James Beard Foundation Announces 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

 James Beard Foundation Announces 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation has just announced its list of Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists for the 28th annual James Beard Foundation Awards. After receiving more than 20,000 entries, semifinalists were chosen for each of the  21 categories like best new restaurants, outstanding bar programs, and rising star chefs under 30.  

The foundation will announce the final nominees for each award category on March 14th during a press conference held at Stephen Starr’s restaurant, Parc.

About the James Beard Foundation’s awards

After receiving entries, the Restaurant and Chef Committee reviews them to determine eligibility and regional representation. Based on the results and eligibility requirements for each award, the committee then produces a nominating ballot that lists the semifinalists in each of the 21 Restaurant and Chef Award categories. The list is then voted on by 600 regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award winners to determine the final five nominees in each category. The same judges then vote on these five nominees to select the winners.

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7, 2018. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics. A gala reception, featuring acclaimed chefs and beverage professionals from across the country, will immediately follow.

Winners of the 2018 James Beard Media Awards will be announced at an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City April 27th.

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According to Locals, These Are the Top Restaurants in 8 U.S. Food Cities

According to Locals, These Are the Top Restaurants in 8 U.S. Food Cities

Spring is finally here, and, if you’re not lucky enough to live in an always-warm city, that means al fresco dining season is upon us. Whether your seating preference is inside or out, foodies and chefs alike are always looking to discover the best nearby spots to dig their forks into. And that’s what we’re here for. Unlike most “best of” lists, our editors have no say in the rankings. In fact, it’s completely automated based on what local diners are talking about across 17 social media platforms (like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Yelp). This is beneficial for travelers who would rather dine at a local joint versus a hyped-up touristy establishment, and to understand where your restaurant falls in comparison to the competition in your market.

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What Makes Starbucks, Subway and Buffalo Wild Wings so Lovable?

What Makes Starbucks, Subway and Buffalo Wild Wings so Lovable?

By Kerri Adams, Managing Editor 

Navigating through today’s digital world continues to become more difficult as more consumers use social media to voice their concerns. A billion-dollar restaurant brand with millions of followers is going to get thousands of opinionated responses from just one social post. As expected, the highly scrutinized digital movements of restaurant brands are going to be equally highly criticized.

So, what brands are the top dogs in this digital space? And how are their consumers perceiving them on social? Through our extensive Restaurant Social Media Index, we have dissected and analyzed the Top 100 Most Loved Restaurant Brands. Our analysis has mined social metrics for roughly 10,800 restaurant entities and 121 million social restaurant consumers. This is important because these consumers contribute to more than 2 billion location-based actions that represent more than 13 billion in industry revenue. From this big data, we were able to determine which restaurant brands are performing the highest -- or, as we like to say, are “the most loved brands.”

A Coffee Giant, Sandwich King, and a Sport’s Bar and Grill Round out the Top Three

It's no surprise that the brand with the leading mobile app is No.1. The Starbucks mobile payment app accounts for 16 percent of the brand’s transactions. The app usage just continues to grow -- totaling 13 million users today. The brand also has been testing mobile ordering in Portland, and announced this month that this will be expanding to three more states: Washington, Idaho and Alaska. And Starbucks did not stop there. They then announced that they would be partnering with Postmates for coffee delivery in NYC and and Seattle.

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Free Report: Top 50 Best Restaurants in the Country

For more than a year, Foodable has been tracking and ranking the Top 25 restaurants in major food cities across America each month.

If you’re not yet familiar, Foodable’s monthly city-level Top 25 rankings are based on organic social data pulled from 17 social media platforms by the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), a comprehensive database proprietary to Foodable’s sister agency, DigitalCoCo.

Foodable is taking it a step further with the first annual ranking of the Top 50 Restaurants. Instead of ranking the top restaurants by local social audience in that specific city or market geo-logication, the scope has been expanded to the restaurants in the best culinary cities in the country being rank against each other. The fabulous cities include Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Foodable Top 25s are a list of restaurants that people are actually talking about, dining at and loving, based on their social media behavior. We simply report on our findings, rather than personally deciding which restaurants make the list and in what order.

“We believe that unstructured data on social is more powerful when looking at a ranking of restaurants in a variety of categories, including food, service and overall popularity (engagement),” said Paul Barron, CEO and Executive Producer at Foodable. “Since this data is unsolicited in most cases, its weight of reality versus a survey score is much higher.” 

With that being said, this data is instrumental for restaurants to stack up the competition, and for foodies to find quality restaurants — big names and hidden gems alike.

Interestingly enough, all of the top five restaurants are on the West Coast. However, New York City’s restaurants also dominate the list, which is not surprising. Besides the usual renowned culinary cities, including LA, SF and NYC — restaurants in second-tier cities are making waves in the social sphere. Boston, D.C., and Portland have the most restaurants per city on the overall Top 50 list. This proves that the restaurant landscape is changing and these micro culinary scenes are gaining national recognition.

The Restaurant Social Media Index Ranks Q2's Top 10 Restaurant Brands

The Restaurant Social Media Index Ranks Q2's Top 10 Restaurant Brands

Which restaurant brands are topping DigitalCoCo’s proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index for Q2?

To find out who the Overall Top 250 brands are, we’ve compiled data from more than 93 million indexed U.S. social consumers in conjunction with 9,764 tracked restaurant brands in more than 240,000 locations across the nation. 

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