As more and more businesses shut down in the face of the global Coronavirus pandemic, those that remain open are getting tons of attention - some for good reasons, others for less-than-great reasons.
It looks like Jimmy John's ($PRIVATE:PRIV_JIMMYJOHNS), for right now, is a rare brand poised to chalk up a social media win in a global pandemic. The sandwich chain is continuing deliveries, and by the looks of it, everyone who is locked at home and in need of a delivered sandwich is pleased by this.
The sandwich shop is seeing Facebook ($FB) Talking About Count soar to levels it hadn't enjoyed previously since 2017 (not shown) and to multi-year highs, as shown by our chart above. But, another part of the reason for all the chatter could be Jimmy John's decision to give free meals to kids impacted by the COVID-19 school closures, a topic that has loomed over the broader policy debate over how to manage America's rebound from the virus.
Jimmy John's is urging consumers to download their app for deliveries, which may help the sandwich chain skirt fees paid to big delivery, which is taking tons of restaurant market share as smaller operators look for a new marketplace.
Jimmy John's doesn't just have a good score in the Apple ($AAPL) Store (not shown). It also has substantial and rising engagement, as we can track in the chart above, which monitors how often users of its app provide a rating in Apple's store.
So far this year, its ratings count in Apple's store is up 28%, at about 355,000, which would be the envy of some larger brands Thinknum Alternative Data also tracks. Given its delivery, and its charity, this figure is likely to continue growing.
For years, Jimmy John's was backed by several private equity firms; in late 2019 it sold to Inspire Brands, the portfolio that runs Arby's, among others.
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.