Restaurants Focus on Alcohol - Consumers Dining Out Again
As the recession takes a bite out of food sales, restaurants are paying more attention to customers by focusing more of their efforts on beer, wine and spirits.
Several chains have started happy hours, while others are remodeling to create new bars or call more attention to existing ones.
The Cheesecake Factory last month started the first happy-hour promotion in its 31-year history, selling appetizers and many drinks for $5 apiece in its restaurants. The California-based chain hopes to fill its restaurants when it's not normally busy -weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. - and to draw "people who might not otherwise be able to afford to come to us" during tough economic times, Chief Marketing Officer Mark Mears said.
Late last year, Ruby Tuesday started a $5 premium-cocktail program. In January, P.F. Chang's China Bistro launched a happy-hour menu with drinks and appetizers for $3 to $6.
Generally viewed as more profitable than food, alcohol has always been an important sales point for restaurants. In a recession, beer, wine and liquor can lure new customers or boost the checks for the ones already there.
Sales at some sports-themed restaurants, which tend to sell a lot of alcohol, have held up well. Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, where alcohol makes up 26 percent of sales, has seen rising numbers.
First-quarter reports from public restaurant companies rolled in this week and have highlighted a long-awaited return of guest traffic after nearly two years of eateries losing customers who have been reluctant to spend.
Restaurant executives from McDonald's, Chipotle, The Cheesecake Factory and Brinker International all said they have begun to see increased traffic trends, leading to same-store sales improvements and increased bottom lines.
"Guest traffic improved significantly from fourth-quarter levels," said David Overton, chairman and chief executive of The Cheesecake Factory Inc., "and we believe that as consumers become more comfortable with discretionary spending, they are returning to their favorite restaurants first."
Jack Hartung, chief financial officer at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., said during a conference call this week that it appears consumers are out spending again.
"It looks like consumer confidence, from all the different resources we've seen, consumers are more confident today," he said.
Lockye, Sarah. "Restaurant results show consumers dining out again" Restaurant News April, 2010.
Pedicini, Sandra and Gliovis, Jaclyn. "Restaurants focus on alcohol to boost business" SunSentinel March, 2010.
Fintech Focus on Employees - Dawn Burch
Dawn Burch joined the Fintech Sales Team in February 2010. She brings a wealth of sales, marketing, and advertising experience to her Account Executive position. She was born and raised in Columbia, Maryland and worked as a National Account Sales Administrator for Patuxent Publishing, after graduating The University of Maryland - College Park with her BA degree in Communications. Prior to joining Fintech, Dawn worked as a Booking Agent/Marketing Director for Delatorro Worldwide Empowerment.In her spare time, Dawn enjoys writing movie scripts, reading motivational material, and encouraging and empowering women to become more successful.
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Artisan Vines Distributing
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Big Four Distributing, Inc.
Binks Wines & Beverages
Brix Wine Cellars
Brothers Drake, Ltd.
Buckeye Brewing Co.
C & C Distributors Inc
Calvin's Dist, Co.
Carolina Craft Distributing
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Cave B, LLC dba Cave B Estate Winery
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Chippewa Beverage Co
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Coors Distributing of North Platte
Couch Distributing Co.
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D & L Distributing, Inc.
DBI Beverage Napa
DBI Beverage Sacramento
DBI Beverage San Jose
Del Rio Vineyards
Dietrich Distributing Co
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Ecosur Group, LLC /Dba Ecosur Distributing
Flint Hills Beverage, LLC
Gallo Wine Company
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Golden Beverage Company, LLC
Griffin Beverage (R)
H W Herrell Distributing
Horizon Beverage Co.
Jerome Beverage, Inc.
Jimmys Wines Cellar #23
John A. Conkling Distributing Co., Inc.
K & M Distributing Co., Inc. dba Premium Bev Sales
K & Z Distributing Co.
Lakeshore Beverage (R)
Luecke Distributing Co.
Main Beverage (R)
Manhattan Beer Distributors, LLC
Marty's Distributing Co.
Mason Distributing Co.
Maumee Bay Brewing Co.
McCabe Distributing Co.
Mid-State Wine & Liquors, L.P.
Modern Beverage Co.
Mountain Peoples Wine & Beer Dist.
Mussetter Distributing, Inc.
Nate Wines, Inc. (R)
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New World Wines - WA
Pacific City Brewing Co.
Paper Moon Vineyards
Paw Paw Wine Dist
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Portfolio Distribution LLC
Premium Dist of DC
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Red River Beverage Group
Redding Distributing Co.
Republic National Dist-NE
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Reserve at Lake Travis Cypress Club Beverages
Richard Allen dba Heater Allen Brewing
Ronchetti Distributing Company - Nokomis
Sequoia Beverage Co.
Southern Wine & Spirits-New Mexico
Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada
St. Joseph Beverage, LLC
Stickney Distributing, Inc.
Tooele Beverage Co., Inc.
United States Distilled Products
Vintage Select Wines LLC
Virginia Winery Distribution Company
West Plains Beverage Co
Western Beverage - KS
Western Wine Merchants
Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Woodinville Wine Cellars
Woodmill Winery, Inc.
2610 Guadalupe, Inc. dba The Local
4 Chilly's, LLC
50 Amp Fuse
7653 Restaurant Group
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A & A Coors Inc.
A & M Hospitallities Dba Embassy Suites
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Aachal Inc. dba Courtesy Liquor
Adobo Enterprises dba Qdoba Mexican Grill
AGR Inc.dba Casa Bolero
Aldi, Inc. - Texas
American Bank Ctr - Volume Services
Anton Airfood - Fresno Airport
Apple Valley Grill dba Wild Bills
AppleIllinois II, LLC
Aramark - McAfee Coliseum
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BAC Holdings dba Five Guys
Bandi Corp dba University Gas
Benihana National Corp.
Bert & Johnnies, LLC
Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill - Live Oak
Biscuits at Park, LLC
Black Warrior Corp. dba The Cypress Inn
Bloomington Grill dba Oak City
Blue Ridge Grill, LLC
Bogies, LLC dba Candlestone Inn & Golf
Boston's Gourmet Pizza - Gilbert
Boulder Pointe Golf Club & Banquet Center
Bowling on the Levee
BR-5, LLC dba Tijuana Flats
Brezinski - Chalak Fairview BB01
Brooklyn Center Grill dba Oak City
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BWR B Street, LLC
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C J Apple II, Inc.
Cajun Steamer of Franklin
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Cape Fear National
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Cuvee Wine & Bistro
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Fieldstone Golf Club of Auburn
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Fort Norfolk Retirement Community
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M & M Athletics, LLC
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Magness Oil Co.
Managing Foods dba Mo's Market
Markstein Sales Co.
Marriott Hotel Services, dba Seattle Airport
Martin's Barbecue, LLC
McCarthy's Irish Bar
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Mehfil Private Club, Inc.
Mercer Wholesale Co.
Meyer Oil dba Mach 1 Food
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Mi Familia Burleson, LP
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Michael Angelo Restaurant, Inc.
Mike's Wine Dive
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Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc.
New Buffalo Yacht Club
Newks of Tuscaloosa
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OC of Kentwood, Inc.
OC of Michigan, Inc.
Oeno LLC/ Into the Glass
Old Chicago - Midwest
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Pacific Northwest Petroleum - 76 of Beaverton
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Palace Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar
Palm Coast Moose Lodge 2577
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Parent Petroleum dba Pride Stores
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Port Enterprises, LLC
Powell Oil Company, Inc
Poydras Street Cafe, LLC dba Reginellis Pizzeria
Preferred Choice Restaurants dba Kafe Kalik
R & G, Inc. dba Arco Am/Pm
Red Eye Grill Biloxi
Red Hawk Restaurant Group
Redstone Bells Bedford, LLC dba Twin Peaks
Regrets None dba Big Daddy O's
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RI Heritage Inn of Dayton
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Round Seven Restaurant Group, Inc.
Roundy's Illinois, LLC
Salamin Handy Convenient
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Sambuca Nashville, LLC
Sanders Ridge, Inc.
Saul Good 2, LLC
SB Sizzle, Inc.
Schapps Enterprises - Washington
Schlittz & Giggles Perkins
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Silo Restaurant, Inc.
Silver Moon Winery, LLC
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Southern Exposure Herb Farm
Spare Rib Inc. dba Sonny's
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Sprouts Farmers Markets
Spruce Street Tap, LLC dba Pack's Tavern
Square One Fish Company
SSP America - Midland International Airport
Stadium Iguana LLC dba Green Iguana Bar and Grill
Stevie G's Properties LLC dba Stevie G's
Taparo, LLC dba Figo Pasta
TBONZ Restaurant Group - Flying Fish
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Temple Elks Lodge #138
The Club at Twelve Oaks
The Concession Golf Club
The Courtyard Villa
The Ritz Carlton - Atlanta
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TK Elgin, Inc. dba Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery
Torce, LLC dba Figo Pasta
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Traditions Spirits Inc. dba Treasure Valley Casino
Trigo Pizza Company, Inc.
V. Santoni & Company
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Volume Services - Pizza Hut Park
Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar Coursey, LLC
Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, LLC
Waymon Morris, LLC
Westfield by the River
Wet Willie's - Charlotte
White Chocolate Grill International
Whole Foods Market - North Atlantic
Wilby's Inc dba Wilby's Gas & Goodies
Wilderness Golf Course
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Wine World at Watercolor, LLC
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WTB Compliance & Logistics, LLC
Ybor Buddha LLC dba The Buddha Lounge
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