Very Important Beverage Professionals Chain Beverage Buzz: October 28, 2013

National Restaurant AssociationNew Research Shows Consumers Want a Side of Technology with their Meals
As technology is becoming a part of the daily lives for many Americans – and a critical tool of convenience for more than a few – the desire to use options like touch-screen ordering, smartphone apps, and mobile payment when dining out is growing. New research from the National Restaurant Association released today at the Restaurant Innovation Summit shows that the majority of Americans have used such tech-based options, and even more are interested in doing so if provided by their favorite restaurants. MORE>>

TechnomicAdult Beverage Year-End Trend Alert
Anyone who’s involved in or who follows the adult-beverage industry knows the fourth quarter is all-important. From Halloween to New Year’s Eve, opportunities abound to drive traffic, sales and profits. At retail, the holiday season sees sales spikes for many categories, and store operators are now preparing to satisfy consumers eager to load up on gift packs for giving and unique items for making merry at home. Meanwhile, restaurant and bar operators are preparing to cater to the drink demands of holiday party guests, quench the thirst of busy shoppers and entice revelers to the bar. MORE>>

Red RobinRed Robin is Two Weeks Away from Opening its First Restaurant in Dansbury, CT
Alert your taste buds!  Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (Red Robin) is two weeks away from bringing craveable gourmet burgers to Danbury, Conn. Located at the Danbury Fair Mall between JC Penney’s and Lord & Taylor, across from the lower level parking garage, the newest Red Robin will open on Monday, November 11 at 11 a.m. To help celebrate the grand opening of the new restaurant, Red Robin will donate all sales of its signature Freckled Lemonade from Monday, November 11 to Sunday, November 17, to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer. MORE>>

Ruby TuesdaysRuby Tuesday Inc. Chairman Resigns
Ruby Tuesday Inc. chairman of the board Matthew Drapkin has resigned, effective immediately, the company said Monday. Company president and chief executive James J. “JJ” Buettgen will replace Drapkin. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ruby Tuesday said Stephen Sadove has been appointed lead director, effective immediately. MORE>>

Jim BeamJim Beam Goes Upscale with Latest Extension, "Signature Craft"
After years of uneven growth, Beam Inc. has put its namesake Bourbon brand on a solid upward trend through a series of innovations, led by cherry-flavored Red Stag. But while Red Stag and other flavored whiskies have created momentum by appealing to young LDA consumers, Jim Beam’s latest offering, its “Signature Craft” series, marks an attempt to connect with whiskey aficionados. MORE>>

Cheesecake FactoryThe Cheesecake Factory Net Income Rises 1%
The Cheesecake Factory Inc. reported on Wednesday a 1-percent increase in net income, including a $1.1 million pre-tax charge related to the planned relocation of three restaurants. Excluding those charges, net income rose 3 percent to $28.1 million for the third quarter ended Oct. 1. The Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based company ended the quarter with 177 restaurants, including 165 Cheesecake Factory locations, 11 Grand Lux Cafes and one RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen. MORE>>

NRAEconomist's Notebook: Restaurant Job Growth Projected to Top 3% in 2013
In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy breaks down the latest employment trends.  Restaurants added a net 27,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2013, which was less than one-fourth of the strong second quarter gain.  Despite the slowdown, restaurants are expected to post job growth above three percent for the second consecutive year. MORE>>

Pernod RicardPernod's Sales Decline by 1% in Q1, As Chinese Clampdown Hits Bottom Line
Pernod Ricard endured a slight sales decline in the first quarter of its 2013/2014 fiscal year, as the Chinese government’s anti-extravagance measures dealt a harsh blow to the Paris-based drinks giant. Pernod’s sales fell by 1% to €2.013 billion ($2.776 billion) for the three months ending September 30, 2013. The company’s sales in Asia/Rest of World—which account for 40% of its total business—dropped by 6%, largely due to a double-digits shipment decline in China, where the clampdown on the luxury goods trade has buffeted Martell and Chivas Regal. The two brands’ global sales fell by 12% and 9%, respectively. MORE>>

Olive GardenTime to Break Up Darden? Olive Garden Parent Faces Shareholder Pressure
Darden Restaurants (DRI), the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, said on Wednesday it will “thoroughly evaluate” proposals from shareholder Barington Capital, which is reportedly pushing the company to break itself up. The pressure from the New York-based investment firm comes just weeks after the restaurant chain disclosed a 37% profit drop and announced new efforts to cut costs. MORE>>


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