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NRN editors discuss inflation, the 2-year COVID anniversary, Howard Schultz’s stance on unions

Plus, hear from Bill Crooks, chief experience officer for Chicken N Pickle, about the growing eatertainment brand


This week on the Extra Serving podcast, Nation’s Restaurant News editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister and Ron Ruggless spoke about Howard Schultz’s stance on unions.

Since taking over the reins – albeit temporarily – at Starbucks last month, Schultz has held several meetings to declare his dislike of unions. He’s called them things like “disruptive,” accused them of “assaulting” the company with the “threat” of unionization and more. The team discusses the vocal thoughts of the founder and now-CEO and the implications it could have for the union movement at-large as well as Starbucks as a company.

Also, the team discusses inflation, which increased to 8.5% for the year ending in March. For restaurants, the 6.9% year-over-year increase in March was the highest since the year ending in December 1981. The team discusses what it could mean for the industry that inflation keeps rising and what an impending recession could mean.

Plus, the team covers the recent feature on looking back at the past two years during COVID.

This week’s interview is Bill Crooks, chief experience officer for eatertainment concept Chicken N’ Pickle, the concept known for its pickleball courts. Ruggless speaks with Crooks about the concept and what the brand means to diners.


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