Didn't mean to turn this into a discussion of real estate laws and practices (although, Ed, I suggest you check Florida's homestead act before you make categorical statements about home ownership in that state). The point was that a partner is a partner, whether you brought talent to the table or finances, or merely buy stock in a company. So long as you have an equity position you are an owner.
Anyone want to make a case that my ten shares in GM don't make me an owner?
Ownership, and partnership, doesn't mean that everybody has an equal share in the business. But whether you hold 1% or 99% you are still an owner. And come what may, that's all a restaurant is, a business whose function is delivering prepared food to customers.
More to the point, suggeting that anyone here, let alone "a lot of people on here," believes that the celebrity chef whose name is on the door put up the financing out of his own pocket, built the building, stocked the furniture, etc. is naive at best. He/She may or may not have contributed to those decisions. But they do not determine whether he/she is an owner.
Mario Batali's name is on the door because it brings in customers, whereas Joe Bastianich's name wouldn't attract dinner #1. But that doesn't make either one of them more or less an owner.
Or its like who do you know and not what you know.
I think not. Something can only be marketed if it's marketable. If your name is Bobby Flay, or Robert Irvine, or Mario Batali, or Gordon Ramsey, than you have something a moneyman is willing to take a chance on. If your name is Ed Buccanan, maybe not so much.
But let's say you're name had that kind of draw, and you wanted to open a turnkey restaurant. Obviously, you don't have a whole lot more money than I do. So you turn to my son, Seth, who is an investment banker. As a rule, he insists, on the companies he helps, in taking part of his fee in stock. You agree, up front, that you will retain 40% of the stock, for the value of your name. Seth with take a 10% equity position. You further agree that, while you will be in charge of menu design, recipe development, oversight, etc. you won't be running the place day to day. Here's how it breaks down:
Architect: Non-owner, is paid a fee.
Contractor: Non-owner, is paid a fee.
Design consultant: Non-owner, is paid a fee.
Actual chef: Non-owner, but might have a share of revenues.
What you've been arguing is that given these circumstances you are not really an owner, despite holding title to 40% of the joint. If the place is successful I doubt that your heirs and assignees will feel quite the same.