Cover image of Accelerate Series - Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show

Accelerate Series - Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show

The restaurant business is changing, and the models in which you operate your business have changed forever! Technology has shifted. takeout, delivery, and catering are now table stakes and a new consumer has emerged. In this podcast, we will be breaking down the massive opportunity that is now available to restaurant operators that are willing to ACCELERATE their business. Hosted by industry veterans that break down news, insights and explore the future with some of the top minds in the restaurant business.

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68. Ghost Kitchens Go Global | JustKitchen

In this episode of Accelerate series for the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, host Paul Barron chats with Michael Liu, executive vice president of JustKitchen to dive into the ghost kitchen and virtual brand phenomenon that has been happening around the world.JustKitchen is an operator of ghost kitchens currently operating twenty restaurants in Taiwan and two restaurants in Hong Kong and they use a hub and spoke food delivery model and is currently expanding to the Philippines and Singapore.Liu says, most of the JustKitchen executives come from a food and beverage background and his background, the delivery aggregator industry. When choosing brands to partner with, Liu says, “we were able to collect a lot of data to look at what is going to be an emergent trend in terms of food delivery service, what kind of brands, what kind of food that we're serving but really just studying the data.”The process to develop a virtual brand for JustKitchen starts with a lot of data scraping, looking at restaurants and delivery and then they forecast. Liu says, “by applying some sort of algorithm to look at what kind of volume they’re doing so basically just trying to meet that demand versus actually creating one.” JustKitchen offers several brands including Smith & Wollensky and TGI Fridays.In terms of ghost kitchens Liu says, “I do think that's definitely going to be a growing trend and I think another really big issue is definitely inflation of food cost, labor shortage and that gives not a lot of options to the traditional restaurant operators to operate at what they used to do. So I think virtual brand or cloud kitchen really gives that extra edge for them to really go to the next level to increase their income to increase their average ticket size or you know even just to increase their efficiencies.”To learn more about JustKitchen’s partnership with DJ Khaled’s Another Wing, Liu’s insights on celebrity brands, and third party partner data and how to decentralize from the food delivery aggregators, listen to this episode of Accelerate.


5 Jan 2022

Rank #1

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67. Improving Culture Within Your Operation | Jamie Griffin - Consult to Grow

In this episode of the twelve-part Accelerate series for the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, host Sam Stanovich and guest host Kathleen Wood chat with Jamie Griffin, founder and principal partner at Consult to Grow, to explore the power of culture and the talent pipeline. Griffin shares his background saying, “for twenty years I spent fifteen years on the operations side working with Raising Cane’s from the ninth restaurant to the four hundredth or so.” Adding, “And started my own consulting company which is Consult To Grow, where I work side by side with restaurant owners, founders and operators to scale and grow through people, systems and processes.”Wood asks Griffin what he thinks about culture in today’s marketplace, he says, “I really think of culture very similar to brand, so brand is to the customer as culture is to the employee and I think there are a lot of really important symbolic relationships between those two.” Griffin adds, “But for me what culture is it's the personality in the story of how we operate our business, what are our values, what is our management style, what are the beliefs that we hold about what it takes to compete and be successful.” Griffin, when asked about the talent pipeline says, “so talent pipeline is about three things, it's about attracting the right people, it’s about retaining the right people and it's about developing people to the next level.” To learn more about Consult To Grow, the power of culture, and the importance of the talent pipeline, listen to this episode of Accelerate.


3 Nov 2021

Rank #2

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66. How Team Connection Accelerates Your Business | Jamie Leeds Restaurant Group

In this episode of the twelve-part Accelerate series for the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, host Sam Stanovich and guest host Kathleen Wood chat with Jamie Leeds, chef and restaurateur of Jamie Leeds Restaurant Group, which includes Hank’s Oyster Bar, The Wharf and Hank’s Cocktail Bar, to explore how team connection can accelerate your business. Leeds shares how she and her team navigated during the pandemic, staying connected and brainstormed ways to stay alive financially. Recognizing that restaurants were closed and suppliers were suffering, they developed a concept to engage that supply chain. Leeds talks about keeping loyal clientele and growing their customer base. She says that they are very hospitality based and attributes that to her time as a sous chef for her mentor Danny Meyer. Leeds adds that they are hospitality first, staff is key, and the importance of taking care of her own. When asked about her hiring strategy, Leeds says she has had no problems with staffing. She was able to keep most of her staff through the winter and her team came back, even relocating them at her other restaurants. Wood asks Leeds about the theme of loyalty, Leeds said it is simple, it is about connection. To learn more about why technology is important for Jamie Leeds Restaurant Group, how Leeds is making the operator’s jobs easier, and about changing out POS systems, listen to this episode of Accelerate.


27 Oct 2021

Rank #3

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65. Brand Expansion & Growth Strategy | Atul Sood - Kitchen United

In this episode of the twelve-part Accelerate series for the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, host Sam Stanovich and guest host Kathleen Wood chat with Atul Sood, the chief business officer of Kitchen United, to explore successfully creating and implementing a growth strategy in the restaurant and hospitality industry.“We focused the business quickly on restaurants… and then we realized we needed to have a facility for onsite ordering,” says Sood. “We’ve gone from there to having six sites, and we’ll be opening another twelve to fourteen sites this year.”Founded in 2017, Kitchen United was designed to support restaurant takeout, delivery, and catering via dark kitchens. The GV-backed startup has helped countless restaurants expand their consumer base for off-premise dining.“You only staff the cooks. We take care of everything else: cleaning, sanitation, running of food to the delivery driver or customer, manning the front of house, receiving food products, managing technology, managing the co-marketing,” adds Sood. “It’s really a CapEx, time, and labor-light way to expand.”Listen to the episode to learn more about Kitchen United’s expansion plans!


24 Aug 2021

Rank #4

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64. Takeout Delivery & Catering: Accelerate Series Kickoff

In the first episode of the new 12-part Accelerate series for the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, host Sam Stanovich and guest host Kathleen Wood explore how owners, leaders, and operators can effectively accelerate their business in a post-pandemic world to push for more success, more profits, and more opportunities to rebuild the industry.“Operators are busier than ever. There’s pent-up demand in the marketplace and a huge lack of labor,” says Stanovich. “If we’re not being strategic, and if we’re not getting ready, we can’t accelerate our business to where the most amount of profit is because we’re being reactionary versus proactive in our business.”Despite appearances, the industry is moving at a rapid pace. With the pressure of the labor shortage, the pressure of supply changes, and new competitors entering the marketplace, many formerly successful businesses will be left behind if they don’t start investing in and accelerating their business now.One group that businesses need to start investing in is Gen Z—the 72 million people born between 2000 and 2015. “These Gen Zs are digital natives. Everything about their world is technologically infused,” notes Wood. “COVID really brought their voices to the forefront. These Gen Z are becoming our customers and our workforce… and they are driving all of us to be more flexible, agile and technologically advanced.”Listen to the episode to learn more about embracing the uncertain future of the industry amidst the ongoing pandemic, and successfully implementing new, relevant technology!


13 Aug 2021

Rank #5

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63. Beef, Gyros, and Silver Plates | Nick Vojnovic - Little Greek Fresh Grill

On the last episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, hosts TJ Schier and Sam Stanovich sit down with Nick Vojnovic, the president of the Little Greek franchise, to explore brand building and how businesses have shifted since the onset of the pandemic.Little Greek specializes in fresh, grilled Greek cuisine. The chain prioritizes quality, handcrafted food that is as flavorful as it is affordable.“Keep your footprint as small as you can,” says Vojnovic. “We’ve not seen a correlation between store size and sales… the future will be smaller boxes, and drive-thrus will be a key element going forward.”Little Greek currently maintains 44 locations, adding four or five restaurants each year. The company dropped about 30 to 35 percent when the pandemic first hit, but was able to rebound and become even with the previous year by summer 2020. For the chain, the main priority is to offer a wide selection of authentic food.“From a marketing standpoint, I think we’re the only franchise in the country that does not collect a marketing fee,” adds Vojnovic. “We try to let our food speak for itself. We use our catering to market the brand… for the most part, it’s all been organic growth.”Listen to the episode to learn more about mentorship and cultivating a successful work culture!

1hr 4mins

3 Aug 2021

Rank #6

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62. Be Damn Good | Elizabeth Baxter - Torchy's Tacos

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, hosts TJ Schier and Sam Stanovich sit down with Elizabeth Baxter, the chief people officer of Torchy’s Tacos, to explore the taco business, crafting products and merchandise, and building a culture of caring.Begun in a food trailer—with some advertising conducted on a Vespa—Torchy’s Tacos specializes in high quality, cooked-to-order tacos. With over 75 locations, the chain is committed to responsible sourcing, constant menu innovation, and hiring employees that reflect and reinvest in their communities.“Every taco we serve, you’re not going to see in another kind of taco shop,” says Baxter. “Our focus has really been about the best ingredients and fun, memorable names. The Brushfire has fresh mango on it, and the fact that we source that mango and make sure that it’s ripe and cut perfectly—that’s what gets people coming back.”For Torchy’s, the goal is to make the food original and keep the customers engaged. They have a secret menu that customers can only learn about through the grapevine, and a taco of the month special to continuously surprise guests with new tacos as well as tacos from the vault to try.“Food trucks are relevant because it’s just another form. Right now, people don’t want to sit in a restaurant, so we’ve shifted to this off-premise idea,” adds Baxter. “It’s another way of people getting food in an easier, different way. And people like different, innovative, and easier.”Listen to the episode to learn more about taco trucks and best practices for recruiting!This episode is sponsored by DAWN® PROFESSIONAL - Pot and Pan


18 May 2021

Rank #7

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61. Setting Roots for the Future! | Tom Foley & Tiffany Derry

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, hosts TJ Schier and Sam Stanovich sit down with Tom Foley, the founder of Indigo Group, and Tiffany Derry, the chef and owner of Roots Chicken Shak, to explore packaging, catering, community, and planting roots for the future.Roots Chicken Shak is famous for its duck fat fried chicken, courtesy of celebrity chef Tiffany Derry. Options range from wings and tenders to sandwiches and salads, all freshly prepared in the chain’s limited 300 square feet of space. Indigo Group helped found Roots Chicken Shak in 2017, and the management consulting company continues to oversee the chain’s operations.“We call the front of the house the restaurant, where Tiffany is amazing both from a chef’s perspective and a guest’s engagement,” says Foley. “The back of the house is all the operational components. Anything that smells legal comes my way.”Roots Chicken Shak has a culture of buying local. The chain endeavors to keep the menu narrow and focused—emphasizing chef Tiffany’s southern upbringing and preference for dishes with local, fresh ingredients and spices—to keep ordering and packaging processes simple and seamless. Roots found the ideal packing partner in H-E-B.“We’re quick service. We knew that in order to make the numbers that we needed to make, it wasn’t just about everyone coming in and eating—we needed our pickup and delivery to be a large part of our program,” says Derry. “I wanted to make sure that we had proper materials… not everything works for chicken.”Listen to the episode to learn more about the making of duck fat fried chicken, as well as how to successfully invest in your community!


12 May 2021

Rank #8

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60. Life Changing Chicken! | Lewis Rudd - Ezell’s Fried Chicken

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, host Sam Stanovich sits down with Lewis Rudd, the president and chief executive officer of Ezell’s Fried Chicken, to explore chicken, food trucks, and marketing transparency.This episode is sponsored by DAWN® PROFESSIONAL - Pot and Pan


4 May 2021

Rank #9

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58. 100% Plant Based, 100% Yummy! | Carin Stutz - Native Foods

On this episode of the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, hosts TJ Schier and Sam Stanovich sit down with Carin Stutz, president and chief executive officer at Native Foods, to explore earth-friendly eating, investing in your community, as well as the ins and outs of packaging and catering.


14 Apr 2021

Rank #10