First Bite

Welcome to Nation’s Restaurant News’ newest podcast, First Bite. This podcast, hosted by digital editor Holly Petre, is your morning burst of news followed by a deep dive into one of the trending stories of ...more

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Latest Episodes

September 08, 2022 00:08:46
How MrBeast Burger is turning a viral moment into real business

How MrBeast Burger is turning a viral moment into real business

Long gone are the days of brands just being sassy on social media; now it’s time for them to be savvy on social media and MrBeast Burger was a perfect example of capitalizing on a moment. When the brand debuted, it was met with national acclaim, one of the biggest virtual brand openings ever. Now it has a brick-and-mortar location in the American Dream mall in New Jersey, where thousands of fans gathered to watch MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, cut the ribbon to the first permanent location of the chain that spawned thousands of virtual franchises.   So what does this all mean? Well, it means that celebrities, and the internet, are becoming more involved in the food world than ever before. Not simply with brands, but consumers are going to have to get used to their favorite stars from social media jumping into the food world like MrBeast did, and brands doing the opposite. Think about the rising tide of restaurants looking to TikTok and TikTok creators for content. Just last week, Chipotle used the corn kid on TikTok, a viral kid who loves nothing more than corn, to create a viral ad campaign for its burrito bowls and corn salsa. It did gangbusters.   There are over 1700 MrBeast Burgers as of this moment.   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. ...

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September 07, 2022 00:07:03
What we can expect from the new Starbucks CEO

What we can expect from the new Starbucks CEO

Starbucks named a new CEO after months of speculation, including our own, with predictions ranging from interim CEO Howard Schultz taking the helm permanently to Schultz remaining CEO for several more months than expected. But, right on time — or even ahead of schedule, according to some analysts — Schultz named a new permanent CEO in Laxman Narasimhan, a former PepsiCo executive. More recently, he had been serving as the CEO of a consumer nutrition company called Reckitt. Schultz will remain on at Starbucks to help Narasimhan until he takes on the role by himself on April 1, 2023. What does this new appointment mean?   We have senior editor Joanna Fantozzi to break down everything.   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. ...

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September 06, 2022 00:06:10
How one restaurateur filled a Tex-Mex void in California

How one restaurateur filled a Tex-Mex void in California

When Texas native Briana Valdez moved to Los Angeles, she had a hard time finding restaurants that reminded her of home, with Tex-Mex-style tacos and Southern hospitality. So, after years of working with famed chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon, and having been mentored by P.F. Chang’s founder Paul Fleming, Valdez claimed that whitespace and opened the first location of HomeState. The concept is now known for its community vibes and Texan classics like breakfast tacos, Texas toast, and Frito pie, writes Joanna Fantozzi in her feature on HomeState for nrn.com. That’s why we named HomeState one of our 2022 Hot Concepts, an award given out to companies that we think are set to take off. In years past, we’ve named concepts to this list including The Cheesecake Factory, Panda Express, Noodles & Company, Jamba Juice, True Food Kitchen, CAVA, and Bareburger over the 25-year span of the award and they’ve clearly risen to the occasion. Here's Joanna Fantozzi with more on HomeState and what we can expect from this growing LA-based brand. 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. ...

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September 02, 2022 00:08:11
A deep-dive into what's going on at Starbucks

A deep-dive into what's going on at Starbucks

The saga of Starbucks continues and we’re here to report on it. Unions continue to battle against corporate, Schultz remains the top dog and continues to make decisions impacting the entire company as interim CEO, the loss of the COO position, and the possibility of the chain being a third place has become a question mark. Although the abundance of operational changes coming from the world’s largest coffee chain may seem reactive and chaotic, analysts that have covered Starbucks for a long time are experiencing déjà vu. For a longer analysis, we had Joanna Fantozzi, who wrote a deep dive here, come on the show to give us the low down on what’s been happening with Starbucks and what Schultz is doing over there.  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. ...

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September 01, 2022 00:08:53
What the California fast-food worker bill means for you

What the California fast-food worker bill means for you

The California Senate and state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 257 on Monday — also known as the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Act or the FAST Recovery Act — which would create a state-run fast-food council that would set standard wages, working hours and conditions for employees of quick-service chains with 100 or more locations nationally.   The bill is now at Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signing. Newsom has not indicated if he would pass the bill, and it was initially criticized for having “significant ongoing costs” by the state Department of Finance.   The FAST Recovery Act has been met with pushback from the business community, which has criticized the bill for creating untenable standards for the restaurant industry, including the possibility of a $22 statewide minimum wage, which could raise menu prices by 20%, critics of the bill told the Los Angeles Times.   Although the council would specifically target larger chains, the International Franchise Association argues that many franchisees of these chains are smaller businesses and it would be just as challenging for them to keep up with these new standards, as it would be for an independent restaurant operator.   Learn more from senior editor Joanna Fantozzi.   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. ...

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August 31, 2022 00:06:53
Hardee's is brewing up something new: beer

Hardee's is brewing up something new: beer

Hardee’s is teaming up with Southern Grist Brewing Company to launch a beer inspired by, and containing the quick-service chain’s biscuits. Strawberry Biscuit Ale was made by adding 200 pounds of Hardee’s Made from Scratch Biscuits, plus some strawberry purée, to wort — the combination of water, malt, yeast, hops and sometimes other flavorings that is fermented into beer — to make 465 gallons of the brew. The launch is timed to coincide with National Biscuit Month, which is September. Other beers currently on offer by Southern Grist include one made with Snickers candy bars, beers with pie-inspired ingredients, and a milk stout made with coconut.   Senior food and beverage editor Bret Thorn 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. ...

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