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What's the next big restaurant? 10 brands to watch

Up-and-coming restaurants

Source: Belcampo Meat Co.

Are you eating at the next big restaurant? You might be.

Fishbowl, a restaurant data firm, compiled a list of up-and-coming brands that it expects will take the food industry by storm. The company tapped more than 50 restaurant experts — executives, critics and foodies — to nominate restaurants and then scored the nominees based on social media metrics.

"For decades it was the big brands that could get so much traction because they had a lot of media that they could put behind themselves and the ability to get their message out," Michael Lukianoff, Fishbowl's chief analytics officer, told CNBC. "Social media has turned that on its ear by giving smaller, independent and regional [brands] a level playing field."

These brands face a fiercely competitive dining market but have already sparked intense loyalty among their customers.

Click ahead to see the top 10 emerging restaurant brands.

— By Sarah Whitten
Posted 23 Feb. 2016

10. Juice Served Here

Source: Juice Served Here

While Juice Served Here only has a dozen locations, all in California, the organic cold pressed juice shop is known nationwide for its subscription service.

The company has the second-highest average restaurant ranking within Fishbowl's top brands, with 4.29 stars out of 5. It has also garnered more than 39,000 Instagram followers, 3,700 Facebook likes and 2,200 followers on Twitter.

Juicing may be a popular dieting trend, but some brands, like Organic Avenue, have been forced to shutter due to heavy competition and declining consumer sales.

9. Modern Market

Source: Modern Market

Modern Market takes online ordering to a new level. The restaurant allows customers to filter through the menu based on diet, which lets consumers see gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options more easily.

"Even though they are a small operation, they have online ordering catering, breakfast, they have kids' menus," Katharine Dalton, a food analyst with Fishbowl, told CNBC. "They even have wine pairings. They are so good at what they are doing."

The company has restaurants in Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Washington, D.C., and has 17,000 Facebook likes, 2,800 Twitter followers and 2,900 followers on Instagram.

8. Breadsmith

Source: Breadsmith

Tapping into the baked goods trend is Breadsmith, a restaurant that specializes in European-style artisan breads. The brand has received accolades from Bon Appetit, Modern Baking, the International Culinary Salon and the National Restaurant Association, among others.

While the restaurant's social media presence is scant compared with other brands — 416 followers on Twitter, 150 Instagram followers and 3,400 likes on Facebook — the company is growing quickly, according to Dalton.

Breadsmith does not add any preservatives, additives or dough conditioners to their products and they are all made in-house. On average it receives reviews of 4.15 stars out of 5, according to Fishbowl.

7. Bareburger

Source: Bareburger

While last year's list of emerging brands was filled with gourmet burger joints, this year it's all about organic meat.

Bareburger is a fast-casual restaurant that specializes in organic meat, pesticide-free produce and no GMOs. The brand's average restaurant rating is 3.65 stars out of 5.

Bareburger has more than 40 restaurants in five states, Canada and Japan and has garnered 17,600 Facebook likes, 243,000 Twitter followers and 29,400 followers on Instagram.

6. Belcampo Meat Co.

Source: Belcampo Meat Co.

Belcampo Meat Co. may only have six restaurants, but it's garnering some major attention, according to Fishbowl. The brand is owned by Anya Fernald, a sustainable food expert and former judge on Food Network's "Iron Chef."

"[The restaurant] has organic meat and it is literally a farm-to-table operation," Dalton said. "If you go to a Belcampo you are going to the farm where the cattle is raised to create the meat that is used in the restaurant."

While this may seem counter-intuitive, Dalton notes that the kindness and humanity that the restaurant owners show toward their cattle is what brings in the customers.

"It's very small, but I have a feeling that they won't be for long," Dalton added.

5. Not Your Average Joe's

Source: Not Your Average Joe's

"Not Your Average Joe's is in a segment that isn't always preforming very well," Dalton said. "You know, bar causal, it's some place where you really have to be doing something great to stand out, and I really think they are."

According to Fishbowl, this restaurant doesn't offer basic bar food, the brand is in tune with special dietary restrictions and has a large menu for those with food allergies, a rarity in the industry.

The brand has 35,300 likes on Facebook, 14,300 Twitter followers and around 12,800 followers on Instagram and has 26 locations in six states.

4. Blue Bottle Coffee

Source: Blue Bottle Coffee

With more than 129,000 Instagram followers, 89,600 Facebook likes and 49,100 followers on Twitter, Blue Bottle Coffee has already made a major impression in the industry.

The restaurant only has locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, but will soon offer subscription-based products to a larger market.

"They have a fan base that is absolutely rabid. They love them," Dalton said. "They are very specific about what they are doing with [their funding] and I just think they are going to explode."

The average rating for this brand is around 4 stars out of 5, according to Fishbowl.

3. Sweetgreen

Source: Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen is a restaurant that offers simple, seasonal salad and grain bowls filled with produce sourced from local farmers. It's menu is health-conscious and consists of items that range from 60 to 775 calories.

The company has 40 restaurants in seven states and has garnered more than 48,900 likes on Facebook, 23,500 followers on Twitter and 80,900 Instagram followers.

"Some of the founders of the company come from old school restaurants and hotel families," Dalton said, explaining that the restaurant is infusing health and local trends into its brand.

2. Mission BBQ

Source: Mission BBQ

Started by BBQ enthusiasts Bill Kraus and Steve Newton in 2011, Mission BBQ now has more than 23 locations in seven states. The brand seeks to make great local food and support members of the American military and local police and fire services.

"Mission BBQ is very specific in their mission," Dalton said. "They are very patriotic. ... They do a lot of extensive fundraising for troops. They often offer free meals to people who are in the service."

The brand can be found in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia and has the third-highest average restaurant ranking with 4.24 stars out of 5. Mission BBQ has 3,200 Twitter followers, 2,700 followers on Instagram and 23,500 likes on Facebook.

1. Bowl of Heaven

Source: Bowl of Heaven

A California-based juice bar and smoothie shop, Bowl of Heaven has brought the taste of Hawaii to the West Coast. The company specializes in acai bowls, a thick, ice cream-like smoothie served in a bowl and topped with fresh fruit, grains and even vegetables.

The brand received the highest average restaurant ranking of 4.32 stars out of 5 and saw one of the highest rates of repeat customer check-ins, an indicator of consumer loyalty, according to Fishbowl. The company has 6,200 followers on Instagram, 4,100 likes on Facebook and around 500 Twitter followers.

Bowl of Heaven taps into two major trends, according to Dalton: health and smoothies.

"[There] is this idea of getting as much nutrition as you can into a plate; the idea of more bang for your buck in terms of nutrition," she said. "Bowl of Heaven is just different and exciting to people. It's one of the reasons it made our list. It's a fun brand."