Keep Crowds Under Control at Your Property
Depending on the particular synergy of tenants that you are going for, renting space to a restaurant tenant may be a desirable way to fill up space in your building or draw customers to your center. But problems can arise with restaurant tenants that just don’t apply to retail tenants. For example, if the restaurant tenant draws so many customers that long lines form, or crowds gather in the common areas near the restaurant, someone could get hurt if a queue or crowd becomes disorderly or unruly. Then you could face a lawsuit by the injured party.
To protect your building or center, state in the lease that the restaurant tenant must keep tight control over its queues and crowds. And, as a further precaution, give yourself the lease right to require additional controls, if you decide they’re needed.
Problems Caused by Restaurant Customers
Three common problems can occur if too many restaurant customers visit your building or center:
Problem #1: Common area disruption. Customers who form queues or assemble in the common areas before they enter the restaurant can disrupt the common areas. Besides having to spend more money to maintain the common areas, you’ll face complaints from your other tenants if queues or crowds are too noisy or block their entranceways.
Problem #2: Unsafe conditions. Your other tenants and their visitors may regard the queues and crowds as creating an unsafe environment at your building or center, and they might be right. Besides the possibility of someone’s getting hurt by pushing and shoving, there’s also the risk of security problems because queues and crowds provide cover for undesirable individuals to slip into private areas of your building or center relatively unnoticed.
Problem #3: Bad reputation. If you consistently allow queues and crowds to become disorderly, you could end up giving your building or center a bad reputation. Prospective tenants may avoid any building or center that they think isn’t operated in an orderly manner.
Require Queue and Crowd Controls
To avoid those problems, make sure your lease provisions, like our Model Lease Clause: Require Additional Crowd Controls from Tenant, does the following:
Makes tenant responsible. Place the responsibility on the restaurant tenant for keeping queues orderly and the crowds under control [Clause, par. a]. Otherwise, the responsibility will fall on your shoulders, since typically you’re responsible for what goes on in the common areas.
Gives you right to demand additional controls. Get the right in the lease to require the tenant to hire extra security guards and/or install moveable theater ropes and stanchions alongside the restaurant’s entranceway if the tenant isn’t keeping adequate control of the queues and crowds. Require the restaurant tenant to pay for those additional measures [Clause, par. b].
Have tenant agree to follow your directions. As a catchall, require the restaurant tenant to agree to comply with any other directions you think are necessary to keep the queues and crowds orderly and under control [Clause, par. c].
Practical Pointer: A restaurant tenant may demand that your directions be “commercially reasonable.” It’s not unreasonable to agree to that condition.
Gives you self-help right. Give yourself the right in the lease to carry out the additional controls or your other directions on the restaurant tenant’s behalf if the tenant refuses to comply with them. To protect your wallet, require the tenant to reimburse your self-help costs [Clause, par. d].
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