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Dunkin’ executive chef Stan Frankenthaler wins kudos for menu innovation

Was it Sausage Pancake Bites from Dunkin’ Donuts that helped win a coveted culinary award? Or maybe it was Bagel Twists. And what jaded palate could fail to be wowed by French Toast ice cream, a cutting-edge flavor from Baskin-Robbins?

These are some recent new menu additions at the two restaurant chains, and on Friday, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., the Canton-based parent of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced that its executive chef, Stan Frankenthaler, has been honored as the 2012 MenuMasters Innovator of the Year.

The Nation’s Restaurant News’ MenuMasters Awards are sponsored by Ventura Foods, and the awards were recently presented at a ceremony in Chicago, where Frankenthaler was hailed as among the most uber of uber chefs.

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Introducing a continual stream of new menu items is an important part of a restaurant’s strategy in driving both new and repeat business, and Frankenthaler has been no slouch in this department.

In winning the MenuMasters Innovator, Frankenthaler was recognized for the culinary innovation that he has led at both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, Dunkin’ Brands said in a press release.

As a coffee-and-baked-goods chain, Dunkin’ Donuts is singularly focused on pushing the envelope on hand-held cuisine. Under Frankenthaler’s watch, Dunkin’s food scientists have devised such new menu items as the Big N’ Toasted Breakfast Sandwich, Sausage Pancake Bites, Angus Steak & Egg Sandwich, Bagel Twists, and Dunkin’ Dark Roast Coffee, the Dunkin’ Brands press release noted.

On the ice cream front, meanwhile, the Baskin-Robbins team has unveiled such innovative flavors as Salted Caramel Cashew, Superfudge Truffle, and the aforementioned French Toast.

For 2011, Dunkin’ Brands had franchisee-reported sales of about $8.3 billion.


Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.