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.
Shaquille O’Neal and Josh Halpern of Big Chicken join Ron Ruggless to discuss franchising the new brand
This week, the biggest news in the country was the recall election in California. It was the first real test of how the country felt about vaccine mandates, and it proved that around 65% of voting Californians believe in both vaccination mandates and COVID safety measures by keeping Gov. Gavin Newsom in power. What does this mean for restaurants? The NRN team discusses what could possibly be ahead for California restaurants.
Also, the team discusses the recent uptick in subscription programs such as the new coffee subscription service from Pret a Manger and the new subscription service Taco Bell is testing. These programs announced this week follow in the steps of Panera Bread’s subscription service, which launched in February 2020. The team reveals what they think about subscriptions and what they mean for the industry.
For this week’s interview, Ron Ruggless interviewed Shaquille O’Neal, famed basketball star and franchisee of a new restaurant brand, Big Chicken. They, along with Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern, spoke about the brand’s trajectory and maintaining Shaq’s legacy.
Jack in the Box CEO Darin Harris on buying back units and the future of the company
This week on Extra Serving, a podcast from Nation’s Restaurant News and the Last Bite Network, the team covered this week’s most urgent news: vaccine mandates. Digital editor Holly Petre, senior editor Lisa Jennings and editor-in-chief Sam Oches talked about the impact of vaccine mandates on restaurants. Immediately following the conversation, President Joe Biden announced that the Department of Labor will require all workplaces with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or negative weekly tests.
Also, the NRN team discussed Hurricane Ida’s impact on restaurants, including what the rising tide of climate change could mean for the industry and how it can help prevent storms from getting worse. Petre, Jennings and Oches also discuss the string of wildfires in the Northwest last year and how that impacted chains like Dutch Bros.
Finally, Petre, Jennings and Oches reviewed the latest IPOs from morning daypart companies First Watch and Dutch Bros. The latter filed for an IPO in June but announced this week it is seeking a $3.3 billion valuation; the former company filed paperwork this week, but the number of shares and price range have not yet been determined.
For this week’s interview, Jennings spoke with the CEO of Jack in the Box, Darin Harris, about the future of the quick-service company. A little over a year into his tenure with the brand, Harris talked about how he is expanding the company’s reach into new markets.
Check out the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches here and register for CREATE here.
How Pokeworks is planning its large-scale expansion
This week on Extra Serving, a podcast by Nation’s Restaurant News and the Last Bite Network, thet team at NRN discussed the biggest news of the week including a possible union at Starbucks. Senior editor Joanna Fantozzi covered the issue and talked about what a union at Starbucks could mean – the only current union at the brand – and digital editor Holly Petre and editor-in-chief Sam Oches discussed what unions could mean for the industry at large, as there are very few.
Also, the team talks about the acquisition of Twin Peaks by Fat Brands and what it means for the company's portfolio of brands.
In other news, the team also discusses both the FTC’s investigation of the McFlurry maachines at McDonald’s and fat-phobic comments Sweetgreen CEO’s made on LinkedIn. First, the FTC announced it would be inquiring into McDonald's constantly broken ice cream machines, a Twitter punchline and meme – but the issue is much more complicated than that. Hear the team unravel the parts and offer their opinions. Then, the team covers recent commetns from Jonathon Neman, the CEO of Sweetgreen, who wrote a LinkedIn post about the pandemic, directing his anger about the pademic towards those who are overweight and arguing that masks and vaccines aren’t the answer — salads are.
Finally, the episode wraps up with an interview with Steve Heeley, CEO of Pokeworks, about how he’s going to grow the brand after years as its chief marketing officer.
Be sure to register for CREATE at informaconnect.com/create to hear from a list of great speakers.
How one emerging burger chain is upping its design game – and making franchisees more money
Join us as we speak with Patrick Conlin of Wayback Burgers on this week's episode of the pod where you'll learn everything about this emerging chain's growth plans and how its implementing new units.
Plus, Sam Oches, Holly Petre and Joanna Fantozzi discuss the acquisition of Spyce by fast-casual chain Sweetgreen and what it means for the future of robotic foodservice, executive changes across some of the largest chains and Taco Bell's latest menu addition.
Be sure to check out the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches where Sam speaks with the CEO of Duck Donuts Betsy Hamm about the chain's future with her at the helm.
And also from the Last Bite Network, catch up on all In the Kitchen with Bret Thorn episodes you may have missed including last week's guests from Mici Handcrafted Italian.
From space food to garlic from Gilroy, hear from a pizza pioneer on his career thus far
Have you ever wondered how space food is made? Well wonder no more as Blaze’s co-founder Brad Kent joins this week’s podcast to explain how food in space is made including gamma radiation.
But Kent also discusses the trailblazing pizza chain with senior food and beverage editor Bret Thorn including the chain’s one day only LTO using the hard seltzer White Claw. Kent uncovers the science behind why replacing the water in the pizza dough with the hard seltzer worked and made the dough flakier – and why it won’t be a permanent menu addition.
Before getting into all of that, Holly Petre, Sam Oches and Thorn discuss some restaurant news from the past week including Wendy’s and Inspire Brands’ latest foray into nontraditional spaces and what it means for the future of the ghost kitchen space. Will the bubble pop? Find out what the experts think here.
Be sure to also check out Oches’ new podcast from the Last Bite Network, Take-Away with Sam Oches. On this podcast, which launched this Wednesday, Oches interviews chain CEOs and founders sharing their stories and ideas for the future but also real, tangible insights for how to innovate in our foodservice future. Subscribe here or wherever you get your podcasts.
How this NYC brand is planning to expand nationwide
Mighty Quinn's BBQ is a small NYC-based brand but it's working on an expansion strategy. Hear from the co-CEOs Micha Magid and Christos Gourmos on their franchising initiatives and how they are planning on spreading Mighty Quinn's BBQ across the country.
Also hear Nation's Restaurant News editors Joanna Fantozzi, Sam Oches and Holly Petre discuss the recent revelations of brands like McDonald's and Chipotle regarding vaccines for employees. The NRN staff also discuss diversity in the industry and what it means to truly participate in diversity versus making diversity moves for show. For more on this analysis, check out the recent feature on NRN: https://www.nrn.com/quick-service/how-restaurants-can-take-diversity-and-inclusion-initiatives-talk-action.