Chain Beverage Buzz: September 5, 2012

Business Wire: Joe’s Crab Shack Joins Efforts to End Childhood Hunger in America
More than 16 million children in America live in households that struggle to put food on the table, according to the USDA. In September, Joe’s Crab Shack joins Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger. As a national partner of Share Our Strength, Joe’s has participated in the annual Dine Out for No Kid Hungry™ event since its inception in 2008. Last year, Joe’s was the leading fundraiser, donating more than $700,000 to the organization. MORE>>

NRA: Uncertainty Over Future Business Condition Dampens RPI
As a result of softer customer traffic and a dampened outlook among restaurant operators, the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell to its lowest level in nine months. The RPI stood at 100.2 in July, down 1.1 percent from June and the lowest mark since a reading of 100.0 in October. However, July still represented the ninth consecutive month that the RPI stood above 100, signifying expansion in the index of key industry indicators. MORE>>

Huffington Post: Applebee’s Servers In Illinois Win Court Victory
A federal judge in Illinois ruled this week that servers and bartenders at a chain of Applebee's restaurants in the state must be compensated for extra work such as washing dishes and cleaning toilets for which they don't receive tips. The latest round in a court battle over so-called "dual jobs" came in a class-action lawsuit by tipped employees at 34 Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill restaurants operated by Apple Illinois LLC. MORE>>

Diageo Dispatches Hurricane Isacc Disaster Aid
Diageo in partnership with the Bridge Foundation, delivered two high-powered generators to Slidell, Louisiana and truck loads of Diageo bottled water to Slidell, St. John the Baptist Parish, La Place, Lafource Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish, LA.  The cities were hit hard by Hurricane Isaac and declared top priority sites by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.  The generators and water are part of Diageo's Spirit of the Americas Humanitarian Aid program which provides hands-on assistance in the wake of natural disasters. MORE>>

Olive Garden Recognizes Those Who Serve On Labor Day
Yesterday, hundreds of Olive Garden restaurant teams across the country will deliver Hospitaliano! lunches to local fire stations, police departments and hospital emergency rooms as a "thank you" lunch for their dedicated service to the community. This is the 11th consecutive year of the Hospitaliano! Lunches on Labor Day and more than 750 Olive Garden Restaurants took part. Olive Garden's Hospitaliano! Visits represent the ongoing commitment its local restaurant teams have to serving the communities where they live and do business.

Anheuser-Busch Shipped More than 103,000 Cans of Water for Isaac Relief Efforts
Anheuser-Busch has shipped 4,312 cases of emergency drinking water — or 103,488 cans — to affected areas to support Hurricane Isaac relief efforts. The emergency water has been made available to communities and relief organizations assisting impacted residents. “Relief workers and people in the region are in need of emergency drinking water, and this is one way we helped alleviate the immediate needs in the affected communities,” said Peter Kraemer, vice president of Supply for Anheuser-Busch. MORE>>

Bloomberg: Campari Buys Rum Maker Lascelles DeMercado in Third-Largest Deal
Davide Campari-Milano SpA (CPR) said it will purchase Lascelles deMercado & Co., the Jamaican maker of Appleton rum, in a deal worth $414.8 million to hasten the Italian distiller’s push into overseas markets. Campari agreed to buy a controlling 81.4 percent stake and will make a formal tender offer for all the shares, the Milan- based company said today in a statement. The acquisition is the third-largest by Campari, and marks the company’s entry into the rum category. The distiller said the deal will give it a market-leading position in Jamaica and provide growth potential in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Lascelles deMercado’s brands include Wray & Nephew and Coruba. MORE>>


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