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April 2, 2021 47 min

While most quick serves and fast casuals had a huge advantage in quickly recovering from the sales drop of last March, there is a whole subset of fast casuals that, even if they were in tune with digital and off-premises trends, took much longer to recover. Those are the fast casuals in more urban areas or business districts, brands that might have done 80 percent or more of their sales at the lunch daypart and had a massive catering business serving the workers of downtown Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, or other major cities.

Fields Good Chicken is one such fast casual that was at the mercy of the shuttered office spaces and the quick pivot to remote work. Founded by Field Failing in 2014, this wholesome chicken brand had grown to six New York City locations before the pandemic, and was geared toward that Manhattan office lunch crowd that completely evaporated last March. But Fields Good Chicken didn’t give up—and it didn’t let a good opportunity go to waste. Failing joins the podcast to talk about how the brand spent this season finding efficiencies in the operation, why it decided to pare back its menu, and how the evolution of the restaurant industry reminds him of the e-commerce revolution of the early 2000s.

This episode is brought to you by Lamb Weston.

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