Press and In the Media

Current High-Flyers in the Restaurant Industry

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.

Was There Ever a Restaurant Recession?

According to Foodable Labs, an industry-wide restaurant recession is not currently taking place. This conclusion is based on a close analysis of the total Social Restaurant Visits (SRVs) recorded and compared so far for the year of 2016.

QSR to QSR-Plus: How Chick-fil-a is Elevating Fast Food

For the past several years, the fast-casual segment has given the quick-service industry a run for its money, quite literally. Fast food operators have undoubtedly realized that their quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) would need to improve on quality and value from both a culinary and operational standpoint in order to stand up to the competition. And thus, a new, hybrid category — QSR-Plus — was born.

Fast Food That's Actually Fast: Diners' Top 10 Picks

Restaurant wait times are a tricky thing. If we think the wait’s too long, we leave. Or we grumble along this time, but then we don’t come back.

The fall of Chipotle & Taco Bell brings a “Fresh” leader to No. 1 in RSMI Q1 2014

Looking back at data from the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) over the past year, it has become obvious that Taco Bell and Chipotle are top runners on social. The “Live Mas” brand claimed No. 1 status on our RSMI Overall Top 250 for both Q1 and Q2 of 2013, while Chipotle stole the top spot in Q3 and Q4. However, Q1 2014 data shows that both brands have taken a tumble, putting them in the bottom-half of the Top 10.

2 big brands fall off RSMI Top 10 rankings, replaced by new contenders

The Q4 2013 Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) data is officially in, and, as usual, there are quite a few notable brands that have shifted in the rankings. Back in Q3, we reported that Chipotle stole the throne from Taco Bell in the Overall Top 250 list, and that still remains. But two restaurant brands finally made their way into the Top 10, kicking off Sonic and Jimmy John’s. Check out the full Top 10 list below.

Chipotle replaces Taco Bell as top social brand

For the past two quarters, Taco Bell has held the Restaurant Social Media Index’s No. 1 spot on our Overall Top 250 list. The Live Mas brand unseated McDonald’s in Q1 2013. This quarter, however, several brands — including the No. 1 — have shifted. Chipotle took the top spot (up from No. 8 in Q2 2013) for the first time on the Overall Top 250.

2013 mobile social consumer trends

Every brand wants to be where its consumers are — that’s always been a fact. But a lot of business leaders are still hesitant to merge into mobile, the place most millennials and Baby Boomers are today — a trend that only seems to be progressing. As the dominant driving force of the market, millennials have gained a bad rep for “always” being on their phones, consumed in a virtual life versus making in-person connections

Red Mango Founder Snags Digital Exec of the Year Award

The Restaurant Social Media Index recently recognized Red Mango founder Dan Kim with the 2013 Digital Executive of the Year award at the first-ever RIZMY Awards, presented at the Foodservice Technology Conference and Showcase NexGen conference in Phoenix.

Restaurant Digital Brand of the Year nominations are in

Make sure to practice your best Instagram pose and get those tweets ready — there’s a new awards ceremony in town! The RIZMY Awards, or RIZMYs for short, will showcase the best social and digital brands in the Restaurant & Hospitality industry. Think of it as the Emmys of the foodservice industry (but without the awkwardly long speeches and stiff dress codes).

Restaurant customers look beyond Facebook for social engagement

Latest Restaurant Social Media Index data shows Vine, Google+, YouTube gaining popularity

Restaurant customers are increasingly shifting their attention from Facebook and Twitter to other social media platforms, according to data from the latest Restaurant Social Media Index.

What Does it Take to Be One of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers? recently posted a list of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. These influencers are not the powerhouses behind the world’s biggest brands or most popular celebrities. They are self-starters, motivational leaders and accessible social media experts with genuine influence over their active following.

Keeping It Casual: The Casual Dining Social 100

The Casual Dining Social 100 Report lays out the Top 10 Brands with the “Best Food Sentiment.” Sentiment is broken down into three categories that resolve against tens of thousands of key words based on service, food and overall brand experience. The score is then averaged for an overall sentiment.

McDonald's takes No. 1 spot in 4Q Restaurant Social Media Index

McDonald’s jumped ahead of Starbucks to the top spot in the fourth-quarter Restaurant Social Media Index, marking the first time another brand has held the No. 1 position during all six consecutive quarters of the ranking.

Which Are The Most Social Brands In Hospitality?

Which brands in the hospitality industry are the most social? The table below sets out the top ten from the Q4 2012 results of DigitalCoCo‘s Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) and shows McDonald’s edging Starbucks, followed closely by Wendy.

McDonald's Tops Starbucks In Social Status

Starbucks has lost its status as the most social company in the restaurant business, giving way to McDonald’s. How did McDonald’s pull it off?


Starbucks Loses Reputation and McDonald's Gains, In Most Social Charts

The measurement of hospitality’s most social most social brands is undertaken by DigitalCoCo, an independent Florida-based social analytics company, specialized in tracking the restaurant business.

Nation's Restaurant News

Taco Bell, Subway Score Big With Super Bowl Ads

According to a study from DigitalCoco, a social media strategy firm focused on the hospitality industry, Taco Bell and Subway kept pace with traditional Super Bowl advertisers in the soda and packaged-food industries. The firm monitored the interactions advertising brands received on their Facebook and Twitter pages during the Super Bowl, categorized them as positive, negative and neutral, and tabulated them into a sentiment score on a 1,000-basis-point scale.


The Chipotle Effect - Better Than An Organic Hoodie

The Chipotle Effect by Paul Barron, founder of, a must read for restauranteurs, is a great resource for any business. But the real value in The Chipotle Effect is what Barron has hidden subtly under the surface, which is the changing dynamic between consumer and restaurant.


Restaurant Mobile Social Consumer Trends #MoSoCo - Dec 2012

DigitalCoCo has recently extracted data from its Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) to delve further into who today’s Mobile Social Consumer is, and how this group is engaging with — and affecting — the restaurant and hospitality industry.


How fast-casual chains are changing the way America eats - Nov 2012

Fast Casual Nation” aims to provide everyone — whether a restaurateur, chef, industry insider or foodie — with a hearty serving of up-and-coming trends, insights and behind-the-scenes videos of this fast-moving industry.


Fast Casual Social 100 Report And The New Age Consumer

The $27 billion Fast Casual segment of the $632 billion restaurant industry grew at an astonishing 20.8% in 2011 over 2010, confirming that there is no slowdown in the appeal of Fast Casual to a broad range of consumers.  Successful brands know they have to keep their fingers on the pulse of the Fast Casual customer’s needs, wants, and choices.

The Bottom Line on NBC

Starbucks Is 'Best Loved' Food Brand On Social Media

Who do you love? On social media, the answer seems to be Starbucks.     The ubiquitous coffee house chain is the "most loved" of 3,400 food and restaurant brands, according to an analysis of social media sentiment in the first half of 2012 conducted by Digital CoCo, a marketing agency.


Paul Barron makes Forbes Top 50 - Only restaurant innovator on the list - Jan 2012

Ranked number 15 in the Top Social Power Influencers Barron continues to show why his style of change adoption, science and strategy is the key to the next era of the restaurant business.

Food & Beverage Show & Conference

Paul Barron founder at DigitalCoCo selected as Food & Beverage Allstar

The 16th Annual Americas Food and Beverage Show & Conference is proud to announce it’s first-ever class of Food & Beverage All-Stars. Each week we will feature new all-stars and experts from the food and beverage industry in Florida, the Caribbean and around the globe.

Nation's Restaurant News

DigitalCoCo releases the Q1 2012 Top 100 Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) - July 2012

DigitalCoCo the innovator of the RSMI a platform developed for tracking industry trends as it relates to brands, consumers and their interaction in social media continues its development of the power platform.

DigitalCoCo TV set to launch new Fast Casual Nation documentary May 2012

Paul Barron longtime Fast Casual industry innovator, founder of and creator of various fast casual industry events and think tanks is embarking on a new project to propel the fast casual restaruant segment even further with the creation of a new documentary featuring more than 30 concepts from all of the globe.  Fast Casual Nation - change the way America eats.

Turn & Burn

DigitalCoCo TV launches new Digital & Social Media show for restaurant and hospitality - June 2012

Turn & Burn a popular restaurant term for get it don't fast and correct is the mantra for this new video series from DigtialCoCo. Founder Paul Barron states this is just the beginning of a whole new way to inform and connect with the restaurant and hospitality industry. Other shows planned for the fall of 2012 are Foodie Geek TV and Table 42.

National Restaurant Association

DigitalCoCo and Technomic partner with the National Restaurant Association to create new Fast Casual Trends & Directions Conference. - June 2012

As a new direction for Fast Casual, Paul Barron and Darren Tristano partner to create a new model of conference for Fast Casual restaurant executives and have partnered with the NRA to extend the conference to the NRA show in 2012.

National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) today announced that it has partnered with DigitalCoco on social media analysis solutions.

The NRA has selected DigitalCoCo as the premier partner for social media solutions for it's members to include social media management, audience development and social analytics for the more than 40,000 members of the National Restaurant Association. July 2012.


How Paul Barron's book the Chipotle Effect is the new road map to restaurant success. March 2012

This book is the new hand book for the digital restaurant operator and a guide on understanding the new restaurant consumer.


DigitalCoCo creates new Social Insights around the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago 2012

Over five days the eleven man team from DgitalCoco defended on Chicago to track the more than 50,000 attendees and their overall impact on the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago.


FCSI The Americas 2012 Trendsetter Award

Paul Barron, who is credited with coining the term fast casual to define the fast-growing restaurant sector and is also known as founder of and, received the Trendsetter Award. Barron was recently listed on the Forbes Top 50 Power Influencers in Social Media for 2012, and authored the Chipotle Effect, a book on the American social restaurant consumer that helps explain how leading restaurants understand today’s customers. - Feb 2012

PMQ News Room

DigitalCoCo reaches largest social consumer index for the restaurant industry with more than 30 Million U.S. consumers in the RSMI. - Feb 2012

As the leading company tracking consumer actions in the restaurant and hospitality, DigitalCoCo hits a major milestone in reaching more than 30 million U.S. consumers in its Restaurant Social Media Index, RSMI. Founder Paul Barron states this index will hit 70-100 Million by 2015.

Restaurant Social Media Index

DigitalCoCo launches the Restaurant Social Media Index - May 2011

DigitalCoCo the brainchild of restaurant innovator Paul Barron founder of has announced the creation of the RSMI.  Barron stated this has been three years in the making and with our new Social Insights proprietary technology we are set to change the way restaurants interact with guests over the next decade.

Summer Brand Camp

DigitalCoCo and People Report partner to create new Digital Brand Camp Conference - Jan 2011

Merging HR, Operations and Marketing into one creative conference, Paul Barron and Joni Doolin expand on the current Summer Camp to create a new style of conference meant to bridge convergence in the restaurant industry.