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The RSMI added location-based numbers to the index because brands are increasingly asking customers to let them know they are in their restaurants, Barron said.

Chipotle led the pack in the first Top 10 rankings of location-based brands, Barron said.

“What we are finding is that the Chipotle customer has a bit higher propensity for location-based actions. I don’t know that it is the brand as much as it is the demographic they are serving,” he said.

Other brands with demographic bases similar to Chipotle’s also performed well in location-based actions, Barron said, including Subway, No. 2; Wendy’s, No. 3; Starbucks, No. 4; and Tijuana Flats, No. 5. Taco Bell, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, Raising Cane’s and Jimmy John’s rounded out the top 10, in descending order.

Those brand’s demographics appear to use mobile heavily and “seem more open with their digital lives,” Barron said. “They’re more open about saying they are in a restaurant and posting on Facebook or Instagram.”

The push to draw in location-based actions has been growing.

“A lot of brands have been so caught up in ‘I’ve got so much to say,’ rather than allowing the customer to jump into the conversation and talk more about being at the location. That’s really huge,” he said. “It puts a butt in a seat.”
“What we are seeing is some decline in intended check-ins, meaning walking into a store, opening up Foursquare and checking in and saying, ‘I’m here at Panera.’ That’s versus me going into a store and taking a photo on Instagram and saying, ‘I had a great lunch at Panera.’

“It’s still location-based action, but the consumer is doing it on a more passive approach than an intended check-in,” he added.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless