Fazoli’s | Based in Lexington, Ky.
By Lisa Shames
May 12, 2022
Creating new standout menu items in the quick-serve space requires aggressive flavor innovation, an approach Wendy’s deftly applies as it pairs new bold flavors with classic, beloved dishes. Take, for example, Wendy’s Hot Honey Sauce, which stars in two new sandwiches: the Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich and the Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit. “The sauce forges two flavor profiles, sweet and spicy, to bring forward something explosive and mouthwatering,” says Brittney Hollinger, Specialist, Culinary Innovation.
“Our Hot Honey duo is the perfect example of passion, collaboration and patience coming together. My team and I love exploring new flavors and knew we could take the hot honey trend up a notch,” she says. “We nailed the perfect balance of sweet yet spicy in the sauce by bringing a secret weapon into the mix—the habanero pepper. It brings forward fruity, citrusy flavors offering a spicy kick alongside its sweet flavors.”
Wendy’s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich features a spicy chicken breast topped with pepper Jack cheese, applewood-smoked bacon and crispy pickle chips, plus a drizzle of the new sauce. And while that sauce is the star, the accompaniments are key elements, as well. “Fan response to the crispy pickle chips has been incredible. They combine the distinct flavor of a dill pickle with the fried crunch of a potato chip—the perfect bite, every bite,” says Hollinger.
Snack Wave: Fried Mozzarella Skewers Fazoli’s | Based in Lexington, Ky.
It’s Good to Be King: Pho ‘King’ Delicious Dip Sandwich Enclave Café | Based in San Diego
Enclave Café | Based in San Diego
Colorful Classic: Roasted Cauliflower Soup Ellie’s Restaurant & Lounge | Dallas
Ellie’s Restaurant & Lounge | Dallas
Farm To Glass: Un Dia Cocktail Duende | Oakland, Calif.
Duende | Oakland, Calif.
Hybrid Hit: Braised Beef Chilaquiles Norms | Based in Bellflower, Calif.
Norms | Based in Bellflower, Calif.
Clean & Classic: Yellowtail Jalapeño Nobu | Based in New York
Nobu | Based in New York
Sunrise, Sunset: Dusk til Dawn Cocktail Nina’s | New York
Nina’s | New York
Monkey Around: Mango Monkey Bread National Mango Board + Tesse Restaurant
National Mango Board + Tesse Restaurant
From the 2023 Top 10 Trends issue of Flavor & The Menu, for chefs and menu developers. Read full issue online.