Skip navigation
In The Kitchen with Bret Thorn
Mike Gieseman of REGO Restaurant Group joins Bret on this week's episode of In the Kitchen with Bret Thorn to talk about innovations at Taco Del Mar and Quiznos.

Mike Gieseman shares menu development strategies at Quiznos and Taco Del Mar during coronavirus pandemic

The corporate chef discusses sourcing and strategies as the business slowly improves

Listen to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify or SoundCloud.

Veteran corporate chef Mike Gieseman has spent the past year as director of culinary innovation for the REGO Restaurant Group, parent company of Quiznos and Taco Del Mar.

His job has changed a bit since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the restaurants have rolled out whole new categories of offerings. Quiznos, which currently has 393 of its 406 North American restaurants open, has started selling its deli meats and cheeses by the pound, along with loaves of bread, plus bulk quantities of sauce, soup and condiments.

Taco Del Mar, meanwhile, has rolled out meal kits so guests can assemble their own tacos, nachos and burritos at home — an idea that franchisees hadn’t really taken to in the past, but that makes perfect sense now as guests are sheltering in place.

Currently 82 of Taco Del Mar’s 86 restaurants are open.

In this podcast, Gieseman discusses these new offerings as well as the challenges of menu development during an economic and public health crisis — including the fact that franchisees are already busy trying to keep their finances in order and retrofitting their restaurants according to new guidelines and don’t have time to train their staff on new items.

Sourcing has also become more problematic, and Gieseman is candid about some near-misses that the chains have faced.   


Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.