Very Important Beverage Professionals Chain Beverage Buzz: September 3, 2013

National Restaurant AssociationKentucky Restaurateur Testifies on Health Care
Restaurant owner Joe Bologna, who has operated Joe Bologna’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Lexington, Ky., for 40 years, told a U.S. House subpanel that he’s concerned the 2010 health care law will hurt restaurants’ ability to grow. Bologna, who testified during an  Aug. 27 field hearing in Lexington, said he recently decided to close the restaurant on Mondays to avoid crossing the 50 full-time-equivalent employee threshold. MORE>>

TechnomicGinger Takes Root in Adult Beverage Menus
Ginger is making an incredible splash into Top 500 restaurant cocktails and mocktails this year, rising above most other flavors in terms of year-over-year growth in mentions on menus. Ginger root comes from the Zingiber plant, which is traditionally cultivated in South Asia, East Africa and the Caribbean. As a result, several ginger-flavored beverages are tropical Caribbean drinks, such as Bermuda’s national drink, the trademarked Dark ‘N’ Stormy. MORE>>

MargaritavilleMargaritaville Marketing Head Talks Instagram Strategy 
As Instagram use continues to grow among smartphone users, the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is trying to grow its customer engagement along with it. The 18-unit casual-dining chain is seeing success with the photo-sharing platform even though it has only been using it for a short time. In MomentFeed’s recent study of 65 restaurant brands on Instagram, Margaritaville took the top spot for the average number of photos consumers tagged to the brand’s locations, with 249.7 photos per restaurant. MORE>>

Ramsay and Beckham

David Beckham and Gordon Ramsey to serve up pie and mash restaurants
David Beckham apparently wants to open a chain of pie and mash restaurants with chef pal Gordon Ramsay. The ex-footballer is said to be plotting a worldwide pie and mash takeover with foul-mouthed Gordon, according to The Sun. The pair registered the name PM (Pie and Mash) Restaurant under their joint initials, DBGR, with the Intellectual Property Office in 2010. MORE>>

Turbo Energy DrinkSunny Sky Products Acquires Turbo Energy Drink and Expands Nightclub & Bar Division
Sunny Sky Products, LLC., a leading manufacturer and distributor of specialty dispensed beverages, announced it has completed the acquisition of Turbo Energy Drink, LLC in an all cash transaction.  The acquisition will expand distribution of Sunny Sky Products’ beverage offering further into the on-premise (Bar & Nightclub) channel.   Turbo Energy Drink is the creation of Chris Hannemann.  A former marketing manager for Red Bull North America, Hannemann has since successfully guided other energy drink companies to national success. MORE>>

Restaurants Weigh Costs, Benefits of Recycling 
National Restaurant NewsExperts estimate that about 60 percent of U.S. restaurants recycle at least some of their waste, be it used packaging, compostable food scraps or fryer oil. And as more municipalities provide recycled waste options, participation is expected to increase as operators realize lower trash disposal costs. Still, the choice to recycle isn’t a simple one. Even in cities with plentiful recycling options, it can be costly for operators to participate, and the good feelings gained from helping the environment become overshadowed by the pain of spending hard-earned revenue on recycling. MORE>>

Outback SteakhouseAmerica's Best Chain Steakhouses
There comes a time in just about everyone's life when they feel the urge to eat some red meat. Sure, a supermarket steak cooked in a frying pan might suffice, but there's nothing quite like the experience of going to one of those big chain steakhouses. We've come to depend on these places for a good steak and a cold beer, enjoyed in a comfortable and just-boisterous-enough atmosphere, with an overall experience that leaves you full and content. MORE>>

Shaken News DailyNew Zealand Wine Shipments to US Jump Double Digits
The U.S. market drove growth for New Zealand wine exports during the 12 months through June. New Zealand’s shipments to the U.S. were up 13% to NZ$283.7 million ($220m) during the period, while global Kiwi exports increased 3% to NZ$1.21 billion ($944m), according to the New Zealand Winegrowers trade group. Impact “Hot Brands” like Constellation’s Kim Crawford and Nobilo and Oyster Bay’s flagship label have been among those driving the New Zealand category, whose bottled exports to the U.S. rose 9% to 2.8 million cases in calendar 2012, according to Impact Databank. MORE>>

National Restaurant AssociationJuly RPI Dips due to Softer Sales, Traffic
As a result of softer sales and traffic levels and restaurant operators’ dampened outlook for the economy, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) declined for the second consecutive month in July.  The RPI stood at 100.7 in July, down 0.6 percent from June’s level of 101.3.  Despite the decline, the RPI remained above 100 for the fifth consecutive month, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators. MORE>>


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