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The 2nd annual RIZMYS finalists announced

4 min read

Restaurant and Foodservice

The 2nd Annual RIZMYs Awards are quickly approaching! Again, the ceremony will be held at the at FSTEC NexGen conference, taking place in New Orleans on September 22nd. The RIZMYs return after a successful show last year, to showcase the best social and digital brands in the Restaurant & Hospitality industry.

How the finalists are selected

What makes the RIZMYs Awards so different is that the finalists are not hand-selected. Instead, the brands are pulled from DigitalCoCo’s proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), the largest collection of culinary, restaurant and hospitality industry data in the world. The RSMI tracks over 200,000 restaurants and brands, and calculates data based on the mass social audience across multiple markets and countries. The selected finalists are brands with the highest social scores from all segments of the restaurant industry — from QSR, fast casual, casual dining, and fine dining.

The newly improved RIZMYs

The 2014 RIZMYs are going to be even better than last year due to some exciting changes. Specifically, some of the categories have been changed to even the playing field. Last year, the Overall Brand of the Year Award pinpointed the mogul QSR brands, such as Taco Bell against the smaller brands in the fast casual, casual dining, and fine dining segments. With that in mind– four new categories were added for the 2014 awards, breaking the Digital Brand of the Year award into the four restaurant segments.

The award categories are 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 are 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– the finalists are…

Which of these brands will be the top dogs this year? It’s not surprising that the long-standing QSR giants, such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s made the finalists list. Some of the brands in the fastest growing restaurant segment, fast casual are Firehouse Subs and Rubio’s. A few of the brands representing the casual dining segments are The Cheesecake Factory and Buffalo Wild Wings. Lastly, representing the fine dining segment are the restaurants Abacus and Atelier Crenn. Most of the finalists are worldwide recognizable brands, but there are some less known (especially globally) restaurants holding their own on the list such as, Alder and Little Goat Diner. Besides the new names appearing on the list, the return of the independent operator finalists, AJ Bombers is keeping this year’s finalists list interesting!

How social media continues to change the restaurant industry

Social media marketing is here to stay and how to measure a brand’s social media progress is becoming more crucial. Because of this, the restaurant data collection process is more important than ever. “Our vision of cataloging the global restaurant industry began in 2009, when the idea for developing the Social Insights algorithm was designed to create an ROI metric for restaurant social media performance,” said Paul Barron, Founder of DigitalCoCo and the RSMI. “Over the years, we continue to improve the SI technology and increase our overall reach of the RSMI.”

Keeping on trend and collecting the right brand data will be critical for a brand’s success. “Looking into the future, we see that social and digital metrics will become the key measurements in understanding leading indicators for brand performance. Now with Mobile and Location attributes added to the RSMI in 2013, we have five factors that can measured to uncover massive amounts of brand and consumer insight trends,” said Barron.

Kerri Adams is managing editor at FoodableTV.

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