Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc., in an effort to beef up quality, flavor and value of its expanded line-up of high-quality and gourmet-style fresh foods, brings a team of chefs to the fore with focus on development of new flavors and ingredients. Executive chef Phil Butler, product development chef Randal Shircel, bakery chef Jeff Schultz and sous chef Britain Smyth are full-time employees who are part of the 7-Eleven fresh food research and development team headed by Kulsoom Klavon, director of product development.The team follows dining and food trends in fast-food and sit-down casual restaurants to develop new sandwich flavors and ingredients exclusive to 7-Eleven. The multifaceted group covers all bases of food preparation, merchandising, operations and packaging with their expertise in flavor combinations today. Examples of successful creations so far are a line of sandwich spreads including tomato basil, roasted pepper, tomato feta, olive pesto, Southwest mayonnaise and jalapeño hollandaise.7-Eleven sells 32 million sandwiches each year in nearly 6,000 North American stores and 22,000 franchises worldwide. Last year, the food team developed 350 different sandwiches, salads, breakfast items and baked goods.