The RB/FSTEC awards: digital all-stars
Tech accelerator, full service
Winner: Buffalo Wild Wings
The sports-focused chain moved beyond online ordering and high-def TVs, adding gaming and digital signage that many others don’t have. But the chain isn’t just rolling out tech to stay on-trend. While it tested tablets, CEO Sally Smith said it wouldn’t do a full rollout until tableside-payment capabilities were added.
Honorable mention: TGI Fridays
Instead of tabletop kiosks that many casual-dining chains are trialing, Fridays invested in tablets for servers to place orders and take payments tableside. The goal: Cut the time it takes staff to log orders at the POS.
Honorable mention: BJ’s
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse was so far ahead in adopting tableside payments that it had to teach consumers how to do it. It also offered a frictionless option—letting guests order from their phones—before that term came into use.
Who will win?
The Tech Accelerator of the Year will be named at the FSTEC event, Sept. 27–29. For more information and to see these finalists’ videos, go to fstec.com.
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, limited service
Tech accelerator, nontraditional