Business Insider Predicts 7 Restaurant Chains That Will be Wildly Successful in 2017

As the end of the year approaches, it seems like everyone attempts to tell the future. 

Marketers and experts are making their predictions on food and menu trends for 2017. What will consumers be gravitating to? Which brands will be experiencing major growth in the new year? And which 2016 fads will disappear? 

Business Insider spoke with two restaurant industry experts who have predicted which restaurant chains will "dominate" the industry in 2017.

Topping the list is a brand we have been following since its infancy, Sweet Green

This better-for-you concept, known for its make your own salad bowls with high-quality local ingredients has 50 store locations so far. 

"They have had tremendous growth and have seemingly succeeded where many other chains that have tried to redefine healthy fast food have failed," said Catherine De Orio, an executive director of the culinary nonprofit Kendall College Trust to “Business Insider.” "It ticks all the important boxes: clean eating, responsible sourcing and community building."

Elevation Burger, a gourmet burger concept lands at No. 2 on the list. 

"If I'm going to eat a burger, I'm going to eat one... that's 100% organic, with no antibiotics, no hormones," said Shilen Patel, co-founder of the consultancy Independents United to “Business Insider.” "If I'm the kind of person who not only wants to eat well, but also cares about how I'm affecting the world around me, it becomes a very easy choice for me." 

But, the gourmet burger segment is quickly becoming saturated with most of the concepts offering organic, hormone and antibiotic free beef. 

Another better-for-you concept, Freshii also lands on the list at No. 3.

However, in a surprising turn, Chipotle makes the list at No. 5. 

As you are well aware, Chipotle's sales have gradually slipped following the food safety crisis that started in November of last year. Chipotle, whose tagline is ironically “Food with Integrity,” received major backlash for a number of food safety issues, including an E. coli and a salmonella outbreak that created a media frenzy.

But De Orio believes the brand is on the verge of a comeback.

"They are a strong brand with a solid philosophy and a loyal, cult-like following," said De Orio to “Business Insider.” "2017 should see them on the upswing." Do you think Chipotle will start to bounce back in 2017?

Check out the other emerging brands that topped this list here. 

Foodable Labs Predicts Strong Sales for Del Taco and honeygrow in 2017

November showed small growth in social restaurant visits since October. On this episode of "On Foodable Weekly," Host Paul Barron dissects the numbers and predicts which brands may have strong sales in 2017. Watch below!

According to Foodable Labs, Facebook and Twitter conversations surrounding the top 500 restaurant brands are up this month, as are social restaurant visits. What are SRVs? Foodable Labs measures SRVs by looking at social media conversations and analyzing users’ intent to visit a restaurant, their return or referral to a restaurant, and direct actions such as Facebook Check-ins or Instagram posts about their trip to a restaurant.

Within the top 500 brands, Shake Shack showed the greatest growth in SRVs last month at 6.65 percent. Right behind Shake Shack, Tender Greens has held steady in the No. 2 spot with 5.64 percent growth over October. Other top 500 brands showing high SRV growth include Digg Inn, Penn Station, Arby’s, Modern Market, and Freshii.

Social restaurant visits for the entire industry are also showing a slight increase from 129.6 million to 130.1 million. This uptick is on trend with the increases we’ve been seeing since August.

Top Performers

Using our data, Foodable Labs has identified some predictors of strong sales and unit growth. Some brands predicted to do well in 2017 include Del Taco, honeygrow, Matchbox, Freshii, Zoes Kitchen, Mod Pizza, and Little Beet.

Our top performer of 2016, however, is a bit unexpected.

Host Paul Barron says, “McDonald’s has really turned the ship around and doing some things that have obviously made an impact with their brand.”

With an 80 point increase in their overall Foodable Labs Score in 2016, we are seeing a lot of similarities with McDonald’s sales chart. Competing with Wendy’s, Burger King, and Sonic Drive-in, McDonald’s holds their lead thanks to high social engagement with their customers.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Releases 2017 Culinary and Cocktail Trends Forecast

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Releases 2017 Culinary and Cocktail Trends Forecast

By Mae Velasco, Associate Editor

Inventive twists on avocado toast, rainbow foods, poke bowls, and the comeback of the classic cocktail seemed to run rampant in 2016, but what culinary and cocktail trends can we expect the next time the New Year's Eve Ball drops?

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the first boutique hotel and restaurant company in the United States and a large chain that boasts more than 65 award-winning concepts, unveiled their annual trends forecast for 2017. This forecast, self-proclaimed by the brand as "chef-driven" and "bartender-inspired," was determined by an extensive survey of trailblazing chefs, sommeliers, general managers, and bartenders across more than 70 Kimpton restaurants, bars, and lounges across 30 cities. 

"When it comes to culinary trends, Kimpton chefs and bartenders are on the hunt for the flavors and techniques that tantalize taste buds and expand diners’ culinary universe. They’re true trendsetters and innovators in our kitchens and bars,” Alex Taylor, Kimpton's senior vice president of restaurants & bars, said in a press release. “These are the most creative and cutting-edge culinary concepts that will pepper menus and home kitchens in the coming year.”

No need for a countdown here. Without further ado, below are 2017's most anticipated trends. 

Read More