Menu Innovation is Expected from Chipotle as Former Taco Bell CEO Takes Over

Menu Innovation is Expected from Chipotle as Former Taco Bell CEO Takes Over

It looks like nachos, quesadillas, salads and new grain options may possibly be new Chipotle menu items, according to Founder and Executive Chairman Steve Ells.

“These are things customers are asking for,” said Ells on the company’s latest earnings call, as reported by Bloomberg.

Just last week, the company began to test a new non-dessert offering, spokesman Chris Arnold told Bloomberg via email. This happened a few days after news broke Brian Niccol, the former chief executive officer of Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell Division, is set to lead Chipotle starting March 5.

Read More

Chipotle steals the Taco Bell CEO To Rescue Fast Casual Brand

Chipotle steals the Taco Bell CEO To Rescue Fast Casual Brand

The search is over and faith in Chipotle’s future seems to be on its way to being restored.

On Wednesday morning, Chipotle shares experienced a 14 percent hike, according to “Bloomberg.”

This is thanks to Chipotle’s Tuesday announcement that founder Steve Ells will be officially stepping down by March 5 of this year as the chief executive officer to pass along the post to Brian Niccol, former CEO to Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell Division.

Steve Ells will transition from a Chipotle Chairman role to an Executive Chairman for the brand, as he welcomes Brian Niccol as a new member of Chipotle’s Board of Directors.

Read More

Taco Bell Takes a Bite at McDonald's With New Commercial

SCREENCAP OF TACO BELL COMMERCIAL  | YOUTUBE.COM

SCREENCAP OF TACO BELL COMMERCIAL | YOUTUBE.COM

If there's at least one thing we remember from high school, it's that food fights can get pretty dirty. And when the one doing the slinging is a multibillion-dollar company? Well, then, food fights turn into an all-out food war. The fast food chain Taco Bell made some hard-hitting, not-so-subtle, fast jabs at McDonald's with its new commercial.

In an effort to promote its new biscuit taco and breakfast menu items, Taco Bell painted a Cold War-era, post-apocalyptic world called the "Routine Republic." A television set plays a commercial within the commercial filled with communist-state propaganda, art showcasing mighty fists holding up burgers and a twisted, smiling clown-faced enforcer, complete with blaring trumpets in the background. Guards bullying civilians are also eerily clown-faced. Posters are plastered on grimy walls, the only bit of color in the grungy city is a dirty, yellow slide winding around a bleak, concrete patrol tower, no doubt symbolizing McDonald's playgrounds. 

The message around the city is the same: "It's another perfect morning in the Routine Republic, where happiness is eating the same breakfast."

McDonald's has become a routine trademark in the fast food breakfast audience, and known for its Happy Meals. Here, Taco Bell is encouraging consumers -- imprisoned by this routine -- to break free and try something different, meaning what Taco Bell has to offer. 

With grenades in the shape of little, burger-shaped, wind-up toys (Happy Meal toys were pretty explosive in popularity...every kid wanted one!), a ball pit moat surrounding the city walls, and slogans such as "Circle is good! Hexagon is bad!" splattered across the commercial, the circle clearly representing a burger and the hexagon a Taco Bell Crunchwrap, the references were undeniably jammed down the viewers' throats. 

But did the viewers digest them happily or spit them out?

One user on Youtube commented "Shots fired. McDonald's, your rebuttle?" While another answered, "There is no rebuttle. McDonald's is a sinking ship." A third chimed in saying, "Taco Bell, although this is well produced, I'm still not going to think of you as something truly 'different.' You're all fast food in my mind...but props for going WAY out of your way to prove otherwise."

Industry experts, your thoughts? Was this a clever move on Taco Bell's part or was it just plain greasy? Watch the video here!

Taco Bell Uses Twitter to Promote a Petition For the Taco Emoji

Screenshot of Taco Bell's recent Tweet promote the Taco Emoji petition  | @Tacobell

Screenshot of Taco Bell's recent Tweet promote the Taco Emoji petition | @Tacobell

As of today, the change.org petition titled as "The Taco Emoji Needs To Happen" has over 23,000 signatures. The quick-serve brand, Taco Bell launched this campaign back in late November and has been using social media outlets, such as Twitter to promote the highly important cause.

This all started when the non-profit organization, The Unicode Consortium, which is in charge of the coding standards for emojis, announced 37 new emoji candidates for their upcoming Unicode 8.0 release.Taco Bell took it among itself to rally the public and show how many people also agree that the a taco emoji is needed.

The brand has a loyal following of almost 1.5 million on Twitter and made the top 10 of the 2015 Top 100 Most Loved Brands. So, do you think the taco emoji will happen? What do you think of this campaign? It is certainly engaging their fans. Is it an effective marketing move?  Read More

And the Winners of the 2014 RIZMY Awards are...

Which brands came out on top this year? They were finally announced yesterday during the 2nd Annual Restaurant Social Media Index Awards ceremony, sponsored by SinglePlatform at the FSTEC NexGen conference in New Orleans. 

To refresh your memory the RIZMYs are not hand-selected. Instead, they are measured by DigitalCoCo’s proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), the largest collaborative resource of restaurant industry data in the world. Only the brands with the highest social scores were selected as the winners. 

This year's 10 categories were arranged in groupings. The first being the brand segmented awards, including the QSR Digital Brand of the Year, Fast Casual Digital Brand of the Year, Casual Dining Digital Brand of the Year, and Independent Digital Brand of the Year. The second were the specialty categories, including the Overall Brand in Mobile, Most Loved Brand, Most Influential Brand, and Location-Based Brand, all of which are returning categories from last year. The final categories are based on performance factors, including the awards for Digital Innovator of the Year and Digital Executive Team of the Year. 

All of the 2014 RIZMYs Finalists

All of the 2014 RIZMYs Finalists

So without further ado– DigitalCoCo is proud to announce this year's RIZMY Awards Winners

And the QSR Digital Brand of the Year is... Sonic DriveIn!

After arriving to the social party a little late in 2012-2013, they are certainly making up for lost time! Sonic was a finalist last year, but did not receive a title. However, this favored by millennials brand, won the Digital Brand of the Year in the QSR segment. 

And the Fast Casual Digital Brand of the Year is... Shake Shack!

This fast casual brand returns as a victor this year. Shake Shack was awarded the Most Loved Brand of the Year, last year. This brand is part of the Better Burger segment and is engaging consumers with social to compete with the crowded segment filled with burger joints. 

And the Casual Dining Digital Brand of the Year is... Hard Rock Cafe!

This rather recognizable name did not appear on the finalists last year. This casual dining restaurant has upped the ante in the social space– landing this year's top Casual Dining Digital Brand.

And the Independent Digital Brand of the Year is... AJ Bombers!

This fast casual brand is part of the independent burger boom. Returning from last year, this small operator owned burger joint is taking average of the burger boom, by using social media and is keeping up with the restaurant moguls. 

And the Overall Mobile Brand is...Rubio's!

The fast casual success, Rubio's is spreading all over the West coast. Appearing on the RIZMYs finalists list for the first time this year, the brand lands the Overall Mobile Brand award. 

And both the Overall Most Loved Brand & Digital Executive Team of the Year goes to... Buffalo Wild Wings!

BWW has risen faster than any other brand in platform effectiveness in the past year. After just being a nominee for a RIZMY last year, BWW returns this year for two major wins as the Overall Most Loved Brand and the Digital Executive Team of the Year.

And the Overall Most Influential Brand is...Taco Bell!

After winning two awards last year, The Digital Innovator of the Year and Overall Brand of the Year, this QSR mogul returns this year to win the Overall Most Influential Brand. 

And both the Overall Location-Based Brand & Digital Innovator of the Year goes to... Firehouse Subs!

This leader of innovation social campaigns returns to collect two awards this year proving their skillful digital engagement. 

Congratulations to the winning brands for creating quite a social buzz, that deserves to be recognized!