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Chef Chatter: Menu Trends Revealed

Chefs must be on the cutting edge of all menu trends, and who better to reveal next year’s most popular foods than the people designing menus for some of the hottest up and coming fast casuals.


Brian Bailey | Founder & CEO | Ichor Restaurant Group

Brian Bailey is the CEO and culinary leader behind Ichor Restaurant Group’s many restaurant concepts. His flagship Old Carolina Barbecue Company brand has won more than 150 awards for smoked meats and sauces while Smoke the Burger Joint was awarded five straight 1st place awards at the National Hamburger Festival from 2013-2107. His menus pay homage to regional taste profiles across the USA, from southern California taco stands (Baja Pizzafish) to Nashville Hot Chicken (PJs Legendary Hot Chicken) and roadside barbecue shacks in the Carolinas (Old Carolina). He keeps his creative culinary juices flowing with LTO’s and Ghost Kitchen concepts.

William Eudy | Corporate Executive Chef | McAlister’s Deli

William Eudy brings more than 25 years of culinary experience to his current role as Corporate Executive Chef for McAlister’s Deli, where he oversees culinary development for the company’s 460+ restaurants. Since joining McAlister’s in April 2015, Will has been responsible for bringing a wholesome, clean approach to crafting McAlister’s menu items from recipe development and sourcing, to the building of each dish. Along with a focus on handcrafted food and beverage offerings, Chef Will assists purchasing in the selection of quality products and strategic partners, while finding ways to improve current vendor relations and efficiency.

Ike Shehadeh | Founder | Ike’s Love & Sandwiches

Ike Shehadeh, biased philosopher, pop culture icon and sandwich wizard has been transcending the sandwich genre since 2007. As founder of Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, Ike has grown a massive cult following with over 60 stores across 5 different states and counting. Celebrity fans, unique sandwiches found nowhere else and Ike’s infamous “dirty sauce” fuel this audacious brand – with sales increasing by 50% year-over-year. With over 500 creations, sandwich lovers will find an awesome sandwich for meat lovers, gluten-free diets, vegans, vegetarians and beyond. This sandwich guru is committed to inspiring the world. One sandwich at a time.

Tim Wildin | Strategic Advisor | TiffinLabs

Tim Wildin is a seasoned brand marketing, culinary, and product development executive. Tim is currently an advisor to several food tech startups and CPG companies, with a particular specialization in cloud kitchens and plant-based foods. At Chipotle Mexican Grill, over the course of a decade Tim served in a variety of roles, including Brand Director and Director of Menu Development, driving the concept development cycle from ideation through a rigorous testing process to global rollout.


Emily Hirsch | VP of Beverage Menu Development | Botrista Technology

Emily Hirsch serves as the VP of Beverage Menu Development for Botrista Technology. She has extensive background in the food & beverage industry and specializes in customer menu offerings and driving tailor made customer solutions. Emily has over a decade of experience building successful beverage programs for hundreds of local and National accounts, with a proven track record of building win-win customer relationships for both Aramark Refreshments and the Coca-Cola Company. Emily is an evangelist of menu trends and is passionate about driving innovation within the industry. Botrista Technology is a robotics company providing automated beverage solutions to enhance beverage programs and automate drink menus for restaurant chains.

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