A NEW "TWIST"
IN CASUAL DINING"
Uno Chicago Grill Brings Beverages to the Forefront
BOSTON (June 8, 2004) - According
to Business Week Online the casual dining industry is seeing
a bolster in growth and profitability due to an improving
economy and a long-term trend toward dining out driven by
disposable-income growth. As restaurants begin to rebound,
drama drinks such as the Strawberry Mojito and the Iguana
Margarita, part of Uno Chicago Grill's revamped drink menu,
have moved the casual dining experience into a new realm.
"People have grown beyond fast food and are looking
to full-service restaurants like Uno Chicago Grill as mini-escapes."
Chris Gatto, VP of Food and Beverage for Uno Chicago Grill.
"They expect offerings beyond the basic burger and
fries, and a widened alcoholic beverage selection. We have
expanded our drink menu to answer this demand and help increase
our customer base throughout the country."
According to Nightclub.com an online nightclub and bar
magazine, sales of flavored vodkas grew almost 20 percent
last year, which the column attributed to the growing popularity
of pop-culture television shows, nearly doubling the growth
rate of all other categories of distilled spirits. Uno Chicago
Grill is responding to this boom in cocktail consumption
by providing an exciting and innovative drink menu that
emulates and enhances this growing trend in responsible
alcohol consumption, "We have strengthened our concentration
on our liquid refreshments by focusing on a more adventurous
customer in. Already, we have seen an increase in our premium
flavored Vodkas sales and resurgence in nontraditional martinis,
like the Hot Tub Martini and Ultimate White Russian. When
drinks like the Appletini go mainstream, thanks to Sex in
the City, we're on top of it with our own version,"
To demystify the wine selection process, Uno Chicago Grill
has developed a user-friendly wine list, placing wines in
a progression from light and fruity to full-bodied and dry.
The menu corresponds to the wine list so diners can readily
pair wine with food. "This progressive approach makes
it easier for servers and bartenders to make recommendations,"
Gatto added. Uno offers three whites, four reds and one
blush, and constantly tweaks its selections based on customer
Noting the rising interest in light and low carb beers,
Uno is on top of that as well. According to Gatto, Michelob
Ultra is a leader in this segment. In order to ensure consistent
quality and freshness, the restaurant chain has pared their
beer menu down to 25, based on popularity. Domestic beers
are still the most popular, but imports are not far behind.
One of the few casual dining restaurants with a proprietary
brew, Uno Amber Ale, brewed by Sam Adams is featured. Each
restaurant also offers select drafts from their local market.
In addition, Uno Chicago Grill has their own brew pub in
Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings
Corp. currently has a system of over 200 company-owned and
franchise full service units. Uno Chicago Grill restaurants
are located in 34 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. The company
also operates a consumer foods division, which supplies
airlines, movie theaters, hotel restaurants and supermarkets
with both frozen and refrigerated private label foods and
branded Uno products. In 2003, Uno Chicago Grill was named
by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #1 franchise opportunity
in their category. The company also was selected by Franchise
Times as one of the top 20 companies to watch in 2003. For
more information, visit www.unos.com.
to Press Archives 2004