Despite Legal`s apparent success and ubiquity – before the pandemic hit, it operated 33 locations, employed 3,500 people, and generated $200 million in annual revenue – it struggled to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak. Berkowitz, who at one point was considering finding an investment partner to save his business, told the Globe he wouldn`t sell legal seafood if the pandemic had never happened. In March 2015, Legal Sea Foods partnered with Uber to deliver clam chowder throughout the city of Boston. The soup cost $10, $1 of which was donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank.  The company generated revenues of $227.7 million in 2019, according to Restaurant Business` sister company, Technomic. In 1998, Roger Berkowitz was invited to join the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Roundtable, a group of individuals with personal and professional interests in nutrition.  That same year, Bon Appétit Legal magazine named Sea Food one of the ten best restaurants in America. That year, Rich Vellante became executive chef of the restaurant group.  Like the rest of the food service, Legal Sea Foods has been hit hard by the pandemic. Six sites were closed, including Legal Test Kitchen in the seaport and Legal Oysteria in Charlestown; 18 of the company`s 27 sites have been reopened. But despite the struggles his business has struggled over the months and a sale that likely never would have happened without the pandemic, Berkowitz said there was a glimmer of hope. PPX`s challenge is to maintain the blend of culinary ambition, quality, consistency and lightness that has made Legal successful.
He will have to do it without Berkowitz and some of his former key lieutenants. Under the terms of the agreement, the rights to use the Legal Sea Foods name outside the restaurant channel will remain with Roger Berkowitz, the company`s longtime CEO and son of founder George Berkowitz. Legal has an e-commerce business and also licenses its name for products sold in retail chains such as Costco. In January 2020, Legal Sea Foods announced a partnership with RLJ Companies to expand the presence of Legal Sea Foods restaurants at major U.S. airports.  « It`s a bit mixed, » Berkowitz Boston.com said. « It was a family business – especially a family business that deals directly with the public. One of the great things, I guess, about gastronomy in general is that you get in touch with so many people from so many backgrounds.
It`s a great education. And it was really an enriching experience for me and my family. I will miss that aspect, no doubt. At the end of 2020, a Boston restaurant giant changed hands. On Tuesday, Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, announced the sale of his business to PPX Hospitality Brands, a Boston-based holding company that owns Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group and Strega Italiano. In 2005, a new type of restaurant, Legal Test Kitchen (LTK), was introduced, with a menu consisting of 50-60% seafood and comparatively lower prices than traditional Legal Sea Foods restaurants.  Also in 2005, Legal Sea Foods began offering gluten-free menu options for the first time, offering more dining options to guests with celiac disease.  In 1990, the restaurant collaborated with the U.S. Department of Commerce to develop a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program and to establish a pioneering standard for freshness and food safety in the fishing industry.  The « Welcome to Legal » campaign launched in 2019 with ads alluding to the legality of marijuana in Massachusetts.
The campaign received national attention, with comments from posts such as AdWeek and AdAge.   Legal Seafoods is just another medium-sized restaurant chain owned by a local. Roger Berkowitz, CEO of Legal Sea Foods, announced Tuesday the sale of its more than 25 restaurants to PPX Hospitality Brands, a Boston-based hotel group. As the COVID crisis eased, Legal was able to gradually reopen 18 great restaurants, including on the waterfronts of South Boston and Boston, as well as Copley Place, Logan Airport, Burlington and Chestnut Hill. It closed six sites permanently and the future of the others. But with incomes at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels, Berkowitz didn`t know how long he would survive, especially after August, when the $10 million in federal wage protection program funds he took would expire. When asked why Legal has been so successful, James Beard Award winners White and Hamersley cited the company`s commitment to quality and consistency. Legal also trains its employees well, encourages teamwork and creativity, and is willing to experiment with new menu items and restaurant concepts such as the quick and casual legal fish bowl. The linked source chose to use a paywall to limit free viewing of its content. As more sources become available, please post them in response to this comment. Users with a Boston Public Library badge can often view articles without restriction here.
During the 2016 presidential primary, Legal Sea Foods launched a parody on the campaign theme. On Super Tuesday, Roger Berkowitz declared himself a candidate for president of the United States in a parody advertising campaign of the « shady » election. Among other things, he promised he would legalize seaweed on his first day in office, and he urged voters to #feeltheberk on social media.  The spots were broadcast in newspapers, radio and print media.  The company`s current headquarters are located in the South Boston Seaport District, and as of 2022, the group operates 24 restaurants in five states, most of them in the greater Boston area.   The restaurant serves more than 7 million customers each year with an average size of 6,000 square feet (560 m2).  Legal Sea Foods also operates an online fish market and ships fresh fish to neighbouring U.S. as well as a retail division. Legal Sea Foods is a valuable brand that is popular not only with Boston tourists, but also with families and business customers in the area.