Lifting spirits from coast to coast, #RestaurantChallenge continues to bring joy to restaurant employees’ lives after a difficult year of service with weekly $2,500 tips from the Certified Angus Beef ® brand.  

Four restaurants were randomly chosen from social media nominations using the hashtag. Read on to learn more about the recent winners.

Broken Rocks Café and Bakery | Wooster, Ohio

The staff is like family at Broken Rocks.

Two times a day, the team gets together to taste menu items before serving guests. Bonding and comradery comes naturally when the team gets the chance to get to know one another, and it carries to the relationships they build with the folks who come into the restaurant.

Glen and Lisa Grumbling established Broken Rocks Café and Bakery in 2000 and have called downtown Wooster home for more than a decade. Becoming a pillar restaurant in the community, the family-oriented atmosphere begins with the couple who’ve raised their three daughters in the Northeast Ohio town.

The family’s humility and grace extend to the staff and to guests at Broken Rocks and its sister establishment next door, Rox Gastropub. Fresh and local fare, the creativity is endless at the connected locations.

Humbled by the surprise tip, the Brocken Rocks family expressed gratitude after the year of difficult service they’ve experienced.

Plowboys BBQ | Blue Springs, Missouri  

Todd Johns and his brother-in-law started competing in barbecue competitions in 2001 and traveled the country for the next six years. The Plowboys brought home their first championship in 2007.

Multiple rubs, sauces and accolades later, the gateway to a brick and mortar restaurant was born. Plowboys BBQ opened its original location in Blue Springs, Missouri, in September 2013, after over a decade in competition barbecue and multiple championships.

The downtown Kansas City location opened in 2015.

Plowboys became the Kansas City Chiefs’ official barbecue at the stadium in 2017. Two more seasons at the Chiefs stadium, nacho sales broke records for the team in 2019. That same year, the Plowboys BBQ team opened its first franchise in Lincoln, Neb., and expanded into Overland Park, Kansas.

The thriving barbecue restaurant will be a KC staple for years to come and the team was grateful for the nomination from fans and the big tip from the beef brand.  

Prime Cincinnati | Cincinnati, Ohio

Events came to a halt in downtown Cincinnati.

As a restaurant dependent on folks visiting and working in the city, business slowed for Prime Cincinnati. Pivoting to a take-out model during shutdowns and ensuring their dining rooms were safe for guests to return, the team has spent the last year rebuilding business.

In a normal year, the steakhouse invites guests to white-cloth tables for exquisite dining experiences, celebrating big moments and making memories.

After a year of navigating unknowns, owner Nelson Castillo and Chef Shawn Heine were thrilled to share the news of a $2,500 tip with the team.  

Read more about how Prime Cincinnati held on to hope over the last year here.

Swig and Swine | Charleston, South Carolina

Pitmaster Anthony Dibernardo is a New Jersey native who discovered his love for the culinary world at age 14. After the U.S. Navy brought him to the Lowcountry, he decided to stick around and share his culinary talents with four different restaurants in the Charleston area.

Everywhere he went, barbecue found the way onto his menus.

Soon enough, the pitmaster started his own barbecue catering business. In 2013, Dibernardo opened Swig and Swine BBQ with Queen Street Hospitality and became the sole proprietor of Swig & Swine in 2019.

Today, the restaurant serves guests in three locations: West Ashley, Summerville and Mount Pleasant, with a fourth location on the way.

The award-winning Swig & Swine team is glad to have guests joining their locations regularly again and is delighted by the big tip from the beef brand.