John Bozek flipped the bird—and won. Cannabis-themed sandwich restaurant Cheba Hut officially announced the Chicago area native as the winner of its national Flippy Bird Contest and will be awarding Bozek a $5,000 prize, a year of free Cheba Hut and a giant wrestling style award belt for his victory.
The celebration, taking place in Cheba Hut’s Chicago location on May 12, will show the brand’s love for The Windy City by offering each guest a free meal.
The Flippy Bird Contest centered around a gaming app Cheba Hut invented to reward its most loyal customers. The one-of-a-kind mobile game provides bonus loyalty points that customers can exchange for grub and gear. But to win the grand prize, customers had to battle for the highest score of the game.
The result? A total of 60,000 customers entered the contest from all over the country, playing at an average of four hours per week. The mobile game also increased social engagement for the brand by 15 percent, and the app’s download rate is up over 50 percent.
Bozek was drawn to the game because of its unique offering, something he felt other brands had never done before. “The fact that they give you points for playing the game, which you can redeem for cash is wild. I don’t think anyone else does that,” he said. “That alone made me a lifetime customer, because the company as a whole seems like they care about giving customers a great experience.”
Bozek says he has been playing the game everyday for a few hours since December. That dedication has paid off.
“I’m hugely competitive, and when I saw the belt, I wanted it,” Bozek says. “I love the food, too, and everyone I’ve taken to Cheba Hut has as well. So playing the game and earning free food, it was a total win-win.”
The brand is thrilled to have a local Chicago area native as its winner. The contest celebration will take place at the Wicker Park location, which features a massive 700-square-foot patio—one of the largest in the area.
As part of the celebration, the Chicago store will be offering free “nugs,” Cheba Hut’s 4” sub sandwich size, for all guests from 11–4:20 p.m. CST.
“We wanted to celebrate a local Chicago customer who absolutely crushed it playing our game by inviting fans to come out and enjoy some food on us,” says Scott Jennings, Cheba Hut’s founder. “We love being a favorite in the Wicker Park neighborhood and I am so excited to see the shop, thank the local owners for making it a reality, and personally handing “narrows” the 5gs and the title belt!”
According to Jennnings, the brand is looking at real estate in Lincoln Park and has plans to open at least two more locations in Chicago. So far, Cheba Hut’s Chicago location has seen immense growth, with one of the brand’s strongest restaurant launches with $2M+ annual sales average and an average service rate of more than 2,000 customers per week.