Navigating the Legalities for Restaurants

March 23, 2021
Barbara Castiglia

Food is serious business. Now, on The Main Course, host Barbara Castiglia will invite insiders on the front lines of food to share their expertise, strategies, and forecasts for navigating the ever-changing restaurant industry.


The Main Course brings a new perspective to the world of restaurants by looking at the legalities involved in operating during a pandemic. Host Barbara Castiglia welcomed Michele Stumpe, Partner at Taylor English Duma LLP. Stumpe specializes in hospitality litigation and liability.

“We created it to be a safety net for those facing hardships. Since COVID, we’ve provided services to over 6,000 workers.” – Michele Stumpe

Stumpe found her way into this niche following a call from a convenience store client that needed representation for an alcohol violation hearing. She became very good at defending that industry, and eventually, it evolved into a hospitality focus.

During COVID-19, her focus shifted. “I’ve been busier than ever but billed less than ever because so many of my clients are in a devastating situation.”

Her clients needed her but for a new reason. “I was helping them to understand the latest orders and actively working on their behalf with jurisdictions and the state on measures to benefit them.”

To do this, Stumpe sent out update emails and then devised a checklist for reopening to be compliant with Georgia laws. The state also required new training for restaurant employees. She worked with an organization to create a free training program. She even helped launch an app with a colleague that restaurant owners can use for a regular to-do list.

Stumpe has been an advocate to help the hospitality industry stay safe and stay open. That includes working on legislation to legalize the delivery of alcohol.

She has also been helping food service workers in other ways through her nonprofit The Giving Kitchen. “We created it to be a safety net for those facing hardships. Since COVID, we’ve provided services to over 6,000 workers.”

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