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NRN editors discuss Taco Bell’s state-of-the-art drive thru, Starbucks’ new CEO hunt

Plus, hear from Starbird’s Aaron Noveshen on the state of the industry


This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a production of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Sam Oches and Leigh Anne Zinsmeister spoke about Taco Bell’s new drive-thru that opened on Tuesday.

Taco Bell, along with a slew of other restaurant chains, introduced this “restaurant of the future” prototype in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, sensing consumer needs would be changing in the long term. The new design is a drive-thru only unit, like the prototypes many others created but have yet to materialize during 2020 and 2021.

The team also discussed Starbucks’ new search for a CEO, which the company announced would be an outside hire who would be named in the fall, starting in Q1. The team speculates who it could be and what industry the potential hire could come from, plus whether or not they will be a restaurant veteran gaining this highly coveted job.

Finally, for this week’s interview, Oches sat down with Aaron Noveshen, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Starbird, at the National Restaurant Association Show where they discussed trends in the industry and what’s up next.

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