One of the best parts about completing March Madness basketball brackets is that anyone can fill one out - no expertise about the sport is required. People can pick teams based on mascot, team colors - or actual basketball knowledge.
So when the tournament kicks off Thursday, March 19, those at Slater's 50/50 - which has locations at San Diego's Liberty Station at 2750 Dewey Road and in San Marcos at 110 Knoll Road - is inviting sports fans to take part in its first-ever March bracket contest.
Anyone can enter by going online to slaters5050.com/bracket to complete their brackets by 9:15 a.m. Thursday, March 19.
During the tournament, those who bring in their Slater's 50/50 brackets or show Slater's staff their confirmation email on their phone will be treated to free wings while watching the games.
In addition, the person with the best bracket after each round of the tournament wins a free burger.
The round schedule is as follows:
Second Round: March 19, 20
Third Round: March 21, 22
Sweet Sixteen: March 26, 27
Elite Eight: March 28, 29
Final Four: April 4
Championship Game: April 6
At the end of the tournament, the person with the best bracket overall wins burgers for a year (one burger a week) - the winner will be notified via email. And if someone ends the tournament with a perfect bracket, that person wins free burgers for life.
Even though it's too early to start filling out brackets, Brooke Schommer, marketing manager for Slater's 50/50, said roughly 140 people have already signed up to take part in the contest.
Schommer said since Slater's 50/50 has 25-plus TVs at each location that are always turned to sports, holding the bracket contest during the upcoming tournament was a natural fit for the burger spot.
Although this is the first year the eatery has hosted a bracket contest, Schommer said the hope is to make the event a yearly tradition.
"We have big plans," she said. "We would love to send people to the championship game (in future contests.)"
"We're excited," she said. "Especially for the championship game. We expect the restaurants to be packed."
Slater's 50/50 was founded in 2009 in Anaheim Hills by Scott Slater, a SoCal native with a passion for bacon, burgers and craft beer. Holding the belief that bacon is "meat candy," Slater created the 50/50 patty - made of 50 percent ground bacon and 50 percent ground beef.
Today, Slater's 50/50 has locations in Huntington Beach, San Diego, Pasadena, Lake Forest, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Marcos.
Since opening, Slater's 50/50 has been the recipient of several "Best Of" awards and is regularly mentioned among the best of the best in local, regional and national media outlets such as People.com, Food & Wine, Huffington Post and The Howard Stern Show. Slater's 50/50 has also been featured on national TV shows including the Travel Channel's "Bacon Paradise" and Discovery Channel's "United States of Bacon."