2014 Top Social and Digital Predictions

By Paul Barron, CEO/Founder of DigitalCoCo, Foodable WebTV & the Restaurant Social Media Index

Last year, my 2013 predictions had Facebook falling out of favor, the birth of the social chef, mobile consumers melding with brands, Twitter to become the Food FAQ platform for restaurants, and even casual dining getting a resurgence with more upscale offerings.

I had a few other key ones that had some impact in 2013, but all in all I can say I had about 80% right on target. Not that it’s that great of performance considering most were pretty easy to call. So this year, I feel like I need to go out on a limb and really stretch the idea of predictions and how they can impact the industry. With that said, here goes my annual 2014 Social & Digital Predictions.

PREDICTION NO. 1:  CHIPOTLE GETS THE BOOT AS THE LEADING RESTAURANT BRAND PERFORMER.

The idea behind this is part in data and part in intuition. With consumers becoming even more aware of sustainable actions and sourcing, I fear that Chipotle may be playing this card too close to their vest with no option out. I predict that we will see consumers attack the burrito brand this year while also seeing a falling stock price. Chipotle will have some difficulty battling the rising stars of the upscale fast casual segment. Read More