Very Important Beverage Professionals Chain Beverage Buzz: May 27, 2014

Pernod RicardPernod Ricard USA Expands Responsible Consumption Program
To complement the global efforts of parent company Pernod Ricard, which were highlighted by the launch of the “Wise Drinking” digital application, Pernod Ricard USA has put into place a series of initiatives that support its ongoing commitment to responsible consumption. Examples include: -A collaboration with Alcohoot, a New York-based company that developed an innovative smartphone Breathalyzer. MORE>>

FridaysPrivate Equity Firms Purchase TGI Fridays
Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners have agreed to acquire TGI Fridays Restaurants from Minneapolis-based Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but according to The Wall Street Journal, the deal values TGI Fridays at more than $800 million. The transaction is expected to close by July, subject to customary closing conditions. MORE>>

NRARestaurants Try to Push Through Confusion on Health Care
Many of the restaurant operators who met with insurance experts at the NRA’s Health Care Knowledge Center had taken at least some steps toward meeting the requirements of the new health care law, but confusion about the law remains. “Most of them are concerned about how to calculate whether they are over 50 full-time employees, and if they are, how to comply,” said Jeff Koch, one of the health benefits consultants who met with operators during NRA Show 2014. MORE>>

HootersHooters Learns Guest Preferences Through Mobile App
Hooters will soon know the average age and menu preferences of customers in its core markets, and will use that data to customize promotions for them. It’s a major benefit of the company’s new HootClub mobile app and customer loyalty program—which is on the ground in Atlanta and will roll out nationally in the coming months—and reflects a broad effort at Hooters to drive traffic, particularly as it unveils remodeled locations, and engage with guests more out of store. MORE>>

DardenDarden Restaurants Inc. to Sell Red Lobster for $2.1B
Darden Restaurants Inc. has agreed to sell Red Lobster to San Francisco-based private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion in cash, the casual-dining company said Friday. After taxes and transaction costs, Darden expects to receive net proceeds of $1.6 billion, of which about $1 billion would be used to retire outstanding debt. MORE>>


Restaurants to Add More Than Half a Million Summer Jobs
Restaurants are expected to add 508,000 jobs this summer season, according to National Restaurant Association (NRA) projections released today.  The projected 2014 gain would represent the second consecutive year in which restaurants add at least 500,000 jobs during the summer season. “Summer is the busiest season for restaurants in most parts of the country, and the uptick in business creates additional job opportunities at all levels of a restaurant operation,” says Bruce Grindy, chief economist for NRA.MORE>>

Investing: chow down on restaurant stocks
Americans' appetite for eating out has given investors a craving for restaurant stocks. But the restaurant business is intensely competitive. Companies rise and fall, as the recent bankruptcy filings of two debt-laden chains, Quiznos and Sbarro, show. So it's best to focus on companies with strong balance sheets. Here are three worth a nibble. MORE>>

Arizona leads nation in restaurant industry growthFoodist
Locals crowned their state as such years ago. But now, people from all over the country and world are catching up. Tourists are flocking to Arizona to see what the buzz is about and they are greeted with open arms and menus from nearly 9,000 restaurants. Thanks to the residents of Arizona and the tourists who vacation here, our state is slated to see a 4.9 percent increase in restaurant sales in 2014, which gives Arizona the nation’s biggest increase. MORE>>

DeCrescente Distributing named best company to work for in N.Y.DeCrescente Distributing

The 65-year-old, family-owned and -operated DeCrescente Distributing Co. was named one of the ‘Best Companies to Work for in New York State’ for 2014. This year, the Mechanicville beverage distributor was ranked number eight in the large-company category, the highest-ranked company in the Capital District. MORE>>


Beer Sales Could Top $11 Billion this SummerBeer
More than 38 million American households will purchase a cold beer this summer, making beer the preferred choice over all other beverage alcohol for summer occasions like backyard barbecues and ball games with friends and family. In the 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2013, beer and malt beverage sales topped $11 billion, making it one of the largest selling categories of all food and beverage channels according to Andrea Riberi, senior vice president at Nielsen. MORE>>



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