Chef Nick Graff joins Noodles & Company as director of Culinary R&D

Noodles & Company recently announced the appointment of Chef Nick Graff as director of Culinary Research and Development. Graff will oversee the development of the company’s in-restaurant menu, new catering program, seasonal limited time offerings and the selection of all...


Holy jalapeno! How hot will menus get?

Sriracha, according to CCD Innovation, is in 2014 what chipotle was in 2009.

How to keep pace with changing flavor trends

Customers' preferences are more sophisticated than ever, and should be considered in the R&D; process.

Menu newsmakers include the chicken and the egg

Vegetables will soon be treated with the same care and creativity as proteins.

Menu product development takes patience, collaboration

You can create a great product but without marketing, it won't budge.

NRA Show '13: A handful of menu trends emerge

Gluten free, Greek yogurt, beverages and children's nutrition are just some of the show highlights from the food side.

A great idea is not enough

Consumers respond more favorably to professionally created and produced communications.

What is the role of 'thought leadership' in new product innovation?

The old paradigm of type-A R&D; business managers that run large R&D; departments is out, and the new model of servant leaders with innovative thought leadership is in.

NRA 2012: Culinary Concepts Group

Eric Justice with Culinary Concepts Group discusses culinary trends in the restaurant space. Operators are focusing on authentic ethnic flavors that span from big, bold flavors to those of a more subtle variety.

Kitchen Innovations winners tout energy savings

The products were chosen based on innovation and their impact on operations.

Three organizational challenges that hinder innovation (and the solutions to resolve them)

There are three main challenges that hinder innovation: Playing catch up, ambiguity and underdevelopment of employees.

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Fresh To Order adds bison burger to menu

Fresh To Order announced today it's adding a new bison burger to its menu, along with a new fruit and two new desserts to its summer offerings. The bison burger is prepared fresh to order on a flame grill in...

HMSHost creates technology simulation lab for dining concepts

HMSHost has introduced imagineIT, an airport terminal simulation lab that allows the company to explore new technology solutions for its airport-based dining concepts. The lab is located in Washington, D.C. According to a news release, HMSHost’s imagineIT allows employees and...

Yogurtland creates vacation-inspired flavors for summer promotion

Yogurtland has launched its Ultimate Summer promotion, featuring “vacation-inspired” flavors.   “Yogurtland’s Ultimate Summer promotion offers an oasis of flavors inspired by our fans’ favorite vacations including big city getaways, tropical escapes, outdoor adventures and spa retreats.

General Mills Foodservice seeks independent restaurants’ recipes for contest

General Mills Foodservice is calling on independent family restaurants to enter its Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest for a chance to win up to $50,000 ($40,000 cash plus a $10,000 charitable donation) and the opportunity to put their local dishes in the national spotlight.  From Aug. 1 through Sept.

Sweetgreen's converts DC area store into test kitchen

Sweetgreen's recently revamped one of its Washington D.C.-area stores to become a test kitchen for the chain, according to a report in the Washington Post. The move is part of Sweetgreen's focus on developing new menu items. "We have been...

Morton Salt adding $1M lab for reduced sodium solutions research

Morton Salt Inc. announced today the launch of a new food lab dedicated to exploring reduced sodium solutions.

JJ's Red Hots, King of Pops team up for summer popsicle creation

JJ's Red Hots is teaming up with King of Pops to create a new summer menu offering: JJ's Red Pop, a gourmet popsicle featuring chocolate, smoked candied bacon, cayenne and sea salt. "This ain’t a frozen hot dog on a...

Innovation Center opens in Colorado for foodservice professionals

Food and Drink Resources, a Centennial, Colo.-based consultancy firm, has opened a new Innovation Center for food and drink professionals. The founders of the test kitchen from FDR built the space to serve a range of food purveyors from QSR...

Jamba Juice’s fresh-squeezed juice rolls out six months ahead of schedule

Jamba Juice’s expanded fresh-squeezed juice menu will be available in more than 500 stores nationally as of June 2. According to the company, due to overwhelming consumer response in the pilot launch, the company accelerated the national rollout of the...

Al’s Beef and Nancy’s Pizza sign Mike Ditka as spokesperson

Chicago Bears legendary coach, player and current TV commentator Mike Ditka has been named as the new spokesperson for Chicago Franchise Systems Inc., parent company of Al’s Beef and Nancy’s Pizza restaurants. According to a news release, Ditka will support...

Panera adds new test facility to enhance bakery business

Panera Bread Co. has unveiled a new test bakery facility in New Haven, Conn.

Modmarket adds its first fish option to the menu

Modmarket has introduced nine new seasonal items, including its first fish option. According to a news release, the new spring menu includes: Sandwiches (replacing Sweet Potato Goat and Red Chicken Melt) The Sonora – Spiced roasted sweet potato, grilled leeks,...

Rubio's introduces enchiladas to the menu

Rubio's Restaurants has added chef-crafted Enchilada Plates to its menu. According to a news release the new product line was created by Rubio's co-founder, Ralph Rubio, and Rubio's team of chefs, and includes: Sustainable Pan-Seared Shrimp Enchiladas with verde sauce;...

Kids LiveWell names healthy recipe challenge winners

The National Restaurant Association has announced the winners of the second annual Kids LiveWell Recipe Challenge, an initiative showcasing restaurants' culinary efforts for creating healthful menu options for children. The event, sponsored by founding partner McCormick For Chefs and Healthy...

Baja Fresh adds Chef Lopez to product development team

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill has named Chef Roberto "Pepe" Lopez as its new director of Product Development. According to a news release, Lopez has more than 32 years' experience in the restaurant industry, starting his career as executive chef in restaurants such as Cano's, Las Brisas and El Torito Grill.

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