Fieldtrip, potato cakes, restaurant merch and rice

Menu Talk: Pat and Bret discuss the latest food and beverage trends and feature a conversation with Krak Boba CEO Tin Do.

This week, Pat Cobe, senior menu editor of Restaurant Business, recounted her visit to Fieldtrip, J.J. Johnson’s Afro-Caribbean rice bowl concept with items like jerk meatballs and coconut yogurt, and Bret Thorn, senior food & beverage editor of Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality, discussed his visit with an old friend to an Indian restaurant attached to a Hindu temple in the New York City neighborhood of Flushing in Queens, which led to a discussion of rice-making techniques. Pat uses a fool-proof rice cooker and Bret uses a traditional pot, but he finishes it in the oven to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.

Pat also visited Chick-fil-A’s first all-digital location, which is designed for streamlined, order-ahead takeout and has a separate section for delivery drivers. Bret also expressed his joy at the return of potato cakes to Arby’s locations nationwide, as it’s one of his favorite quick-service sides, and that segued into an observation of both co-hosts about the increased availability of merch, especially clothing, sold by restaurants, which can be both a revenue stream and a marketing vehicle.

The guest on this week’s podcast was Tin Do, the CEO and founder of Krak Boba in Southern California. The beverage concept is actually named for the legendary Polish King Krakus, who saved his village from a dragon.

Tin Do explained that Krak Boba’s three philosophical pillars are courage, service and joy, and he discussed how he empowers his own team members to live their best lives while also encouraging guests to express their own “personaliTea.” Listen as he describes how he differentiates Krak Boba as the boba tea sector continues to trend.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on Spotify.

Menu Talk is a collaboration between Restaurant Business Senior Menu Editor Pat Cobe and Bret Thorn, senior food & beverage editor of Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality. You can subscribe to it wherever you listen to podcasts.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


The FTC signals a tougher stance on franchising, for now

The Bottom Line: The agency’s comments last week represented some of its toughest regulatory moves on franchising in years. But the election might have a say in it.


Why True Food Kitchen's new chicken tenders took a year to perfect

Behind the Menu: The gluten-free, air-fried tenders stay true to the restaurant’s health and quality mission, with the crispy crunch consumers crave.


Why MOD Pizza is not out of the woods yet

The Bottom Line: The fast-casual pizza chain was sold last week to Elite Restaurant Group. But few who’ve seen the finances believe the company can avoid closing large numbers of stores.


More from our partners