Current High-Flyers in the Restaurant Industry 

On this episode of “On Foodable Weekly,” host Paul Barron, discusses the current state of the restaurant industry. We discuss the restaurants that have grown the most in the past month and what that means for the industry as a whole. We will also look at Jersey Mike’s brand performance and its biggest competitor: Arby’s.

According to Foodable Labs, the restaurant industry is showing continued growth. This growth is illustrated through the analysis of real-time data pulled from social media platforms. One of the big indicators of restaurant industry health is SRV or Social Restaurant visits.  This could be when a customer mentions, takes a picture, or performs a "check in" on social media referencing a restaurant’s location either in the post or it's recorded in the geo-metadata. Foodable Labs has added another measurement known as Facebook and Twitter Combined Industry Visibility.

Are people talking about going out to eat and are they engaging with top brands? Currently, there is almost a 30% increase in total industry visibility.

Looking back at June 2016, the industry experienced the lowest number of interactions of the year up to date with numbers of interactions at 54 million and the number of unique users at 31 million. But, September showed continuous growth in the industry with interaction figures reaching 70 million and unique users reaching 40 million.

Growth within the Industry

Restaurants showing notable SRV growth from September to August 2016 include:

  • Freshii - remains in the #1 spot with 8.12% SRV growth
  • Arby’s - experienced an increase of SRVs helping the brand stay at the #3 spot with  a 6.41% increase
  • Mendocino Farms - a new entry into the Top 10 at the #4 spot with a 5.55% increase in growth
  • Honeygrow - coming in at the #7 spot with a 5.02% increase in SRV growth
  • Panera - 4.57% increase month over month. “For a brand their size, that’s a pretty significant number,” said Paul Barron.

An important takeaway from this data is total SRVs for the industry jumped up in August and again in September by 2 million.

Jersey Mike's vs Arby's

Jersey Mike's has been on a terror for the last 3 quarters. They have experienced a 34 point rise in Foodable Lab’s overall RSMI. This is a pretty significant jump from being ranked at #18 to their current ranking at #12.

“They are really on a collision course. An article that was done by Bloomberg, just recently, actually picked Jersey Mike’s out as one of the fastest-growing restaurants and the potential sandwich chain that was remaking the segment, much like what fast casual has done in the burger business, Jersey Mike’s could be the forerunner on the sandwich segment.”

In the Jersey Mike’s versus Arby’s head to head comparison, here’s what we saw:

  • Jersey Mike’s shares 28.4% of Arby’s guests; and
  • They also scored the higher than Arby’s on Mobile Engagement
  • In turn, Arby’s has had a 25 point rise year-to-date; and
  • Arby’s made it into the Top 10 brands with an increase in SRV’s for the month of September

Watch the full episode to learn more!