Extra Serving

This podcast will share ideas from restaurant innovators on leadership, food trends, technology and ... more

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Latest Episodes

May 24, 2022 00:23:11
NRN editors discuss single-seat cars, lessons learned during the pandemic, industry resiliency during Day 3 of the National Restaurant Association Show

NRN editors discuss single-seat cars, lessons learned during the pandemic, industry resiliency during Day 3 of the National Restaurant Association Show

Today on Extra Serving, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Lisa Jennings spoke about lessons restaurants learned during the pandemic.  Zinsmeister and Oches spent the show talking directly to operators (some videos available here and here) so they shared some of the lessons that they’ve been hearing operators have learned over the past two years — and which they’ll take with them into the new future. The team also discussed the resiliency of the industry throughout this time, whether by creative solutions to the labor crisis, like today’s podcast guest, or by innovations in technology or a host of other things. Jennings spoke about the emergence of single-seat cars — which were on display at the show in Lakeside — and the innovation of the car for delivery. The cars can park in motorcycle spots and go up to 80 miles per hour, yet the driver doesn’t need a motorcycle license to operate it. Then, hear a conversation between Zinsmeister and FB Society CEO Jack Gibbons, who talks about leaning into his company’s “unicorns” — the things that differentiate the experiential brands — at a time when most companies were running in the other direction. ...

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May 22, 2022 00:53:41
NRN editors discuss TikTok stars, tattoos and more from Day 2 of the National Restaurant Association Show

NRN editors discuss TikTok stars, tattoos and more from Day 2 of the National Restaurant Association Show

In this episode of Extra Serving, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News, all of NRN’s on-site editors gathered to share what they saw and learned. Holly Petre, Sam Oches, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister, Lisa Jennings, Bret Thorn and Joanna Fantozzi recap executive interviews, including with Del Taco chief marketing officer Tim Hackbardt and FB Society CEO Jack Gibbons, who Zinsmeister interviewed about value and labor, respectively.  Jennings shared about an ice-cream throwing demonstration she saw from Dylan Lemay, and Oches filled the team in on his own interviews from the weekend. Thorn talked about last night’s MenuMasters celebration, and Petre gave the lowdown on her new tattoo courtesy of Lunchbox. For today’s episode, Fantozzi talked to Andrew Zimmern about TiNDLE, a plant-based company for which he is culinary advisor. ...

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May 21, 2022 00:23:36
NRN editors discuss the food, technology and sustainability trends from Day 1 of the restaurant show

NRN editors discuss the food, technology and sustainability trends from Day 1 of the restaurant show

Today on a special episode of Extra Serving, a production from Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister, Lisa Jennings, Bret Thorn and Joanna Fantozzi catch up after the first day of the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. The first restaurant show in three years kicked off Saturday, with thousands of operators and exhibitors descending upon McCormick Place. On the first day, NRN editors roamed the floor to get first impressions on the latest industry trends. Thorn filled listeners in on the latest food and beverage trends, like dragon fruit, which he found in multiple drinks. Petre was impressed by the range of plant-based products, which we previewed ahead of the show. Fantozzi and Jennings caught everyone up on the latest in technology and sustainability, while Zinsmeister recapped her conversations with operators.  In this episode, hear the first of those interviews from the NRA Show floor, as Zinsmeister and Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith talk all things innovation, labor, supply chain and inflation. Come back tomorrow for more from the floor of the restaurant show. ...

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May 20, 2022 00:47:43
NRN editors discuss Chicago food, labor challenges, changing dayparts and the NRA show

NRN editors discuss Chicago food, labor challenges, changing dayparts and the NRA show

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Sam Oches spoke about Chicago restaurants and the city at large. The team arrived in Chicago for the National Restaurant Association Show – which hasn’t been held for three years – and spent the past two days touring unique and emerging Chicago restaurant chains for an upcoming city tour video. Check out the Austin and New York videos here. Throughout the course of the conversations with restaurant leaders, several themes emerged, including labor challenges and the way dayparts are changing. Operators spoke about how Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are now the busiest days at downtown locations frequented by office workers, while suburban locations are much busier at dinnertime than other times of day, with larger family-focused orders. Then, Zach Flanzman, president and chief operating officer for Brown Bag Seafood, joined the pod to discuss workforce, labor, culture, food and Chicago. ...

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May 13, 2022 00:58:59
NRN editors discuss CKE’s rebrand, restaurant chain earnings, Raising Cane’s culture

NRN editors discuss CKE’s rebrand, restaurant chain earnings, Raising Cane’s culture

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a product of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Bret Thorn spoke about the upcoming CKE rebranding efforts, which will cost half a billion dollars.  CKE Restaurants — parent to the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s quick-service chains — earlier this week announced a $500 million rebranding that will focus on the exterior of its restaurants, because most customers are interacting with the brand via the exterior and not the interior. Stay tuned to the Extra Serving feed in the next few weeks to hear an exclusive interview with Owen Klein, the vice president of global culinary innovation for CKE.  Also, the team discussed the week in restaurant earnings. There were fewer earnings reports than last week, but it was still jam-packed with financials from fast-casual companies like Shake Shack and Sweetgreen and full-service brands like First Watch and Texas Roadhouse. First Watch, as Zinsmeister pointed out on the podcast, was one of the only chains in 2021 not to increase menu prices. It did increased menu prices early in 2022, which is paying off as same-store sales soared in Q1. Zinsmeister also gives a recap of her recent trip to Baton Rouge, La., where she spent 24 hours fully immersed in quick-service Raising Cane’s unique culture. Lastly, this week’s interview is Felton Jones, the head roaster of PJ's Coffee. Thorn and Jones spoke about the intricacies of coffee and the chain’s newest flavor, Wedding Cake. ...

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May 06, 2022 00:41:49
NRN editors discuss Kelli Valade’s new job, Starbucks’ unions, and the week in restaurant earnings

NRN editors discuss Kelli Valade’s new job, Starbucks’ unions, and the week in restaurant earnings

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Joanna Fantozzi talked about Kelli Valade’s transition from Red Lobster CEO to chief executive of Denny’s.   The team discusses Valade’s abrupt exit from Red Lobster and what it means for a woman to be in charge at a large chain as well as what her tenure could hold.   Zinsmeister gives the team an update on the earnings calls from this week, including the dip in sales at pizza chains like Pizza Hut and Domino’s, the falling price of wings at places like Wingstop, the cost of inflation across all chains and other tidbits.   Fantozzi also updates the team on Starbucks’ union situation. Interim CEO Howard Schultz has made his anti-union stance very clear and, in a recent earnings call, made it known that none of the new benefits Starbucks will be offering like student loan repayment will be available to unionized stores.   “If you thought three or four months ago that relations between unions and Starbucks itself were tense, the differences of opinion have only gotten starker since Schultz has come back,” said Fantozzi.   There are more than 50 stores that are unionized at this point and there are 237 that have applied for unionization at this point. About 85% of the stores that vote agree to unionize.   Plus, hear from Beef-a-Roo franchisee and Next Brands president Austin Capoferi on what it’s like to franchise a 50-year-old brand. ...

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