Restaurant Podcasts

Table Touch Podcast 008 — Talking Menus & Ralph Rubio

Menu decisions are among the most difficult for restaurant leaders to make.

On this episode of the Table Touch podcast, we talk about the seemingly conflicting advice from these resources:

We also interview Ralph Rubio, founder of Rubio’s Coastal Grill. (Want to skip straight to the interview? Go to the 13:26 mark of the show, or -30:47 if you’re looking at the countdown clock.)

This was a great and casual, lifestyle-magazine type of conversation. We hope you like it. Let us know!

Show Notes

Is it a longer menu that you should cultivate or a shorter one?

On one hand, Patricia Cobe of Restaurant Business makes the case that deeper menu descriptions lure in guests and will cause them to spend more, and she cites data from Food Genius that backs this up. The focus is on menu descriptions and how you sell your food.

On the other hand, consumers don’t like lllloooonnnggg menus. We’re growing tired of neverending menus that only make our decisions more difficult. How can you win? Hear what Brandon and Randy have to say about this.

And then we get Ralph’s expertise….

Our Interview with Ralph Rubio

Our interview with Ralph was so much fun. We hear the origin story of Rubio’s Coastal Grill. With their nearly-200 locations, they’ve served about 200 million fish tacos and have become known for introducing the fish taco to the United States.

Among the many takeaways from this legend in the restaurant industry:

  • What are the key ingredients and process to create the perfect fish taco?
  • What was Ralph’s inspiration to start Rubio’s?
  • How can you evolve your concept from a narrow niche to a bigger restaurant brand?
  • What’s the “mission” for Rubio’s? What’s their aim? Coast to coast. Here Ralph’s vision for the future.
  • How can stay on top of technology with so many units?
  • What gets Ralph excited about the restaurant industry? Flavors. (And Ralph really respects what Cucina Urbana and Burger Lounge are doing.)
Read:  Tips for Being More Inclusive in Your Restaurant Business

Ralph was a good sport and we’re honored to have hosted him. He even joined us in a game of “When I Say ________, You Say ________” with us as well. What were his choices?

  • When I say “Godfather”, Ralph says ________.
  • When I say “culture”, Ralph says ________.
  • When I say “San Diego”, Ralph says ________.
  • When I say “favorite Mexican dish”, Ralph says ________.

Thanks for joining us, Ralph!

How You Can Participate with Table Touch

More outstanding restaurant leaders are lined up for future episodes — so subscribe or hop on board the mailing list (to the right) and we’ll let you know about each episode.

About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.