Which brands came out on top this year? They were finally announced yesterday during the 2nd Annual Restaurant Social Media Index Awards ceremony, sponsored by SinglePlatform at the FSTEC NexGen conference in New Orleans.
To refresh your memory the RIZMYs are not hand-selected. Instead, they are measured by DigitalCoCo’s proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), the largest collaborative resource of restaurant industry data in the world. Only the brands with the highest social scores were selected as the winners.
This year's 10 categories were arranged in groupings. The first being the brand segmented awards, including the QSR Digital Brand of the Year, Fast Casual Digital Brand of the Year, Casual Dining Digital Brand of the Year, and Independent Digital Brand of the Year. The second were the specialty categories, including the Overall Brand in Mobile, Most Loved Brand, Most Influential Brand, and Location-Based Brand, all of which are returning categories from last year. The final categories are based on performance factors, including the awards for Digital Innovator of the Year and Digital Executive Team of the Year.
So without further ado– DigitalCoCo is proud to announce this year's RIZMY Awards Winners
And the QSR Digital Brand of the Year is... Sonic DriveIn!
After arriving to the social party a little late in 2012-2013, they are certainly making up for lost time! Sonic was a finalist last year, but did not receive a title. However, this favored by millennials brand, won the Digital Brand of the Year in the QSR segment.
And the Fast Casual Digital Brand of the Year is... Shake Shack!
This fast casual brand returns as a victor this year. Shake Shack was awarded the Most Loved Brand of the Year, last year. This brand is part of the Better Burger segment and is engaging consumers with social to compete with the crowded segment filled with burger joints.
And the Casual Dining Digital Brand of the Year is... Hard Rock Cafe!
This rather recognizable name did not appear on the finalists last year. This casual dining restaurant has upped the ante in the social space– landing this year's top Casual Dining Digital Brand.
And the Independent Digital Brand of the Year is... AJ Bombers!
This fast casual brand is part of the independent burger boom. Returning from last year, this small operator owned burger joint is taking average of the burger boom, by using social media and is keeping up with the restaurant moguls.
And the Overall Mobile Brand is...Rubio's!
The fast casual success, Rubio's is spreading all over the West coast. Appearing on the RIZMYs finalists list for the first time this year, the brand lands the Overall Mobile Brand award.
And both the Overall Most Loved Brand & Digital Executive Team of the Year goes to... Buffalo Wild Wings!
BWW has risen faster than any other brand in platform effectiveness in the past year. After just being a nominee for a RIZMY last year, BWW returns this year for two major wins as the Overall Most Loved Brand and the Digital Executive Team of the Year.
And the Overall Most Influential Brand is...Taco Bell!
After winning two awards last year, The Digital Innovator of the Year and Overall Brand of the Year, this QSR mogul returns this year to win the Overall Most Influential Brand.
And both the Overall Location-Based Brand & Digital Innovator of the Year goes to... Firehouse Subs!
This leader of innovation social campaigns returns to collect two awards this year proving their skillful digital engagement.
Congratulations to the winning brands for creating quite a social buzz, that deserves to be recognized!