Very Important Beverage Professionals Chain Beverage Buzz: June 9, 2014

NRARestaurant Sales and Customer Continued to Rise According to the April RPI
Fueled by improving same-store sales and customer traffic and a positive outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) rose for the second straight month.  The RPI stood at 101.7 in April, up 0.3 percent from March and the strongest level since May 2013. MORE>>

Red RobinRed Robin Builds a Better Allergy Friendly Restaurant
Researchers estimate more than 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. Close to 50 million are reported to be lactose intolerant, and around 1.8 million have celiac disease.While full-service restaurants have slowly defined programs over the last few years to accommodate allergies or food intolerances, Red Robin is updating its allergen program—which has existed for five years—to build a better allergy-friendly restaurant. MORE>>

Nation's Restaurant NewsNRN 2014 Golden Chain Award Winners
Nation’s Restaurant News has selected five top executives from some of the most successful foodservice brands in the world as the 2014 class of Golden Chain Award winners. The Golden Chain Awards celebrate restaurant executives for outstanding leadership, strong company performance and careers dominated by success. This year’s winners are: Sandra Cochran, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store; Greg Creed, Taco Bell; Joseph DePinto, 7-Eleven; Aylwin Lewis, Potbelly Sandwich Works; and W. Kent Taylor, Texas Roadhouse. MORE>>

Neil McGuiganWine Profitability Will Return: Neil McGuigan
ASX-listed winemaker Australian Vintage’s current profit margin is unacceptable but the company has the correct strategies in place to ensure its performance improves in the long term, says CEO Neil McGuigan. In an interview to mark the launch of the super premium McGuigan Wines 2010 The Philosophy, McGuigan said AVL had recently advised the market that it will make $11 million dollars off the back of $210 million-plus revenue this financial year. MORE>>

Shanken News Daily

Skinnygirl Wines on the Rise, but Cocktails and Vodka Show Sharp Declines
According to Impact Databank, the Skinnygirl Wine Collection surged 49% to 157,000 cases in the U.S. last year. Since launching in 2012, Skinnygirl wines have found an audience among female consumers, says Jared Fix, Beam’s general manager, mixables. The brand’s original wine portfolio—including Moscato, California Red, California White and California Rosé—was extended last fall with four new varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio (both $11.99 a 750-ml.), Cabernet Sauvignon ($13.99) and a seasonal Prosecco ($19.99). MORE>>

Buffalo Wings & Rings drops franchise fee by $30K to lure franchiseesBuffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wings & Rings is running a limited-time special – on its own restaurants. The Cincinnati-based wings and beer chain, hoping to stoke the growth fires, is knocking its franchise fee down from $35,000 to $5,000 for the rest of the year. “We went to our (franchise) advisory committee and asked them how we could increase units,” Philip Schram, executive vice president of development, told me. “They came up with this offer.” MORE>>

MillerSABMiller to Step Up Craft Beer Production
SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer by sales, is making an "intense" effort to ramp  up its share of the US premium beer market, where it has been caught on the hop by the explosion of local high-price craft beers. MORE>>

Judge throws out watered-down Budweiser beer fraud claims against Anheuser-BuschBudweiser
A US judge has dismissed class action claims that Anheuser-Busch routinely watered-down US beer brands including Budweiser to misrepresent alcohol levels and boost profits. MORE>>


TechnomicRestaurant sales off for the largest chains, finds Technomic
The 500 largest U.S. restaurant chains registered a 3.5 percent annual sales increase in 2013, a significant decline from 4.9 percent the prior year. According to data released today by Technomic Inc. in its annual reporting on the top U.S. restaurant organizations, the foodservice consultancy found that U.S. systemwide sales for the Top 500 chains grew to an estimated $264 billion in 2013, up more than $8.8 billion over 2012. MORE>>



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