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Charles LewSerial entrepreneur Charles Lew is an Attorney and Managing Partner at The Lew Firm where he and his team represent some of the top hospitality brands in Los Angeles. Charles’ diverse career path allowed him to build a unique skill set by working as a professor at the Loyola Law School in LA, a board member of several notable organizations and businesses, a journalist at Entrepreneur Magazine, an advocate for mental health, and a LA Small City Business Commissioner.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Charles Lew discusses the reality of starting a business in the hospitality industry
  • What is the metaverse and how does it affect the future of the digital market?
  • Charles shares the passion behind working with Mental Health America of Los Angeles
  • Expert tips on dealing with the challenges of a dynamic nightlife industry
  • Charles’ advice for a healthy work-life balance

In this episode…

In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen welcomes serial entrepreneur and Attorney Charles Lew. They discuss the realities for business owners in the hospitality industry, how the metaverse will shape the future, the differences in the operation of organizations and restaurants, techniques for adapting to the nightlife industry’s dynamic nature, and ways to achieve an effective work-life balance. Charles also shares valuable advice on perfecting your craft and fueling your passion for business.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode


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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the Top Business Beaders Show, powered by Rise25 Media. We featured top founders, executives and business leaders from all over the world

Chad Franzen 0:20

Chad Franzen here co-host for the show where we feature top restaurateurs, investors and business leaders. This is part of our SpotOn Series. SpotOn has the best-in-class payment platform for retail. And they have a flagship solution called SpotOn Restaurant, where they combined marketing software and payments all in one. They’ve sorted everyone from larger chains like Dairy Queen and subway to small mom-and-pop restaurants. To learn more, go to spot This episode is brought to you by Rise25. We help b2b businesses to get ROI clients referrals and strategic partnerships through done for you podcast. If you have a b2b business and want to build great relationships with clients, referral partners and thought leaders in your space. There’s no better way to do it than through podcasts and content marketing. To learn more, go to or email us at Charles Lew was raised and educated in Scotland then made his way to Los Angeles, where he is now a boutique Attorney for the top restaurants and brands. He’s also a restaurateur, LA City Small Business Commissioner, and he’ll be teaching a class at Loyola Law School this summer on web3 and the metaverse. Hey, Charles, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you?

Charles Lew 1:24

I’m doing wonderful, Chad. Thanks for having me.

Chad Franzen 1:27

Yeah, great to have you here. Hey, so what brought you from Scotland to Los Angeles?

Charles Lew 1:34

Scotland to Florida, for high school, and college, and then Florida to Los Angeles for law school at Loyola Law.

Chad Franzen 1:43

So you graduated from law school at Loyola Law? And you’re now an attorney? What are some ways that you represent some of the top restaurants and brands in LA?

Charles Lew 1:52

Yeah, so it’s really interesting. Obviously, you start with the kind of pragmatic approach for restaurants. So you’re dealing with companies structuring investment vehicles, special purpose vehicles, investment memorandum, operating agreements, partnership agreements, lease, lease negotiations, conditional use permits, alcohol, liquor licenses, what’s been really interesting, it’s kind of devolution of the practice as we’ve moved in. You know, this word digital world really since COVID, since the pandemic, but we’ve moved into this digital world. So now we’ve been exploring and very, very involved in everything from again, the metaverse and web3 components to the restaurants to NFT use in the restaurants, to delivery delivery models, digital delivery models. So there’s, there’s been this very interesting evolution of the hospitality practice just over the past couple of years. But fundamentally, it started, like every other hospitality lawyer, restaurant lawyer, negotiating leases, negotiating partnership agreements, operating agreements, structuring the partnership of the restaurant, and getting the restaurant open, and ensuring that they continue to function in the face of restaurants is a lot of diversity. So everything from employee employment, employer wage, and our actions, class actions, slip and falls, violations, liquor licenses, violations of health codes, as I always tell people there’s there’s an entirely large amount of moving parts in a restaurant, that disparate amount of moving parts, as opposed to another business doing the same amount of revenue. So if you had a $3 million law firm, for example, you might be able to generate that with five lawyers and a couple of support staff, but a $3 million restaurant is going to be 30 individuals. And those 30 individuals are gonna have 30 daily life problems, their cat died, their grandma’s sick, their roommate is moving out whatever those occurrences are. So there’s, again, this disparate amount of problems for the same amount of gross revenue that you have to deal with as a restaurant owner.

Chad Franzen 4:02

Well, all kinds of stuff do most restaurateurs, I guess, that you deal with, are they aware getting into it? And they’re that there’s all these kinds of issues that they might have to have to deal with?

Charles Lew 4:14

No, no, I would say absolutely not. Most restaurant owners have a fantasy as to when they get into it about you know, hosting dinners and, and popping bottles of champagne and pouring bottles of incredible wine and sharing laughs with their friends and family and a full restaurant, which, which as we know, and you know, very well is is the the exception and not the general rule. So I think most people have a fantasy idea of what the practice looks like. And then there’s, unfortunately, a very different reality as to what the business looks like.

Chad Franzen 4:50

So you, as I mentioned in your intro, you’ll be teaching in class this summer, and you alluded to it earlier. Tell me about the web, with what tell you about web3 and metaverse and kind of how you’re exploring and getting involved with that.

Charles Lew 5:04

Yeah. So the metaverse has been something web3, you know that these terms are thrown around. And I’m always a little hesitant to start defining them because I much rather say that the definition of them seems to elude everybody, including myself. And it seems to be constantly evolving, which I think is actually a good thing right now because it keeps everybody on their toes and everybody evolving with that. So the metaverse, you know, 1992, I believe Snow Crash was novel that the first the first time that was termed it’s obviously seen quite quite an evolution itself since then, all the way up to, you know, the latest Hollywood representation, which would be your Ready Player One, which I actually love this great movie. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but if you haven’t watched it, these are, you know, different iterations or different ideas of what this metaverse is going to look like. And there’s a host of questions, you know, decentralized and continuity amongst the platforms and an interoperability and use and hardware and software and compatibility. So there’s, there’s all of these different considerations that we’re all considering on a daily basis. But I think the easiest way to think about it, it’s this convergence of virtual reality, which we’ve all seen with the headsets and this digital second life, this avatar life. And and I think that’s kind of an easy definition, or at least it was easy for, for my kind of Neanderthalic mind at that point in time. They say, what, what is this? And and that helped me that helped me have an idea and a grasp and vision of what it was, which helped me then say, what are the opportunities here? And where could this market go? City just came out said it’s a potentially $13 trillion market opportunity by 2030. Now, they obviously qualified that based on on phone and mobile phone integration and mobile phone compatibility, which is a big issue with the metaverse whether or not you’ll be able to set on your phone and what that experience will be like from immersion web3 perspective. But regardless of where you sit, this argument, or this conversation or this discourse, there’s no arguing that the metaverse is the future, and it’s going to be the future and you need to be comprehensive have a cognizant of whether you’re a restaurant or or a apparel designer or a offshore casino irrelevant, but you need to be involved and have a thorough understanding or have someone on your payroll who has a thorough understanding

Chad Franzen 7:44

what goes into your role as LA City Small Business Commissioner.
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