An NRN Special Report: Consumer Picks

Consumer PicksThousands of diners rated 152 chains in our second annual survey. How did your brand stack up?

The customer experience — that sum of all the parts that affect a consumer’s interaction with your brand — has always been important, but never more so than it is today.

To better understand the elements that comprise that all-powerful dining experience, Nation’s Restaurant News and WD Partners developed the Consumer Picks survey, a comprehensive study of customer attitudes culled from covering 152 restaurants brands, up from 139 chains from last year.

Learn more from NRN executive editor Robin Lee Allen

Meet the Top Five Consumer Picks winners

Limited Service
Including: In-N-Out Burger, Chick-fil-A and Marble Slab Creamery

In-N-Out Burger

Casual Dining
Including: BJ's Restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory and Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill

Family Dining
Including: IHOP, Bob Evans Restaurants and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Bob Evans Restaurants

Also take a look at favorite restaurant chains based on demographic groups in this breakdown of which restaurant came out on top for whom.

The full Consumer Picks special report is available exclusively in the Aug. 6 issue of Nation’s Restaurant News. Full chain rankings, consumer demographics, and comparative data sets are outlined in the special section. Subscribe today.


Online survey respondents were given a list of 171 restaurant chains organized into groups based on chains' service models as well as the respondent’s geographic location. They were asked to identify which restaurants they had patronized in the last six months, and then were then asked to rate their experiences at the restaurants. Results are shown as the percentage of top-two-box ratings received, based on a standard five-box scale.

The survey addresses 10 attributes: Atmosphere, Cleanliness, Craveability, Food Quality, Likelihood to Recommend, Likelihood to Return, Menu Variety, Reputation, Service and Value.

Read more about the survey's full methodology

From Dennis Lombardi of WD Partners

“Because of the success of last year's survey, we were encouraged to make this year's review bigger and better."

Consumer Picks is intended to help point brands in the right direction when it comes to satisfying guests.To our knowledge, this is the only study of its type that is provided at no charge to the industry.

Key insights and how to navigate this year's numbers compared to the last in a column from Dennis Lombardi


Consumer Picks 2011

2011's top 10 Consumer Picks winners for:
Limited Service, including: Jason's Deli, Potbelly Sandwich and Papa Murphy's
Casual Dining, including: BJ's Restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory and Bonefish Grill

From Dennis Lombardi:
VIDEO: Limited-service segment
VIDEO: Full-service segement
VIDEO: Family-dining segment

Restaurant chains can purchase custom runs of detailed data to meet specific needs, including,
but not limited to:

- each of the 5 box scores for all attributes ― for your own brand or competitors’
- full data sets on each brands' demographics, including how various consumer groups rank individual brands, i.e., analysis by age, sex, household income, or employment status
- geographic breakdowns (region or state) 
- oversampling of specific markets
- and more

Contact Dennis Lombardi at 614-634-7182 or for additional information on the data.

Tweets from NRN

Latest Videos
Penton Restaurant Group

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×