The Top 30 Restaurant Experts to Follow in 2016

By: Allison Tetreault

9 Minute Read

Jun 07, 2016

restaurant experts 2016

The restaurant industry is in a constant state of flux. As new restaurant management strategies arise, it becomes increasingly important for restaurateurs to keep a pulse on industry news and trends.

That's why we created the first annual Top 30 Restaurant Experts To Follow. The following restaurant experts are the most influential thought leaders in restaurant leadership. From chefs, to restaurant owners, to CEO's, to restaurant consultants, everyone here has experiences and insights and are a valuable, reliable resource for the latest solutions and best practices.

Our methodology was to choose restaurant leaders active on Twitter within the past month, and with more than 1,000 followers. Their social reach must be great, and they must post excellent restaurant content about management, food, and/or marketing.

The following is an alphabetical list of the most knowledgable professionals in the industry. Restaurateurs, open up your Twitter account and follow these industry professionals for some great day-to-day restaurant insights!

The Top 30 Restaurant Influencers

aaron allenAaron Allen

Restaurant Consultant, Aaron Allen & Associates
Follow globe-trotting restaurant consultant Aaron Allen to all 7 continents, 7 wonders and 100+ countries.@QMG - www.aaronallen.com


adam-rappaportAdam Rappaport

Editor-in-chief, Bon Appétit Magazine
Under his leadership, Bon Appétit has evolved to include a robust video presence, a successful podcast and nearly 1 million social followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
@rapo4 - www.bonappetit.com


Alan Sytsma alan sytsma

Editor, Grub Street Network
Food Editor at Grub Street. Chances are good I'm hungry right this second.
@asytsma - www.grubstreet.com


Alex Van Burenalex van buren

Food and Travel Writer
Journalist. Food/ travel writer. Digital editor/ strategist. Bylines: Travel & Leisure, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Epicurious, Food and Wine.
@alexvanburen - www.alexvanburen.com


barbara fairchildBarbara Fairchild

Food Writer, Editor, Consultant
Noted food authority, restaurant and travel expert. More than three decades on staff at Bon Appetit magazine, including over ten years as editor-in-chief.
@fairchildonfood - LinkedIn


Bret ThornBret Thorn

Food Writer, Nation's Restaurant News
Follow the adventures of a New York City food writer.
@FoodWriterDiary - nrn.com/blog/food-writers-diary


brooke williamsonBrooke Williamson

Chef and Restaurateur
Chef. Restaurateur. The Tripel, Play Provisions, Hudson House Bar. Lucky mother & wife.
@ChefBrookeW - www.bravotv.com/people/brooke-williamson


cheryl bachelderCheryl Bachelder

CEO, Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.
Restaurant chain CEO focused on developing purpose-driven leaders who evidence competence and character in all aspects of their lives. Author of Dare To Serve.
@CABachelder - www.cherylbachelder.com


chef chris hillChris Hill

Chef, Bach Kitchen
Inspired Chef/Entrepreneur/Author IG: TheChefChrisHill 2X TEDx Speaker
@bachkitchen - www.mybachelorkitchen.com


dana cowinDana Cowin

Editor-in-chief, Food & Wine
Food & Wine editor in chief. pathologically positive. mom. adventure organizer. omnivore.
@fwscout - www.foodandwine.com


daniel bouludDaniel Boulud

Chef, Cafe Boulud, Bar Boulud, and More
Daniel Boulud is Chef-Owner of several award-winning restaurants and the Feast & Fêtes catering company
@DanielBoulud - www.danielboulud.com


danny meyerDanny Meyer

CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group
Restaurateur, always Setting the Table. Danny, his restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 25 James Beard Awards.
@dhmeyer - www.ushgnyc.com


danyelle freemanDanyelle Freeman

Founder, RestaurantGirl.com
Food-obsessed writer at RestaurantGirl.com; Author of Try This: Traveling The Globe Without Leaving The Table.
@restaurantgirl - www.restaurantgirl.com


donald burnsDonald Burns

The Restaurant Coach™
The Restaurant Coach™, industry expert at . Former USAF Pararescue. My mission: increase profits, build brands, strengthen teams.
@donaldburns - www.donaldburns.net


ellie mirmanEllie Mirman

VP of Marketing, Toast
VP Marketing at Toast, all-in-one restaurant technology platform.
@ellieellie - www.toasttab.com


helen rosnerHelen Rosner

Features Editor, Eater
Features editor at Eater & Eater Upsell cohost. Editor, writer, critic.
@hels - www.eater.com/authors/hels


holly atkinsonHolly Atkinson

Co-Chair of Communications, Slow Food NYC
Food Tech and Local Food digital strategy & communication for Sea to Table, Phoenicia Diner, Slow Food NYC, and more. Arts, media, activism: ActOnClimate, VotingRights, UniteBlue, P2
@HollyA - www.makingfoodwork.com


hudson riehleHudson Riehle

Senior Vice President, National Restaurant Association
National Restaurant Association - SVP, Research & Knowledge Group
@HudsonRiehle - www.restaurant.org


chef john beshJohn Besh

Chef, Author of Best Big Easy
Author, chef & restaurateur dedicated to preserving our nation's foodways. Follow along for updates from the ten restaurants in New Orleans and San Antonio.
@chefjohnbesh - www.chefjohnbesh.com


jonathan mazeJonathan Maze

Financial Editor, Nation's Restaurant News
Jonathan Maze covers finance for Nations Restaurant News, as well as restaurant chains based in the Midwest.
@jonathanmaze - www.nrn.com/author/jonathan-maze


josh martinJosh Martin

Director of Digital and Social Media, Arby's
Golf Addict. Sports Nut. Husband. Dad. Kennesaw State & MTSU alum. Digital & Social Media guy at Arby's. Views expressed here are my own.
@Jmart730 - www.about.me/jmart730


ken burginKen Burgin

Owner, Profitable Hospitality
Sharing with restaurant, cafe, club and hotel operators to make business more profitable. Focus on marketing, management, cost-control, training, staff.
@KenBurgin - www.profitablehospitality.com


mario bataliMario Batali

Chef, Restaurateur
Food, like most things, is best when left to its own simple beauty.
@Mariobatali - www.mariobatali.com


mark morenoMark Moreno

President, MM Restaurant Development
Winning Strategies, Processes, & Innovations for Restaurants
@foodsho - www.mark-moreno.strikingly.com


nick kokonasNick Kokonas

CEO, Tock, Inc.
I am not unemployed. I'm NSFW. Co-Owner: Alinea / Next / the Aviary CEO: Tock, Inc.
@nickkokonas - www.tocktix.com


paul barronPaul Barron

CEO and editor-in-chief, Foodable
CEO, editor in chief, Exec Produce at Foodable, largest WebTV Network in food. Founder of RSM Index and Fast Casual. Author of The Chipotle Effect.
@paulbarron - www.foodable.com


rene redzepiRene Redzepi

Chef, Restaurant Noma
Chef at restaurant noma in Copenhagen
@ReneRedzepiNoma - www.noma.dk


Rick BaylessRick Bayless

Chef, Frontera Grill, Tropolo, Xoco
Chef: Frontera Grill/Topolo/Xoco, 8 Cookbooks, Emmy nom for Mexico-One Plate at a Time, Top Chef Masters winner, Recipient of Mexico's Order of Aztec Eagle
@Rick_Bayless - www.rickbayless.com


rocky tarantelloRocky Tarantello

CEO, ROCInc
CEO ROCInc. Restaurant Operator, Culinary Expert, Chef, Business Owner, Family Man.
@chefrockyt- www.rocinc1.com


ron rugglessRon Ruggless

Southwest Bureau Chief, Nation's Restaurant News
Restaurant info & links | Roughly 60% water (results may vary)
@RonRuggless - www.nrn.com/author/ron-ruggless


will guidaraWill Guidara

Co-Owner, Make It Nice Hospitality Group
Made Nice, Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad, The Welcome Conference
@wguidara - www.makeitnicenyc.com


Please note that with so many knowledgeable professionals in the restaurant industry, there's no way we could have fit everyone on this list. So let us know who we’re missing!

Congratulations to everyone featured here, and good luck to contenders next year! Who did you think were the most influential restaurant experts? Who would you add to the list? Leave a comment below!

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