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

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May 21, 2021 00:18:21
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A&W's CEO looks forward to the next 100 years

“We're benefiting from the heritage of the brand,” CEO Kevin Bazner said. “During times of crisis people gravitate to brands that they know and they love well. We're one of those brands for 102 years now and so we've got that and that continues. And we've exposed a lot of new customers and a lot of lapsed users to our brand over the last 13 or 14 months that are continuing to come back.” ...

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May 21, 2021 00:18:21
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A&W's CEO looks forward to the next 100 years

As consumers emerge into the vaccine era, A&W is seeing the 96 convenience store units, of 900 restaurants, begin to perform well compared to other traditional and co-brand locations, CEO Kevin Bazner said. “We're starting to see that flip this year as people are moving around more,” he said. Many of the A&W c-store units are in travel plazas. As the brand emerges from the pandemic, Bazner said it is keeping an eyes on development costs. “Material cost, particularly lumber, has spiked,” he said. “Indicators today are that that's going to start to temper later in the summer as a supply catches up with demand.” ...

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May 14, 2021 00:21:27
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Arby’s Corporate chef Neville Craw on the new crinkle cut fries and the magic of sous-vide

Neville Craw has been developing menu items at Arby’s for the past 17 years, including some of the quick-service segment’s only lamb items — the chain’s gyros — and certain extreme limited-time offers, including sandwiches of venison and duck that were offered at just a few restaurants until they sold out, which sometimes happened in as little as 15 minutes. Although largely marketing stunts, it turns out that using sous-vide cooking on those items helped with the development of the chicken wraps that the chain launched last year. In this podcast, Craw, Arby’s vice president and brand executive chef, discusses his sous-vide journey, the intricacies of finding the right salt to put on the chain’s new crinkle-cut fries, rolling out smoked brisket, and the new opportunities he has to work with the chefs at Arby’s sister chains within Inspire Brands — Buffalo Wild Wings, Rusty Taco, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s and Dunkin’. ...

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May 07, 2021 00:24:06
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How Fazoli’s shattered company sales records, according to CEO Carl Howard

Fazoli’s experienced its most successful quarter in the beginning of 2021, breaking over 200 weekly sales records. CEO Carl Howard credits the financial success to the team at the fast-casual brand. The Lexington, Ky.-based brand saw March sales rise 85% over 2020 and 34% over March 2019. The brand is also expanding unit counts with 11 area development agreements signed in Q1 to add 36 additional locations to the pipeline. On the menu front, Fazoli’s has continued to innovate, and part of that was a virtual brand. The chain’s first virtual brand, Wingville, was in the works before the pandemic began, Howard explained, but the newer brands (ghost kitchens with fast-casual chain Wow Bao and Macaroniville) are a direct result of the pandemic. Macaroniville is the newest virtual brand coming out of Fazoli’s. It’s rolled out in three of the highest delivery-volume stores in the Midwest for testing before a national rollout. Menu items include lobster mac and cheese, Buffalo mac and cheese (in various flavors of Buffalo using virtual wing sauces) and more. The startup cost is under $500. Howard believes virtual brands will help Fazoli’s footprint grow exponentially after a year of extreme growth for their low-cost footprints. Listen to the podcast to hear more about how Fazoli’s achieved pandemic success from CEO Carl Howard. ...

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April 30, 2021 00:18:16
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Angry Crab Shack president on how the pandemic has changed restaurant design and infrastructure

From smaller footprints to cheaper real estate opportunities the president of 14-unit Mesa, Ariz.-based Angry Crab Shack reflects on pandemic-era restaurant design ...

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April 23, 2021 00:19:32
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How the parent of Lemonade and Modern Market forged ahead with growth plans during the pandemic

Rob McColgan, CEO of Modern Restaurant Concepts, discusses how the recent joining of the two brands helped them stay open and prepare for franchising and possible acquisitions over the next few years. ...

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