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Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton — The Lease Coach
for Georgia’s Restaurants
Karen Bremer
CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association.
The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) serves as the unified voice in advocacy, education and awareness for over 17,000 Georgia restaurants, from large chains to independent operators. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) as Georgia’s only nonprofit organization representing the state’s foodservice industry.
The fundamental goal of the GRA is to help make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business, and to help make restaurants better for Georgia. One way the GRA is success- ful in staying true to our mission is through the work that is accomplished from a legislative standpoint.
Advocacy is at the forefront of the GRA’s mission. We support legislation that will help restaurants thrive, and we fight against legislation that brings on burdensome stipulations and reg- ulations to restaurant owners. The GRA exists so restaurants can focus on their day-to-day operations. We repre- sent the industry on issues such as overtime, alcohol regulations, wage and hour and much more. The GRA advocates for the restaurant industry, not only at the local and state level, but on a national level as well, through our partnership with the NRA.
As we work to advocate on a leg- islative standpoint, we also strive to keep our members informed of the latest key issues affecting their busi- ness. This is achieved through the GRA’s various communication plat- forms such as our daily newsletter, so- cial media pages, action alerts, and our website and resource center. To make sure the restaurant industry is ade- quately represented, we also encour- age our members to get involved in advocating for the industry. One way to increase the recognition of Georgia’s restaurant industry is during the GRA’s Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception.
Taste of Georgia gives GRA mem- bers an opportunity to showcase their restaurant’s food and personality to elected officials and lobbyists. During the event, Georgia’s state legislators learn about the impact of the foodser- vice industry in the state and get a taste of what the restaurant sector is doing to help contribute to the state’s econ- omy. The 9th Annual Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception will take place on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta. For more in- formation, visit the website online at
In 2017, the GRA will continue to fight for the success, recognition, and understanding of Georgia’s restau- rants, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta. For more information visit them online at tasteofgeorgia.
Karen Bremer
◆Advocacy is at the forefront of the GRA’s mission.
Five warnings for restaurant tenants
Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton
The Lease Coach
As we explain in our new book, Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES, business owners and tenants may already have some preconceived notions about commercial leasing. Here are just a few things that no one (except for The Lease Coach ...) ever tells tenants:
It’s a business, not a marriage:
Opening a restaurant business and leasing space from a landlord may seem like a marriage, but it’s not and restaurant tenants need to dismiss that thought. A typical landlord may have several hundred or even several thou- sand tenants, but the typical tenant only has one landlord. Furthermore, the landlord owns the property as an investment. The tenant is leasing the property as a means to an end. Remember, a tenant is not in business with the landlord; a tenant is doing business with the landlord.
Problematic Co-Tenants: Take a good hard look at the tenants already in a property before you make a long-term lease (or lease renewal) commitment. A problematic tenant can be noisy, smelly or even intrusive to your tenancy.
Shabby Property Maintenance:
When you tour a property for lease and see broken signage and potholed park-
ing lots, you can pretty much expect it will stay the same way during your ten- ancy. Warning signs are everywhere when you tour a property, which is why we like to inspect properties for our clients whenever possible.
Absentee or Distant Landlords: If the landlord isn’t visible and transpar- ent during the offer-to-lease negotia- tion stage, don’t expect anything more once you become the tenant. If the landlord is absentee or lives in a differ- ent city/state, try to find out how often they come to visit their property and their tenants.
It’s All Negotiable if You Know What You’re Doing: If there is one statement we hear most frequently from tenants, it’s this: The landlord is not willing to negotiate. The tenant has concluded this either by trial and error and poor negotiation skills or by using the wrong professional to help them. Perhaps the tenant is simply repeating what the landlord’s real estate agent has told him. If you’re a casual golfer, you know how hard it is to come close to scoring par. Yet, professional golfers not only par, they birdie hole after hole. Don’t be surprised if you can’t get what you want for yourself, but a professional lease consultant can – because it is their business and their job. It’s all negotiable if you know what you are doing.
See LEASE COACH page 10
At yourservice
Millennium Seating is your best source for all your restaurant seating needs. For over 30 years, our mission has been to provide exceptional service, expert advice and the best quality commercial furniture in the industry at competitive prices.
1983 Lower Roswell Rd • Marietta, GA 30068 P 770.565.1965 • F 770.973.8844 • 866.379.8422 •
S eating
Superior Service. Exceptional Results.

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