chain beverage buzz: sept 19, 2011
Launching in May, Ruby Tuesday management teamed up with VeeV Açaí Spirit for the concept’s “Drink Fresh” program. The Ruby Tuesday beverage menu now offers five new healthy and freshly-made cocktails, which include Açaí Mojito (Veev Açaí Spirit, pomegranate juice, agave nectar, club soda, a lime wedge, mint leaves), Watermelon Martini (Veev Açaí Spirit, Grey Goose Vodka, cranberry juice, watermelon concentrate, watermelon cubes), Superfruit Cooler (Veev Açaí Spirit, ABSOLUT Berri Açaí, St-Germain, lemon sour, agave nectar), Skinny Pink Lemonade (Veev Açaí Spirit, agave nectar, pomegranate juice, Minute Maid Light Lemonade) and the Pomegranate Margarita (VeeV Açaí Spirit, Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila, pomegranate juice, agave nectar, lemon sour, lime juice).
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s corporate team is rolling out a new design and drinks menu dubbed “Beef’s 2.0.” The remodel includes updated color schemes, booth-side TVs and more seating areas. “Beef’s 2.0” also offers a new drink section including 24 craft beer selections, 10 signature cocktails, as well as alcohol-free options such as iced coffees and a Cherry Limeade Cooler; these new additions are expected to increase sales by $27,000 at each unit. The addition of alcohol-free drinks is projected to increase total sales from 6% to 7.5%; alcohol drinks represent 15% of total sales and are expected to grow to 16.5% of total sales.
At Seasons 52, management is debuting new fall menu items such as flatbreads and seasonal desserts, along with two cocktails and two wines. The Skinny Raspberry Chocolatini combines with light raspberry cocoa vodka and chocolate coconut water; the Superfruit Martini is made with blueberry, pomegranate juices and an açaí -infused spirit; the new wines on the wine list are a 2007 Mauritson Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2008 Ramey Chardonnay, both from California’s Sonoma County.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar is teaming up with ESPN for “Check-in and Win,” the concept's Monday Night Football promotion. Using Quick Response (QR) codes and Facebook Places, pre-game ESPN viewers scan the in-house Applebee’s QR codes with their smartphones or check-in via Facebook Places to register for prizes. Guests can win instant-win Applebee’s Digital Gift Cards ranging from $5 to $20, or a trip to New York City and ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., for a behind-the-scenes ESPN Experience package.
R. Jeffrey Williams was named the new Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at O’Charley’s Inc.; Williams previously was the company’s Chief Accounting Officer and served as interim Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since December 2010. In other O’Charley’s news, Marc A. Buehler was appointed as the company’s Concept President of flagship brand, O’Charley’s.
Tom Emrey is DineEquity Inc.’s new Chief Financial Officer, replacing CFO John F. Tierney. DineEquity franchises and operators Applebee’s Bar & Grill, as well as IHOP Restaurant.