Very Important Beverage Professionals Chain Beverage Buzz: July 8, 2013

Diageo announces completion of USL share purchase agreement with UBHLDiageo
Diageo now the major shareholder in USL, the leading Indian spirits company, with a shareholding of 25.02% Diageo has today completed the acquisition of a further 14.98% stake in United Spirits Limited, the leading spirits company in India. The consideration was INR 1440 per share and the total consideration of INR 31,345,558,560 has been settled. MORE>>

Buffalo Wild WingsBuffalo Wild Wings to Unveil New Craft Beer July 15
Buffalo Wild Wings will unveil a craft beer specifically designed to complement the chain's chicken wings at all of its 925 locations nationwide on July 15. The pale ale called Game Changer Ale is brewed by Seattle-based Redhook Brewery. "We're all about wings, beer and sports, and we are always looking for new offerings to enhance the guest experience at our restaurants," Kathy Benning, the chain's executive vice president of global marketing, brand and business development, said in a statement. MORE>>

Olive GardenOlive Garden to open first Hawaii restaurant at Kapolei Commons
Olive Garden Italian Restaurant has reached a tentative agreement to open its first Hawaii restaurant on Oahu at the Target-anchored Kapolei Commons, the shopping center’s development group told PBN. Olive Garden is purportedly looking to also open other restaurants on Oahu, likely to be in the Waikiki and Pearlridge areas. MORE>>

NRA to Hold Annual Quality Assurance ConferenceNational Restaurant Association
Quality assurance professionals will trade industry tips and information on emerging issues, trends, and best practices at the National Restaurant Association’s annual executive study group meeting on quality assurance, Oct. 7-8 in Baltimore. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Amazing Race of Food Safety Challenges.” MORE>>

The Paradox of GrowthTechnomic
Small-batch, hand-crafted and local are all the rage today, and many a spirits, wine and beer brand is enjoying increased popularity because of those attributes. However, is there a point in a brand’s growth trajectory at which it can no longer lay claim to the very characteristics on which it was built? At what volume does a brand lose the cachet of being “small”? MORE>>

Johnnie Walker LogoJohnnie Walker’s Brand Value Hits US $4.37bn
Johnnie Walker has extended its lead at the top of the BrandFinance Drinks 50 from US$400m to a staggering US$2 billion. The annual study, conducted by brand valuation agency Brand Finance, ranks the World's biggest drinks brands by their brand value. This year Johnnie Walker has seen its brand value increase by a colossal 80% to US$4.37bn. MORE>>

50 Hot Restaurants for Summer
Although there have been positive signs of economic recovery in recent months, don’t expect this to be a summer of adventure on the restaurant scene. As Nation’s Restaurant News’ quarterly feature, Trending Tables, looks at dining establishments that are bringing in customers, we’re seeing a return to old favorites like Café Juanita in Seattle, Backstreet Café in Houston and Palme d’Or in Miami. MORE>>

Are Restaurant Chains Serving Up an Earnings Feast?
Americans love to eat out, which makes restaurant companies' financial results a useful barometer of the state of the general economy. The National Restaurant Association reported that the average household spent $2,620 on food outside the home in 2011. But when consumers' budgets are tight, they don't dine out as often. By taking a look at how restaurant chains are doing, we can get some clues about how strong this recovery really is. MORE>>

America's Best Restaurant Chains
Every day, Americans spend about $1.7 billion at the nation’s 970,000 restaurants—close to the amount they spend each year on indigestion remedies. Clearly, diners deserve a sure thing: a clean place that provides tasty food and good value. To find the best bets, we surveyed 47,565 readers who ate a total of 110,517 meals at 102 table-service chain restaurants—a step (sometimes a leap) up from fast-food joints. MORE>>

Ruth's beefs up its bottom lineRuth's Hospitality Group
Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. owns Ruth's Chris Steak House, Mitchell's Fish Market, Mitchell's Steakhouse and Cameron's Steakhouse -- all upscale dining concepts. If they are doing well, it would indicate that consumers have regained their optimism, at least to a degree, and are willing to spurge on a relatively expensive meal. Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. is in fact doing very well. The company's first-quarter revenue, for the period ended March 31, was up 7% compared to the same period last year, topping $107 million. It achieved net income of $7.7 million after incurring a loss the same period last year. MORE>>



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