First Bite

Welcome to Nation’s Restaurant News’ newest podcast, First Bite. This podcast, hosted by digital ed ... more

Hosted by

Latest Episodes

August 12, 2022 00:07:21
What's helping Wendy's despite the Reef slowdown

What's helping Wendy's despite the Reef slowdown

Wendy’s reported its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday morning and the big news to come out of it was the chain’s downsizing of its partnership with Reef Technology, the embattled third-party ghost kitchen provider. Mainly, the chain found that Reef’s new strategy, which changed in light of some labor practices, wasn’t working for the quick-service brand. Despite that news, same-store sales were still up 3.7% at Wendy’s, with an increase of 2.3% domestically and 15.2% internationally. NRN senior editor Ron Ruggless has more on the story. Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode. Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

Listen

August 11, 2022 00:07:24
How delivery's newest player hopes to change the game

How delivery's newest player hopes to change the game

Meet delivery’s newest player: Gopuff. The Philadelphia-based brand is doing it all. From cooking to delivering, Gopuff has its hands in every part of the food and consumer packaged goods aspect of the delivery business. It’s a unique business proposition NRN senior editor Joanna Fantozzi, tells First Bite host Holly Petre, because the company acts like a virtual brand and like Amazon.   Gopuff just signed its first restaurant deal, with BurgerFi. That partnership is going national, and Gopuff will soon deliver BurgerFi’s burgers and fries to customers in a dozen cities in the Gopuff network, including Miami, New York City, Nashville and Philadelphia. BurgerFi will also be available through more than 30 Gopuff Fresh Food Hall locations (Gopuff’s virtual food hall) around the country, even in locations where there are no brick-and-mortar BurgerFi stores.   Learn more about Gopuff from Joanna here.   Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.   Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

Listen

August 10, 2022 00:09:24
What to make of all the M&A activity

What to make of all the M&A activity

On Tuesday morning, private equity firm and Modern Market Eatery’s parent company, Butterfly Equity, announced the intent to acquire fast-casual chain Qdoba Mexican Eats for an unspecified amount of money. The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, will merge Modern Restaurant Concepts — which encompasses Modern Market Eatery and Lemonade — and Qdoba into one fast-casual restaurant platform, though all three will continue to operate separate brands.   Then, just a few hours later, MTY Food Group, parent to Papa Murphy’s, acquired Famous Dave’s parent BBQ Holdings. The deal was priced at $17.25 a share, or about $200 million. BBQ Holdings, also parent to Village Inn, Barrio Queen, Granite City and other restaurants, operates over 200 franchised locations and 100 corporate-owned stores. BBQ Holdings acquired Barrio Queen earlier this year.   This comes two weeks after the purchase of Bellagreen by Au Bon Pain’s parent Ampex Brands, which was allegedly a long time in the works.   What does all this mean with a looming recession ahead? NRN’s editorial director Sam Oches weighs in.   Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.   Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

Listen

August 09, 2022 00:07:11
How Shake Shack is transforming the drive-thru experience

How Shake Shack is transforming the drive-thru experience

Shake Shack is betting big on its drive-thrus. With a 10.1% rise in same-store sales falling below analysts’ low- to mid-teens predictions, the chain is struggling to find its footing as the segment leader it once was.   One thing it hopes will bring it back is drive-thru units situated in suburban areas, a relatively new market for Shake Shack.   The six already-opened drive-thrus have outperformed current average weekly sales per restaurant by about $6,000.   The chain also announced a price raise in the mid-fourth quarter of 5-7%, the second price hike this year following one in March. CEO Randy Garutti still believes Shake Shack has the competitive edge among its better-burger competitors, however, even with the price hikes.   NRN senior food and beverage editor Bret Thorn has more on the earnings.   Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.   Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

Listen

August 08, 2022 00:06:27
How Papa Johns plans to play with the big boys

How Papa Johns plans to play with the big boys

The momentum Papa Johns has seen throughout the pandemic is waning, according to the company’s latest earnings. The pizza restaurant chain saw 0.9% same-store sales growth in North America but an 8% drop internationally, due in large part to a challenging quarter in the U.K.   The biggest news was that Papa Johns took a 7-8% price increase in 2022 amid inflationary concerns while not rolling out value deals systemwide.   But the chain is confident that through growth and category ubiquity, sales will rise again even amid a recession.   Here’s NRN senior editor Joanna Fantozzi with an in-depth analysis of the earnings call.   Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.   Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

Listen

August 05, 2022 00:06:20
The twists and turns of the RRF: Here's where we stand

The twists and turns of the RRF: Here's where we stand

Last month, the National Restaurant Association sent a letter to the Small Business Administration, asking it to redistribute $180 million in funds no one knew were still left from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). This is the latest news in the saga that has become the RRF. For today’s episode of First Bite, we’re taking a look back at the RRF and where it stands now amid this recent news, including new updates since we last shared the this with you.   Here’s NRN senior editor Joanna Fantozzi with more.   Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.   Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Castos, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts. ...

Listen
Next