Small Business Mediation For Restaurant Owners After Vandalism Incident

Small Business Mediation For A Group of Restaurant Owners

Applicant: Group of Restaurant Owners
Service: Small Business Mediation and Negotiation

  • Solution needed quickly to keep restaurants from paying fines and from closing down
  • Getting all the business owners to agree on one course of action was going to be difficult
  • Constant dispute between the restaurant owners


On a hot weekday morning in Southern California, business owners arriving to open their restaurants found their plaza blanketed with trash. Dozens of garbage bags full of old, rotting food were strewn haphazardly around the shopping center.

Naturally, the business owners were furious. They could not tell if the vandalism was intentional, but they needed a solution right away. The city inspector and environmental services determined that the trash – so overwhelming that garbage collectors could not even pick it up – posed a serious health risk. If these small business owners did not eliminate the waste quickly, they would be fined and forced to close their shops. The fate of every business in the plaza was at stake, and they needed a legal team to help them with small business mediation to find a practical solution they could all agree on.


Since Tsang & Associates had provided legal aid to the businesses in the plaza before, they promptly turned to us for help, trusting us to find a practical solution to their issue through small business mediation. Not only did the plaza business owners need a cost-effective way to clean up the trash, but they also had to ensure this would never happen again. Unfortunately, none of the owners would agree on the right course of action. There was a constant issue of money and time that they needed to find a solution to.

One by one, they arrived at the office of Tsang & Associates for the meeting. Sleep-deprived, stressed, and infuriated, the men and women who ran these local businesses were in no state to negotiate calmly. Accusations flew back and forth across the room. Everyone blamed their neighbors for dumping the trash and deliberately sabotaging their competitors. It was difficult for these individuals to talk in a calm manner which turned the meeting into a war zone. Not only did these individuals continue to fight with one another, trying to get everyone to agree on a solution was proving to be a more difficult task. Everyone believed in their solutions and ideas and would not compromise. This caused even more fighting. Things were getting out of hand. Fast.

Our team swiftly stepped in and reassured the owners that everyone at the table shared the same goals. We reminded them that the point of the meeting was not to lay blame but to find a productive solution. We also reminded everyone that they needed to take responsibility for this situation, as this event affected everyone similarly. Then we had each person say what they believed needed to happen to make sure nothing like this occurred ever again, so that everyone’s opinions were heard.

After listening to the suggestions, our team created a plan that satisfied everyone and made the plaza a safe and clean place to visit again. With the funds the owners had put together, we ordered new, state-of-the-art security cameras for every shop. Signs were placed to discourage garbage dumping and a more secure lock was installed on the gate at the entrance of the plaza to prevent anyone from driving in late at night. Finally, we enlisted the help of three environmental cleaning services to come and clear out waste from the plaza.


Within one week, Tsang & Associates eliminated the trash, installed new cameras, and placed a new lock on the gate. The business plaza owners were extremely grateful to work with a law firm that had exceptional knowledge in negotiations and small business mediation. Because of the exceptional negotiation and planning demonstrated by our team, this group of restaurant owners avoided a shutdown and could rest easy, knowing the fate of their shops and businesses were in safe hands.

We have helped countless businesses in small business mediation, contract negotiations, business plans, and more. If you need assistance or corporate counsel for your business, schedule an appointment with us today. We love helping small business owners.


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