Casual dining, fast casual and quick service restaurants face many of the same challenges – from how to interact meaningfully with their target audiences to how to manage angry – and influential – consumers. Not to mention the little detail of the food itself – it needs to be delicious, priced right, and accompanied by exceptional customer service.

We’ve researched the space and the NetBase Social Media Industry Report 2019: Restaurant Brands offers a Who’s Who of top 100 restaurants – some that will leave you in awe and others that should be lessons to learn from.

So Many Questions

The reports asks important questions, including:

  • What kind of content generates authentic engagements with customers?
  • What gets diners excited, causing them to share their passion with others?
  • What draws them through the door of one restaurant versus another?

We also share a Top Ten breakdown of 13 restaurants across categories (some are tied for these top spots, hence 13 instead of 10), and we’ve had some startling upsets from last year. Also – we’re seeing one category dominate – those in the uber competitive world of Quick Service, while another category didn’t make it in the top ten spots at all! Is it Casual Dining? Fast Casual? You’ll have to read to find out.

But here are the first three to give a glimpse of what to expect:

How did Chick-fil-A tie for first? What did they do to rank so well? And Subway jumped an impressive 8 spots in the rankings, but we have another listed that leveled up 19 spots!

Restaurants are ranked by mention volume, awareness (people talking about them), reach (the conversations they are putting out on their own channels), net sentiment, and brand passion. There are quite a few new places in the top ten this year. Some stunning upsets.

But there’s so much more beyond the rankings to see here. Let’s give you a small taste of what you’ll find inside to whet your appetite!

Shiny Happy People Tweeting Hate

Consumers are a judgy lot – and although they’ve been known to share exceptional customer service experiences online, they’re far more prone to share their dissatisfaction online these days, particularly when it comes to food.

Great food and positive, viral interactions are the stuff of restaurant nirvana. Unfortunately, it only takes one inconveniently timed tweet to throw a wrench (or, more aptly – and pile of salt) into the works and mess it all up.

After aggregating and analyzing 19.1 billion mentions in NetBase’s best-in-class sentiment analysis platform, we determined Net Sentiment and Brand Passion of 100 top brands to bring us to the final ten. These are powerful metrics.

  • Net Sentiment is a score that expresses a ratio of positive to negative sentiment about a brand or topic, ranging from +100 to -100. A score of 100 means that all opinions of a brand are positive, a score of -100 would mean that all opinions of a brand or topic category are negative.
  • Passion intensity is a score between 0 and 100 that expresses the ratio of strong emotions (such as love or hate) to weak emotions (such as like or dislike). Passion intensity can help someone better understand the difference between liking or loving a brand.

Our index of these 100 brands is the “best of brand marketing” for restaurants, with some of the cleverest tactics around, and then you’ll also see brands who have been beaten down and have yet to recover from the weight of a crisis. Those folks should reach out, we could help!

Be sure to check out Chick-fil-A (l) versus Tim Horton’s (r) for a study in contrasts.

A trending #boycott hashtag associated with your brand is never a good thing . . . or is it? We share some unlikely recoveries as well, all made possible because the restaurants in question understood their audiences. Sometimes those angry folks are good for business, but you’ll only know if you know all about them – and about which trends matter.

Which Trends Matter?

And speaking of trends – what’s the next trend headed your way right now? And should you pay attention to it? Being able to analyze owned and earned impressions, along with net sentiment, brand passion and converged media in one real-time, super accurate dashboard is all you need to sort it out. We know it sounds complicated, but we’ve packaged it all up in one place and, much like these winning restaurants, our clients rave about our customer service.

But back to the report – we know the business of marketing your restaurant’s work isn’t as delicious as what you’re selling, but making it palatable is important – and our NetBase Social Media Industry Report 2019: Restaurant Brands will do just that. You’ll walk away from reading with a spicy idea or two. An unexpected ingredient to add to you marketing mix. A soufflé recipe? Maybe not that, but the rest, a resounding – yes!

Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how these brands were able to succeed where others fail!

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