The RB/FSTEC awards: digital all-stars
Winner: Waffle House
The sleepy breakfast chain decided after all these years to swap out its electronic cash registers for a POS system. While that’s not unheard of, it’s an upgrade that required a lot of effort and capital. And it’s paying off for the traditional concept that’s history has been fairly free of techie advancements. It found a system that worked and was worth the investment.
Honorable mention: Brinker
The company has made strides integrating more digital platforms into its restaurants. It added tabletop kiosks in units, starting in January, to allow customers to do everything from order and redeem coupons to pay their check. Brinker also improved its online-ordering experience, showing that it plans to continue to integrate technology as a part of operations.
Honorable mention: Dunkin’ Donuts
The chain found success when it initially launched its mobile app in 2014. But that didn’t stop it from undertaking a major overhaul that included an entirely new online strategy, integrating mobile pay, loyalty, localized offers and more social media outreach.
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 social media event
Tech accelerator, full service
Tech accelerator, limited service
Tech accelerator, nontraditional