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Rich Reinis Discusses California Fast Food Council’s Kickoff

July 10, 2024

Thompson Coburn partner Rich Reinis, who was recently appointed to the California Fast Food Council by Gov. Gavin Newsom, shared his insights with Restaurant Business on next steps for the council after the first meeting.

Rich spoke about his intention to positively impact the restaurant industry through the council’s work. “It could be an effective tool to transfer semi-legislative authority away from a body of politicians to people who really know how to make a payroll,” he said. “As a businessperson, I would welcome that.”

The Fast Food Council will dictate what employees earn, which could be based on lifestyle considerations as much as economics. Rich said he wasn’t opposed to that approach. “My thought is, look, let’s try to get a consensus here,” he said. “I’m a human being, I believe in the dignity of our workforce. I’ve made 200 speeches about the dignity and consideration our employees deserve, and not playing to greed.”

The council’s road ahead is uncertain in terms of next steps, but Reinis noted that the chances of its success rest largely on its chairman, who is involved in the governing process. The council’s other members, including Rich, are “in this semi-political arena where many of us are new to what you need to do politically.”

Before joining Thompson Coburn as a partner, Rich brought Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to Southern California, serving a newly formed company as CEO and General Counsel for six years. During that time, the company became the largest Krispy Kreme franchisee.

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