Foodable's Annual Restaurant Technology Guide — the Inside Scoop on the Best Foodservice Tech Solutions

If you're hungry for food for thought, you'll get more than a "byte" with our latest interactive guide. Having trouble deciding on the best way to manage your team's schedules? Keeping track of ordering and receiving? Monitoring your inventory?  Or are you looking for the best LCDs for your menu boards, or maybe even a new POS system to cut down time customers crowd at the till?

Look no further than Foodable's annual Restaurant Technology Guide, brought to you by Zenreach.

 There's no doubt that technology is transforming the restaurant industry, from the way brands and operators handle their day-to-day tasks to changing consumer expectations on customer service and the dining experience. How can we keep up with the fast-paced, one-click speed of foodservice? How do we bridge the gap between tech-savvy guests and tech-savvy brands?

Through Foodable's interactive Restaurant Technology Guide, which also comes with a free, downloadable report that shares even more insights and data, we feature the best products and companies that have elevated the industry. More importantly, the ones that can revolutionize you and your restaurant. Based on data analyzed by Foodable Labs, these brands were ranked on a 300-point system, scored on the following metrics: operator sentiment, brand perception, and engagement.

About the Report

The annual Restaurant Technology Guide is powered by the industry's largest foodservice- and chef-focused social data analysis platform, the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), and Foodable Labs. Foodable Labs, through the RSMI, analyzes more than 167K restaurant and hospitality brands, 200K chefs, and over 220MM global restaurant consumers across 500K foodservice locations.

In this free report, along with access to our interactive guide, you will discover:

  • 2017 Restaurant Technology Predictions
  • Top 100 Restaurant Technology Companies Ranking
  • Editors' Choice Awards for the following categories: Social Media, Point of Sale, Online Services, Digital Signage, Marketing Solutions, Guest-Facing Tech, Back-Office Software, and Mobile
  • Top 10 Guest-Facing and Tabletop Tech Ranking
  • Top 10 Digital Marketing Solutions Ranking
  • Top 6 Back-Office Tech Ranking
  • Top 6 Pos Options Ranking
  • Best practices on making Wi-Fi work for your restaurant
  • Millennial trends on digitally-enhanced dining
  • And more!

Which Chefs Are One Stir Ahead? The Top 100 Social Chefs of 2016

Some chefs are just focused on getting through the rush, but other chefs have bigger fish to fry. There are culinary masterminds who rise above their title and show us all that the word "chef" isn't a noun — "Chef" is a verb, an action, and a state of being in a game-changing pursuit to live out a life of passion and to elevate the standards of their calling.


But succeeding as a chef is more than about choosing the right ingredients for a dish or mastering cooking techniques in the kitchen. As technology and social media are transforming the foodservice industry, the "Social Chef" has become the new phenomenon. Through the use of major media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, chefs are connecting with their visually-driven consumers in a whole new way. These chefs have become their own brand.

From the East Coast to the West Coast, from the North to the South, whether their specialties lie in European or Asian cuisine, the Top 100 Social Chefs 2016 Report features the top-performing U.S. chefs in the digital space. And no, this ranking is not handpicked by editors. The annual Top 100 Social Chefs list is based on core social and consumer data, analyzed by Foodable Labs. This year, each chef's score was determined by a 300-point system measuring food sentiment, service, and engagement. 

About the Report

The data for the Top 100 Social Chefs 2016 Report is powered through the industry's largest foodservice- and chef-focused social data analysis platform, the Restaurant Social Media Index, and Foodable Labs. More than 200K chefs and 220MM global restaurant consumers are analyzed across over 500K foodservice locations, providing unfiltered, unstructured, and unbiased feedback.

In this report, along with access to our free, first-ever interactive guide, you will discover:

  • Top 100 U.S. Social Chefs Ranking

  • Breakdown of the Top 10 Social Chefs

  • Region roundup of top-performing chefs

  • Leading culinary trends

  • Leading beverage trends

  • Best digital practices for chefs

  • Exclusive video content

  • And more!

But, Wait...There's More! Welcome to the Chef's Alliance

Along with the Top 100 Social Chefs Report, we're proud to announce the launch of the Chef's Alliance, our newest platform and your guide to the top 1,000 chefs and artisans in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Chefs, pastry chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists, sommeliers, baristas, and brewers who are performing at the highest level in their craft and on digital all make up the Chef's Alliance. The guide updates frequently with new profiles and other rich content — be sure to keep up and see how your favorite chefs and artisans scored!

Dining Out? Here Are the Top 100 Restaurants of 2016

You may have heard of the monthly Foodable Top 25, where the best restaurants in each city are ranked as your go-to guide for the tastiest eats, and you may even keep up with the quarterly National Top 25, where the highest-performing restaurant chains are compiled. And while you will find those big brand boys and girls in the Most Loved Brands of 2016 and the Fast Casual Top 100, how will you discover the smaller, more intimate rising stars of local markets championing their culinary artistry?

No fear, the Top 100 Social Restaurants 2016 Report is here! This ranking goes beyond the monthly, city-level Top 25, but instead, highlights the best in the business across the country and for the year overall. Planning a dinner date? Better add these 100 restaurants to your calendar — if you have enough room in your stomach, that is.

This report is a comprehensive analysis of the restaurant and hospitality industry, meaning Foodable does not editorially select the list. The decision-makers are the people who matter: your customers! Curated by the discussions and voices of 3.7 million critics and consumers, the Top 100 Social Restaurants Report analyzes three key metrics of unstructured social consumer data, including sentiment on food and service, influence of the restaurant, and engagement of the guests with the restaurant.

About the Report and How the Data Works


Foodable Labs, through the proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) and in partnership with DigitalCoCo, LLC, analyzes more than 167K restaurant and hospitality brands daily, over 220MM global restaurant consumers engaged on social, and across more than 500K foodservice locations. This ranking is not a scorecard of how restaurants are performing, but instead, reflects how guests perceive restaurants are performing, providing clarity and unfiltered feedback for these brands. 

In this report, you will discover:

  • Top 100 Social Restaurants Ranking
  • Breakdown of the Top 10 Restaurants
  • Featured chefs from the Top 5 Restaurants
  • Latest menu trends
  • Millennial workforce tips
  • Best new equipment (in a special podcast feature with the hosts of "Rock My Restaurant")
  • The best digital practices for chefs and brands

And more!

From New York City to San Francisco, want to see how your favorite restaurants did this year — or curious to see how you rank against your competitors in the eyes of consumers? Download the report to find out!

Rising Fast Casual Brands Shaking Up the Foodable Top 25

Rising Fast Casual Brands Shaking Up the Foodable Top 25

By Mae Velasco, Custom Content Editor

If the restaurant and hospitality industry were the box office, then the fast casual segment would be the Shirley Temple of foodservice. And instead of tap dancing, singing, and acting its way into the hearts of millions of consumers, fast casual’s top-performing factors would be elevated flavor profiles, higher-quality ingredients, and efficient service. (You might see diners tap dancing and singing in joy, though.)

From the rise of the better-burger concept and craft pizza, to now explorations in the artisan chicken sector, fast casual has changed the way America eats  — with the numbers to prove it. Known as the fastest-growing segment in the restaurant industry, the Washington Post reported a 600 percent growth from 1999 to 2014, which was more than 10 times the growth seen in the once-dominating fast food sector in the same time period. And according to Forbes, even during the recession in 2008, fast casual saw a rise in sales within the Millennial demographic.

Fast casual is a space for businesses to thrive, for new, unique visions to incubate, and is a hotbed of success waiting to happen. Unsurprisingly, there have been a flood of concepts expanding into the industry, creating a challenging arena to stand out as a fast casual champion. As more consumers are embracing this segment and look toward its future, how do operators, companies, and restaurateurs set themselves apart from the rest?

Read More

Who Are the Fast Casual Champions? Find Out in Our Top 100 Report

If fast casual had a face, it would be the poster child of success within the restaurant and hospitality industry. Not only is it heralded as the fastest-growing segment in the business, with fast casual sales skyrocketing to a 600 percent growth from 1999 to 2014, it was also the only foodservice segment to see an increase in 2013. In a time where quick-service once dominated before it fell to consumers demanding higher-quality ingredients and newer, more unique concepts, fast casual rose as a champion.

Initially, fast casual began with a handful of innovations exploring the idea of the better-burger, but now an influx of concepts have flooded into the space and have pushed the envelope in other avenues, including a toss-up of crafted pizza concepts and new hatching ideas in the chicken sector. With this much competition, how can fast casual operators stand out? How can fast casual brands separate themselves in an already challengingly creative space? And which ones have become the champions of champions?

Discover consumers' favorite fast casual brands, the latest fast casual menu trends, other artisan concepts growing with the fast casual segment, and more in Foodable's Fast Casual Top 100 Social Brands 2016 Report. This ranking is not editorially selected, but instead, based on core data and consumer social metrics, reflecting the true, unfiltered opinion of people simply enjoying our industry's food.

About the Report

The Fast Casual Top 100 Social Brands 2016 report is the ultimate view on how fast casuals are performing and how they are perceived on the digital landscape. The data for this report is provided in partnership with DigitalCoCo, LLC and the industry's leading social data analysis platform, the Restaurant Social Media Index, and culminates into Foodable Labs. More than 167K restaurant and hospitality brands are analyzed daily across over 500K foodservice locations, pulling unfiltered feedback, which provides clarity on the pure opinion of consumers, brands, chefs, and operators.

In this report, you will discover: 

  • The latest menu trends
  • The rise of craft soda in fast casual and the top 10 craft soda brands
  • Millennial trends
  • Digital marketing and mobile trends
  • Using Snapchat in the fast casual space
  • Top 100 Fast Casual Brands ranking
  • Top 25 Fast Casual Brands by Location-Based Actions ranking
  • Top 25 Most Loved Fast Casual Brands ranking
  • Top 25 Fast Casual Mobile Brands ranking
  • Top 25 Most Engaged Fast Casual brands ranking
  • And more!

What are you waiting for? Time to act fast — or fast casual, rather. Dive deep into the report now!