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In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout podcast, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” were on the road at Restaurant Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Their guests include the President of Dunn Brothers Coffee, Kim Plahn, Alex Eagle, CEO of Freebirds World Burrito, Daran Han, Cargill, and Scott Taylor, President and CEO of Walk’Ons Sports Bistreaux.

Ed and Dan Dunn were on a mission to roast in small batches, serve freshly brewed coffee, and provide an experience and the community was front and center. Dunn Brothers Coffee opened in 1987.

Plahn has been with Dunn for 16 years and the brand currently has 55 locations and is continuing to grow. Gala Capital Partners recently acquired Dunn Brothers Coffee. Plahn said, “We’re getting infrastructure all set, we’re getting our pipelines going, and we’re looking at new models for business. We have wonderful funding behind us and we are ready to grow and share our brand.”

Alex Eagle is the CEO of Freebirds World Burrito, the Austin-based restaurant chain. Eagle has worked for the ownership group, Tavistock Group for 11 years. Eagles said that they have 63 locations and 100 percent of the company is operated in Texas and focused on burritos and bowls. The guys ask Eagle where restaurant and technology will be in two years, and he said, Well I think people are still taking a look at the labor issue the most and how do we become more efficient and how do we create a better work environment for our employees at the same time.

Daran Han leads the food tech division at Cargill. Han said I think a big part of our long-term strategy and vision is that we realized to serve the industry better we have to start getting technology and understanding how digital and the technology solutions are impacting what we’re doing across the industry. Cargill Digital Studios as we continue to build this out, the portfolio last time when on the show had four or five new products and now has eight in the portfolio.

Walk’Ons Sports Bistreaux CEO, Scott Taylor stopped by to chat with the guys. Walk-On’s operates 75 locations and is on the path to reaching 100 locations by the end of 2024. Taylor talks about the underdog mentality and how Walk-On’s embraces that and allows it to drive their culture.

To hear more from all of the guests that stopped by to chat with Schatzberg and Frischling at RLC and the crystal ball moments, check out this episode Hospitality Hangout.

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