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75% of Standout Social Media Restaurant Brands Partner with MomentFeed

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, brick-and-mortar businesses have had to amp up their online presence and connect with consumers digitally. Social media is arguably one of the best ways to reach homebound consumers who are turning to social channels to connect with friends, catch up on news, and beat boredom. But brands grapple with how to connect with consumers during COVID-19.

Recent research, conducted by Influential, aimed to uncover the brands that are getting their message right amid COVID-19 and resonating with consumers. Social conversations were tracked for the top Fortune 1000 brands across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, forums, and blogs.

The top 20 included many of the most recognized brands in the world – Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Target, and Walmart, to name a few. In the restaurant / quick serve industry, only four brands made the list – Chick-fil-A, Domino’s Pizza, Olive Garden, and Texas Roadhouse. Three of these four restaurant brands have one thing in common – they are MomentFeed clients.

Brand Actions Impact Consumer Perceptions

A lot can be learned from these brands’ successes – most noteworthy is that brand actions impact consumer perceptions. This is a critical time for brands to imprint themselves in consumers’ minds with social good campaigns. All the restaurants on this top 20 list are proactively acknowledging the ‘new normal’ and doing their part to help employees, customers, and the communities they serve during this difficult time. Let’s dive into what each restaurant brand is doing:

Chick-fil-A is keeping it real during COVID-19 with a campaign it calls #thelittlethings. The campaign helps consumers take their mind off the “big stuff’ by focusing on “the little things” that each person can do to make the world a better place. The brand is leading by example in the communities they serve, donating over $10 million to first responders. It is also connecting with busy families overwhelmed with new demands. From its social media channels, Chick-fil-A is offering everything from dinner table topics to keep families connected, to printable activities so the kiddos can show support for their local community heroes.

A screenshot of a Facebook post from Chick-Fil-A thanking nurses for their hard work

Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, recently announced paid sick leave to all hourly workers amid COVID-19. This move garnered significant coverage, applauding the restaurant group for taking early action and driving others to follow suit. In more recent posts, the restaurant chain is connecting with Gen Zers missing out on those once in a lifetime events, like their senior Prom.

A screenshot of a twitter post from Bloomberg announcing that Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, and other restaurants will be providing paid sick leave to all hourly workers
A screenshot from a twitter post made by Olive Garden in which a promotion is encouraging graduates to engage with Olive Garden on social media

Texas Roadhouse was one of the first businesses to announce that its CEO, Kent Taylor, is forgoing his base salary for the rest of the year to pay workers amid COVID-19. This earned praise and respect among social media followers. Texas Roadhouse is also providing plenty of opportunities for customers to live the brand even though they aren’t able to dine in at the restaurant. It has started sharing a famous cocktail recipe each #ThirstyThursday for customers to make from home, and also released a playlist on Spotify that customers can listen to to set the ambiance while cooking, gathering around the dinner table, or doing other fun activities at home.

A screenshot of a twitter post from Texas Roadhouse, in which the company gives followers the recipe for an alcoholic drink called "Amarillo Punch"
A screenshot of a Facebook post from Texas Roadhouse, in which they share a playlist of music with their followers

Domino’s Pizza is helping communities nationwide through the one way it knows how—pizza, and lots of it. As part of its “Feed the Need” campaign, the pizza chain will be giving away 10 million slices of pizza to people and organizations at the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak. Each store, including the franchisees, are aiming to donate 200 pizzas in their community. Recipients can include hospitals, grocery store employees, school children, and others struggling in the midst of the pandemic. Domino’s is spotlighting #FeedTheNeed stories from the various communities they serve on its social media pages.

A screenshot from Domino's on twitter in which they shout out Houston Texas March of Dimes and a local Domino's for delivering pizza donations across the city
A screenshot from Domino's on twitter in which they spotlight a franchise owner donating pizza to the local community

The positive actions these big brands are taking mid-pandemic will leave a lasting impression on consumers. As things eventually return to normal, these memorable moments will make it easier for consumers to recall and consider purchasing from these and many other brands that are paying it forward in some way.

This blog is a part of our COVID-19 Insights series. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Library for more in-depth analysis on the overall state of consumer behavior, preferences, and expectations before, during, and after COVID-19.

As your marketing team prepares for the reopening of the economy, make sure you have the tools to succeed. MomentFeed is offering its Social Amplifier solution free for 90 days for any new customers. No strings, we just want to help you during this difficult time.

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