The RB/FSTEC awards: digital all-stars

RB names industry’s best social media and tech innovators

Best social media event

Winner: Buffalo Wild Wings crashes a grad’s party

To kick off its Alive Events campaign, BWW surprised a Minnesota high school senior with an impromptu graduation party on his front lawn after he commented on Facebook that the chain’s wings were the “perfect graduation food.” The company brought games, Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson—and, of course, food—and shared a professionally produced video of the festivities on Facebook (14,000 likes) and YouTube (1,000 shares).

Honorable mention: Starbucks plays matchmaker

Love is all about finding the right partner. Starbucks hooked up with Match.com to add a “Meet at Starbucks” feature to the online-dating service’s app that culminated in the World’s Largest Starbucks Date on Feb. 13. Per the Facebook event, hosted by Starbucks, 9,500 people participated.

Honorable mention: Applebee’s earns street cred in Times Square

As part of its marked effort to appeal to millennials, the casual chain threw a party in New York City’s Times Square, which it streamed via live-video app Periscope. Customers shared their pics from the restaurant, which Applebee’s posted on the electronic billboards in real time; it also offered tastings and giveaways from the heart of the city.


More awards
Social media marketer of the year (large and small chains)
Best single social media post
Most surprising use of social media
Social media: most tantalizing food porn
Best app
Best project/team
Tech accelerator, full service
Tech accelerator, limited service
Tech accelerator, nontraditional

Today's top stories

1
Fast-casual Mexican chain Salsarita’s has named Ken Green its president and chief operating officer. In his new role, Green will focus on boosting profitability at Salsarita’s 80-plus units, he said...
2
Operators have much to learn from the innovative concepts coming to market. These new restaurants may be young, but they’re staying on top of today’s trends that are driving growth. These concepts...
3
The U.S. Department of Labor does specify how an unpaid internship can be legal , but most restaurant operations would either fail this test or have to significantly alter how they handle internships...
4
Dave Theno, one of the restaurant industry’s most prominent authorities on food safety, drowned Monday off the coast of Hawaii while swimming with his grandson, according to media reports . He was 66...
5
Sonic Drive-In plans to test a burger patty made with a blend of ground beef and mushrooms to reduce the meat content, a health initiative believed to be a first for a national quick-service chain...
6
In a move likely to intensify competition in the growing fun-and-food category, the private-equity firm L Catterton has invested in Punch Bowl Social, a six-unit contender. Terms were not disclosed,...
7
Paul Damico and Kat Cole have been shifted into new positions by Roark Capital and its Focus Brands holding for the rollout of Roark’s Naf Naf Grill fast-casual Middle Eastern concept. Damico has...
8
Sustainability has long been a trend influencing the industry, but it’s one that operators still need to consider today. Consumers are aware of what it means to eat sustainably—including using local...
9
Expect the unexpected—that’s the theme of the menu trends presentation during next month’s Restaurant Trends & Directions conference in Chicago. “The accelerated pace of demographic, cultural,...
10
In the struggle to pinpoint why restaurant traffic is falling, some Yoda types have cited increased competition from a gray area between restaurants and supermarkets—the place where alternatives like...