Behind every great meal is a chef’s unique vision. For the executive chefs at Inspire Brands, that vision comes to life in a state-of-the-art test kitchen in the Atlanta Support Center.
After more than a year of development, the 8,000-square-foot, custom-built test kitchen has become an environment that sparks collaboration among each of Inspire’s brand chefs.
“The new test kitchen has created a think-tank type of environment,” Neville Craw, Vice President and Brand Executive Chef for Arby’s, said. “Our teams continue to work on our individual brands, so chefs from Buffalo Wild Wings aren’t working on Arby’s recipes or vice versa. But we set the tone early on by allowing this to be an open workspace where interacting with other brands is encouraged.”
“Ideas get better when more experts get their eyes on a product and can collaborate. That’s exactly what we’re doing in the new Inspire test kitchen.” Jamie Carawan, Vice President of Brand Menu and Culinary, Buffalo Wild Wings
For the culinary teams at the Atlanta Support Center, the biggest benefit of the new space comes in the form of research and development for new products.
“Essentially any type of cooking technique required to emulate an idea can be done in our test kitchen,” Neville said. “We’re spending much less time on the phone with vendors trying to explain how we want a product to taste, and instead we’re creating it ourselves. This process is more efficient and it allows us to take ownership of what we want our end product to look like.”
Another highlight of the test kitchen is the showcase area, where brands can host anyone from team members to executives and even social media influencers for new product tastings.
“We have a space in front of the kitchen that we’re proud of, that we can bring people into and introduce new products,” Jamie Carawan, Vice President of Brand Menu and Culinary for Buffalo Wild Wings, said.
“It really is the perfect mix of being a functional, working test kitchen, but also having a very aesthetically pleasing space for food presentations.”
In the new Atlanta Support Center, executive chefs are working to create the gold standard for tomorrow across Inspire’s family of restaurants.
“Our goal is always to serve a great product,” Jamie said. “You get that with good feedback as you’re moving throughout the process. Our new test kitchen is allowing us to do just that, and I think you’re already seeing the results in our restaurants.”
Check out before and after photos of Inspire’s new test kitchen below: