IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 500 of the country's
most important beverage professionals met here at the annual Cheers Beverage
Conference to hear restaurant industry veteran Joe Lee, chairman and CEO of
Darden Restaurants, urge them to find "passionate benefactors" to be
restaurant managers. Lee's remarks came during his keynote address,
"Converting Managers to Patrons to Raise the Bar."
"The Modern Art of Beverage" was the theme of the 2005 Cheers Beverage
Conference, presented by Cheers Magazine on February 16 and 17 at the Hyatt
Regency in Irvine, CA.
Lee said that a patron of the arts "is a passionate benefactor, supporter
and defender. . . In the casual dining world, these patrons should be our
restaurant managers." As CEO of Darden, Lee is responsible for the operations
of four of the country's most successful national chain restaurants: Red
Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones, which have collective
beverage sales of $500 million annually.
Attendees also heard eight "Modern Masters Workshops" at this year's
conference, on a diversity of the industry's compelling issues and hot topics,
including understanding structural and cyclical trends in the wine business,
how to drive beer sales through food matching, strategies for increasing
beverage sales overall, responsible alcohol consumption training and the
latest advances in electronic beverage ordering.
When it comes to fresh and innovative drink ideas, London is definitely
calling. That was the topic of a panel led by Cheers' Editor Jack
Robertiello, featuring some of the world's top mixologists, including "King
Cocktail" Dale DeGroff and Ben Reed, author of nine cocktail books and
presenter of the BBC's "Shaker Maker" series. Also sharing their expertise
were Tony Conigliaro, bar manager at London's Zuma and Roka, and Francesco
Lafranconi, director of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada's Academy of
Spirits and Fine Service.
Those looking for solid market research data on how the beverage alcohol
industry is faring were not disappointed. Tiziana Mohorovic, director for
Information Services at Adams Beverage Group, spelled out the latest sales
trends in beer, wine and spirits. In addition, attendees found out what type
of drinks the average consumer orders at a casual dining restaurant. About
800 consumers in nine states answered questions about their favorite
beverages, in a joint survey conducted by The R3 Initiative and MarkeTeam,
A review of the challenges and potential pitfalls in on-premise beverage
law, entitled "Mixing of Alcohol and the Law: A Complex Cocktail," was
delivered by Stephen Barth, attorney and founder of HospitalityLawyer. Com.
Next year, attendees will find a warm welcome in the Big Easy as the 2006
Cheers Beverage Conference goes to New Orleans on February 15-16.
Cheers magazine is the premier on-premise beverage resource, and the host
of the annual Cheers Beverage Conference. For more information about the
magazine or the conference, please contact Jack Robertiello, editor,
718 857 3660
SOURCE Cheers magazine