Winning isn’t everything, but it sure feels good. Just ask Kip Snider. As Cheers contributing editor Jim Scarpa was putting the finishing touches on our profile of Yard House in the January issue of Cheers, the judging of the 2007 Cheers Awards for Beverage Excellence showed the Irvine, Calif.-based chain to be the winner in the Best Chain Overall Beverage Program. As corporate beverage director, Snider received this well-deserved award at the Cheers Beverage Conference in New Orleans on January 29. His year is off to a great start!
Snider is among 11 operator recipients and two industry professionals who received Cheers Awards for Beverage Excellence. We received a record number of entries this year from a range of multi-unit operators, and our judging panel—comprised of several previous winners and Cheers Editorial Advisory Board members, along with members of the Cheers Beverage Conference team, including myself—were challenged to identify the best of the best.
What put these companies’ programs over the top? For the most part, programs long on creativity, operational excellence, ease of execution and positive results edged out the competition.
While these are the official winners, the beverage business is full of individuals and programs worthy of recognition. While in Chicago recently, I had the pleasure of dining at Shaw’s Crab House, where wine and spirits director Steve Tindle personally selected wines to accompany the meal. From the Sigalas Asstrtiko 2005 from Santorini, Greece that accompanied the buttery bay scallops to the Australian Huber Eiswein 2003 that ended the extraordinary experience, Steve’s passion for leading us on a wine exploration makes him a winner in my book.
Who are the winners on your team? Look for them, call them out. Is yours a winning operation? If not, why not? If so, how can you make that known? (Here’s a hint: entering the 2008 Cheers Awards for Beverage Excellence or, for independents, the Cheers Benchmark Awards are good opportunities…)
Winning can do more than make you feel good. Winning draws attention from management, media and guests, pumping up employee morale and pride. Bottom line, it’s good for your business.
Here’s to a winning 2007! Cheers!