At Buffalo Wild Wings, having fun is at the heart of working at the largest sports bar brand in the United States. As Rachel Richal, Director of Learning and Team Member Activation, worked with the brand’s training team on engaging ways to connect with field leadership, having fun was central to creating the monthly live series dubbed “What’s Hot at B-Dubs.”
What started as planning for a virtual session in August last year eventually evolved into a first-of-its-kind, fully-produced live tv show designed to be an interactive and educational event.
“When we talk about this, it’s not intended to be training or a webinar or even a workshop,” Richal said. “Fun is the guiding force for these episodes and we wanted to spark some excitement in our field leadership teams to encourage dialogue around all the cool things happening in our sports bars. It really boils down to a time for us to come together as general managers, district managers and above-sports bar leadership to have fun and learn something new.”
The show, which debuted in October, features relevant news on what’s already in place and what’s coming to sports bars nationwide. What’s Hot at B-Dubs features a combination of themes around the brand’s mixologists making cocktails, sharing learnings on new menu items, interacting with experiential moments like trivia, innovation around sports bars pillars like the Blazin’ Challenge and general sports bar strategy.
Each episode is also interactive, with opportunities for viewers to comment, ask questions to those featured on the episode and to win prizes.
“One of my favorite parts of each episode is watching the interaction on the chat between viewers,” Richal said. “Recently, we had three of our marketing leaders competing against three of our operations leaders in the Blazin’ Challenge, with Buffalo Wild Wings President, Lyle Tick, refereeing. The viewers in the chat were like sports fans cheering on their favorite team. That type of interaction is exactly what we love to see from this video series.”
After each episode airs, Richal’s team gets to work on the upcoming month’s theme, secures talent and outlines the flow of the show.
“The production value from our first episode in October to now is night and day. We have three cameras going, we’re shooting different angles and we have professional lighting set up for each episode,” Richal said. “While we have a general outline for the show, we want people’s personalities to shine through, so this is never fully scripted.”
As true innovators in the live video series, Richal and team are continuing to engage not only teams at Buffalo Wild Wings, but also external partners and other brands within the Inspire family.
“One of the cool things about these episodes is that we’ve had partners like the Boys & Girls Clubs showcasing their community efforts and BetMGM taking part in a a trivia episode,” Richal said. “Most recently, we even had Kevin Knutson, who is the Vice President of Training at SONIC, to talk about the synergy between our brands. He was able to share how the SONIC Games impacts their culture and we were able to offer a preview of our very own Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Games.”
While each episode is unique in its mix of what’s Shakin’, Brewin’, Cookin’ or Happenin‘ at Buffalo Wild Wings, there will always be one constant: FUN!
Check out a brief look at “What’s Hot at B-Dubs” in the video below.
To learn about career opportunities at Buffalo Wild Wings, go to careers.buffalowildwings.com.
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