Sean has been a core member of the Menu Engineers Team for six-years and is responsible for menu data analysis, client outreach, and research on emerging menu technology. To all menu projects, Sean brings unbounded enthusiasm and a diverse skill set honed over a unique 17-year career across the hospitality industry.
Willard co-founded a successful chef-owned restaurant at age 21 and went on to obtain a B.S. at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. There, he was named one of Business Insiders “19 Incredibly Impressive Students at Cornell” and worked across departments at the University’s hotel on-campus, while learning winemaking as an apprentice at an estate vineyard.
Willard went on to hotel and restaurant development and excelled in renovation project management, opening four award-winning boutique hotels and two restaurants in California in three-years.
Most recently, Sean has re-immersed himself in the Menu World, collaborating with industry experts and leading academics to quantify the impact of 2020’s drastic forced menu changes – from disposable one-time use menus, to QR code menus on our devices, to the influx of 3rd party delivery platforms– with the overall goal being, to help restaurateurs better strategize and more effectively navigate their next menu update.
A thought-leader in the restaurant industry--- Gregg Rapp, Menu Engineer--- was and will long be remembered as the world’s leading expert on Menu Engineering. Rapp, who for 38 years dedicated himself to revolutionizing menu design and technology worldwide, passed away in November 2020, after a courageous battle with cancer for more than two years.
As a lauded maverick in his field of menu design and technology, Rapp was often featured nationally at conferences, symposiums, and seminars, speaking on menu psychology, sustainability practices in food service, hospitality, culinary arts, business innovation, and public health. He spoke regularly to graduate students at Cornell University, Duke University and Culinary Institute of America. The foremost expert in his industry, he appeared on ABC, CBS and NBC as well as in Time and INC. magazines, The New York Times, Business Insider, Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
The list of Rapp’s clients who called on him to revamp their menus included restaurants and hotels worldwide, from small bowling alleys and diners to premium destinations - Walt Disney resorts, Spago, Caesar’s Palace, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Peninsula, Four Seasons and Marriott Hotels, Princess Cruises and Holland America. His thousands of clients also included numerous well-known chains, such as Subway, Olive Garden, Arby’s, Chili’s, Taco Bell, California Pizza Kitchen, TGI Friday’s, and Dave and Buster’s. A committed volunteer, Rapp also worked with the Los Angeles school district, searching for ways to make healthy lunch choices appeal to students’ appetites.
Rapp has been honored with a scholarship established at his alma mater, Washington State University, which will help fund students at WSU who are studying menu engineering and design as a career. Donations may be made at GreggRappScholarship.com or through the Washington State University Foundation for the "Gregg Rapp Menu Engineering Scholarship." Donors may also contact WSU Foundation's Gift Accounting Office at 509-335-1686 or by email at