Restaurant Recipe FOMO

The famous recipes we just can’t live without.

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Restaurants and fast-food chains officially closed their doors to the public on 20th March. Since then, we’ve been left with some serious cravings for our favourite meals and take-outs, unsure of when we’ll next be able to enjoy a Greggs steak bake, Wagamama’s katsu curry or a sausage and egg McMuffin from McDonald's.

In fact, social media was almost instantly inundated with both professional and amateur chefs sharing their famous recipe replicas. It wasn’t too long before restaurants heard our desperate cries for the real thing and started to share their top-secret recipes via their social media channels.

Whilst a number of restaurants have started to slowly open their doors for delivery and take-outs, we wanted to take a look back over the last few months of lockdown and see which recipes were the most longed for and which have left a bad taste in our mouths?

Data methodology

Using social listening tools, RivaliQ and Brandwatch, between 1st March and 11th May we analysed the engagement and sentiment for a total of 233 recipe related social posts, across seven popular UK restaurants and fast food outlets. Using this data, we were able to determine the most talked about, most well-received and most longed for famous recipes.

Which restaurants have we missed the most?

With a total engagement of 199,390, as a nation we’re clearly missing the Asian inspired cuisine of Wagamama and it’s not gone unnoticed by the restaurant. Over the last 11 weeks, Wagamama have released nine of their most lusted after recipes, including their famous katsu curry, bao buns and chill chicken ramen.

The 6,490 shares of their posts also suggest people are keen to share the recipes with friends and family – perhaps in the hope of recreating the Wagamama restaurant experience via Zoom!

Whilst Pret and Greggs have also seen impressive engagement on their recipe posts, it’s Nando’s who takes the top spot for the most missed recipes. The South African restaurant chain may have only released a handful of recipes from their popular menu, but it’s clear us Brits are longing for a cheeky Nando’s, with a total engagement of 49,356 across just 8 posts.

There has been a growing demand for McDonald’s to re-open their drive-thrus since lockdown began. However, the release of their legendary Sausage and Egg McMuffin and Hash Brown recipes failed to stir up excitement, with a total engagement of 3,793 and just 503 people sharing the posts with their own followers.

The most talked-about restaurants

So, which of the released recipes have left our taste buds tingling and which have left a bad taste in our mouths?

Using Brandwatch, we analysed the Twitter reaction to each of the recipes, to reveal which chains had seen the highest response rate, including at-home recreations, and the sentiment behind those posts.

Our analysis revealed Subway to be the most talked-about restaurant, perhaps due to their relatively simple sandwich-based recipes, the fast-food chain saw a strong uptake in user-submitted recipe responses, with a total of 1,453 people engaging. However, their neutral sentiment percentage of 98% suggests people weren’t blown away by the recipes and results themselves.

Greggs and Wagamama’s recipes were seemingly well-received by Twitter users, with the restaurants seeing positive sentiment scores of 28% and 26% respectively.

It was, however, the recipes released by Pret that have been the most well-received, with the sandwich and coffee shop seeing 68% positive sentiment across their recipe related posts. Personally, we think this might have something to do with their delicious cookie recipes!

We’d love to hear from you! Have you tried any of the recipes yourself?

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Full data methodology

We used the social media reporting tool, RivaliQ, to track engagement metrics on a range of posts relating to homemade recipes from each brand featured above. Posts were measured across various social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We specifically analysed posts that included terms like "recipe", the names of dishes or ingredients, or brand affiliated hashtags, i.e. "PretRecipeBook". Data taken from the 1st of March to the 11th of May 2020.

We used the social listening software, Brandwatch, to analyse the conversation around 7 different brands' homemade recipe launches. Each query tracks the name or Twitter handle of the brand, and searches for posts including the term "recipe", the brand affiliated hashtag (I.e. "PretRecipeBook") and a selection of dishes or ingredients. Social sentiment is calculated using AI supplied by Brandwatch, and works on a keyword basis. Data provided on a global scale, taken from the 1st of March to the 11th of May 2020.


Which restaurants have we missed the most?

Pizza Express