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In The Kitchen with Bret Thorn
Nate Weir, Vice President of Culinary at Modern Restaurant Concepts, on the coronavirus pandemic's change in restaurants, “It’s certainly a different process than we’re used to.”

Nate Weir, culinary chief of Modern Market and Lemonade, adjusts to the coronavirus pandemic

Menu development works differently when social distancing is in play

Listen to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify or SoundCloud.

Nate Weir, vice president of culinary at Modern Restaurant Concepts, has been overseeing the food at seasonal fast-casual chain Modern Market Eatery for nine years, and he also has been looking after the food at another fast-casual concept, Lemonade, since it was purchased by Modern Market a year and a half ago.

Each concept has around 30 locations.

With the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Weir has had to change a lot. Team leaders can no longer travel to Modern’s Denver headquarters for training, and restaurant-wide meetings are a bad idea, so Weir has had to implement different training processes. He also has pressed pause on seasonal menu rollouts, instead working with ingredients that his staff is already trained on to manage cost and streamline operations. That’s how Modern Market’s Mexican Street Corn Pizza was born.

Lemonade also has launched two new web sites with new photography and reworked menu items — such as a scoop of curried chicken salad that is now a chicken salad sandwich.

In this podcast Weir discusses how he and his team have adjusted during these difficult times and what their plans are for the future.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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