Extra Serving

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.

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Latest Episodes

October 21, 2022 01:13:18
NRN editors discuss McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme, the state of menu customization, and Starbucks’ latest union woes

NRN editors discuss McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme, the state of menu customization, and Starbucks’ latest union woes

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a product of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches, and Joanna Fantozzi spoke about the rise in menu customization.   On nrn.com, we published an article about the recent rise in menu customization at chains like Panera and IHOP, where customization hadn’t been on the menu before. The team discussed why some brands are embracing the trend today, while other chains like Subway are moving away from customization.   The three editors also discussed the latest in the Starbucks union saga, notably the fact that employees at the quick-service chain are suing it over false police claims. The three discussed what this latest tiff means for Starbucks and how this battle will impact the future of unions in the restaurant industry.   Finally, the editors discussed McDonald’s introduction of Krispy Kreme donuts at select locations across Louisville, Ky. They discussed the idea of McDonald’s cobranding with other JAB concepts, as well as what it could mean for McDonald’s breakfast business moving forward. ...

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October 15, 2022 00:24:37
BONUS: Finding the opportunity in Asian food with the owners of TaKorean, Bao’d Up and Junzi

BONUS: Finding the opportunity in Asian food with the owners of TaKorean, Bao’d Up and Junzi

In our latest CREATE Conversation, Nation’s Restaurant News spoke with Mike Lenard, CEO and founder of TaKorean; Alex Wu, founder of Bao’d Up; and Yong Zhao, founder of Junzi. In this conversation filmed in Denver during CREATE, the three discussed why Chinese food is so cheap, the opportunities in Asian food, how to begin franchising, the cost of labor and more.   Be sure to check out our other CREATE conversations:   Figuring out a 4-day workweek at Asian Box 4 restaurant leaders discuss their struggles with labor, supply chain and more Hear a CREATE conversation between 3 industry CEOs How Maria Empanada’s founder Lorena Cantarovici took on the restaurant industry   If you’re in Washington D.C. join us for our CREATE Roadshow Oct. 17 from 6-9 p.m. at Chaia Tacos’ Chinatown location for free drinks and an educational panel as well as a chance to network with industry peers. RSVP here! ...

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October 14, 2022 01:08:49
NRN editors discuss a three-day workweek, McDonald’s labor challenges and a possible Yum Brands acquisition

NRN editors discuss a three-day workweek, McDonald’s labor challenges and a possible Yum Brands acquisition

This week on the extra Serving podcast, a product of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches and Leigh Anne Zinsmeister spoke about the possibility of a three-day workweek.   One Chick-fil-A operator in the Miami area has been successfully running a three-day workweek in his store since the store opened in February 2022 – and it’s helped with labor. The team discussed what this could mean for the industry, which is in the middle of a labor crisis, and the future of restaurant operations.   Also, the team discussed McDonald’s latest promotion selling out within days, beating the Travis Scott merchandise line in 2020. The Cactus Plant Flea Market Box Adult Happy Meal was sold out quickly, prompting employees to beg customers not to order it. This brought up questions of labor with executive editor Alicia Kelso, who joined the podcast to discuss the story she wrote and the implications of the promotion on the labor market alongside Petre, Oches and Zinsmeister.   Finally, the four discussed the possibility of a tech or restaurant acquisition by Yum Brands. In a recent call, the chain’s chief financial officer indicated that there might be a possibility of the multi-brand company acquiring a Mediterranean brand. The team discussed what it could mean for Yum and made their guesses as to what the brand could be.   This week’s interview is Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King. He spoke with Oches about what it’s like 10 years into his job and ownership of the company.   ...

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October 12, 2022 00:29:00
BONUS: Figuring out a 4-day workweek at Asian Box

BONUS: Figuring out a 4-day workweek at Asian Box

In our latest CREATE Conversation, Nation’s Restaurant News spoke with Frank Klein, CEO and co-founder of Asian Box; Adam Schlegel, founder of Chook Charcoal Kitchen; and Elizabeth Nicholson, chief operating officer of Chook Charcoal Kitchen. In this conversation filmed in Denver during CREATE, the three restaurateurs spoke about the logistics of running a restaurant, including tipped wages, the difficulty of operating in California, expansion possibilities, a four-day work week, and much more.   Be sure to check out our other CREATE conversations:   4 restaurant leaders discuss their struggles with labor, supply chain and more Hear a CREATE conversation between 3 industry CEOs How Maria Empanada’s founder Lorena Cantarovici took on the restaurant industry   If you’re in Washington D.C. join us for our CREATE Roadshow Oct. 17 from 6-9 p.m. at Chaia Tacos Chinatown location for free drinks and an educational panel as well as a chance to network with industry peers. RSVP here!       ...

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October 10, 2022 00:22:05
BONUS: How Maria Empanada’s founder Lorena Cantarovici took on the restaurant industry

BONUS: How Maria Empanada’s founder Lorena Cantarovici took on the restaurant industry

When Argentinian former banker Lorena Cantarovici arrived in the United States, she had $300 and opened her first location of Maria Empanada with $4000 in loans.   “It was super challenging. That door didn’t open enough for me to survive. Maria Empanada almost died two years in,” she said. “But something told me I was going in the right direction.”   Her customers were coming back, even though there weren’t many of them, and buying a lot of empanadas.   “The versatility of the product was adaptable to the United States,” she said.   Customers would buy over a dozen and bring them back home to the freezer.   Despite this, Cantarovici was told she “wasn’t bankable” when trying to get a loan. She got funding through the Colorado Enterprise Fund, after which she was able to move to a bigger location on Broadway Ave in Denver.   “That’s when I learned location, location, location is everything,” she said. Then she got a bank loan for her second unit.   Listen to the full podcast to hear Lorena Cantarovici, founder of Maria Empanada, describe the highs and lows of operating a small business. ...

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October 07, 2022 01:11:17
NRN editors discuss nostalgia, menu price increases, and Consumer Picks

NRN editors discuss nostalgia, menu price increases, and Consumer Picks

This week on Extra Serving, an award-winning podcast from Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches and Leigh Anne Zinsmeister spoke about the recent wave of nostalgia in restaurant ad campaigns and marketing stunts.   Burger King this week released a nostalgic ad campaign bringing back their “Have it Your Way” ad campaign but with a new twist. This is in addition to McDonald’s which re-released Boo Buckets, a nostalgic Trick-or-Treating bucket for children during Halloween. In addition, last week, the team spoke about the nostalgia of Taco Bell’s marketing move to bring one menu item back from the past. The team discussed what nostalgia means for the industry and how it’s impacting customers.   Next, the team discussed menu price increases. This week, two studies came out that showed consumers’ limit on menu price increases which hovers around 10-13%. The team discussed what this means for the industry and how you can react to inflation while still pleasing customers.   Finally, the team discussed our own Consumer Picks report where we share information compiled by Datassential from you, the reader. We recently shared a gallery on the brands with the highest perceived value. The team discussed what value means and why consumer sentiment is down in general across all categories.   This week’s interview is Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod, co-founders of RASA, an Indian fast-casual eatery in Washington D.C. The two discuss what it’s like being an emerging operator serving Indian food in the D.C. area with Oches. ...

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