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Quinn Adkins simplifies Culver’s menu development during pandemic

The corporate chef works to ease operational challenges


Quinn Adkins has been Culver’s director of menu development for the past six years, overseeing the creation of menu items such as the award-winning Pretzel Haus Pub Burger and other items popular with guests and franchisees alike, such as the pretzel bites that recently were made permanent additions to the menu because they’re easy to make and also contribute to incremental sales — both important factors at all times, but particularly during a pandemic.

He also introduced a veggie burger made with actual plants rather than the meat analogs that he says are now so ubiquitous that a restaurant can no longer distinguish itself by using them.

Frozen custard is another signature item at the 800-unit chain based in Prairie du Sac, Wis., and customers are known to make U-turns when they see signs alerting them that their favorite custard is the “Flavor of the Day.”

Adkins has introduced two new custard flavors this year, but he did it without adding new SKUs by taking ingredients the opeartors had and blending them in different combinations.

The chef recently discussed those innovations with Nation’s Restaurant News, and also hinted at what might be coming in the future, such as a vegan entrée that isn’t a salad.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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