Chain Beverage Buzz: September 29, 2014

Fall Flavored beer'Tis The Season For Fall-Flavored Beer
Oktoberfest is officially under way in Munich—it began Saturday when that city’s mayor tapped the first barrel to kick off the festivities. Here in the U.S., beer fans who’ve eagerly awaited the festivals that mimic the German celebration with beer tastings, traditional foods and entertainment won’t be disappointed. From the Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting competitions that began at bars and restaurants across the country this past weekend. MORE>>

IceFreeze! Follow These Safety Tips Before Handling Ice
Ensure guest safety by training staff to follow proper procedures for handling and serving ice. In this clever video, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association staff celebrates National Food Safety Month by taking the "ice cube challenge." Here are their cold, hard recommendations: 1. Use gloves, not bare hands, when handling ice. 2. Use drinking water to make ice for drinks or food. 3. Don't reuse ice that has been used to cool food. MORE>>

Flavored SpiritsFlavored Spirits Offerings Adapt As Consumer Tastes Evolve
Confectionary offerings drove the flavored spirits category to new heights in recent years, but the latest crop of flavor expression is showing its maturity with more complex tastes and broader appeal. Though vodka and rum remain heavyweights among flavored spirits, American whiskies are making a major move into the segment, and marketers are readying a slew of new flavored whiskey products. MORE>>

Lemon pricesRestaurants Respond to Rising Lemon Prices
Remember last March, when lime prices started to climb due to poor harvests in Mexico? Now it’s lemon’s turn. The Packer reports that prices of the citrus are more than 40 percent higher than a year ago. That’s mild compared to what happened to lime prices in April and May, which tripled by some accounts, but it’s still severe enough that some restaurants are cutting back. MORE>>

Minimum Wage IncreaseTen Tips to Survive Minimum Wage Increases
Don’t you get tired of hearing about the impending minimum wage increase? It is no longer if it is going to happen, but rather when is it going to happen and what will the magnitude be? The reality is that nobody really knows, but if you look around, isn’t it already beginning to happen? In some states there has already been action with hourly managers, minimum wage servers, and the hourly minimum being higher than federal minimum wage. MORE>>

October Marketing IdaesRestaurant Marketing Ideas for October
Coming up with fresh restaurant marketing ideas can sometimes be difficult for restaurant owners and operators.  Fortunately, October lays out a tasty selection of food focused days that offer up the right ingredients to help build your restaurant’s marketing menu. As October is National Pizza Month, pizza deals and promotions are a natural fit.  National Chili Month shares the spotlight with pizza.  Spicy, chunky, with or without beans . . . there’s nothing like a nice, hearty bowl of chili to warm your guests down to their toes. MORE>>

Contellation BrandsConstellation Brands to Report Second Quarter Fiscal 2015 Financial Results
Constellation Brands, Inc., a leading beverage alcohol company, announced today it will report financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 31, 2014, on Thurs., Oct. 2, 2014, before the open of the U.S. markets.  A conference call to discuss the financial results and outlook will be hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Sands and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bob Ryder at 10:30 a.m. eastern time, Oct. 2, 2014. MORE>>

IOlive Gardens Menu Overload the Problem at Olive Garden?
For Olive Garden, the chain with unlimited breadsticks and never-ending pasta bowls, a declining performance may be the result of its famous abundance. Too many breadsticks, too much salad dressing and too many menu options were among a list of grievances aired against the casual dining chain in a nearly 300-slide presentation published on Sept. 11 by activist investor Starboard Value LP. MORE>>

The Melting PotThe Melting Pot Seeks to Return to Memphis, Tenn
The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., the world's premier fondue restaurant and a leading polished casual dining franchise, announced today that it is actively seeking franchisees to bring its interactive dining experience back to Memphis, naming the city as a target for future franchise development. The Melting Pot closed its Memphis restaurant located at 2828 Wolfcreek Pkwy. in August 2014 and now has an opportunity for the right franchisee partner to potentially re-open the former location or open a new Melting Pot restaurant at a new site in the market. MORE>>

Ed Nemo Annouces RetirementEd Nemo Announces Retirement from RNDC Ohio
Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) of Ohio President, Edward Nemo, has announced his retirement, effective January 1, 2015. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio State University in 1963, Ed began his career in the wine industry starting with Midwest Wine & Spirits, a spirits brokerage company in Ohio in 1977, which was later sold to National Distributing Co. in 1995. MORE>>