Cheers January/February 2013

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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FIRST SIP ® A Winning Ways January/February 2013 Vol. 24 No. 1 Executive Vice President, Group Publisher Charles Forman Tel (845) 426-6072 lot of work goes into creating and implementing a great beverage program—selecting the right type and brands of beer, spirits, and wine, developing unique drink recipes and promotions, setting service standards and training staff and marketing the offering. And when you have to develop and roll out a beverage program in multiple locations across vastly different markets, the challenges multiply. That's why our 2013 Beverage Excellence Award recipients are so impressive. Too often chain restaurants don't get enough credit for innovation in the drinks department. But many have stepped up their game by developing unique cocktails, embracing craft beer and significantly improving their wine programs. They're also investing in staff training to ensure that customers consistently have a good experience and keep coming back. In many ways, the chains are now setting the trends rather than following them. This year's BevEx winners are proof of that. From Tavistock Restaurants' signature sangrias and Ruby Tuesday's big beer program to Carrabba's Italian Grill's multifaceted wine merchandising and Celebrity Cruises' molecular mixology, there's something to learn from each of these chain operators. Our congratulations to all our BevEx winners, especially to Hard Rock for taking the top award for Best Chain Overall Beverage Program. Our profiles of the 2013 BevEx winners start on page 16; for more in-depth articles on what makes these programs award-worthy, visit And if you're an independent operator with a beverage program you're proud of, be sure to enter the 2013 Cheers Benchmark Awards, which honor the nation's top wine bar, beer bar and cocktail lounge. You'll find an entry form on page 23; the deadline for entries is March 1. Speaking of cocktail innovation, the article "New Spins on Gin" on page 28 looks at how operators are mixing with and serving up the venerable botanical spirit. And the feature "Beer Service is Specialized" on page 24 points out the benefits of staff training so that servers understand such complexities as describing beer flavor nuances, using the right glassware and proper pouring technique. Also in this issue we launch California Wine Central, our multipart series celebrating the great wine regions of California. Our snapshot of the North Coast, which boasts elegant, cool-climate wines at an excellent value, begins on page 14. You'll find much more throughout the year, at the new site, such as exclusive features, photos, podcasts and videos. That's plenty to get you off to a great start for the coming year. Cheers to an exciting and prosperous 2013. 6 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 Managing Editor Jeremy Nedelka Tel (203) 855-8499 ext. 213 Art Director Kathleen Sage Production Director Mary Jo Tomei Tel (760) 318-7000 ext. 220 Editor-at-Large Liza B. Zimmerman Contributing Editors Jason H. Barker Andrew Freeman Michelle Paolillo Lockett Kelly Magyarics Melissa Niksic Todd Price Thomas Henry Strenk Carolyn Walkup Vice President of Sales, Associate Publisher Anthony Bongiovanni Tel (248) 253-0108 Senior Regional Sales Managers Mark Marcon Tel (248) 761-6231 Debbie Rittenberg Tel (215) 860-0306 List Rental & Reprints Cheryl Naughton Tel (678) 292-6054 ANDREA TOPALIAN Melissa Dowling Editor Editor Melissa Dowling Tel (203) 855-8499 ext. 223 M2MEDIA360 President/CEO Marion Minor Vice President, Finance and Operations Gerald Winkel Vice President, Circulation and Collateral Services Joanne Juda-Prainito Tel (630) 543-0552 Vice President of Operations Mary Jo Tomei Tel (760) 318-7000 ext. 220 Conference Director Cheers Beverage Conference Hanna Empen Mobile (805) 452-2794 Cheers® is published by The Beverage Information Group, a division of M2MEDIA360 Editorial and executive offices at 17 High Street, 2nd Floor Norwalk, CT 06851

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