Very Important Beverage Professionals Chain Beverage Buzz: August 5, 2013

National Restaurant NewsCIFOR Releases Foodborne Illness Responce Guidelines
A new guide offering suggestions to the industry on how to respond to foodborne illness outbreaks has been issued by the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response, or CIFOR, in partnership with food industry representatives, consulting companies, government agencies, and CIFOR Council representatives. The information offers voluntary guidance from experts in the food industry, as well as local, state and federal regulatory and non-regulatory public health agencies. MORE>>

FDAFDA Standardizes 'Gluten-Free' Definition for Food Industry
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a new regulation defining the term "gluten-free" for voluntary food labeling. According to a news release, this will provide a uniform standard definition to help the up to 3 million Americans who have celiac disease. "Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. MORE>>

Dine Out LogoFoodservice Steps Up Efforts to End Childhood Hunger
More than 16 million children in this nation face hunger, an issue we believe should be owned and, in large part, resolved by the foodservice industry. Restaurants around the nation are doing their part, gearing up for the annual Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign in September. By connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals, No Kid Hungry surrounds children with healthy food where they live, learn and play. MORE>>

Lazy Dog Restaurant and BarLazy Dog Receives Investment from Brentwood Associates
The Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar chain has received a significant investment from private-equity firm Brentwood Associates that will fuel an uptick in growth, the casual-dining chain said Monday. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Chris Simms, the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based chain’s founder and chief executive, declined to characterize whether the investment involved a majority stake, but he said the existing management team has retained substantial equity. MORE>>

Ruths Chris Steak HouseRuth's Chris 2Q Sales Rise Despite High Beef Prices
Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc., the Winter Park, Fla.-based parent of Mitchell’s Fish Market and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, reported net income of $7.8 million during the June 30-ended second quarter. Despite rising beef prices in the U.S., the company experienced a same-store sales increase of 4.6 percent at company-owned Ruth’s Chris restaurants. MORE>>

Guinness logoGuinness Founts First to Use NFC Technology
Diageo's Irish stout Guinness has become the first brand to introduce near field communication (NFC) technology in the on-trade. By tapping their Smartphone against the harp on the newly installed ‘magic behind the gates’ Guinness founts, consumers can find out if they have won a complimentary pint of Guinness. The technology is to be applied to all new Guinness founts installed in outlets across the UK and Ireland. MORE>>

Bob LuzNew MRA CEO Bob Luz on the Future of the Industry
Last month, Peter Christie, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA), retired after 24 years of service. Stepping into his shoes is Bob Luz, a longtime veteran of the restaurant industry with a background in human resources and training. While settling into his new role, Luz spoke with Eater Boston about his industry experience, his goals in his new position, and what changes he anticipates the future holds for the restaurant industry. MORE>>

FDARestaurant Chain Says Salad Linked to Virus No Longer Served
A salad mix linked to a severe stomach virus that sickened more than 200 people in Iowa and Nebraska has not been served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants there for about a month, a spokesman for the restaurants said on Saturday.
The Food and Drug Administration identified the salad, supplied by a Mexican farm, as responsible for the cyclospora outbreak in those two states. MORE>>

TechnomicLimited Service Restaurants Lead Canadian Chain Growth
According to Technomic’s just-released 2013 Top 200 Canadian Chain Restaurant Report, Canada’s 200 top-grossing chain concepts posted domestic systemwide sales growth of 4.4 percent in 2012, on unit growth of 2.8 percent. Unsurprisingly, limited-service concepts drove that expansion, tallying a 5.1 percent increase in sales (to nearly $20.6 billion) and a 3.0 percent hike in units. MORE>>

Big Beer's Sales Slump - And Yet Profits Rise
The latest beer-consumption data demonstrate that drinkers will pay more for a product they deem as superior—be it locally brewed craft beer or an upscale mass-market beer like Budweiser Black Crown. A new report from the Brewers Association, which represents small, independent craft beer makers around the country, shows that craft beer is continuing on a terrific run. MORE>>


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