Artwork for podcast Extra Serving: A restaurant industry podcast
The Top 500, Rubio’s bankruptcy, and Cracker Barrel’s rebrand
7th June 2024 • Extra Serving: A restaurant industry podcast • Nation's Restaurant News
00:00:00 00:50:02

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This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a product of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister, and Alicia Kelso discussed the Top 500 chains in the country.

This week, NRN released its Top 500 report and the editors got into some of the nitty gritty from the past year’s financials and some trends they have noticed.

The editors also talked about Rubio’s, which declared bankruptcy for the second time in four years this week. The fast-casual Mexican chain has been struggling for years but closed almost 50 stores late last week in California, blaming the new minimum wage in the state. Rubio’s, alongside fellow bankrupt restaurant Red Lobster, has been struggling for years. This bankruptcy was not surprising, but what does this mean for the future of restaurant finance? Should the industry expect more bankruptcies this year?

Also, the editors talked about another struggling brand: Cracker Barrel. The casual-dining chain has been struggling and its financial struggles haven’t been helped by the impact of the pandemic and now inflation. Cracker Barrel brought on a new CEO in Julie Felss Masino in 2023, and many are hoping the Taco Bell veteran will have a part in turning around the traditional American restaurant. But is it too hard to operate a traditional American restaurant in the modern era?

This week’s interview is Ingrid Martinez, VP of marketing at Norms Restaurants.





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