Off the menu: restaurants struggle to keep bars well stocked


The last worries that restaurateurs have to face? It’s a shortage of alcoholic beverages, especially premium wines and spirits.

Since the end of the summer, sporadic shortages have occurred in various parts of the alcoholic beverage supply chain, making it increasingly difficult for restaurants and hotels to properly stock their bars.

In Pennsylvania, where the state’s Liquor Control Board has a monopoly on the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages, selective two-bottle daily purchase limits have been put in place as a strategy to deal with shortages and shortages. out of stock.

Authorities in other monopoly states are also reporting chronic inventory issues, with high-end brands of distilled spirits being particularly scarce.

The causes of these supply chain problems are among the usual suspects – not enough truck drivers and warehouse workers, for example – but other factors, such as congestion at shipping terminals and traffic jams. COVID-related delays in customs formalities are also a problem.

Shortages of aluminum cans and glass bottles further compound supply shortages, meaning that distillers, wineries and breweries aren’t always able to pack everything they might ship.

High levels of demand are yet another factor as restaurants and bars try to replenish the drink stocks they let run out earlier in the pandemic.

To deal with shortages, restaurants are advised to avoid branding spirits whenever possible. Several premium rum brands are virtually impossible to obtain, for example, while similar but lesser-known alternatives are widely available.

Dining room staff should also be trained to suggest drinks with similar flavor profiles when a customer requests a particular brand or bottle that is currently not in stock.

Beverage industry experts predict one-time shortages are likely to continue until 2022.


Little Caesars, the family-owned pizza chain that boasts a global presence spanning 27 countries (and all 50 states here in the United States) has announced an expansion plan designed to build its store network here in New York. -England, with particular emphasis on the metro markets of Boston and Providence, RI. The chain aims to develop more than 50 new franchise units in the region by 2026.

The value proposition at Little Caesars stores is their ‘Hot-n-Ready’ pizza, a selection of pies available for immediate take out, as well as a number of other menu items, including their ‘Crazy Bread’ at garlic and parmesan. . “

A brand that has long specialized in pickup and delivery – no in-store seats are available – Little Caesars is currently recruiting a potential franchisee for its expansion program. To this end, company executives will be present at a trade show, The Franchise Show, to be held in Marlborough at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center on October 16-17.

More information about Little Caesars franchises can be found at

Here in western Massachusetts, there are Little Caesars stores on St James Avenue in Springfield and Memorial Drive in Chicopee.

Enfield’s Figaro Ristorante presents a double-titled tribute show on October 24. The evening, titled “The Lady, The Legend”, features Lady Niki and Patrick Tobin playing favorites Lady Gaga and Frank Sinatra respectively.

The entertainment, which is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm, is preceded by dinner at 5:30 pm An Italian-American buffet will be available and a food / drink purchase is required of participants. Tickets for the show cost $ 25.

Reservations can be made by calling (860) 745-2414.

Max Burger Longmeadow is collaborating with South Deerfield’s Berkshire Brewing Company (BBC) to present a Beer Dinner on Monday October 18.

Chef Gabe Vancil of Max Burger has developed a five-course menu that shows the versatility of his cuisine and pairs well with some of Berkshire Brewing’s most interesting malt drink creations.

A smoked salmon rillette starter, for example, will be paired with the BBC’s Czech-style pilsner, while coffee-crusted pork belly sliders will be served with Ireland Forever Irish Red Ale.

The main course, smoked and grilled filet mignon medallions, is designed to complement Fiery Green Gown Double IPA, an infusion infused with mango and habanero peppers.

A kitchen sink cookie ice cream sandwich will conclude the discussions on the table.

Dinner reservations, which cost $ 65 per person, excluding taxes and tips, can be made by calling (413) 798-0101.

Participating Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants are offering two Halloween cocktail creations at special prices this month.

“Dracula’s Juice” blends rum, tequila, a blend of frozen margarita and wild berry flavored syrup to produce a frozen “creepy” drink.

The ‘Tipsy Zombie’ is all about rum, passion fruit, pineapple, cherry and lime, topped with a hint of melon liqueur and topped with a ‘gummy brain’.

Both drinks will be available until Halloween Night.

On Saturday evening October 23, Teresa’s Restaurant in Ware will host “The Eagles Experience”, a tribute dinner and performance featuring the music of the iconic rock band of the 1970s.

The evening begins with a cocktail at 5 p.m. Dinner, a six-course family meal of Teresa’s favorites, will follow at 6 p.m., with the show itself starting at 8 p.m.

Tickets, which cost $ 50 per person, can be ordered by calling (413) 967-7601.

The Western Mass Pioneers soccer team will sponsor the first annual Lusitano-Fest at the Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow.

The Fest is a rain or shine event taking place in the stadium pavilion from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 16. Food, live music and a selection of fall beers will be in the spotlight, along with a raffle and a 50/50 drawing will be part of the fun.

There is no admission fee to attend Lusitano-Fest.

Denny’s restaurants offer a range of fall-themed items for guest enjoyment.

These include a breakfast platter of pumpkin and pecan pancakes as well as a trio of “Benny’s breakfasts” that are built around the interpretation of the Egg Benedictine chain.

The ‘Classic’ option includes ham, over-medium eggs and hollandaise sauce, while the ‘Prime Rib Benny Breakfast’ features bacon and cheddar potato cakes topped with prime rib, medium eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Those looking for a little spice can opt for the “Southwestern Benny Breakfast” which uses chorizo, pico de gallo and a touch of hot sauce to provide a bit of “Ole!”

Sweet treats available this fall include a ‘Pecan Panookie (chocolate chip cookie, vanilla ice cream and pecan filling) and’ Double Chocolate Pancake Puppies’.

There are Denny branches in Holyoke, Springfield and Enfield.

Enrico Giovanello, Executive Chef of Table 3 Restaurant Group in Sturbridge, will collaborate with the kitchen at Cedar Street Grille to present a global tapas dinner on Tuesday, October 26 starting at 6:30 p.m.

The theme of the dinner is Southeast Asian cuisine, with small plate specialties from Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Giovanello will offer taste experiences built around aromatic flavors such as lime, basil, tamarind and lemongrass.

Dinner is priced at $ 65 without taxes or tips; however, a special regional cocktail, beer or wine is part of the package. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Reservations can be made by calling (508) 347-5800.

The departure gate at Greathorse in Hampden features a five-course ‘Harvest Moon’ dinner on Wednesday October 20. The evening starts at 6:00 p.m. tickets cost $ 125 per person.

For more information or reservations, call (413) 566-5158.

On Saturday, October 16, Black Birch Vineyard in North Hatfield will be celebrating its fourth annual Crush Festival from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The entertainment program includes live music, face painting, tractor cart rides and grape stomping. Dining options available range from wood-fired pizza and cider donuts to an oyster bar where festival attendees can sample their pre-booked oysters.

Entrance tickets for the Festival are available on, where they cost $ 10 plus a ticket broker’s fee. Each entry ticket entitles the bearer to a free black birch tasting glass at the festival.

For more details, contact Black Birch Vineyard at (413) 247-3300

Hugh Robert is a faculty member in the Hospitality and Culinary Arts program at Holyoke Community College and has nearly 45 years of restaurant and educational experience. Robert can be reached online at [email protected].


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