Cheers - March/April 2016

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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Page 24 of 59 25 March/April 2016 • offering. Topped with candied bacon, grilled bratwurst and Samuel Adams- Oktoberfest-glazed onions, drizzled with Merkts beer cheese on a toasted pretzel bun and beer mustard, the Überburger was a natural pairing with the Sam Adams Oktoberfest seasonal brew. TRAINING DAYS Red Robin encourages staff to come up with beer recommendations of their own, as it's an important component in the dining experience. But the chain also educates servers to help guests select a pleasing pairing. Employees learn about different styles, and smell and taste the beers on the menus as part of that training takes place in the restaurants alongside food education. It allows Red Robin to demonstrate ways that beer interacts with the food, and creates an interactive experience about a featured pairing. Training for Red Robin staff also includes a focus on local and regional beers. The tools provided are designed to continually reinforce the content covered in training, even if servers cannot taste the beer. "We provide training tools that allow restaurants with elevated beer knowledge to get more granular with the details and personal pairing recommendations," Burkle says, "while still providing content that talks directly to Team Members just starting their beer journey or are under 21." The training tools include job aids designed to fi t in servers' books and posters that hang in high-traffi c, team-member training areas. These provide a food- recommendation with each featured beer as well as a beer recommendation for every featured food item. Red Robin keeps up with beer and beverage trends, such as the explosion of canned beer. Craft breweries across the country have started canning lines. A year Red Robin suggested Sam Adams Oktoberfest as a match with The Überburger, an LTO last fall that was topped with candied bacon, grilled bratwurst and beer-glazed onions, drizzled with beer cheese on a toasted pretzel bun. Red Robin late last year rolled out a 12 And 12 initiative: Each restaurant will increase its draft beers from eight to at least 12, as well as 12 total canned and bottled beers. | | | | | | PROFILE | | | | | |

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