The RB/FSTEC awards: digital all-stars

RB names industry’s best social media and tech innovators

Best project/team

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. 

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 social media event
Best app
Tech accelerator, full service
Tech accelerator, limited service
Tech accelerator, nontraditional

Today's top stories

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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...