Restaurant, Hospitality, Specialty Food and Beverage

Restaurant, Hospitality, Specialty Food and Beverage

Drummond Woodsum provides restaurant, hospitality, specialty food and beverage clients with unparalleled legal services to manage risk and navigate legal compliance in all areas of development and operations.

We practice in communities that thrive on the restaurant, hospitality, specialty food and beverage industries. As a result, we are passionate about these industries and regularly provide counseling, transactional and litigation services to the owners, managers, investors and developers of hotels and resorts, inns, restaurants, franchises, recreational facilities, breweries, vineyards, distillers as well as food and beverage manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. We are proud to serve as trusted advisors to some of New England's great companies that develop, own, operate, invest in and finance tourism across Maine and New Hampshire.

We regularly advise our clients on the following:

  • Human Resource, Personnel Matters and Employee Benefits
  • Department of Labor Compliance and Wage and Hour Claims
  • I-9 Compliance, Hiring Foreign Workers and Visa Applications
  • Negotiating and Financing Real Estate Leases and Purchase
  • Land Use and Development
  • Landlord/Tenant Disputes
  • Public Accommodation Requirements
  • Business Formation and Organization
  • Federal and State Tax Matters
  • Branding and Intellectual Property
  • Licensing and Franchising
  • Negotiating and Financing Equipment Leases
  • Environmental and OSHA Compliance
  • Food Safety
  • General Commercial Litigation

Our breadth of experience in the laws that affect these industries allows us to provide team-oriented and comprehensive legal advice to our clients and allows our clients to access a full- range of legal services- all in one place. Essentially, we work as a team so that our restaurant, hospitality, and specialty food and beverage clients can work with a team.

Our restaurant, hospitality, specialty food and beverage group includes attorneys in the following disciplines:

Human Resources, Employment & Labor

We regularly counsel clients on matters involving discrimination and harassment, wage and hour, state and federal leave laws, disability accommodation, health and safety and whistle blower issues, union-management relations, workplace disputes, employment policies, employment agreements, severance agreements, executive compensation, privacy, and noncompetition. We also routinely provide discrimination and harassment training to employee and management groups.

Immigration Law

We assist restaurant, hospitality, specialy food and beverage clients with issues such as visas for hiring foreign workers, including seasonal workers in the H-2b and J visa categories, permanent residence for workers, I-9 compliance, training, and enforcement defense as well as options for workers under President Obama's DAPA and DACA programs.

Real Estate & Land Use

We are highly experienced in all phases of real estate transactions and litigation. We have extensive experience helping our clients buy, lease or build the facilities in which they operate. We regularly handle zoning and land use matters before local planning boards and municipalities.

Public Accommodation Laws

Our lawyers regularly provide assistance to restaurants, businesses, hotels and inns and other businesses trying to comply with disabilities rights laws both in employment and in places of public accommodation.

Business Formation and Organization

We take pride in having helped many food and hospitality clients manage their growth from start-up and entity formation, through capital raising by both attracting investors and borrowing, and finally through sales of business, purchases of other businesses and succession planning. Along the way we provide a wide range of transactional services such as tax planning, contract review and other transactional needs.


We provide counsel with regard to transaction-related tax planning law for individuals, business entities and investors. We counsel on the full range of federal and state tax law issues that arise in structuring strategic, commercial and financial transactions. Our attorneys add significant value to these transactions by creating tax-efficient structures and providing innovative, practical solutions to the tax issues that challenge our clients.

Branding, Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademark

We provide expert counsel to help our clients create, protect and defend their valuable brands; we have expertise in trademark law, trade secrets, copyright law, privacy rights and licensing matters. We can help hospitality, food, and beverage clients develop integrated legal strategies for brand creation, exploitation, and protection.


Restaurants, inns, hotels, food producers and brewers all require a variety of licenses to operate; our lawyers’ help clients navigate through these often confusing licensure processes.

Environmental Compliance and OSHA

We help food and hospitality clients comply with workplace safety rules, and to respond to complaints and investigations.  We assist with civil and criminal enforcement actions, environmental clean-up matters, environmental assessments and other due diligence, permitting requirements for complex business transactions and real estate projects. We also provide counseling and assistance with environmental issues such as mold, asbestos, PCBs, pesticide applications, energy efficiency contracts and services.

Food Safety

Food and beverage must deal with the 2010 Federal Food Safety Modernization Act, which adds a new layer of regulatory obligations for food producers. We know how to help you navigate these potentially expensive and demanding requirements.


We represent companies in litigation including every type of civil and criminal litigation in federal and state courts and administrative agencies, and before domestic and international arbitration panels. We regularly represent clients in matters involving business, commercial and contract-related disputes, employment disputes, personal injury and toxic tort claims and defenses.