Restaurant and Dining
Restaurant and Dining Industry
The Restaurant and Dining Industry has a lot of cross over with tourism, entertaining, gaming and hotel business. The casinos and hotels always have their own restaurant so that their customer can spend more time on the premises. As tourists are very important for the economy of the CNMI, restaurants tried to serve not only local people, but also international tourists. In the CNMI, huge number of tourists are coming from Asian countries, like Japan, China and Korea. Different kinds of Asian food have been served to meet the need of tourists. In addition to restaurants in hotels and casinos, there are a lot of other restaurants open by individual investors. Most of them are located near the shopping malls.
When an investor wants to open a restaurant, there are a lot of preparation to do. Most of the investors will choose to open a business through a company. They need to form a company based on their need, and also apply business license for the restaurant service. After that, they need to choose a nice property to open the restaurant. Maybe they will purchase or rent a building, maybe they prefer to build on raw land. No matter what kind of property they get, the location is almost the most important consideration. There should be enough foot traffic around the restaurant. If there is no food traffic, the restaurant should have a parking lot which is big enough. Also, the investor should have market survey. If there are a same kind of restaurant around that area, maybe it is a good idea to move to another place. In that process, investors have to deal with real estate transactions. It is very important to get the right lease for the new restaurant.
When the property is ready, investors need to find out the right staff. One of the most important business decisions to make is to get great chef and experienced staffs. In the CNMI, human resource is always a problem. If an investor wants to open a Chinese or Korean restaurant, it is highly likely that the investor needs to hire someone from his or her home country. For that person to work in the US, the company has to file a visa application for the specific position. Investors might also need to bring foreign staffs who are familiar with the culture of that country to serve the traditional food. Most of investors of restaurants need some help to deal with immigration law.
When the premise and staffs are ready, investors need to make sure they have adequate food supply. In the CNMI, most of food are imported. To import different kind of food, importers need to have license and permits. Investors of the restaurant need to contact certain importers to get fresh food supplies for the restaurants. They have to enter into contracts with food suppliers. An experience attorney can assist investors to finish all the process.
Attorneys practicing in the Restaurant & Dining Industry must have a solid knowledge on real property law, immigration law, contract law and also importation law, such as the restriction on importing certain kind of animal production in CNMI.