Cheers awards go to top chains

Fourteen awards were handed out as part of the 2008 Cheers Awards for Beverage Excellence, sponsored by the industry magazine Cheers, at its recent annual beverage conference in Miami.

Twelve program awards and two individual awards were presented by editor Donna Hood Crecca. They were:

Best Chain Beverage Menu: Outback Steakhouse
Best Chain Beverage Merchandising: Hard Rock Café
Best Chain Drink Program: Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Best Chain Signature Drink: Walt Disney World Resort
Best Chain Adult Non-Alcohol Drink Program: ESPN Zone
Best Chain Spirits Program: Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern
Best Chain Beer Program: Buffalo Wild Wings
Best Chain Wine Program: Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Best Chain Hotel Beverage Program: Hilton Hotels
Best Chain Multi-Concept Beverage Program: Back Bay Restaurant Group
Best Chain Overall Program: Walt Disney World Resort
Best Chain Responsible Alcohol Service Training Program: Applebee’s International
Raising the Bar: Patrick Henry, Patrick Henry Creative Promotions
Industry Innovator of the Year: Ann Rogers Tuennerman, Tales of the Cocktail

They were selected from a field of 110 entries from 47 restaurant chains. The competition was open to all chain restaurants, defined as an operation with five or more locations in two or more markets. The chain must be in existence for at least three years. Awards criteria include the program’s creativity, originality and impact on the sales and profitability of a full-service restaurant operation. Other factors considered are the level of marketing support, staff training and overall operator commitment to the initiative that lead to its success.

The entries were evaluated by a judging panel that included previous Cheers Awards for Beverage Excellence winners and other leading operators.

To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
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To Dowd's Brews Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Non-Alcohol Drinks Notebook latest entry.
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