The family of a missing Toronto restaurateur has launched a Facebook contest in order to encourage people to spread the word about George Koutroubis' mysterious disappearance.

His family and friends said Sunday they will give $1,000 to a Facebook user who posts a missing persons poster featuring Koutroubis' picture in their profile until noon on Friday, Feb. 27. The winner of the Facebook contest will be selected randomly in a draw at noon on Feb. 27.

If the person who posts the picture is from Whitby -- the last place Koutroubis was reportedly supposed to be in -- the Facebook user gets an extra $250.

More than 5,500 people have joined the "Help find George Koutroubis' group on the popular networking site since it was created on Feb. 19.

"We have received overwhelming support from our fantastic Facebook members and want to leverage everyone's network to further spread the message to every possible Facebook member in the Whitby, Ajax, Toronto and surrounding areas," says a news release announcing the contest.

"The way we have structured this contest is a highly effective way to get his photo out, raise awareness and involve people who may not know George or about our campaign to find him, so we highly encourage everyone to participate."

Koutroubis was last seen on Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 at around 7:30 a.m. as he was leaving his downtown Toronto condominium to go to work. A business associate heard from him at around 4:30 p.m. Koutroubis told him he was in Whitby running errands and meeting a client.

The 36-year-old hasn't been heard from since. His friends say Koutroubis was never far from his BlackBerry and was constantly in touch.

Police say they suspect foul play in his disappearance.

The Facebook contest is the latest move the man's family is doing to help keep his name in the news and maintain public interest in the case.

Last week his family spoke to the media, saying that Koutroubis was a happy newlywed who was looking forward to going on his honeymoon on Friday. On Saturday, his friends spent the day plastering downtown with posters of the missing man.

Koutroubis was driving a black SUV 2008 BMW X5 with an Ontario licence plate BCSS 209. The plate had a Pittsburgh Steelers frame but police warn it could have been removed.

The missing man is white, 5'11, about 230 lbs with brown eyes and short, black hair with a receding hairline.