(Continued from page 1)

Much like they do in their broadcast and print advertising, restaurant brands made a major marketing impact in social media with aggressive deals, and October was no different in that respect.

Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, sibling brands owned by San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. which share social-media profiles, grew their collective Social 200 index score 47.5 percent during the first week of October, to 15.59. The printable coupon shared on its Facebook and Twitter profiles that moved the needle the most that week offered two meals and two fountain drinks for two adults for $18.99, in order to promote the Family Favorites menu.

The offer was the centerpiece of Garden Fresh’s monthlong campaign for the Family Favorites menu, and it was shared more than 400 times on Facebook, getting 475 likes as well.

Rosemead, Calif.-based Panda Express, meanwhile, executed a major systemwide giveaway of its Honey Sesame Chicken Breast on Oct. 2, driving a 37.6-percent gain in its Social 200 score to 30.91. The quick-service chain implored all its social-media fans to share the news of the offer with their friends, which resulted in more than 1,500 Facebook shares and more than 2,650 likes. Panda Express has appeared among the top weekly gainers for the Social 200 several times since NRN began tracking the index in June.

Panda Express

Whataburger, the San Antonio-based quick-service chain, took the same tack with its major giveaway on Oct. 8, when it offered its signature Whataburger sandwich for just $1 to celebrate the 100th birthday of the chain’s late founder, Harmon Dobson. More than 19,530 people obliged the brand’s call to share the event, and the Facebook post announcing it received more than 10,500 likes and nearly 2,000 comments as well. During the second week of October, Whataburger’s Social 200 score rose 29.5 percent to 37.69.