Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
May 5, 2020

Shane Schaibly photo

Shane Schaibly

Taking a close look at a menu item occasionally affords the ability to trace the DNA of a restaurant concept and illuminate its path of innovation. The BLTE sandwich at First Watch, a breakfast-and-lunch heritage brand, holds that blueprint, outlining a commitment to quality and a savvy understanding of changing flavor preferences.

The BLTE started life as an open-faced sandwich. It soon moved to a regular sandwich build. When First Watch introduced its incredibly popular Avocado Toast a few years back, Shane Schaibly, VP of Culinary and Corporate Chef, upgraded the BLTE’s bread with the new SKU, replacing its multigrain with the Avocado Toast’s artisan whole grain.

He also perked up the “L” part of the sandwich, dressing the spring mix with First Watch’s Lemon-White Balsamic Vinaigrette. “That little step gives the sandwich the right acidity to balance the flavors,” he says. Schaibly does point out that the spring mix was on the sandwich from day one, in 1983. “Back then it was a rare thing to see on a sandwich—we were cutting edge,” he says. The iconic brand continues to shift with the times, adapting trends in familiar, comforting formats.

About The Author