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He added that the tablets likely would complement Buffalo Wild Wings’ “Stadia” prototype for all newly built restaurants quite well. The new building design has the bar at the center and a more open layout meant to foster interaction among guests coming to Buffalo Wild Wings for sporting events.

Likewise, a key social feature of the tablets allows guests to send messages and interact digitally with other Buffalo Wild Wings guests, whether they are across the dining room in the same restaurant or across the country in another location, he said.

“We think the Stadia footprint, along with a platform like this, could really work hand in hand nicely,” Nelsen said. “When the [Minnesota] Vikings and [Chicago] Bears play, the restaurants in Minneapolis and Chicago can be interacting with one another around the game on the tablets. We’re seeing some of that already in test, and we’re really excited about it.”

The brand also will have opportunities to show sports content on its tablets as well as on the televisions in the restaurant, Nelsen said. He confirmed that some of that programming would be original shows or highlight packages given exclusively to Buffalo Wild Wings from partners like the NCAA or the National Football League, which chief financial officer Mary Twinem had hinted during the chain’s last earnings call could be a possible pass-through marketing opportunity from Buffalo Wild Wing’s new partnership with PepsiCo.

“It all will live both on the TV screens with a dedicated network and on the tablets,” Nelsen said. “It would be unique, proprietary content from our partners that would bolster both the tablet experience and the overall AV package.”

At the close of its fourth quarter of 2013, Buffalo Wild Wings operated 434 company-owned units and franchised another 559 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN