Nearly every time a national restaurant chain introduces a new menu item, it first tests it out in a handful of markets. Restaurants must see if customers like the item, if suppliers can deliver the ingredients they need, and if staff can prepare and serve the new items without gumming up operations. These tests happen as a matter of course, often with little fanfare. But, thanks to social media and Americans’ growing fascination with food, today these tests create a fair ...

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