The restaurant industry is hurting even as the world stays home. And for those restaurants that never took part in the growing delivery and pick-up market, things are even worse. While options like GrubHub and Uber Eats are plentiful, large commissions and fees make a last-minute pivot to delivery options a potential last straw for a small restaurant looking to survive.

Meanwhile, customers are privvy to the exhorbitant fees and questionable practices of the bigger players in the space: reports of 30-40% affiliate charges and sketchy commision phishing led to a backlash against GrubHub and Seamless. Both customers and restaurants want options that are good for the industry.

That's where ChowNow ($PRIVATE:CHOWNOW) stepped in. It offers a quick way for restaurants to get their menus online on their own websites (rather than a competitive marketplace in one app), and it doesn't charge commissions or affiliate fees. So far, 14,000 restaurants have signed up, and hungry quarantiners are rushing to social media to show support.

To top it off, ChowNow has strung together a series of charitable deeds that generated positive buzz on social media. From hiring laid-off people from the industry, to feeding out-of-work restaurant workers, ChowNow looks to be the postive actor the ailing industry needs.

This is all showing in the social media attention and organic activity that ChowNow is experiencing across both Facebook and Twitter. 

On Facebook, the number of people mentioning ChowNow has accelerated in the past week. On any given day, people would mention ChowNow less than 500 times. But that number more than doubled by April 5.

Meanwhile, the number of Facebook users liking and following the brand's page has accelerated. In November 2019, less than 5,000 people had clicked ChowNow's "Like" button. As of this week, that number is approaching 6,000 with a steep new engagement curve as we head into mid April.

Things are picking up on Twitter for ChowNow as well, where follower additions per day began a clear uptick in late March, just when word got out that the company was empowering restaurants to make a quick move to delivery and pickup.

ChowNow CEO and Co-Founder Chris Webb recently told Forbes that order volume on its network has more than doubled in the past month. And now that he's made the service 100% commission and fee-free, it seems the company is well positioned to not just be a good guy when the industry needs one more than ever, but also come out of this pandemic with positive brand — and social media — momentum.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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