Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Here is an interesting example of the law and business - a judge had to decide if a burrito could legally be considered a sandwich - for the purposes of a contract.
It turns out that Panera Bread Company had one of its restaurants in the White City Shopping Center, in Shrewsbury, Mass. Panera's lease contains a clause that prevents the shopping center from renting space to another sandwich shop.
When a Qdoba Mexican Grill wanted to open, Panera tried to stop them by invoking the clause.
Panera argued that a flour tortilla is bread, and anything with bread and filling is a sandwich.
Qdoba (owned by Jack in the Box) called food experts to testify that a burrito is not a sandwich.
Finally, the judge, citing Webster's Dictionary, a chef, and former high-ranking federal agriculture official, ruled that Qdoba's offerings are not sandwiches.
He ruled that a sandwich is two slices of bread - not something made from one tortilla.