Zagat Users Rank Top Restaurant Chains

Panera Bread, Starbucks, and P.F. Chang’s were among the top-ranked restaurant chains in a new online Zagat survey.

Zagat’s survey divided chains into four categories: large fast-food chains with up to 5,000 U.S. outlets, mega fast-food chains with more than 5,000 units, full-service chains and quick-refreshment chains. The 6,518 participants in the survey ranked the chains’ food, facilities, and service on the traditional Zagat 30-point scale.

Among large fast-food chains, In-N-Out had the best food, Panera had the best facilities and Chick-fil-A won for best service.

Among mega chains, Wendy’s won for food, McDonald’s for facilities and Subway for service.

For quick refreshment, Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops won for food, Caribou Coffee for facilities and Peet’s Coffee & Tea for service.

Among full-service restaurants, Bonefish Grill won for both food and service, and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro won for facilities.

Panera Bread, Subway, Starbucks and P.F. Chang’s were selected as the most popular chains in their respective categories of large fast-food chains, mega fast-food chains, quick refreshment and full service.

Zagat surveyors also voted on best burgers, fries, salads and other specific menu items.

Best burger honors went to Five Guys for fast food and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers for full service. Starbucks took top coffee honors in fast food, while IHOP had the top-ranked coffee among full-service chains. Panera and The Cheesecake Factory were selected as having the best salads in their respective categories.

McDonald’s and Olive Garden were chosen as offering the best value.

KFC was voted as having the best fried chicken among fast-food restaurants. Chick-fil-A won for grilled chicken. McDonald’s won in the categories of best value menu, best French fries and best breakfast sandwiches.

Among full service restaurants, Outback Steakhouse won for best steak, Cracker Barrel for best breakfast, and P.F. Chang’s won for appetizers. Not only did Cheesecake Factory rank highest in salads, but also in desserts. Bonefish Grill won for best seafood.

Full results can be seen at

Several of the high-scoring chains, including The Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin and P.F. Chang’s, also did well in a recent customer-satisfaction survey by J.D. Powers & Associates as well as a Market Force survey conducted among mystery shoppers.

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