Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.
Today, we’re talking about Just Poke and its parent, Conscious Hospitality.
Norman Wu isn’t just out to build a restaurant empire, he’s out to do it consciously. So much so that he even named his restaurant company, parent to his legacy brand Just Poké, Conscious Hospitality.
“We are building out restaurant concepts that keep in mind an ethos outside of just kind of making money,” Wu said in a recent episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches.
That includes the takeout containers, the building of the restaurant, the materials used for the build, the sourcing of products, and the career development of employees at the restaurant.
The restaurant group is working toward “building a framework for the team that can really allow for people to have careers [at Just Poké], as opposed to just a job.”
That’s just part of it. The team at Conscious Hospitality pays about 30% above minimum wage and has offered healthcare to workers since its inception.
To offset those costs, Wu said that the costs of their fast-casual menu are a bit higher than competitors, but that the Seattle-based customers really appreciate what they’re providing employees and customers are “voting with their dollars.”
Hear more from editor-in-chief Sam Oches.
Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.