The Cheesecake Factory’s larger than life approach left an outsized impression on diners, who gave the brand’s extravagant decor, massive menu and towering top honors for both ambience and food quality.
The Calabasas, Calif.-based chain bested many of its casual-dining rivals to take the No. 1 rank for ambience, including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s, Red Lobster, among others. In fact, nine of the 10 top-ranked brands were casual dining. The only outlier was fast-casual French cafe La Madeleine, which took the second spot.
Five of those casual dining peers — LongHorn Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, Outback, Red Lobster and Bonefish Grill — made an appearance in the top 10 for food quality, but limited-service brands with strong followings joined the list as well. But two quick-service chains with rapid fan bases showed that speedy service and high quality food aren’t mutually exclusive. In-N-Out and Chick-fil-A, both known for an obsession with doing a few things, but doing them well, took the second and third ranks, respectively.
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