If the race to create new menu items for restaurants might have been likened to a middle-distance run in the past, it’s more of a sprint today. The pace of core-menu introductions and limited-time offerings has quickened dramatically as such operators as McDonald’s, Denny’s, Darden Restaurants and Ignite Restaurant Group increasingly turn to new products to drive sales and please customers who feast on the new and trendy. As a result, the research chef no longer works ...

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