Famous chefs often use their names as the names of their restaurants – but, like fashion designers, those chefs can lose control of that name in court. That’s what happened to Alon Shaya, who, with partner John Besh, started opened several restaurants in New Orleans, including one called Shaya. But since his split with Besh, Shaya has been embroiled in a legal battle with his former partner, and a court has ruled that the restaurant doesn’t have to change its name.
This article at Eater takes a look at this phenomenon. Here’s a sample:
The reality is that chefs and owners want to use the reputation and recognition of a chef’s name and brand to lure in customers. If that’s the case, the best way for a chef to protect herself is with a series of well-written, well-vetted legal documents — an operating agreement that gives her either a controlling interest or controlling vote in the operating company, and/or a very good license agreement.