Welcome to Beyond the Menu, a podcast that takes a deep dive into the inner workings of the restaurant industry. Tune into each episode in our first season to hear from top tier restaurant operators and innovators who are shaping the industry, spearheading trends, and leading the way for the future.
Episode 1: Mike Dixon and Garrett Fadden of Focus Brands
On our very first episode of Beyond the Menu, we sat down with Mike Dixon, CFO, and Garrett Fadden, VP of Retail IT at Focus Brands to talk about the impact of COVID-19, shifting restaurant operations, technology partnerships, and their plans for the future.
Focus Brands is a leading developer of global, multi-channel foodservice under the iconic brand names of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli® and Schlotzsky’s®.
Episode 2: Garrett Mills and Matt Thompson of RibCrib and Chandler Hospitality Group
On this episode of Beyond the Menu, we sat down with Garrett Mills, President and CEO of Chandler Hospitality Group, and Matt Thompson, VP of Operations at RibCrib to talk about the impact of COVID-19, shifting restaurant operations, technology partnerships, and their plans for the future.
Chandler Hospitality Group is a multi-concept restaurant group based in the Southwest United States. Founded by Bret Chandler in 1992, CHG features a 55+ location BBQ chain called RibCrib, a growing craft burger kitchen, and is actively developing additional concepts.
Episode 3: Erin Palladino of PepperJax Grill
On this episode of Beyond the Menu, we snagged time with Erin Palladino, Vice President of Marketing & Ops Services at PepperJax Grill, to talk about pivoting due to COVID-19, the strength in technology partnerships, being an employer of choice during the staffing crisis, and PepperJax Grill’s plans for the future.
PepperJax Grill opened its first location in Omaha, Neb. in 2002 and has been grilling up flavorful meats ever since, bringing guests mouthwatering PepperJax Phillies, Philly Bowls, Salads, Loaded Fries and more!
Episode 4: Nick Maestas, Owner of Muchachos, and Matt Taylor, Owner of Tavern on the Square and The Other Room
This special episode of Beyond the Menu features Nick Maestas, Owner of Muchachos, and Matt Taylor, Owner of Tavern on the Square and The Other Room, two local innovators in the Lincoln, NE market. Together, we talk about navigating the pandemic as small business owners, pivoting the standard food truck model, utilizing social outreach and brand, community support, advocating for employees, integrating technology into their strategies, and hero stories from their teammates.
Muchachos is a food truck and restaurant that’s dedicated to tradition. At the heart of Muchachos, is family. It’s what inspired Nick Maestas to dream up the concept of Muchachos. He took the New Mexican flavors he grew up watching his grandparents prepare and mixed it with his own love of smoking BBQ. Together, it created a unique new flavor concept.
Tavern on the Square opened July 19th, 2010. They are a neighborhood bar with a large outdoor courtyard surrounded by brick buildings built in the late 1800s in the Historic Haymarket Square. With daily specials that change seasonally and a comfortable, friendly environment, their main focus is their patrons which they consider a close, extended family.
Episode 5: Neil Culbertson of Growth Partners
On our final episode of Beyond the Menu this season, we got the opportunity to chat with Neil Culbertson, Founder and President of Growth Partners, an industry leader for over 25 years. Tune in to hear us talk about his insights into the evolution of the industry, including the recent wave of innovation brought on by the pandemic, opportunities for brands to grow through prioritizing customer experience, and so much more.
Founded by Neil Culbertson, Growth Partners is a unique business development consulting firm focused on partnering with restaurant companies to grow to the next level of sales and profits. They offer senior level experience and a proven process to help identify the areas of greatest growth opportunity, and then develop actionable, measurable plans to realize its potential. Whether you are an emerging company or a mature brand that needs fresh ideas to restore topline sales momentum, Growth Partners can help you grow in today’s highly competitive restaurant industry.
Thanks for tuning in for the 2021 season — until next year!
Interested in being a guest on Beyond the Menu? Contact us to learn more about how you can participate.