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Restaurant innovators on growing a popular brand

NRN’s 2019 Hot Concepts winners on expansion and employee culture

This is part of Nation’s Restaurant News' special coverage of the 2019 MUFSO conference, which took place Oct. 14-16 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

What do Maple Street Biscuit Company and Punch Bowl Social have in common? They both accepted investments from Cracker Barrel this year, and they have both won Hot Concept awards.

Maple Street Biscuit, a 2019 honoree, joins this year’s Hot Concepts class along with Garden Bar, The Crack Shack, &pizza and Mulberry & Vine. Punch Bowl was one of five winners in 2018.

Every year, Nation’s Restaurant News names five emerging brands are poised for growth. For the past 25 years, our editors have been on the cusp of finding some of the hottest brands about to explode, from Shake Shack to Pokeworks to Smashburger.

This year’s class has already drawn investor interest with Cracker Barrel’s recent acquisition of Maple Street Biscuit Company in October and Garden Bar’s merger with Evergreens earlier this fall.

Five executives from this year’s winning brands got together on a panel at our MUFSO conference to talk about company culture and what makes their restaurants special.

Here are some of their quotes.

For full coverage of our Hot Concepts panel and ways restaurant brands can stand out, from the winners themselves, see more of our coverage.

Contact Holly Petre at [email protected]


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