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In this podcast, The Habit’s chief branding officer, Iwona Alter, shares how the chain, which now has close to 300 locations, adjusted its promotional schedule of new items while still keeping the research & development process moving forward.

The Habit Burger Grill chief branding officer Iwona Alter discusses pandemic-era menu development

The newest Yum Brands subsidiary turned to comfort food, including a new fried chicken sandwich

The Habit Burger Grill is the latest addition to the Yum Brands family, but its arrival as a new sister concept to KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell came at an inopportune moment: The deal was closed last March, just as restaurants across the country were shutting down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The integration of The Habit into the rest of the company understandably took a backseat to the group’s immediate needs, as did fun projects like new product development.

In this podcast, The Habit’s chief branding officer, Iwona Alter, shares how the chain, which now has close to 300 locations, adjusted its promotional schedule of new items while still keeping the research & development process moving forward with items like the Chicken Caprese on Grilled Ciabatta and — its biggest rollout during the pandemic — new fried chicken items, including a sandwich, of course, with extra ridges of crunchy batter called “cridges.”

She also discusses the appeal of the new patty melt and hints at menu development we can expect to see from The Habit in the near future.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@informa.com 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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