Combining Twitter's new Periscope video broadcasting service with a takeover of 12 of the famed Times Square video billboards, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar is inviting guests across the country to sample and celebrate its new menu at a May 13 Times Square street party that will include several surprise, special-guest performances.
In addition to live music, the "Taste The Change Fest" will feature samples of the new Triple Hog Dare Ya—stacked high with pulled pork, Black Forest ham, bacon, crispy onions, and melted cheddar cheese on a Ciabatta bun—along with other new sandwiches and appetizers. A photo booth and pool hall game room will also be featured.
"An over-the-top sampling party at the Crossroads of the World is the perfect way to introduce and celebrate our new menu," says Applebee's senior vice president of culinary and marketing Darin Dugan. "We're proud of our new food and we're inviting the world to give it a try."
One lucky Applebee's guest selected from restaurants across the country will win a trip for two to the party by tweeting photos of himself or herself enjoying one of Applebee's new menu items and using the #WatchApplebees #ContestEntry hashtags.
The tagged tweets of those who can't make it to New York on May 13 will appear on a massive Times Square billboard during the event between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT.
Applebee's will share live photographs from the event and the digital displays from the Times Square billboards at www.applebeestastethechangefest.com, where guests whose images appear on the billboard will be able to share via Facebook and Twitter with the headline, "Applebee's threw a party in Times Square and I was there!"
Hosting the live Periscope video broadcast will be Vincenzo Landino, who, with more than 37,000 video followers, is among Twitter's leading live video personalities. Landino will broadcast live from Times Square in 30-minute segments throughout the event.
On May 13, guests to any Applebee's restaurant can Tweet a photo of themselves with a Pepsi product for the chance to win $100 in Live Nation Concert Cash good for select concert tickets and artist merchandise.
The "Taste The Change Fest" celebrates the arrival later this month in the nearly 2,000 Applebee's across the country of eight new or improved sandwiches and appetizers. In addition to the Triple Hog Dare Ya, the new menu includes the Brew Pub Philly steak sandwich, the Maple Bacon Chicken Piadini, and others.
The new items join All-In Burgers, Bar Snacks, and Appetizers in a new lineup of classic bar-and-grill menu items improved with higher-quality ingredients and premium preparation techniques. In addition to the new menu items, All-In Burgers, featuring toppings seared into fresh hamburger patties, became a guest favorite in late 2014, and 11 new appetizers were introduced earlier this year.