay lawyers to examine such documents. They can take legal action against franchisors if a disclosure document contains false or misleading data that causes them to make unwise business decisions.

Unlike general practice attorneys, specialist often have experience developing franchise-specific documents. They also know the latest federal and state franchising regulations. Only about one out of every 500 U.S. attorneys focus on these laws. If you need a specialized business franchise lawyer, think about hiring Harold Kestenbaum. He has worked in this field for over three decades, co-founded a franchise consulting service and created a successful book about franchising. Click the logo below to learn more!

Small Business and Franchise Show on AM970 The Answer New York City.

This program will help put you on a clear path of starting and growing a business. An enterprise that you can call your own, one that can help you achieve freedom from a dead end job, help you gain financial independence, and true security for your family. We will explore ways for you to create, start & grow your ideal business or franchise. You’ll learn how it’s done, how to bring your dream to life, and The Risks and the Rewards of business ownership.

This Week We started our Small Business and Franchise Show on AM970 The Answer New York City. You can listen to the entire first broadcast at the Link below. Our guests were Harold Kestenbaum – Attorney and Nick Powills, CFE – No Limit Agency. Give a Listen and tune in every Sunday at 3pm EST. Also feel free to call in with your questions.

Don’t Open a Franchise unless you have Dedication, an Open Mind and Honest Communication.

We are now accepting applications for new Ritter’s Frozen Custard franchise opportunities in select markets. Please call 800-212-5416 for franchise info and details.Please see this article featuring our franchisees John & Renee Dame. It is truly inspirational as well as informative.

Why You Need Dedication, an Open Mind and Honest Communication to Open Any Franchise
By Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor is a staff writer covering franchises for Related areas of interest include chain restaurants, franchisee profiles and food trends. Get in touch with tips and feedback via email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you’re a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email [email protected]

Why You Need Dedication, an Open Mind and Honest Communication to Open Any Franchise

After 16 years in the custard business, you learn a thing or two about entrepreneurship. Renee Dame opened her Ritter’s Frozen Custard location in 1999. Today, she’s assisting the franchise in training new franchisees and recruiting new franchise owners. Here’s what she has learned.

Name: Renee Dame

Franchise owned: Ritter’s Frozen Custard, in Port Orange, Fla.

How long have you owned a franchise?

We purchased our franchise in 1997 and opened in 1999.

Franchising offers much better and easier opportunities for growth. It offers a structured environment with guidelines already in place to offer a greater chance at success. Also, when you buy into a Ritter’s Frozen Custard franchise you are buying into a pool of entrepreneurs who are like-minded, in the same business and all looking to build a brand.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I started working for the federal government in 1979. I got married in 1996 and continued my government job just before we purchased our franchise. I continued to work this job for three years after the business opened, as well as working in the business at night. I left that job in 2002 to be able to dedicate more time to Ritter’s with regards to training staff and growing the brand. In 2009 I went back to work for the government to finish my years for my retirement. In 2014, I retired from the federal government and now dedicate 100 percent of my time to the business.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

The number one reason we chose Ritter’s Frozen Custard was the quality of the product. With my husband having 25 years of experience in a high volume franchise system, we knew this would be a great opportunity to help grow the brand and take it to the next level. I was also impressed with who they stood for – meaning, they were a family-oriented business delivering a great experience to families across the country. They wanted the business to be a destination for everyone, young and old.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

The total investment required to open a Ritter’s Frozen Custard Shoppe varies depending upon store type. A strip (inline) center investment ranges between $358,500 and $589,400, depending upon square footage and location. The investment for a freestanding prototype is between $496,000 and $899,500 plus land and site development cost. These figures include the franchise fee, leasehold improvement, furniture, fixtures, equipment, signage, insurance, and initial inventory.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

With my husband having been in a large franchise system for 25 years, we were aware of how a franchise system worked. We contacted other owners of this franchise to get their feedback on cost, operations, etc. We also contacted some of the suppliers that had been working with the brand for years. Their information indicated how well the businesses were doing. We also searched the internet, and found information from customers of the other locations, as well as business information pertaining to the other locations.

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Overall, the process was not very difficult. We had a great construction team, and the franchisor was very helpful with any situations that came up. Our biggest challenge, was dealing with the city officials. Due to the shape of the building, the color of the roof, etc., our city was very skeptical. We finally were able to agree with the pitch of the roof and the color, then we had to change the color of our umbrellas to match the roof. That is just a little picture of the things we had to deal with, when it came to the city. The franchisor provided all we needed to get built and get open, as well as training our staff. In the end it worked out nicely.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

Dedication – you have to be aware of what is going on in your business. You have to be involved. Your staff needs to know you and what you stand for.

Open Minded – you will be expected to help others, whether it be your own staff, other franchisees, or even the franchisor. Follow the guideline and rules, and make suggestions to the franchisor, rather than doing it your way. There is a system in place for a reason. Remember you still have a boss. For a franchise system to be successful, ALL franchisees must follow procedures, guidelines and standards that have been established for them. If each franchisee did it their own way, it breaks down the system. Your customer should have the same experience, regardless of which location they visit.

Feedback and communication – you must communicate with the franchisor including any struggles, ideas, successes, etc. Sharing this Information can help grow the brand. Also, communication with your employees will help set goals and expectations for them. Praise them when they do a good job, and counsel them (in private) with any struggles they may be having. They will do a great job for you, if you allow them to.

What’s next for you and your business?

After 16 years operating the business along with my husband, we are currently taking a new direction to help grow the brand. In addition to training and developing my own crew, I am now assisting the franchisor in training new franchise owners for Ritter’s Frozen Custard. This includes training them at my location for one week to prepare them to open their location. Then when the time comes, I travel to their location for approximately two weeks where I assist in setting up the location, training their staff, assist in the opening of the location, and then stay for a few days to work out any issues. It is my pleasure to do this and watch others be successful as we grow the brand.

In addition, we are currently in the process of becoming area developers in Florida for the central region and East Coast. The franchisor still needs to receive approval from the state of New York, and we need to obtain the financing, but we are extremely hopeful.

Our goal is to assist Ritter’s Frozen Custard in finding new franchisees in Florida. We would help the franchisees in finding locations, building issues, training, etc. The bigger we can grow the brand, the more cost effective it becomes for everyone. We are looking forward to what the future holds
Kate Taylor is a staff writer covering franchises for Related areas of interest include chain restaurants, franchisee profiles and food trends. Get in touch with tips and feedback via email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you’re a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email [email protected]


We are now accepting applications for new Ritter’s Frozen Custard franchise opportunities in select markets. Please call 800-212-5416 for franchise info and details.

The International Franchise Expo Returns to New York City

June 14, 2013
Media Contacts:
Graham Chapman [email protected] 919-459-8157
Sue Yannello [email protected] 919-459-8162

The International Franchise Expo Returns to New York City
Thousands in the Tri-State Explore Hot, New Businesses in Franchising!

(Manhattan, June 20, 21, 22) – Thousands of folks in the Tri-State will explore the hot, new businesses in franchising as the International Franchise Expo returns to New York City’s newly renovated Javits Center from Thursday June 20 through Saturday June 22. Even in a down economy, franchising has experienced rapid growth in the past decade (more than 40%), enabling franchise establishments to employ more than 8 million Americans. After 19 20 years in Washington D.C., the IFE moved to the Big Apple last year because of its larger economic market and strong international presence. And due to the show’s unprecedented success in 2012, the IFE returns to New York City for the second straight year.

This year, more than 400 franchise businesses from more than 80 countries will be on display. These businesses include restaurant powerhouses BLIMPIE and Golden Corral, who were major contributors to the more than 7,700 New York based food and accommodation jobs that were added in 2012. Both companies have developed a strong presence in the tri-state area, as the brands combined have helped more than 130 entrepreneurs launch their own business in NY, NJ and CT. And considering Blimpie is approaching its 50th anniversary after getting its start in Hoboken, NJ in 1964, we have plenty of GREAT LOCAL HOOKS TO HELP YOU TELL THIS NATIONAL BUSINESS STORY!

This is a great opportunity for you to interview people who want to buy themselves a job with a franchise…or are tired of the 9 – 5 rat race and want to become their own boss.


Practical Advice for New and Established Franchisors and Franchisees when building Bricks & Mortar stores

Renovations and Build-Outs, Practical Advice for New and Established Franchisors and Franchisees

If you or your franchisees are building Retail Stores or Restaurants, you are invited to attend this IFA Sponsored Meeting/Panel discussion covering topics that will help you avoid some of the costly errors franchisors and franchisees make when building out their retail location.

Attending this meeting is especially important if you build stores in the NYC Metro area.
The August 7th meeting is FREE but you need to reserve a seat by calling (212) 935-3131.


Renovations and Build-Outs, Practical Advice for New and Established Franchisors and Franchisees

Gary Occhiogrosso and Fred Kirvan share industry advice on expansion and renovation in Urban Markets

NEW YORK – On August 7th, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., TRUFOODS, LLC and ONEKEY, LLC will be hosting a panel discussion on what franchisees and franchisors need to know about developing densely populated markets, such as New York City. As brands look to make market renovations or open new stores, often times they end up having to overcome the barriers set by city regulations, postponing openings. TRUFOODS and ONEKEY will discuss ways to streamline the build out and renovation process, how the franchisor should assist the franchisee and common problems that arise when dealing with large Departments and other agencies.

Gary Occhiogrosso, Interim President & Chief Development Officer of TRUFOODS, LLC and Fred Kirvan, Chief Operating Officer for TRUFOODS LLC will share their experiences overcoming obstacles for development and permits with the New York City Building Department. Opening numerous locations in dense cities over their career, both Kirvan and Occhiogrosso will provide insight into best practices to communicate with the Construction Management Team and how to communicate these challenges to the franchisees. They will also discuss what franchisees should expect from the franchisors when overcoming these new opening or renovation challenges.

Occhiogrosso began his career in franchising in 1984, working in almost every aspect from growing brands as a franchisee of Dunkin Donuts and providing brand support as a consultant and launching the Ranch*1 franchise system. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Franchising and Chief Operating Officer for Desert Moon, before transitioning to his current role at TRUFOODS, LLC. In addition to the many hats he has worn on the executive development side, Occhiogrosso also created, a website that helps further educate entrepreneurs on the franchising industry. The website brings together information on the right fit of a franchise, financing options, human resources, marketing and accounting.

The experience Occhiogrosso has gained from his 28 years in the industry has equipped him with the best practices and industry knowledge on getting restaurants open and operating for franchisees in highly urban centers. Occhiogrosso has focused on these markets as both a franchisor and a franchisee and has insightful experience on working with government organizations to meet permit requirements and building ordinances. During his career as well as his time at TRUFOODS, LLC, he has developed multi-unit franchisees in major urban markets across the United States with brands such as Ranch*1, Blimpie’s, Desert Moon, Shake-a Paw, Treasure Cache, Team Works, Schlotsky’s Deli, Little Scoops, Ritter’s Frozen Custard, Pudgie’s Famous Chicken, Arthur Treacher’s and Wall Street Deli,

For more information or to reserve your space no later than Friday, August 2, 2012, please email David T. Azrin at [email protected] or you can reach him by phone at (212) 935-3131.

Top 10 ways to increase restaurant sales

This article comes from long time franchise expert and restaurateur Jack Benoff.
Simple and insightful….If Restaurant Operators practiced only half of this list they’d see an increase in sales regardless of the economy.

Some of the topics touched on in this article I will cover globally in the IFE Seminar “How to become a Multi-Unit Franchisee” on June 16th at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. I hope you can make the time to attend.

Top 10 ways to increase restaurant sales


EZ Way #10:
Sell something that your customers don’t normally eat at home, such as Cappuccino or Milkshakes. Benefit: you’ve distinguished yourself from other restaurants and given customers something to talk about. Be famous for something with a signature product.
EZ Way #9:
Give your staff business cards, with their name and a humorous title on them, like Director of Fun. Benefit: your staff feels empowered and handing out business cards to people outside the community is a good way to break the ice and meet people. All business employees have business cards, so is a restaurant that different?
EZ Way #8:
You’ve heard that first impressions count? Maybe so, but when you get home, do you eventually remember the first impression or the last impression? If you said, last impression, then you’ve won a free Krispy Kreme Donut. Recommendation: Make your last impressions count with a great dessert and fabulous coffee. Plus expedite the credit card process and return with the card by addressing your customer by name that’s on the card. Make your exit as important as the entrance by thanking your customers. Note that customers always comment to each other as soon as they leave. What a great meal. What a great dessert.
EZ Way #7:
Lunchtime customers are in a hurry. Respect this by giving them the service they want. An Express Lunch Menu immediately tells your customers that you’re catering to their needs. Recommendation: Believe it or not, lunchtime customers in most restaurants have a :fast food mentality. Give it to them fast. They want in and out. Lunchtime sales will increase when an Express Menu is offered.
EZ Way #6:
Invite, invite, and invite. Be pro-active in inviting people to your restaurant. Everyone else is doing it one way or another via TV, radio and direct mail. But, people would rather have a genuine invitation.Hi, my name is John Doe, I the owner and general manager of the Restaurant. I’m also the Director of Fun, and I’d like to invite your (little league team, adult baseball team, women’s tennis team, kids soccer team, hockey team) to our restaurant. We’ve got a separate dining area if you want it, and the appetizers are on the house.
EZ Way #5:
Teachers. Seems like we’re always going after the students at schools and we forget about the most important profession in the world, those that are partially responsible for education tomorrow’s citizens. Give teachers a special offer to dine at your restaurant. It will be greatly appreciated and you’ll get a huge return on your small investment through word of mouth, let alone the teachers bringing their family members to your restaurant.
EZ Way #4:
Want to increase your to-go lunch sales? Here’s a great tip. Ever been in an office when someone says, Where should we order lunch from? And the person goes to a filling cabinet and pulls out a stack of torn small miniature size menus that require a magnifying glass to interpret the lunch specials. Stand out from the others and do an oversized one or two-color lunch menu. The perception the office staff will get from it will amount in increases in lunch orders. Your menu is one of your most important marketing tools, so let it work wonders for you, especially when it’s placed outside of your restaurant.
EZ Way #3:
You know those business cards that people put in the fishbowls? Those cards represent future visits from customers who are already familiar with you. These folks can be your best marketing ambassadors. Take the business cards and compile a mailing list. Utilize the list to send out thank you notes or invitations for special events such as new product introductions, special samplings and tastings.
EZ Way #2:
Have you ever called your restaurant asking for directions, 98% of the time you’re put on hold, then someone gets on the line and fumbles and mumbles through the ways to get to the restaurant. To prevent this from happening, prepare file index cards with exact directions to your restaurant from all directions. Now, remember that anyone who calls for directions is a new customer. When they call, give them directions, and them say, œwhen you get here, ask for me as I have something special for you.When they arrive at the restaurant, and ask for you, give them a free appetizer along with VIP treatment. You’ll win them over for life and get a lot of good word of mouth from them.
This One’s Really Big.
EZ Way #1:
Just Be Nice! I call it JBN. We forget that we’re in the people pleasing business and all it takes is a smile and a cordial welcome. A couple of “pleases” and a few thank you’s on top of a few smiles goes a lot further than any amount of money that McDonald’s spends on TV. JBN. Just Be Nice. Tattoo it on your arm, your leg or your butt. It’s the foundation of doing business on a people to people level.
For more info visit:
Phone: (215)321-6855 | Fax: (215) 321-4028
[email protected]
[email protected]

Food Franchises that build your sales

Three Primary Reasons To Become An Entrepreneur

Three Primary Reasons To Become An Entrepreneur<

Michael Hume

You Need Good Reasons To Climb Out On The Skinny Branches!

by Michael D. Hume, M.S.

For some time, I’ve written and spoken about the difference between two basic types of person out there these days: The Victim, and The Entrepreneur. The Victim needs to be taken care of… the Entrepreneur takes care of herself, and others. The Victim is competitive, and views life as a win-lose (sometimes even a lose-lose) proposition; the Entrepreneur is collaborative, and sees life as win-win. Victims blame others; Entrepreneurs are self-reliant, and get things done.

These are attitudes, and both characters reside in each of us. One or the other spirit will dominate your worldview, and it’ll depend on which you feed and which you deny. As attitudes, they don’t necessarily dictate what you do for a living… but while some Entrepreneur-types choose to stay loyally involved in the service of a company they don\’t own, most have some sort of commercial enterprise going, if only as a side-business.

Frankly, in these tough economic times, I think every family should have at least one entrepreneurial venture up-and-running, just so the entire family’s livelihood isn’t completely dependent upon employers (or, worse, the government). And for an increasing portion of the working population, the full-time calling of being in business for oneself is more appealing each day.

Being a business owner is not for the faint of heart, though. You need some good reasons to climb out there on the skinny branches of the tree, where the margin for error is slim. Those reasons can vary from operator to operator… have you thought of yours? Here, in my view, are three primary to become an entrepreneur – to scratch that entrepreneurial itch.

Service to others. If you only want to get into business to replace what you get from some job, that’s not a strong enough ‘why.’ If that’s your only motivation, when things get tough, you won’t be able to make the difficult decisions or do the hard things it takes to make a business successful. You have to have some reason not to let down other people… and your own family only counts partially. What will your business contribute to your community, and to the world?

The Big Idea. I’ve known too many would-be entrepreneurs who really didn’t think big enough to make a business work. Their plan was simply to create a variation on a familiar theme, and one that was different from its competitors only in that it was owned by somebody else (them). You have to do better than that. Do something new; or do something your competitors do, but in a completely new way. Think about your Big Idea from the perspective of your customers… why would they reach for your solution, when they\re already comfortable with alternatives?

Willingness to risk it all. If you are already down to your last few bucks, you need to do something else for a while to build up some working capital before you start a business. These days, you can get into business in cyberspace for a fraction of the resources your granddad needed for his radiator shop… but don’t be fooled by claims that you can have a home-based business without a shred of investment. And be prepared to lose it all. It’s a fact that about eight in ten small businesses fail in their first year. You may have to try more than once before you hit the business you can make successful… and you will never do that if you aren’t willing to take risks and be persistent.

Entrepreneurship is the only real way to build lasting wealth, and America is still a land of opportunity for business owners. There are at least three primary reasons to become an entrepreneur, but it starts with having an Entrepreneurial attitude, and genuinely thinking through your own reasons for striking out on your own. Many people think they can run their own business; fewer than that number can actually do it successfully.


Article Source:

About the Author


Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.

Those with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to make money ‘one less thing to worry about’ can learn more about working with Michael at

Anyone wanting to jump-start their vitality can browse through the best (and most travel-friendly) nutraceuticals on the market at

Michael and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael\’s web site at

Quotes from “The Donald” and we don’t mean “You’re Fired!”

Well, yes, I’ve fired a lot of people. Generally I like other people to fire, because it’s always a lousy task. But I have fired many people.
Donald Trump

I mean, there’s no arguing. There is no anything. There is no beating around the bush. “You’re fired” is a very strong term.

Donald Trump

I’m not running for office. I don’t have to be politically correct. I don’t have to be a nice person. Like I watch some of these weak-kneed politicians, it’s disgusting. I don’t have to be that way.
Donald Trump

You can’t know it all. No matter how smart you are, no matter how comprehensive your education, no matter how wide ranging your experience, there is simply no way to acquire all the wisdom you need to make your business thrive.
Donald Trump

I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.
Donald Trump

Well, real estate is always good, as far as I’m concerned.
Donald Trump

I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it’s time America was run like a business.

Donald Trump

Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself.. anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.
Donald Trump

One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don’t go into government.

Donald Trump

Well, yes, I’ve fired a lot of people. Generally I like other people to fire, because it’s always a lousy task. But I have fired many people.
Donald Trump

It’s tangible, it’s solid, it’s beautiful. It’s artistic, from my standpoint, and I just love real estate.

Donald Trump

Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken.
Donald Trump

Franchises and Locations

Watch this video to learn the importance of location for certain types of businesses…

Franchises and Location