No one content strategy was behind the best improvers in Nation’s Restaurant News’ Social 200 index in early September, as the five top weekly gainers showed many types of social media posts that increased engagement.


Togo’s Sandwiches and Long John Silver’s, for example, received the most Facebook activity for cause-marketing messages during the second week of September, even though both brands still promoted new menu items.

Così and Checkers, meanwhile, had the most success with food shots of menu items, including a new sandwich for the former and the return of a limited-time offer for the latter, which happened to benefit from a similar product introduction at rival Burger King.

Also, Brio Tuscan Grille made its first appearance in the top five weekly gainers in the Social 200 by promoting a $23.95 meal bundle on Facebook for its upscale-casual Italian restaurants.

1. Togo’s Sandwiches
Weekly percent change: +25.1%
Index score: 7.58

Togo’s derives the lion’s share of its social media activity from Facebook, and during the second week of September the most engaging content on the fast-casual brand’s page focused on fundraising for Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign.

One of Togo’s other social-marketing campaigns, a video series called “Togo’s Logo Q&A,” continued to be an entertaining piece of content, though the number of likes those posts typically get are still only a few dozen in the early stages. However, Togo’s posts for Dine Out for No Kid Hungry received hundreds of likes, including more than 550 likes and more than three dozen shares for its first such post on Sept. 7.

2. Così
Weekly percent change: +16.4%
Index score: 5.11

Fast-casual chain Così managed to make its less-frequent Facebook posts count during the second week of September. Actually, its most-liked and -shared post was created Sept. 6, the day before this measurement period started, yet many of the comments and shares Così received came over the next few days.

Two food shots of one of the chain’s flatbread pizzas and its new BBQ Pork & Cheddar Melt helmed a post meant to entice football fans to grab some fall-flavored food before they watch a game. The post garnered more than 200 likes, 10 comments and nearly 20 shares, all of which were the highest totals the brand had earned since mid-August.