For generations the hospitality, food and alcohol beverage industries have been populated by members focused solely on their specific streams of commerce. A hotel owner focused solely on running the hotel, a food processor focused on converting raw materials into processed goods for distribution, and a brewery owner worked exclusively at brewing beer.
Today, the proliferation of venture capitalists and the globalization of markets have produced a new class of hospitality, food and alcohol industry members – multi-national conglomerates, hedge funds and all manner of private equity investors who are anxious to access the greater margins and more lucrative revenues associated with hospitality, food and especially alcohol. Typically, these new industry members are highly diversified; hospitality, food and alcohol are relatively new pursuits, representing a fraction of their overall interests. Not all of these new players, however, engage with a full understanding of the licensure and qualification requirements imposed on the heavily regulated hospitality, food and alcohol industries.
The professionals of GrayRobinson’s Alcohol Beverage and Food Law Department work to fill those gaps and assure that client investments are fully compliant with regulatory requirements unique to these heavily regulated industries. Our lawyers, former regulators and licensing professionals have deep experience working with national and international interests, including many new owners or investors entering the hospitality, food and alcohol industries for the first time. We help clients understand the dictates of "the three-tier system," the requirements for qualification that vary from state to state, and the unique restrictions imposed by "tied-house evil laws" and other dictates unique to these heavily-regulated industries.
In addition to regulatory compliance and qualification guidance, our Nationwide Alcohol Industry Team specializes in pre- and post-Closing licensure requirements and filing responsibilities for Mergers and Acquisitions and other multi-location projects. Our experience in this area includes recent and continuing work migrating tens of thousands of alcohol beverage licenses and related permits for some of the largest merger transactions ever undertaken in America involving licensed businesses.