We're subject to all of the risks associated with leasing space subject to long-term non-cancelable leases and, with respect to the real property that we own, owning real
Our leases generally have initial terms of between five and 20 years, and generally can be extended only in five-year increments (at increased rates) if at
all. All of our leases require a fixed annual rent, although some require the payment of additional rent if store sales exceed a negotiated amount. Generally, our leases are "net" leases, which
require us to pay all of the cost of insurance, taxes, maintenance and utilities. We generally cannot cancel these leases. Additional sites that we lease are likely to be subject to similar
long-term non-cancelable leases. If an existing or future store is not profitable, and we decide to close it, we may nonetheless be committed to perform our obligations under
the applicable lease including, among other things, paying the base rent for the balance of the lease term. In addition, as each of our leases expires, we may fail to negotiate renewals, either on
commercially acceptable terms or at all, which could cause us to close stores in desirable locations. Also, because we purchase real property for various store locations from time to time, we're
subject to all of the risks generally associated with owning real estate, including changes in the investment climate for real estate, demographic trends and supply or demand for the use of the
stores, which may result from competition from similar restaurants in the area as well as strict, joint and several liability for environmental contamination at or from the property, regardless of
Governmental regulation may adversely affect our ability to open new stores or otherwise adversely affect our existing and future operations and results.
We are subject to various federal, state and local regulations. Each of our stores is subject to state and local licensing and regulation by health, alcoholic
beverage, sanitation, food and workplace safety and other agencies. We may experience material difficulties or failures in obtaining the necessary licenses or approvals for new stores, which could
delay planned store openings. In addition, stringent and varied requirements of local regulators with respect to zoning, land use and environmental factors could delay or prevent development of new
stores in particular locations.
are subject to the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act and similar state laws that give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities in the context of employment, public
accommodations and other areas. We may in the future have to modify stores, for example by adding access ramps or redesigning certain architectural fixtures, to provide service to or make reasonable
accommodations for disabled persons. The expenses associated with these modifications could be material.
operations are also subject to the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs such matters as minimum wages, overtime and other working conditions, along with the U.S. Americans
with Disabilities Act, family leave mandates and a variety of similar laws enacted by the states that govern these and other employment law matters. In addition, federal proposals to introduce a
system of mandated health insurance and flexible work time and other similar initiatives could, if implemented, adversely affect our operations.
recent years, there has been an increased legislative, regulatory and consumer focus on nutrition and advertising practices in the food industry. Restaurants operating in the
quick-service and fast-casual segments have been a particular focus. As a result, we may in the future become subject to initiatives in the area of nutrition disclosure or advertising,
such as requirements to provide information about the nutritional content of our food, that could increase our expenses.
We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, which could harm the value of our brands and adversely affect our business.
Our intellectual property is material to the conduct of our business. Our ability to implement our business plan successfully depends in part on our ability to
further build brand recognition using our trademarks, service marks, trade dress and other proprietary intellectual property, including our name and logos and the unique ambiance of our stores. If our
efforts to protect our intellectual property are