The RB/FSTEC awards: digital all-stars

RB names industry’s best social media and tech innovators

Social media marketer of the year

Winner (large chains): Arby's

While some chains shy away from haters, Arby’s sees such disses as opportunities. Its banter with Jon Stewart is a prime example of turning lemons into lemonade (earning the brand an honorable mention for Best Single Post). And though it was a brand some recently saw as needing life support, it boldly turned to social media to help right the ship. Its tuned-in, fast-paced, authentic voice and enthusiastic use of food art resonated with our young testers. 

Winner (smaller chains): Whataburger

Despite a somewhat stodgy brick-and-mortar image, the chain’s online voice bridges the generation gap. Posts enlist on-trend terms and references without feeling like the uncool uncle, our millennial testers contend. In August, the chain scored points—and likes—by weighing in on the feud between rappers Drake and Meek Mill, prompting the former to show one of the brand’s tweets from the stage during his concert.


More awards
Best single social media post
Most surprising use of social media
Social media: most tantalizing food porn
Best social media event
Best app
Best project/team
Tech accelerator, full service
Tech accelerator, limited service
Tech accelerator, nontraditional

Today's top stories

1
Brinker International has shifted the president of its Maggiano’s chain to a marketing and menu-development post at the company's core brand, Chili’s . As Chili’s EVP and chief marketing and...
2
Breakfast continues to be an area of growth and point of focus for operators across segments. But it’s no longer just reserved for the morning hours. Millennials are more interested in breakfast for...
3
Pie Five Pizza has pulled the plug on all eight of its Chicago locations this week as well as its locations in Minneapolis and Denver. The closures came with little notice. According to a statement...
4
Restaurants in Utah are mounting a last-ditch effort to prevent their state from becoming the first in the nation to limit how much alcohol people can drink and still legally drive to roughly one...
5
The parent of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains has named Jason Marker, the former president of KFC’s domestic operations, to succeed Andy Puzder as CEO. Puzder, who has been CEO of CKE...
6
KFC has promoted Kevin Hochman, the creative force behind its offbeat multi-Colonel marketing strategy, to president and chief concept officer of the chain’s rebounding U.S. operations. He succeeds...
7
When Asian chain Wagamama opened its first New York City restaurant in November, it also launched its first brunch menu, starring a breakfast-inspired version of ramen. In scouting locations, Adam...
8
With the growing popularity of brunch, operators are turning to the bar—not just for dining room overflow or selling bloody marys, but as a focal point. Because whether diners are feeling social or...
9
Scratch-made biscuits are not new for Bojangles’. But as more restaurants tout housemade fare, the chicken concept realized it needed to communicate those claims more overtly. “As we go into new...
10
One of the industry’s boogeymen is a tightening labor market that seems to be snatching talented candidates from under hiring managers. “With historically low unemployment rates, you’ve got to move...