Nathan's Famous Updates its Catering and Delivery Channels

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, podcast host Valerie Killifer chats with James Walker, the senior vice president of the beloved Nathan’s Famous.

Walker joined the restaurant industry as a chef back in the 1990s, and moved to the management and operations side by the end of the decade. With previous experience overseeing such brands as Baja Fresh, Cinnabon, and Subway, he joined the Nathan’s Famous team earlier this year and aims to grow the chain’s catering and delivery sales channels.

Walker sees three key disruptors for the industry at present: an increased demand for convenience, labor market challenges, and a growing outcry for higher quality products from all types of businesses.

“They are challenges, but they are also opportunities,” says Walker. And for Walker, addressing these challenges is a fairly simple process at a relatively small brand like Nathan’s Famous. “Smaller brands tend to be more agile. They may be less bureaucratic and have less considerations from a geographical footprint.”

Walker and his team were able to quickly create and implement a business plan to address the catering and delivery limitations across all of Nathan’s franchises. And Nathan’s has enjoyed sales growth both inside the restaurant and with delivery this year.

“I’ve been watching a lot of videos of our founder back in 1916,” adds Walker. According to Walker, co-founder Nathan Handwerker was primarily focused on convenience and excellent customer service. “I think from that standpoint, the delivery mechanism—the way that we get our product in the hands of our guests—will be different, but the goal will still be the same,” says Walker. “Take care of the guests in the way they want as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’ll just be in their home.”

Check out the episode above to learn more about how to implement and fully capitalize on off-premises catering, and how to select the right third party integration providers without damaging or preventing other potentially lucrative partnerships.

Produced by:

Darisha Beresford

Olivia Aleguas


Dunkin’ Partners with Beyond Meat for a Plant-Based Breakfast

Dunkin’ is adding plant-based meat to its menu. The fast food chain has partnered with plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat to offer the brand new Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich.

As of yesterday, the sandwich is already available to purchase in 163 Manhattan locations. The chain appears poised to offer the sandwich nationwide in each of its 9,400 Dunkin’ locations by 2020. According to Dunkin’, this is the first time a Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich has ever been sold in any restaurant in the United States.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, CEO David Hoffmann affirmed the company’s commitment to the product. “We absolutely believe this will move the sales needle for us. It’s a damn good product.”

Dunkin’ is responding to a growing consumer demand for plant-based meat products. And Dunkin’ is hardly the first fast food chain to recognize and invest in the concept: White Castle, Red Robin, Burger King, Little Caesars, and a number of other businesses have also partnered with plant-based giants like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. With plant-based now a billion dollar industry, it has become clear to restaurants large and small that meat substitutes are well worth investing in.

The Plant Based Foods Association reports that over the past year, plant-based meat sales has gone up by 10 percent, while refrigerated plant-based meat has gone up by 37 percent. Beyond Meat stock has also surged post-IPO by a whopping 734 percent according to Business Insider.

Hoffmann noted to CNN that for now, the company is still in the process of considering vegan sandwiches. “Right now we’re targeting flexitarians,” says Hoffmann. “[We] want to make sure that as we roll this out, we can give the customer a chance to customize this.”

Shake Shack and BurgerFi are the Only Burger Chains to Get an A on the Annual Antibiotics Report Card

The industry has evolved over the years to meet the demands of today's diners. Consumers have made it clear that they expect higher quality food product from restaurants.

With that being said, this has fueled the better-burger movement.

But this sector has quickly become competitive with so many brands for the consumer to choose from. There’s Shake Shack, Five Guys, Shula Burger, Burger 21, BurgerFi and so many more in the mix stealing away customers from McDonald’s and other quick-serve burger joints promising a better-burger burger product.

According to the latest antibiotics report card, only two burger chains out of the 25 graded received the grade A–BurgerFi and Shake Shack.

These chains are the only ones on the list serving antibiotic-free beef.

"What's interesting about that is they also happen to be what I think of to be these younger upstarts that are disrupting the normal kind of operational model that burger chains have use for decades now, and customers are really responding to that," said Lena Brook, lead researcher of the report to "CNN." "They are being rewarded for the good food that they are serving and the good practices that stand behind that food, and serving responsibly raised beef is a part of that new business model."

But all the other chains graded, including Wendy's, McDonald's, In-N-Out Burger–all received a D minus or F.

Wendy's responding that the company is working toward its goal of serving only antibiotic-free beef and pork.

"As we go forward, we have a goal of eliminating routine antibiotic use in our beef and pork supply, while protecting the need for targeted, therapeutic use of an antibiotic in the limited cases where a sick animal needs to be treated individually, or in the unlikely case that animals have been exposed to an illness and treatment with an antibiotic is necessary to prevent a disease outbreak," said Liliana Esposito, chief communications officer for Wendy's wrote in a blog post.

In-N-Out said in February 2016 that the company is also aiming to try to eliminate antibiotics in its beef products, but according to the report, the QSR chain has yet to report on its progress.

Read more about the report at "KTLA" now.

Earlier in the year, we sat down with Shack Shack CEO Randy Garutti to see how the chain has become a fan-favorite and some of the brand's secrets to success.

Check out The Barron Report podcast episode below.

As Interest in Ethnic Food Rises, Filipino QSR Chain Jollibee Plans Aggressive Expansion

As Interest in Ethnic Food Rises, Filipino QSR Chain Jollibee Plans Aggressive Expansion

If you haven’t already heard about this Filipino fast-food chain, then you’re sure to run into one in North America within the next five years.

It’s called Jollibee and it’s set to open 100 stores in Canada within the next half-decade. As reported by The Canadian Press, the company “is eyeing the wave of new locations because the country is a key growth market and a big part of its North American expansion plans.”

Ethnic food, especially from the Philippines, was predicted to be a top trend for 2018, as Foodable reported in the past. It looks like Canada is really embracing this trend ever since Jollibee entered the market in 2016. The fast-food brand is exploring Ontario, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver to further expansion plans.

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Will Startup Hungry Planet™ Gain Momentum After Recent Success in a California School District?

Will Startup Hungry Planet™ Gain Momentum After Recent Success in a California School District?

A California school district began to offer plant-based meals across all their cafeterias this past academic year and had students choose whether or not they wanted to eat them based on taste. “The initiative was so successful, the meals will likely be offered again next year,” reports KEYT.

We’ve heard about companies like Impossible Food and Beyond Meat making their way in restaurants, but the Santa Barbara Unified School District actually sourced her plant-based protein from a startup based out of Missouri. It’s called Hungry Planet™.

According to the company’s website, it focuses on creating an alternative protein to ground beef, chicken, pork, Italian sausage, chorizo sausage, and crab for culinary professionals to use as a 1:1 substitution in innovative entrees. The company says it develops its faux meats to delight the demanding tastes of meat lovers in the heart of the Midwest.

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