Very Important Beverage Professionals Chain Beverage Buzz: May 12, 2014

WhatsApplebees: Lunch with America’s Hottest Chain-Restaurant AppApplebee's
When news broke Friday of WhatsApplebees, an Applebee’s-exclusive networking app, the brainchild of New York developer Mike Lazer-Walker, we were pretty pumped. Anyone within “around 100 meters” of an Applebee’s is free to chat within the app. Conversations are presented anonymously with just text and time codes, and are archived for viewing later on. MORE>>

The World's Largest Spirits Markets
Over the past few weeks, we have been counting down the world’s largest markets for each of the main spirit categories – whisky, vodka, brandy, rum, gin, Tequila and mezcal, and Cognac. Each category has its own particular set of historical, cultural, and political circumstances which determine its largest markets. MORE>>

Whisky Double TroubleWhiskey
A South Island distilling company is preparing to take on one of the world's Scotch whisky giants over an alleged trademark breach. Scottish company William Grant & Sons, which produces Glenfiddich, says the New Zealand Whisky Company's Dunedin DoubleWood is breaching its Balvenie DoubleWood trademark. MORE>>

Olive Garden

Olive Garden: Prepare for Hipper, Healthier Fare
As the corporate overlord of Olive Garden, Darden Restaurants Inc., prepares to jettison its ailing Red Lobster brand to the highest bidder, its top chef is busy turning the company’s Italian chain into a hipster powerhouse. At Darden’s headquarters test kitchen in Orlando, head chef Jim Nuetzi is creating one new dish after another to reposition Olive Garden as a healthy place to eat authentic and inspiring Italian grub. MORE>>

Chain Eateries See Encouraging Landscape in South Sound
Look around lately in the South Sound and you may have noticed that there have been a few familiar dining options popping up around the area. One notable example is the much-talked-about Chick-Fil-A in Tacoma, which still has no concrete arrival date but has had permits approved. The Georgia chain, though, isn’t alone in expanding locally; according to those in the industry, the South Sound’s chain restaurant market is ripe for more growth. MORE>>

TGI Fridays

TGI Friday's Snacks to Enter New Categories, World Markets
The TGI Friday’s snack line sold at retail will expand into new product categories and international markets after the company and Inventure Foods, Inc. announced a new long-term licensing agreement May 7. New snack categories will include popcorn, corn snacks, snack mixes and tortilla chips. MORE>>

NRARestaurant Job Growth Remains Strong in April
The health of the labor market continued to improve in April, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The overall economy added a net 288,000 jobs in April on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the third consecutive month with gains in excess of 200,000 and the strongest monthly increase since January 2012. MORE>>

Melting POt

Melting Pot Raises Awareness of Gluten Disorders
In honor of Celiac Awareness Month this May, The Melting Pot Restaurants is partnering with the Gluten Intolerance Group for the fifth year in a row to help raise awareness of gluten-related disorders through the annual Chef to Plate Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Campaign. MORE>>

RecruiterboxRecruiterbox Supports NYC Hotel and Restaurant Seasonal Hiring Needs with Hospitality Jobs Hotspot
Recruiterbox, a cloud-based résumé management and applicant tracking system built with the small business owner in mind, announced the launch of its Hospitality Jobs Hotspot database. The database, which maintains nearly 1000 qualified candidates, provides restaurants and hotels in the New York City area with viable applicants seeking part-time and full-time employment. MORE>>

National Retail AssociationChain Restaurants Ask EPA to Make Bigger Cut in Ethanol Mandate
NRF’s National Council of Chain Restaurants asked the Environmental Protection Agency this week to cut the amount of ethanol used in gasoline more than the agency has already proposed for 2014, saying planned levels would continue to drive up food costs by increasing the demand for corn. MORE>>



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