A Massachusetts Panera Bread lost a suit to Qdoba Mexican Grill. The victory allows Qdoba to move into the same shopping mall as Panera.
For this store, Panera had a clause in its lease that prevents the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury, Mass., from renting to another sandwich shop. Panera tried to invoke that clause to stop the opening of a Qdoba Mexican Grill.
But Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke cited Webster's Dictionary as well as testimony from a chef and a former high-ranking federal agriculture official in ruling that Qdoba's burritos and other offerings are not sandwiches.
The difference, the judge ruled, comes down to two slices of bread versus one tortilla.
"A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice and beans," Locke wrote in a decision released last week.