Restaurant Lawyer

We handle all types of restaurant issues. The Firm represents single-unit operations to Fortune 1000 multi-concept restaurant concerns. Before becoming a restaurant lawyer, many of our Firm’s partners spent their pre-law years learning the restaurant business working as everything from servers to managers. We know how to “expo.”

One of the restaurant chains we partner with is so pleased with our work over the years that they named their sandwich special the “Rogge Dunn Deal.”  You can enjoy the “Rogge Dunn Deal” at any Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse location.


“Every restauranteur’s worst nightmare is the murder of their employees. When two former employees robbed and killed three Outback Steakhouse employees in East Texas, we needed an accomplished trial lawyer who understood our culture and could connect with our employees. We chose Rogge. Outback has always used every security technique to provide a safe workplace. Rogge vindicated Outback’s approach to security and got the plaintiffs’ cases dismissed in their entirety on a summary judgment motion.”

-Blaise Hadley
Former Regional VP, Outback Steakhouse (Dallas)

“Rogge is Outback’s go-to lawyer for significant commercial litigation. For more than 20 years we have used Rogge to obtain injunctive relief for Outback in significant cases all across the country.”

“I’ve seen a lot of trial lawyers in action. Rogge is one of the best.”

—Joe Kadow
General Counsel and Sr. Vice President, Bloomin’ Brands (Tampa)

“When I was Sr. VP of Operations for Outback, I went to trial with Rogge in two lengthy and difficult lawsuits. His ability to connect with the jurors enabled Outback to win favorable jury verdicts both times.”

“Once Rogge finished his devastating cross exam of the plaintiffs suing Outback, their cases were completely dismantled.”

—Steve Erickson
President, PDQ (Tampa)

“When a PE firm with an activist investor reputation bought a controlling stake in the company,  I knew I was in for a fight.  They fired me without good cause, triggering my Change in Control  benefits.  They refused to pay my CIC benefits,  falsely accused me of poison pill tactics  and sued me personally for $9.4 million.

Then they waged a PR campaign against me.  Rogge and I fought back and on the morning we started trial,  they settled and paid me $2.8 million—a $12.2 million swing in my favor.  And, my actions and reputation were vindicated in a New York Times article.”

-Ronnie Parker
Former CEO, Pizza Inn (Dallas)

“I’ve worked closely with Rogge on numerous significant litigation matters for 15+ years.  He defended me in deposition and I’ve seen him in action. His attention to detail, energy and enthusiasm is second to none.  He is knowledgeable about the law, but most important, he is “street smart,” which enables him to relate to our employees and connect with a jury.”

-Paul Avery
Former COO, Bloomin’ Brands; CEO, World of Beer (Tampa)

“Rogge grew up in the restaurant business and understands food and beverage issues. We turn to Rogge for legal advice because he knows the hospitality industry, knows Texas, and helps us avoid lawsuits. Rogge gets to the bottom line quickly and efficiently.”

-Brent Harman
President, Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse (Dallas)

“When our trade secrets were misappropriated and a rogue website infringed on our trademark, we needed quick action. Rogge and his team promptly filed a federal trademark lawsuit and obtained a TRO and permanent injunction in state court.”

“Rogge’s understanding of the IT and IP issues enabled us to win a great result.”

-Mark Running
Former President, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant (Tampa)

Expertise backed by experience in the following areas:

  • EEOC-Approved Training

    EEOC-Approved Training

    We provide EEOC-approved sensitivity and equal opportunity training for clients who have been ordered by the EEOC to provide training to their employees.

  • Employment Law

    Employment Law

    Our restaurant lawyers handle employment law questions involving overtime and tip pool disagreements. We assist our clients with DOL, OSHA and INS investigations. Overall, we handle all aspects of harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims.

  • Commercial Disputes

    Commercial Disputes

    The Firm represents restaurants in covenant-not-to-compete, trade secret, and non-solicitation cases. We handle all aspects of partnership and ownership valuation claims.

  • Liability


    Rogge Dunn Group restaurant lawyers have handled significant dramshop cases and food poisoning involving death and serious injuries.

From food poisoning to dram shop liability to commercial disputes, we know the food and beverage business.

We draft handbooks, policies and procedures and provide seminars and training to prevent claims
from occurring, or to respond promptly with investigations when problems arise.

Restaurant Law Results

Obtained injunctive relief for restaurant clients enforcing non-competes on numerous occasions

Conducted discrimination and harassment training for Midwest restaurant group management team

DOL sought $1,060,000 in back wages and fines from our restaurant client. We got the total payment reduced to only $1,900

Successful defense of owners of a 50-unit restaurant chain sued for securities fraud

Successful defense of two nationwide restaurant chains in class action suit in Beaumont seeking refunds for alleged sales tax overcharges

Obtained defense verdict finding no breach of partnership agreement or fiduciary duty for Fortune 1000 restaurant concern

Obtained injunctive relief for new owner of white tablecloth steakhouse restaurant against former owner arising out of restaurant sale

Successfully defended Fortune 2000 restaurant chain in a wrongful death dramshop case where a bartender over served an under-aged patron and made multiple “free pours”

Successful defense of Outback Steakhouse and Cinemark restaurant chains sued in class action filed in Beaumont

Disclaimer: Results obtained depend on the facts of each case. Past achievements are no guarantee of future results.


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