MAITLAND Fla. Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q has plunged into the world of social media and networking with memberships at, and new activities tied to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, officials said.
The 128-unit, Maitland-based family-dining chain joins several other segment rivals who are already tweeting on Twitter, making friends on Facebook or submitting videos or encouraging fans to submit videos at YouTube. Among Sonny’s competitors with social media presences are Bob Evans Restaurants, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Denny’s and Huddle House.
Monique Yeager, director of corporate affairs and marketing for Sonny’s parent, Sonny’s Franchise Co., said the new technology-driven social networking tools are a means of supporting an “open dialogue between our company and our valued guests.”
She said the popular websites will help Sonny’s provide guests with up-to-date information about chain-related events, specials, news, employment opportunities and contests.
Also being added to the Sonny’s marketing mix is a monthly newsletter, scheduled to debut this month, and online blog contests that can be found under the “What’s The Word” link on the “R U Smokin’?” loyalty program page at www.sonnysbbq.com.
The current blog contest is a search for a photo of the Cutest Kid Eating Sonny’s Bar-B-Q, entries for which can be e-mailed to [email protected]. Company officials said the winner gets a $50 Sonny’s gift card and the opportunity to be in the next Sonny’s TV commercial.
For 2008, Sonny’s reported U.S. systemwide sales of $265.0 million from 129 restaurants.
Sonny’s social networking site links are http://twitter.com/sonnysbbq; http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sonnys-Bar-B-Q/160417521943; http://www.linkedin.com/companies/547633; and http://www.youtube.com/sonnysbarbq.