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Brands can improve by putting data to work, in Living Large

Brands can improve by putting data to work, in Living Large

Living Large

The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Dressed to the nines, CEO Tom Ryan was all business at a Smashburger in Burnsville, Minnesota.

The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Behind the line, Tom Ryan’s true colors came out as he described the many little techniques and ingredients that add up to big flavor.

The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Tom Ryan became especially emotive when he described the science of the actual smashing of ground beef.

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Tom Ryan wasn't interested in being CEO of the Smashburger brand he co-founded in 2007, but as he rolls up in his BMW X6, impeccably dressed and with a full tank of confidence, it seems he was born ready for this role—and this interview. Ryan's impressive resume precluded his arrival at the restaurant. With a Ph.D. in flavor and fragrance chemistry and the inventions of the McGriddle and Stuffed Crust Pizza under his belt, he looked more like a flashy executive than a food science savant that's the bedrock of his career.

Nature’s Table was healthy before it was cool

Nature’s Table was healthy before it was cool

Shadi Fackih, above right with his brother Samer, operates Nature's Table units with family members. “There's no reason there's a McDonald's o…

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Rich Wagner's life has gotten easier in recent years. As the co-founder and senior vice president of Nature's Table, a 68-unit healthier-eating fast-casual concept started in Florida in the late 1980's, he's seen the concept pick up some momentum as Americans have generally started favoring healthier and more transparent restaurants.

Nature’s Table Expands as Americans Eat Healthier

Nature’s Table Expands as Americans Eat Healthier

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It must be refreshing to be Rich Wagner these days. He's the co-founder and senior vice president of Nature's Table, a 68-unit healthier-eating fast-casual concept that started in Florida back in 1977. Now, after 39 years, the concept is finally growing quickly as Americans are generally starting to favor healthier and more transparent restaurants.