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NRN editors discuss Denny’s hiring push, Starbucks’ latest union battle, Kevin Hart’s new restaurant

Plus hear from Scott Rodriguez, SVP menu strategy & product innovation for Papa Johns


This week on Extra Serving, a podcast by Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches and Leigh Anne Zinsmeister spoke about Kevin Hart’s foray into the restaurant world and the future of plant-based restaurants.

Hart’s restaurant, Hart House, is set to open in late August in Southern California and will be plant-based, joining many other restaurants in the plant-based restaurant wars. But how does Hart House stack up against its competitors? The team discussed that along with the entire plant-based movement in comparison to the restaurant industry at large.

Also, the team discussed Starbucks’ latest scuffle with its union. This time, it was Starbucks accusing the National Labor Relations Board of tampering with union elections. The team discussed what this means for the union movement as a whole and the future of the movement at Starbucks.

Lastly, the team talked about hiring practices at places like Denny’s where a hiring push involving a referral program is causing a stir. The returning program is successful with its “bring your bestie” premise at the all-day breakfast chain. The team talked about other hiring practices, including at Chick-fil-A, and how this is helping to solve the labor crunch.

Plus, hear from Scott Rodriguez, SVP menu strategy & product innovation at Papa Johns. He spoke with Bret Thorn about packaging for the chain’s new Papa Bowls, menu development and much more.

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