EP 30 / Tejal Patel / President of Neem Tree Hospitality, Hotel Brand Niche, Positive Culture, and the Future of Hospitality
Tejal is a high-energy, positive vibes hospitality genius with a lot of insights into what’s happening today and what will happen tomorrow in the industry. From culture woes to niche brands, we discuss the path forward and speculate on what could be coming down the pike.
EP 29 / Karl Travis / Senior Interior Designer & Partner at Hager Design Intl
Interior design and architecture have constant challenges with restaurants. From nuanced local codes to behavioral shifts in consumers, they must be on their feet at all times. My friend Karl Travis and I chat about these challenges along with the design trends hitting the industry as a result of pandemic-fueled behavior shifts in this episode of Forktales!
EP 28 / Alonso Castañeda / VP of Brand Development & Strategy of Savory Management
Alonso is a prime case of professional development and career trajectory that can be experienced in the restaurant industry. His story outlines the journey and how one can easily find success and fulfillment by learning and growing. We address the labor shortages and what’s driving them, and we dive into how to build scrappy brands that thrive and grow.
EP 27 / Bill Gardner / 2021’s most notable restaurant rebrands
I always love my conversations with Bill. He’s extremely insightful and profound in his design thinking. On this week’s episode, we dive into the rebrands for Burger King, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut. We unpack what’s driving the throwback, retro approaches to these restaurant brands and whether or not it’s successful.
EP 26 / Justin Bartek / Director of Marketing at Jinya Ramen Bar
Justin and I have always had fantastic conversations and this episode is no different. We talk about the rise of ramen in the United States and how it’s begun to shift from trend to staple. Justin dives into his approach to marketing and how he’s tackled the challenges of a growing franchised full service restaurant brand.
EP 25 / CJ Moyer / Founder of Presley’s Mobile Bar
Designer turned barkeep steps onto the show to chat about this new format of bar experiences: the mobile cocktail bar. From weddings to corporate events, Presley’s has been gaining momentum. But what are the challenges and how is CJ and his team overcoming them? We unpack that and more in this week’s episode.
EP 24 / Eli Altman / Naming Expert on Ghost/Virtual Kitchens
Eli is a naming maverick and has manned the helm at A Hundred Monkeys, a Berkeley California based naming studio, for quite some time. I tapped his brain in this episode to talk about naming ghost kitchens and virtual brands. We dive into how the mold has been broken on the “rules” of naming and where things are going as a result.
EP 23 / Heather Stennis & LeAnne Cavallero / Cinnaholic
My chat with LeAnne and Heather is as sweet as the food at Cinnaholics. We chat about their rise to leadership within the organization and how the brand has realized growth during the pandemic and in the aftermath. We dive into their working relationship and how the collaboration has created a powerhouse of a brand.
EP 22 / Michael Pavone / Founder of Pavone Marketing Group
The news is out! Vigor has been acquired by Pavone Marketing Group. This marks a huge step forward for the organization. In this episode, Michael Pavone, founder of Pavone Marketing Group, unpacks why this acquisition makes sense and what the future looks like for the organization. He also touches on why peanut butter is absolutely fantastic.
EP 21 / QSR Uncut
In this episode of Forktales, we replay QSR Uncut’s second episode. QSR Uncut is the newest podcast from the folks at QSR Magazine. Hosts Danny Klein and Ben Colley cover the week’s trends and headlines. In this episode, Joseph Szala, managing director of Vigor chimes in with his expertise.
EP 20 / Zack Oates / Founder of Ovation, Lover of Feedback
My chat with Zack is as high energy and engaging as he is in person. He’s genuinely passionate about the human condition and customer feedback and in this episode we meander through the details of how he founded Ovation, why Ovation is changing the game, and a little insight into his dating life.
EP 19 / Bobby Shaw / COO of Sheridan’s Unforked, Host of Cutting Onions Podcast
Bobby Shaw is a man with a remarkable resume. Working for brands such as Chipotle, McDonald’s, Freebirds World Burrito and more, Bobby has amassed a fantastic treasure trove of knowledge. In this episode we talk about the challenges facing the restaurant industry today from an operations perspective, and what’s new in his world has he takes the helm of Sheridan’s Unforked.