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Food Fighters: Food for Thought in the Fight for Food
24 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Burgerville: Interview with Jill Taylor, Chief Executive Officer
In this episode, we chat with Jill Taylor, CEO of Burgerville. Tune in to hear how Jill and her team have been facing the restaurant labor shortage head-on by investing in the development and safety of their team members. Jill shares how her restaurants have fine-tuned operations to support a 5000% increase in digital orders as well as her vision of making the Pacific Northwest the healthiest region in the country.
29 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams: Interview with Jeni Britton Bauer, Founder and Chief Creative Officer
In this episode, we chat with Jeni Britton Bauer, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Tune in to hear how Jeni and her team navigated COVID-19, managing everything from production changes to scoop shop safety for team members and customers alike. Zach and Jeni discuss what it takes to run a successful omnichannel brand and the essential aspects of entrepreneurship.
20 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Reef Technology: Interview with Chief Creative Officer Alan Philips
In this episode, we chat with Alan Philips, Chief Creative Officer of REEF Technology. Tune in to hear Alan share how REEF is transforming urban areas into neighborhood hubs that connect people to locally curated goods, services, and experiences. Zach and Alan discuss the impact of emerging technology such as ghost kitchens and virtual brands on the restaurant industry - from expanding delivery perimeters to introducing new revenue streams.
34 minutes | May 21, 2021
Virtual Dining Concepts: Interview with Food Network Chef Eric Greenspan
In this episode, we chat with Chef Eric Greenspan, a celebrated chef whose resume boasts tenure at some of the most prominent fine dining establishments in Los Angeles. Chef Greenspan shares the foresight into virtual brands that prompted him to invest in the concept as early as 2018. Zach and Chef Greenspan chat about the proliferation of ghost kitchens and what it takes to operate a successful virtual brand - from marketing to margin control. Tune in to this episode to learn the ins and outs of delivery in the virtual space and how Chef Eric and his team at Virtual Dining Concepts have launched some of the most iconic national virtual brands to date.
32 minutes | May 19, 2021
Yum! Brands: Interview with Former CEO Greg Creed
In this episode, we chat with Greg Creed, former CEO of Taco Bell and Yum! Brands. Greg shares his marketing philosophies and how he has applied them while leading some of the most iconic marketing campaigns in QSR to date. Zach and Greg discuss changing customer behaviors post-COVID, fostering diversity throughout an organization, and minimum wage impacts on the restaurant industry. Tune in to get a sneak peek of Greg's Book, R.E.D. Marketing: The Three Ingredients of Leading Brands.
41 minutes | May 12, 2021
Patachou Restaurants: Interview with Owner and President Martha Hoover
Season 4 of Food Fighters kicks off with Martha Hoover, the Founder and President of Patachou, a collective of 12 eateries in the Indianapolis area. In this episode, Martha shares how her restaurants have navigated the pandemic and why her brand has embraced company culture and unique employee benefits. Martha and Zach also discuss how technology can enhance the art of service. Learn more about Martha's unique definition of sustainability for her restaurants and how that impacts every facet of her business in this latest episode of Food Fighters!
36 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
Barcelona Wine Bar: Interview with CEO, Adam Halberg
In this episode, we chat with Adam Halberg, long-time chef, culinary director, and now CEO of Barcelona Wine Bar. Tune in to hear Adam talk about prioritizing long-term customer relationships and lifetime value over short-term upsells, and how Barcelona commits to creating personalized guest experiences despite a challenging COVID-19 environment. Adam also discusses the importance of curating a team and culture that embrace altruistic hospitality, and shares how he helps the company focus on the core values that matter, even amidst turbulent times. Learn more about building the strong foundations of a truly guest-oriented brand in this latest episode of Food Fighters!
42 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Curry Up Now and SAJJ Mediterranean: Interview with Founders Akash Kapoor and Zaid Ayoub
In this episode, we chat with Akash Kapoor and Zaid Ayoub, restaurant industry innovators and respective founders of Curry Up Now and SAJJ Mediterranean. Tune in to hear Akash and Zaid talk about how they launched digitally-integrated loyalty just in time to engage with customers during COVID, and how they’ve explored new ways of attracting and delighting their customers - including online markets, secret menus, and more. They also discuss the impactful roles that restaurant culture and data play in creating a healthy and sustainable business. Learn more about opportunities for innovation during COVID in this latest episode of Food Fighters!
45 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
Firehouse Subs: Interview with CEO Don Fox
In this episode, we talk to Don Fox, hospitality industry veteran and CEO of Firehouse Subs. Tune in to hear Don talk about how Firehouse Subs anticipated trends in off-premise dining pre-COVID and planned accordingly, positioning the brand to serve customers across channels and need states. Don also shares his team’s focus on day-by-day improvements, and the encouraging growth in sales - which are now outperforming previous years. Learn more about how a growth mindset can help restaurants navigate unprecedented challenges in this latest episode of Food Fighters!
31 minutes | Sep 9, 2020
Protein Bar and Kitchen: Interview with COO Jared Cohen
In this episode, we talk to Jared Cohen, the data-driven and forward-thinking COO of Protein Bar and Kitchen. Jared shares how early investments in a digital strategy prepared Protein Bar to respond nimbly to the pandemic, reaching customers in the rapidly shifting locations and times of the “new normal.” We also discuss the untapped opportunity in the restaurant industry: better utilizing data to deliver personalized, relevant messages to consumers that grow both consumer loyalty and the business. Tune in to hear Jared’s insights on tackling pandemic challenges and creating growth on the other side.
38 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
Chipotle: Interview with VP of Digital and Off-Premise, Tressie Lieberman
In this episode, we talk to Tressie Lieberman, Chipotle’s VP of Digital and Off-Premise, and one of the restaurant industry’s leading voices on digital marketing. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten restaurants as we know them, Tressie shares how Chipotle has transformed the way it engages with its 15 million loyalty members and constantly innovates to meet their evolving needs.
33 minutes | May 15, 2020
COVID-19 Special Episode: Interview with bellagreen and Original ChopShop, CEO, Jason Morgan
COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the restaurant industry. In this episode, we talk to Jason Morgan, CEO of bellagreen and Original ChopShop, about why they are training customers to order directly and creating incentives for them to do so, and why they are taking delivery in-house.
30 minutes | May 6, 2020
COVID-19 Special Episode: Interview with PINCHO, CEO & Co-founder, Otto Othman
With most restaurant sales down more than 70% as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s nice to finally hear some positive news. In this episode, we talk to Otto Othman, CEO & Founder of PINCHO about how a close relationship with customers, first-party digital ordering, and creative marketing campaigns have helped drive positive YoY sales growth despite the crisis.
25 minutes | Apr 29, 2020
COVID-19 Special Episode: Interview with Sweetfin, Partner & Co-founder, Seth Cohen
COVID-19 continues to put massive strain on the restaurant industry. In this episode, we talk to Seth Cohen, Partner & Co-founder of Sweetfin, about the decision to stay open, why his team is working on the creation of a “ghost” brand operating out of their existing kitchens and their plans for reopening dining rooms.
26 minutes | Apr 22, 2020
COVID-19 Special Episode: Interview with Oath Pizza, Chief Marketing Officer, Stacie Colburn Hayes
COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the U.S. restaurant industry. In this episode, we talk to Stacie Colburn Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer of Oath Pizza, about how her team’s quick response to the crisis and strong digital infrastructure helped them minimize the crisis’ impact. You will hear about their overnight pivot to an 100% off-premises model and be inspired by their rapid innovations including a touch-less food truck and pizza kit care-packages now available nationwide.
48 minutes | Apr 13, 2020
COVID-19 Special Episode: Interview with Greg Golkin, Jim Balis
COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the U.S. restaurant industry in just a few weeks. We sat down with Greg Golkin of Kitchen Fund and Jim Balis of CapitalSpring to understand how restaurant investors & their portfolio brands are weathering the storm, narrowing their focus, and how some restaurants are defining new visions of what it means to be a restaurant.
27 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
Punch Bowl Social: Interview with Founder & CEO, Robert Thompson
“Experiences happen inside of the four walls of Punch Bowl Social.” Robert Thompson, Founder & CEO of Punch Bowl Social, credits the brand’s success to experiential food & beverage. Listen in as he discusses where they’ve seen success, and where they’re continuing to define the world of eatertainment.
33 minutes | Feb 19, 2020
Hopdoddy: Interview with CEO, Jeff Chandler
Jeff Chandler, CEO of Hopdoddy, on how to “do the familiar in an unfamiliar way”, how to think about the different parts of that customer experience and on the challenges of localizing the guest experience at every location.
29 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
Tender Greens: Interview with CEO, Denyelle Bruno
“Speed and convenience can play an equal role to quality when diners are in a hurry.” Denyelle Bruno, CEO of Tender Greens shares how to scale and differentiate your restaurant business in a rapidly evolving on-demand world.
29 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
Sonny’s BBQ: Interview with CIO, Joe Tenczar
As technology becomes more central to restaurant business strategy, Joe Tenczar shares how the role of the CIO must evolve, the growing importance of data, and what to look for in a point of sale (POS) system.
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