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NRN editors discuss CKE’s rebrand, restaurant chain earnings, Raising Cane’s culture

Plus, hear from Felton Jones, the head roaster of PJ's Coffee


This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a product of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Bret Thorn spoke about the upcoming CKE rebranding efforts, which will cost half a billion dollars. 

CKE Restaurants — parent to the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s quick-service chains — earlier this week announced a $500 million rebranding that will focus on the exterior of its restaurants, because most customers are interacting with the brand via the exterior and not the interior. Stay tuned to the Extra Serving feed in the next few weeks to hear an exclusive interview with Owen Klein, the vice president of global culinary innovation for CKE. 

Also, the team discussed the week in restaurant earnings. There were fewer earnings reports than last week, but it was still jam-packed with financials from fast-casual companies like Shake Shack and Sweetgreen and full-service brands like First Watch and Texas Roadhouse. First Watch, as Zinsmeister pointed out on the podcast, was one of the only chains in 2021 not to increase menu prices. It did increased menu prices early in 2022, which is paying off as same-store sales soared in Q1.

Zinsmeister also gives a recap of her recent trip to Baton Rouge, La., where she spent 24 hours fully immersed in quick-service Raising Cane’s unique culture.

Lastly, this week’s interview is Felton Jones, the head roaster of PJ's Coffee. Thorn and Jones spoke about the intricacies of coffee and the chain’s newest flavor, Wedding Cake.

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