The Daily Rail: Have Cicerone Programs Changed Our Bar Culture?

DESIGN: What's Hot in Restaurant Design in 2018

A restaurant’s design should tell a story and give personality to your business. From the speakeasies of the ‘20s to the elegant dining trends of the ‘70s, we can learn a lot about America’s culture via restaurant design. Here are the top design trends in restaurant design in 2018, everything from trendy restaurant lighting, eco-friendly restaurant design, visible kitchen restaurants, and photo-friendly decor.


U.S. Young Adults' Favorite Sporting Events

The Super Bowl is followed by more than 100 million U.S. citizens and even the NBA Finals, as well as the World Series each attract an eight-digit number of viewers annually. But despite the fact that soccer is not a big deal in the U.S, it is surprisingly popular amongst young adults in the States. Even though their national team failed to qualify, some 38% of all U.S. respondents in the age of 18 to 29 stated that they are likely to follow the FIFA World Cup anyway. This hovers around their interest of the World Series and Super Bowl.

Infographic: U.S. Young Adults' Favorite Sporting Events | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

CDC Suicide Data

In 2016, 45,000 people took their own lives, an increase on 2015's 44,193. Suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of US states since 1999 with North Dakota (57.6%), Vermont (48.6%) and New Hampshire (48.3%) recording the highest percentage increases up to 2016. 

Infographic: Suicide Rates Have Risen Sharply Across The U.S.  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Slacking Through the World Cup?

64 matches crammed into roughly four weeks offer plenty of room for distraction, especially when several of these matches kick off during regular working hours. And while casual fans may be content with watching the odd game here and there, hardcore World Cup enthusiasts have the ambition to watch any match, regardless if the teams are Brazil and Germany or Tunisia and Panama. How large the potential effect of the FIFA World Cup on productivity at the workplace is, depends largely on the time zone. Here’s where the World Cup threatens productivity levels.

Infographic: Where the World Cup Threatens Productivity the Most | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Don’t forget to visit our 2018 International Soccer Central guide to download the Group Play’s TV schedule and build some awesome traffic-driving soccer promotions.


Why it matters to you: Discussing the Cicerone program and elevating beer culture and whether or not we should.

Almost all of us (if not all) have been to a dinner party in their lives, yeah? We can’t recall really anyone who brings a drink outside of the failsafe options -- a semi-cheap bottle of red or maybewhite wine -- if they don’t just skip the risky choice completely and buy something non-beverage related. Nobody ever brings beer due to the implication of beer being the beverage of choice for partying, frat-boy drinking contests, and BBQ type scenarios. Wine has always implied classy while beer has “common person” connotations. That is until recently when the Cicerone Certification Program came along. The Cicerone program mirrors the wine industry’s sommelier certification program and aims to impart the values and knowledge we all know from the wine industry into the beer world.

Now, any progression of a type of alcoholic beverage and the knowledge we can impart will only benefit our industry in the long run. That said, beer is a utilitarian beverage and isn’t something you should have to think about and analyze if you don’t want to.

With that said, is having cicerone programs making beer-food pairings relevant? Seems like it. Some restaurants, like Bear Republic, see beer as a compliment to wine-pairings, not competition. And with more unique, bizarre and intriguing craft brews popping up over the years, there definitely seems to be a growing market for “What sort of beer would taste good with today’s special?”

Like anything, how useful a cicerone program is to your restaurant greatly depends on your brand, atmosphere and business goals. A dive bar probably won’t get as much use from it as a more upscale bar & grill with a craft brew menu the thickness of War & Peace.



Why it matters to you: Flats vs drums: which reigns supreme?

What pairs better with beer than chicken wings? Nothing really. Chicken wings are one of the most popular menu items in the US. You’ll be hard bent to find someone who doesn’t like a good chicken wing, but what separates us is our wing preference -- flat or drum

Let’s kick things off with drums. Drums are the classic first foray into the wing world and many peoples favorite. The Pros: they have more meat on them, guests can eat them with one hand, and they dip easier into that cup of bleu cheese or ranch. Some “Cons” (depending on guests’ POV)drums are fattier, tend to have way more cartilage. Drums are a serious contender always and never a bad choice.

Next, let’s get into it with flatsThe Pros: the two boned option has less cartilage, a larger surface area of skin to get nice and crispy, and are ultimately easier to eat if guests know how. Flats are usually the crispier option that guests can get the most quality meat out of with just a twist and removal of a bone and a single bite. 

We tend to think like this: kids love drums, the uninitiated to wings love drums, but real connoisseurs always graduate to the flat. If a guest’s argument is that they want more meat on the thing, they should order a breast or another entire piece of chicken. Wings are about ratios and when ratios are at play the flat wins every time. 

The verdict? Everyone wins. We have our preferences, you’ll have yours, but fried chicken wings even existing is a win(g) for humanity as a whole. Now we all need to prepare our establishments for one of the best days of the year