The 15 Most-Watched Restaurant & Leisure Stocks

People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

With this data, we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the restaurant industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on restaurant stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked.

The most-watched Restaurant stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that McDonald's (NYS: MCD) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player bobbyabull wrote in June:

The only knock on this world famous American institution is that it's not a health food joint. That's not enough to offset their innovation, global presence, dividend and delicious product. Obviously not everybody eats healthy all the time. Why would you anyway? You only live once-there's nothing wrong with a treat every once in a while. The bottom line is that McDonald's is always busy and the stock yields 3%. This is an excellent long term, "sleep at night" staple for almost any portfolio.

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest, along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.



Market Cap (millions)

CAPS Rating

Watch Interest


McDonald's (NYS: MCD)





Yum! Brands (NYS: YUM)





Starbucks (NAS: SBUX)





Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYS: CMG)





Buffalo Wild Wings (NAS: BWLD)





Panera Bread (NAS: PNRA)





Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYS: KKD)





Wendy's (NYS: WEN)





Jamba (NAS: JMBA)





Arcos Dorados (NAS: ARCO)





Darden Restaurants (NYS: DRI)





Tim Hortons (NYS: THI)





Caribou Coffee (NAS: CBOU)





Country Style Cooking (NAS: CCSC)





Domino's Pizza (NYS: DPZ)




Source: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like McDonald's or are watching an up-and-comer like Caribou Coffee, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

At the time this article was published Dan Dzombak'smusings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account:@DanDzombak.The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Domino's Pizza, and Yum! Brands. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Tim Hortons, Yum! Brands, Country Style Cooking Restaurant Chain, Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald's, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Panera Bread. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a iron condor position in Chipotle Mexican Grill. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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