Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern announced that the company was awarded two VIBE Vista Awards in the Multi-Unit Chain segment in two categories, Best Spirits and Best Overall.
The VIBE Vista Awards recognizes the top performers in the beverage industry through the creation, training, execution, management and ongoing positive results of beverage programs. Rusty Bucket received the awards at the VIBE Conference, a premier event for chain and hotel adult beverage executives and suppliers, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.
“Our entire team and I are incredibly honored to receive these prestigious industry awards,” says Gary Callicoat, president, Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern. “We strive to be the neighborhood destination where our bartenders know a guests’ order as soon as they take a seat. We have worked diligently to build a strong beverage program featuring only the finest and freshest ingredients while offering guests the perfect pour and great crafts every time they visit.”
Rusty Bucket is committed to providing guests hand-crafted cocktails, a large selection of craft beer and more. At the conference, it was noted that Rusty Bucket’s food and beverage program offers guests a variety of beverages at an approachable value, which is one reason Rusty Bucket was selected as the winner of the Best Spirits and Best Overall awards. The following examples highlight Rusty Bucket’s achievements across the company’s beverage program:
Rusty Bucket serves handcrafted cocktails made with only the finest and freshest ingredients and is why their certified bartenders always use fresh juices and serves house, well, call and top shelf brands. Rusty Bucket also makes their own infusions in-house and has its own bourbon blend, called Gary’s Blend, through a partnership with the Woodford Reserve.
Rusty Bucket’s top-notch beer program offers guests refreshing go-to favorites, new choices and world-class selections from an extensive selection of draft and bottled brews.
Rusty Bucket’s own brew, Rusty Bucket Pilsner, which was made in partnership with Columbus-based Four String Brewing Company, also enhances the overall beverage program and makes the restaurant group truly unique compared to other restaurants.
Rusty Bucket has strong beverage partner relationships with national brands such as Rogue Distillery, Magic Hat, Goose Island, Sam Adams, Four String Brewing Company and Woodford Reserve.
The restaurant markets the beverage program in a variety of innovative ways, including Rusty Bucket’s nightly drink features, happy hour, Buckets of Beer, an e-blast email series, as well as unique advertising and public relations strategies.
Furthermore, for guests to have the best experience at Rusty Bucket, the company is committed to educating their bartenders so they are confident and knowledgeable about the beverage program and products. Since October 2009, more than 300 associates and managers have enrolled and are certified through BarSmarts, which is designed to take basic bar skills to an advanced level, making Rusty Bucket one of the top four companies in the U.S. to make this significant investment in associates.
The VIBE Vista Awards are given to companies that create positive initiatives that spark beverage sales, innovations that contribute to operational efficiencies, and training and service programs that lead to the highest quality standards and operational practices. Awards are separated into two groups, multi-unit chain restaurants or hotels, cruise lines and casinos.
“The highlight of the annual VIBE Conference is honoring the chain restaurants, hotels, cruise lines and casinos for their outstanding corporate beverage programs,” says Lawrence J. “Laddie” Weiss, founder of Weiss Foodservice Visions, advisory council member and event director for VIBE. “To earn a VIBE Vista Award is a great achievement for companies committed to innovative, safe and profitable beverage practices.”
There are more than 20 Rusty Bucket locations across six states. During the next five years, the company plans to harness the power of the brand and expand to over 40 locations becoming a super-regional brand, with projected annual sales exceeding $100 million.