39 episodes

This podcast will share ideas from restaurant innovators on leadership, food trends, technology and how to thrive in this tough industry that we can’t get enough of.

Extra Serving Nation's Restaurant News

    • Society & Culture

This podcast will share ideas from restaurant innovators on leadership, food trends, technology and how to thrive in this tough industry that we can’t get enough of.

    Sandra Noonan of Just Salad on why recycling and composting just isn't enough

    Sandra Noonan of Just Salad on why recycling and composting just isn't enough

    Fast-casual chain Just Salad started with a reusable bowl program when it opened in 2006. It's now expanded to a host of sustainability initiatives, and this year the company released a sustainability report resembling those produced by national brands.

    New York-based Just Salad only has about 40 units. But the growing chain has an outsized positive impact—about a quarter of Just Salad customers use the company's reusable bowls.

    Sandra Noonan, chief sustainability officer at Just Salad, is realistic about the motivation for consumers. It's good for the environment, and it's a good deal for customers.

    A key part of the program is the incentive—"you get a free topping with every use," Noonan said on NRN's Extra Serving Podcast. "I think that the critical piece to this program is combining loyalty with waste reduction."

    Beyond an extra topping, there's also the "emotional boost" one gets from using reusables, said Noonan. It's the opposite of the feeling one gets when discarding single-use products.

    "There's a negative emotional tax associated with eating and then throwing away. The joy of eating is undermined by the bad feeling you get from throwing away a piece of plastic," said Noonan.

    "Eating and then throwing away should be decoupled, in my opinion," she said.

    Hear more from Noonan on why Just Salad goes beyond recycling and composting and how the brand gets employees and customers excited about sustainability.

    • 18 min
    Patrick Main of Peet’s Coffee on how to make drinks that customers will love

    Patrick Main of Peet’s Coffee on how to make drinks that customers will love

    Patrick Main has been working with Peet’s Coffee for more than 30 years, and he has spent most of that time inventing coffee drinks.
    Now he is the senior beverage innovator for the chain based in Emeryville, Calif., which operates around 250 coffeehouses in the United States.
    It would easier for him to say what hasn’t changed about the American coffee scene than what has: When he started, the brew was already ubiquitous, but it was a commodity that came out of a can, not a specialty item with distinctive terroirs and back stories.
    In this edition of the Extra Serving podcast, Main discusses how our perception of coffee has evolved, and also his own research & development process. He reminisces about the first frozen beverage that he created in the 1990s, and shares details about the development of the fior di Sicilia orange flavor that is at the heart of his holiday coffee offerings for the past couple of years.
    He also explains the importance of remembering the operational realities of his business:
    Ensuring that the thousands of baristas who work for the company can maintain consistency.
    “I don’t want to reinvent what the barista does every time I change a flavor,” he said.

    • 31 min
    Stephan Pyles on pulling back from restaurant operations after 36 years and pursuing his passions

    Stephan Pyles on pulling back from restaurant operations after 36 years and pursuing his passions

    At the start of the year, chef Stephan Pyles closed his fine-dining Flora Street Café and boutique prix-fixe Fauna in Dallas and retired from nearly 40 years of restaurant ownership and operations.

    “I am proud to have hosted countless first dates, engagements, birthdays and anniversaries in 24 restaurants over those years,” Pyles said in a Facebook farewell post. “The letters and emails I have received from so many of those folks, thanking me for such special memories, has been emotional and heart-warming.”

    Starting with Routh Street Café in Dallas in 1983, Pyles went on to open such restaurants as Baby Routh, Star Canyon, AquaKnox, Samar, Stampede 66 and Stephan Pyles and work with national multi-unit restaurant companies.

    Pyles said he would now focus on hospitality consulting, license agreements and leaving culinary tour groups.

    In this Extra Serving podcast, Pyles outlines what led to his decision to retire from restaurant operations and how he plans to pursue his passions.

    • 24 min
    Could sales from Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Chipotlanes rival QSR drive-thrus?

    Could sales from Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Chipotlanes rival QSR drive-thrus?

    Chief Development Officer Tabassum Zalotrawala talks with Nancy Luna about the brand’s next generation store, which is designed to meet the fast-casual chain’s growing billion-dollar digital business.

    • 17 min
    Noah Glass on smartphones, partnerships and ending "tablet hell"

    Noah Glass on smartphones, partnerships and ending "tablet hell"

    This year, in recognition of his influence on the industry, Nation's Restaurant News named Glass to the number one spot on our Power List.

    The 2020 Power List focused on food tech and innovation, and Glass was an obvious choice. Since its inception, Olo has transformed and continues to shape restaurants and foodservice.

    • 30 min
    Jay Miller reveals his approach to product development as head sandwich creator of Firehouse Subs

    Jay Miller reveals his approach to product development as head sandwich creator of Firehouse Subs

    Firehouse subs, the sandwich chain of more than 1,100 units founded by former firefighters Chris and Robin Sorenson, has a unique approach to preparing its menu items. All of the meats and cheeses are steamed before being topped, dressed and served on sub rolls. The result is warm, succulent sandwiches that have created a far-flung fan base across the country.
    Heading up menu development for the chain, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is Jay Miller, an industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience at concepts including Max & Erma’s Restaurants, Fuddruckers, IHOP, Black Angus Steakhouses and Perkins. He has been Firehouse Subs’ director of product development since May of 2017.
    He recently discussed his development process with Extra Serving, including his take on a Reuben, for which he replaces sauerkraut with a more accessible coleslaw, and also hinted at what we can expect in 2020.

    • 19 min

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To