Is it a Food Tour? Is it a competition? Is it a loyalty program? What exactly is it?
The answer is, YES! It is all of those things. Often times a “Trail” is just a list of places for people to visit. Sometimes they will stamp a passport and you can earn a T-shirt or small prize for completing a circuit.
The TX BBQ Trail is different. Here’s how…
The Trail is powered by the WayPointer Platform which uses a multi-factor Proof-of-Presence technology to verify if a Trail member has made it all the way to a Trail Stop location (or remote off site location) at a time when they are open for business. As a free member, you will earn RXP (Real Experience Points) for every verified check-in at a business location. (Learn more about how RXP are used for the competition below…)
If you are a Paid Trailblazer Member, you will earn DOUBLE RXP per visit. PLUS you will be eligible for a 10%-25% discount on your order (up to $100) from the Trail Stop location. 12-month members also receive a free Trailblazer welcome kit with an official TX BBQ Trail T-shirt, stickers and a car decal. (A $35 value)
Essentially, by becoming a Trail member you can earn rewards and have your membership pay for itself after visiting just a few Trail Stops.
RXP, or Real Experience Points, are the points that WayPointer awards Trail members for completing a verified check-in at an official Trail Stop. RXP will be awarded if and only if a user is physically present at a location where a Trail activity is occurring. Most commonly, this is at a Trail Stop’s primary business location during their hours of operation. However, sometimes a Trail business has off-site events, and in those cases, we’ve enabled additional check-in opportunities where RXP can be earned there as well.
We will use RXP as one of the primary metrics to determine who the most prolific TX BBQ Trailblazer is for each season. The most elite Trailblazers with the most unique visits, most RXP earned, and most achievments in a given season will earn one of the Grand Prizes (see contest rules). For the inaugural season of the Trail, there are 3 Grand prizes, specially fabricated by Cen-Tex Smokers, just for our top Trailblazers!
YES! RXP will be redeemable in multiple ways in the near future. Currently, all members are starting from zero and will begin building up their RXP totals as they hit the trail.
In a few months, we will launch an online store with merch, membership upgrades, and event opportunities that can be purchased with RXP, dollars or a combination of both.
Once redemption through the TX BBQ Trail store is launched, you will still have a balance of “EARNED RXP” that will continue to grow regardless of how many points you redeem. That way you will still be active in the seasonal competitions where RXP is being used to determine your rank on the leaderboard and/or eligibility for certain prizes.
In addition, the WayPointer Platform is enabling many other Trails and in-person experiences around the country. So you may want to hold on to some of your RXP so that you can use them to gain status on other trails of interest. More to come on that soon!
Basic RXP can be earned for free on the TX BBQ Trail. Just make your way to the location during business hours, find the check-in points at the establishment and points will be earned accordingly.
A purchase from the business you are checking into is not required to earn your RXP, however The TX BBQ Trail is designed to get patrons back into these unique businesses where you can have a full sensory experience, which of course means ordering some amazing BBQ while you are there.
While no purchase is necessary to earn RXP and compete for the prizes, we do require that all Members complete their profile in order to be entered into the competition and/or receive prizes for the completion of certain achievements.
The TX BBQ Trail is a self-guided food tour. A BBQ trail season is intentionally long so that you have time to plan your trips, check to ensure locations will be open, and visit multiple times throughout the year.
At times, we may offer up unique achievements that group a certain number of check-ins together within a specified activity window. In those cases you may need to plan for multiple stops to complete an achievement, but those are in addition to the standard daily check-ins that will still earn you RXP according to your membership tier.
Every 3 months, We will release a list of Usernames (not personally identifiable information) and where they rank on the TX BBQ Trail leaderboard.
The final leaderboard for the inaugural season will be released on or around Labor Day 2023. At that point, per the contest rules, we will award the 3 grand prizes.
In addition to the daily check-ins at locations to earn RXP, there will be MANY opportunities to earn large amounts of RXP for a variety of achievements and special event opportunities. Some opportunities for RXP will be offered regionally, some opportunities will be entirely digital with no physical presence required. Just keep your profile information complete and we’ll keep you informed about opportunities to add to your total.
Achievements are simply opportunities within the TX BBQ Trail for you to earn more RXP, gain surprises or complete a monumental task on the Trail.
Achievements are organized with the TX BBQ Trail app where you can see their RXP values, whether or not you have completed the achievements, and see their difficulty level. The more difficult the achievement, the more RXP for you!
Be on the lookout and keep traveling the Trail. There are some hidden achievements that could really surprise you and help put you over the top on the leaderboard!
The TX BBQ Trail is NOT a subjective ranking system for the joints on the Trail. In fact, it is designed specifically to not be subject to any one person’s (or group of people’s) individual tastes.
Everyone enjoys Texas BBQ differently, and everyone’s experience at these joints is completely unique to them.
Unlike platforms like Yelp, Facebook or Google Local Guides, our system will focus on objective metrics (like proof-of-presence, visit frequency, etc…), and in the near future, personal recommendations…NOT REVIEWS.
These businesses are working hard everyday for their patrons. What they need is patrons seeking a great experience who want to support them by sharing the love of the experience with their friends…in person.
To form the “Founding 50” locations of the inaugural season of the BBQ Trail, we consulted with our Statewide Trail Ambassador, John Brotherton of Brotherton’s Black Iron BBQ in Pflugerville TX. Known to some as the “Mayor of Texas BBQ”, he shared this opportunity to nearly 100 independent BBQ Joint Pitmasters across the state. The first 50 to accept the invite were included in our Founding 50 for the inaugural season.
In the future, the Trail will accept any BBQ restaurant (permitted brick & mortar food establishment or mobile food service unit) with a primary physical address location in Texas and with 10 or fewer total locations. During the first “Founding 50” season of the TX BBQ Trail, (Jan-Sept. 2023) Only one primary location per business will be allowed to join. After September 2023, up to five (5) unique locations per business will be permitted to join the Trail for subsequent seasons.
Need Help? Having Trouble Checking In?
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Please note that all Trail Stop locations operate on their own business schedules, and check-ins are only accepted during operating hours. However, if you can not find a checkpoint for a location that is active on the Trail, please inform us so we can notify that location’s management team.