The Top 30 Restaurant Experts to Follow in 2016

By: Allie Tetreault

8 Minute Read

Jun 07, 2016

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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 allen
Aaron 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-rappaport
Adam 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 Buren
alex 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 fairchild
Barbara 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 Thorn
Bret 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 williamson
Brooke Williamson

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


cheryl bachelder
Cheryl 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 hill
Chris Hill

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


dana cowin
Dana Cowin

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


daniel boulud
Daniel 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 meyer
Danny 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 freeman
Danyelle 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 burns
Donald 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 mirman
Ellie Mirman

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


helen rosner
Helen Rosner

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


holly atkinson
Holly 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 riehle
Hudson Riehle

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


chef john besh
John 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 maze
Jonathan 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 martin
Josh 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 burgin
Ken 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 batali
Mario Batali

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


mark moreno
Mark Moreno

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


nick kokonas
Nick 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 barron
Paul 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 redzepi
Rene Redzepi

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


Rick Bayless
Rick 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 tarantello
Rocky Tarantello

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


ron ruggless
Ron 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 guidara
Will 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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