Don't you just hate it when you travel somewhere on business....and, when you get there, you find there's a #CraftBeer Week
That's what attendees to this week's NRA Show
in Chicago are finding. We know, we know....it's tough duty. But, hey...somebody has to do it.
Seriously, Chicago Craft Beer Week
is an effort to promote the great brewers, breweries, brewpubs, craft beer serving bars and the beer loving community in the greater Chicago area. Brought to you by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, Chicago Craft Beer Week 2013 last for eleven days - May 16-26th and will be held at venues all over the Chicago area. From beer dinners to tap takeovers, from Lincoln Park to Bridgeport, we hope to help you find out just how great Chicago Craft Beer really is. to check out the list of scheduled events and venues, go here:http://chibeerweek.com/schedule/
Holy Craft! It's in all the papers!
And, for those attending the NRA Show at McCormick Convention Center, this would also be a great time to check out the great beer glass selections from people like Libbey
, Cardinal Glass
, Oneida/Anchor Hocking, Steelite
, Luigi Bormioli from Bauscher USA
, and Duralex
. We know you realize the importance of having the right glass to give your guests the best beer experience possible. But, in case you need a little refresher course, here's a great - and short - video from CraftBeer.comA week that lasts eleven days! Love it!
Glassware leader Cardinal Glass
is up to something new with its beer glass collection.
They call it "Nucleation etching technology"....we think it should just be called "better tasting beer".
With selecting items for your restaurant tabletop, selecting the right manufacturer is often as important as selecting the right product. Design, quality, and continuity of supply are just a few of the reasons to consider the company, as well as the product. There are many exciting companies right now in the tabletop category, but TabletopJournal will be keeping an especially watchful eye on a handful in 2013.
In no particular order, some of the hospitality tabletop companies that will be on our radar screen are:
Not only in the USA, but in other markets around the world, Bauscher has aligned itself with WMF/Hepp. We think this is an excellent fit and, as of yesterday, in USA, Canada, and the Caribbean, Bauscher has added Luigi Bormioli, another great complimentary product range. Bringing these powerhouse, upscale brands to the hospitality market should make 2013 an interesting year for Bauscher and its portfolio of brands.
It’s hard to mention exciting tabletop and not mention Steelite. The recently announced acquisition of Royal Crown Derby is going to make this UK juggernaut even stronger, especially with the long-term benefits being added by the new factory to be built in Stoke. With the growing portfolio of exciting products showing no signs of letting up, Steelite will remain a company to watch in 2013.
Tuxton China has been slowing changing and evolving for several years. TabletopJournal believes that 2013 will likely be the breakout year for this "off the radar screen” company. New products, new collateral materials, new trade show booth, new personnel.....all signal that Tuxton is ready to play with the “big boys" of tabletop. 2013 should be Tuxton's year.
This UK flatware company has been quietly (ok, sometimes, not so quietly) finding its way onto some of the best restaurant tabletops around the world, not to mention the Victoria & Albert Museum. At TabletopJournal, we love the Studio William inspiration that brings things to market like their new LEAF dessert spoon and their new MEAT BLADES. Look for sensory dining flatware items from Studio William to continue to be used by discerning restaurateurs in 2013.
With more than a year since this marriage took place, expectations are high for this high-powered combination to accelerate to the front of the tabletop pack in North America and around the world. This company has the people, the products, and the supply chain to furnish growing global hotel chains of all levels. The already strong lineup of flatware, dinnerware, and glassware has recently been strengthened by the new STRATA buffet series. Look for this company to really take off in the coming months.
As a part of the world’s largest ceramic manufacturer, RAK Porcelain continues to expand its brand presence around the globe. With the switch in America to the RAK name, this brand will come to be recognized as one of the truly great tabletop brands in the world very soon. Led by designers like Mikaela Dörfel and Alain Vavro, RAK Porcelain’s designs are both elegant and practical. RAK’s “state of the art” production give this company a great edge on quality and costing….all that seems left to do is to continue to build brand awareness globally. TabletopJournal expects big things from RAK Porcelain in 2013.
Libbey has been a company that has quietly gone about its business for a number of years. Always a supplier of great glassware, its World Tableware and Syracuse brands seem to have been afterthoughts, at times. Not the case any more, as TabletopJournal has made note of vastly improved dinnerware quality and expanded flatware ranges to go with a continually improving glassware range – note the recent addition of Spiegelau as a high-end glassware addition. But the real change happening at Libbey is likely a cultural change. Led by CEO Stephanie Streeter, we’ve noticed new changes in foodservice marketing….and re-configured HQ office to allow for better communication, and just a little more spring in the step of the Libbey salesforce lately. TabletopJournal thinks that the global foodservice industry will see a “new”, re-invigorated Libbey in 2013.
Fortessa, through the years, has developed a strong reputation for quality hospitality tabletop products … and, of marching to their own beat. So, for many reasons, Fortessa has always been someone to keep your eye on as it. The launch of their BASICS line and the SPICE collection at the IHMRS Show in New York was very impressive, but TabletopJournal has the feeling that these introductions might just be the beginning of a new push from this company….we're thinking that early ’13 will produce some new and exciting buzz from this tabletop leader.
Ten Strawberry Street
Always a company that was around the edges of the American foodservice hospitality business, Ten Strawberry Street has, to this point, been a great source for rental companies, caterers, and other banquet operators. Strong in retail, it seemed like that was their focus and they were glad to have whatever foodservice/hospitality business that came their way. After seeing their presence at last May’s NRA Show, we won’t be surprised if this “stealth” tabletop source is no longer so stealth. Ten Strawberry Street is one of our top darkhouse hospitality tabletop companies for the coming year.
Elite Global Solutions
Long a supplier of creative melamine, for food service operators, EGS differentiates itself quickly with its catalog, website, and overall image. But, behind the marketing and the sexy literature is a company built upon great product quality and design, supported by legendary customer service. Companies that truly have great customer service (and not just talk about having great customer service) are not as plentiful as you might think. EGS has it and we think that 2013 might just be a banner year for them, so we are keeping a watchful eye on them.
There are a number of other tabletop companies that also merit watching. Corby Hall, Rosenthal/Sambonet, Arc Intl/Cardinal, Candle Lamp/Sterno, Churchill ….are all bringing new products to market, adjusting their way of doing business, and generally, doing some pretty cool things to help operators differentiate their restaurants.
There’s also a few of you out there who asked us not to mention your companies….you know who you are…..who are ready to make some pretty big news of your own.
So, while we’re just getting started, we think 2013 is going to be a very good year!
Just remember…..tabletop matters!
A company that continues to impress is Cardinal/Arc Int'l.
Their 2013 catalog is out and is nearly 10% larger than the previous edition.
While known throughout the world for their glassware, the dinnerware collection, featuring their Zenix
mineralized material, continues to grow and show up on more and more top restaurant tabletops. This line carries not only 5 year chip warranty, but a first-ever 10 year shape warranty, as well.
and Chef & Sommelier
flatware ranges of 18/10 stainless combine elegant and modern shapes with heavyweight gauge steel for that top-of-the-line feel and quality.
And, of course, the Cardinal/Arc
stemware range is legendary. From their sturdy everyday Arcoroc
collection to their Chef & Sommelier
series of refined stems, this company does a terrific job at all levels of glass drinkware.
To learn more about Cardinal's
collection for the American hospitality market, go here:http://www.cardinalglass.com/
To learn more about Arcoroc
product ranges for the hospitality industry worldwide, go here:http://hotel-restaurant.arcoroc.com/accueil.aspx
Arc International has been a worldwide leader in tabletop for the past 187 years.
New York Metro area trade publication Total Foodservice News
sat down with Arc International's
USA subsidiary Cardinal Glass President Bryan O’Rourke
to talk about tabletop trends and what impact buying groups have had on the industry. What brought you to foodservice?
I was always interested in food and beverage as a hobby. My background was in Wall Street, where I worked for Salomon Brothers. I moved to Washington, DC to be closer to my brother, who was starting a company down there, and I became friendly with the general manager of the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, and it turned into a job, and through that I met Richard Raphael at Cardinal Glass.
I coordinated their standardization program at Marriott in 1995, and then from there became Sales Manager for the standardization program and worked my way up the ranks at Cardinal.What is the most important quality in doing business today in Food Service?
People want to be able to trust the people they’re doing business with, and that’s what I bring into the equation. Their needs are identified through what I do best, which is to listen and execute. When I take into account what their needs are, I improve their buying experience. The fact that I’ve been on both sides of the desk gives me a big advantage. When you build trust into the equation, I believe that all parties win. There’s really no difference between what my dealers need and what my end-users need.What impact have buying groups had on this industry?
It’s a very fine line to walk. Buying groups are looking for deals, and opportunities to take advantage of. But they also have to be held accountable for the relationships with manufacturers. I believe that you have to protect the people who protect you. We treat our clients with integrity, and we trust that they will act similarly towards us.Do you think dealers will continue to be a major part of how our industry functions?
Absolutely. They have a vital role to play, managing the relationship between the end-user and the manufacturer. I think the Internet has actually helped dealers keep track of new products and really become the most educated consumers they can be.You’ve kept a lot of your manufacturing here in the United States. Why is that a priority for you?
For us, it’s a matter of values. I’m proud to be part of an organization that’s committed to US manufacturing and New Jersey manufacturing more specifically. Also, I like having the plant close to me, because I can walk onto the plant floor, and interact with everyone. It gives us all a sense of pride to produce the best glassware possible.Do you think that the choice you’ve made would be viable in other industries? Are we poised for resurgence in American manufacturing?
It’s all about desire. If you take the risk, you’ll reap the rewards.
You have to really desire to do it –It’s a commitment that we believe in supporting. We had two advantages: we already had the factory in place, and we could build on an infrastructure that was already there. But for us, that’s part of a larger global strategy to manufacture close to our customers, and in local currency. The world is increasingly interconnected: the ups and downs of the economy in France affect us here in the US.What makes great glass?
We make great glass because we have great equipment. But it’s also the knowledge of our staff at our plant in Millville, and also their commitment as well. We work hard to constantly invest in our people to ensure that they continue to produce that same high quality product day in and day out. This is where being privately owned is a huge advantage for us: it gives us the freedom to really invest in our people and our equipment, without having to constantly worry about shareholders.What are some important steps for creating a “Green” product and is there any waste that can be recycled or re-used?
The most important step is the furnaces, in which the sand is melted down. Our furnaces get up to about 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. At this step in the process, we can separate out impurities to create clean and clear glassware. Arc
has just invested $40 million to expand capacity and find new ways to reduce primary emissions from its glass furnaces. In fact, Millville, NJ now operates the cleanest and greenest glass making facility in the world. We use cullet, or waste glass in our materials mix to aid in the melting processes, and as a zero-waste plant, we donate any glass we can’t use to the state highway department for use in paving. For us, this is good smart manufacturing; this isn’t just a “Green” fad.What trends do you see emerging in tabletop design?
You always have to introduce new products. Everyone’s always looking for the newest, best thing. The trends are driven by competition between restaurants, each of which wants to put their own personal seal on tabletop design. We design our collections around the needs of our clients. Especially with our high-end Chefs, Sommeliers and Mixologists - they’re always looking for something different, something that really expresses their creativity and complements the food that’s going to be plated and the drinks that are going to be poured.Recently, we’ve seen sommelier and food manager communities grow in size and sophistication. How has that impacted the designs you take to market?
They want to have their core competencies taken care of. They want designs that are clear, crisp, and effective. With the wines in particular: we’re seeing a lot of young wines being poured these days. So we’ve designed a new line of wine glasses that helps to enhance the flavor of the wine.What does the AJC honor mean to you?
It’s an unbelievable feeling to be recognized by customers, friends, and industry colleagues. It’s really important for me to give back, because I really care about the community and the people in it.What does the future hold for you and for Cardinal?
We’re going to continue to invest in areas with potential for growth, and especially in our people. That’s what has led us to so much success, and that’s how we’re going to continue to grow and take advantage of new opportunities that arise.
To learn more about Total FoodService
, the New York Metro's leading foodservice publication, go here: http://totalfood.com/
Recently, we wrote an article that included a video from Cardinal Glass
, the American subsidiary of global glassware leader Arc International
. That article and video provided an "insider's look"
and how they manufacture and supply to glassware products to North American foodservice operators.
Well, Cardinal Glass
has released another video and this one is more specific, showing how having the the right wine glass is important in 2 ways: A)
to enhance the overall wine experience for the guest; and, B)
to help increase operator profits through a controlled pour, preventing over servingCardinal Glass
has been helping operators save money and increase profit for over 75 years. This quick 3 minute video makes it clear that by choosing the right wine glass, operators can begin adding to their bottom line immediately .....and, adding to the overall dining experience of their guests.
, the American subsidiary of Arc International
, has been supplying foodservice operators of all types with some of the finest glassware in the world made in their Millville, New Jersey production facility. This short, five minute video will take you inside and show why Cardinal
have been a leader in foodservice for decades.
Additionally, viewers will get an idea on where Cardinal
fits into Arc International's
global portfolio and see how the Arc
brand offers so much more than just simply a glass.
One great example of product positioning and marketing that we find interesting is Arcoroc
(Cardinal it would be in the USA
) and their "Ultimate Pint"
Using great graphics, and informative brochure, an interesting video, and even its own, separate website - http://www.the-ultimate-pint.com/ Arcoroc
is marketing this single item - the seemingly standard size pint beer glass - by differentiating it as totally unique and different from anything previously available. Funny....we thought all pint glasses were created equal and basically the same?
Evidently, in the U.K. there is a need for safety in the pubs from both breakage (ok, I get that part
) and from glassware being used as a weapon! (whoa
....who knew there were 87,000 violent incidents last year involving glassware???)
So, the government stepped in a couple of years ago and started an initative to make going to your local pub mare safe. As a result, Arcoroc
has their new glass they call "The Ultimate Pint".
Using SAFETY, ERGONOMICS
, and the RECYCLABILITY
of glass as it main points of differentiation, Arcoroc
does a really terrific job of postioning their pint glass as THE
glass that is safest to use. And, after all....who doesn't want to be safe?
And, just for good measure, they also have added a feature which insures that the beer will look good with a nice foam head when the server tops it off, thereby insuring less waste with "over-pourage".
The brochure is good....but Arcoroc's video is excellent and truly positions their Ultimate Pint glass as the "ultimate" beer glass to have.
And, somehow.....my guess would be is the Arcoroc
" is not the cheapest pint glass on the market there, either.
This is great example of how you can take what appears to be a generic product - a pint glass - and redefine and re-position it and differentiate it from competition. Then, Arcoroc
also does a great job getting the message out with the glass having its own website, video, etc.
So, from now on, make sure you stay safe when you have your pint - make sure your pub is using Arcoroc's Ultimate Pint.
Nicely done, Arcoroc
. Nicely done.
Your can see the entire collection of products from Arcoroc
, by going here: http://hotel-restaurant.arcoroc.com/accueil.aspx
In America, the Cardinal
website is here: http://www.cardinalglass.com/
According to The Moscow Times
, glassware producer ARC International Group
has begun a multimillion-dollar renovation and modernization of Opytny Steklony Zavod, OSZ, glassware factory in the Vladimir region. The French manufacturing group purchased a majority share in OSZ, located in Gus-Khrustalny, the traditional center of Russian glassware production, at the end of October.
After a process of modernization, the factory, 300 kilometers from Moscow, will have new glass production lines and will be able to produce not only ARC International Group's
glassware, but that of Luminarc
. The plant currently employs 1,200 people and has two sodium-calcium glass ovens. "Tens of millions of euros,"
will be invested in the modernization, the company said.
Chairman of the Board of ARC International
Guillaume de Fougieres said, "our goal is to win market share."
With its expansion into Russia, the company has also appointed a new chief executive, Francois Bonneville, for Russia and Eastern Europe. ARC International
said it already has a 32 percent market share of the glassware market in Russia and Eastern Europe. It estimates the sector's annual growth will be about 15 percent.
We've talked about manufacturers using You Tube
for product information and branding communications, but here's a case where Cardinal Glass's Jane Hempel
is explaining the virtues of Cardinal's
stemware for Chicago dealer Schweppe, Inc.
To see the entire line of Cardinal
products, go here:http://www.cardinalglass.com/