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

March 25, 2022 01:01:31
Spike Mendelsohn on his new NFT Chfty Pizza in partnership with Tom Colicchio

Spike Mendelsohn on his new NFT Chfty Pizza in partnership with Tom Colicchio

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister, Sam Oches and Lisa Jennings discussed Panera Bread’s entrance into the chicken sandwich wars with its own healthier option. The fast-casual chain announced the new menu item earlier this week with a healthier spin: The chicken isn’t fried like the rest of its chicken sandwich war competitors. Is it too late to join the chicken sandwich was? Is it time to retire the name? The editors discuss.  Next, the team discussed third-party delivery company Waitr’s new policy of passing out gas cards to employees to help offset the price of gas for its drivers. The team speaks about the logistics of being a delivery driver and how this move can or will impact restaurants who may be experiencing slower-than-usual traffic due to rising gas prices. Then, the team discussed how Grubhub is being sued by the city of Washington D.C., following in the footsteps of many other cities, for false advertising and excessive fees tied to the pandemic. Plus, chef Spike Mendelsohn talks with Jennings about Chfty Pizza, his new NFT collaboration with Tom Colicchio on Discord that’s functioning as a membership to a community of chefs and foodies alike with an online presence and in real life events. ...

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March 22, 2022 00:25:14
Two culinarians discuss food trends in the restaurant space

Two culinarians discuss food trends in the restaurant space

For our final COEX interviews, NRN editors Holly Petre and Sam Oches spoke with two culinarians in the food industry about what they see as future trends ahead for the industry.  Matt Harding of Piada Italian Street Food, with 42 restaurants based in Columbus, Ohio, spoke with Petre about the new store opening in Houston and the expansion of the regional brand. “Many people would define [Piada] as the Italian version of Chipotle…but we want to be the next Piada,” said Harding.  Harding spoke about the new menu innovations at the restaurant that include new salmon entrees with fresh squeezed lemon and fresh ingredients as well as how they’ve been impacted by the supply chain woes. Oches spoke with Nicole Votano, formerly the head of culinary and concept development at REEF, about what she sees as the current and future food trends in the industry and how to find trends through social media and travel. Some trends Votano pointed out include: Plant-based foods for meat-eaters; To-go and delivery food space will have a major focus; Food profiles will go heavily Asian and Latin; and Hybrid food types to not eliminate anyone from the equation. Check out the full episode and subscribe to Extra Serving wherever you get your podcasts. ...

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March 18, 2022 01:00:34
Panda Express’ Jimmy Wang on the future of plant-based meat

Panda Express’ Jimmy Wang on the future of plant-based meat

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Last Bite Network, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches, and Bret Thorn discussed the mass exodus of CEOs leaving their posts in the past week. In less than 10 days, the chief executives from Wingstop, Starbucks, Domino’s, and Fazoli’s have all left their posts. Some for different jobs, others to retire, and one citing health reasons. Some of these brands, like Wingstop and Domino’s, performed spectacularly well during the pandemic. The team discussed what this transfer of power means for these brands and speculates who could take on some of these roles.  Next, the team discussed the purchase of Barrio Queen by Famous Dave’s parent BBQ Holdings Inc., which purchased the fine-dining brand earlier this week. This will be the company’s third acquisition in a year. The team discussed what this means for the growing group and how it will impact its portfolio. Plus, hear from Jimmy Wang, the director of culinary innovation for Panda Express, who sat down with Thorn to talk about meat substitutes and their origin in Chinese cuisine. ...

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March 16, 2022 00:37:07
Bonus podcast: NRN editors discuss supply chain, labor and gas prices

Bonus podcast: NRN editors discuss supply chain, labor and gas prices

This week on a special bonus episode of the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Last Bite Network, NRN editors Holly Petre and Sam Oches shared their takeaways from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s (IFMA) annual Chain Operator Exchange (COEX) conference in Austin.  The two discussed some of the key points from the conference, including: Everyone on the supply chain is struggling right now The key to sorting out your supply chain woes is communication with your vendors Efficiency is key to navigating supply chain and labor problems The labor situation is getting better — but overtime is still a big problem Nobody knows how gas prices will affect things  Oches also spoke with three manufacturers at the conference about what they’ve been experiencing in their businesses, from supply chain to labor to gas prices to food trends. ...

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March 11, 2022 00:39:37
Whataburger’s Donna Tuttle on how the brand has fared during the labor crisis

Whataburger’s Donna Tuttle on how the brand has fared during the labor crisis

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Last Bite Network, NRN editors Holly Petre, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Sam Oches discussed the wave of restaurants showing support for Ukraine by closing restaurants in Russia. Companies from McDonalds to Yum Brands to Papa Johns released statements intending to close Russian units or halt Russian expansion is the wake of the attack on Ukraine. The team discussed how Vladimir Putin has been trying to fight against these restaurants showing support for Ukraine and how the industry has been showing its support for Ukraine in other ways. The team also discussed President Biden’s new regulations on cryptocurrency and what that means for the booming market here in the restaurant space. Will it limit the industry’s expansion into the metaverse? Find out more in the podcast.  And finally, the team discusses the future of RRF which was pulled from the omnibus spending bill this week in the Senate. Though it wasn’t a surprise to the team, it pulled the final rug out from a lot of independent restaurants who were relying on that money to get through the last leg of the pandemic. Donna Tuttle, Whataburger’s group director for brand communications and culture, spoke with Oches at IFMA’s COEX about how the regional chain has been handling the labor crisis by paying managers six-figure salaries and offering careers. ...

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March 04, 2022 00:53:04
Subway CEO John Chidsey on the future of franchising at this Top 10 chain

Subway CEO John Chidsey on the future of franchising at this Top 10 chain

This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Last Bite Network, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Ron Ruggless spoke about what this week’s State of the Union meant for the restaurant industry. Additionally, the team discussed Domino’s recent earnings, including its driver shortage and the downturn in sales. They talked about what it could mean for the future of delivery at the quick-service brand and whether it could mean a future of third-party delivery for the notoriously anti-third-party-delivery brand. The team also discussed Wendy’s breakfast and its market increase while Petre and Zinsmeister ate the new Hot Honey sandwiches from the quick-service chain. The newest daypart from the chain, which launched a week before the pandemic, has now become 8% of the company’s sales. Plus, hear an interview with Subway CEO John Chidsey on the future of franchising at this Top 10 chain. ...

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