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The 10 Best Dine-In Restaurant Chains in America Right Now

Enticing menu items and attractive prices keep customers coming back.

Like it or not, restaurant chains are there for you. Virtually anywhere you go—from downtown to the suburbs, the airport to the next exit off the interstate, and every sprawling shopping center in between—you'll usually see at least one recognizable sign, beckoning you to stop for a bite.

Even if you prefer to dine at more fashionable, local independent restaurants, the chains offer a dependable fallback. Whenever you travel far from home or just feel like digging in to something familiar, your favorite chain provides you with a reliable, consistent menu across many varied locations.

Every year, the restaurant industry publication FSR Magazine puts out a definitive ranking of the nation's top-performing full-service restaurant brands, based on sales figures, store counts, customer-satisfaction scores, and other data compiled by the consumer analytics firm Circana.

The latest rankings spotlight the chains that have best adapted to America's ever-shifting, post-pandemic dining landscape and even continued to grow despite inflation and other challenges. Herewith, the Top 10 dine-in restaurant chains in America right now, according to FSR.


Grand Slam Breakfast at Denny's Restaurant

With over 1,400 U.S. locations, the home of the "Grand Slam" breakfast has been swinging for the fences lately, investing over $25 million to upgrade its kitchens. Denny's launch of new dinner items, including the Mac N' Brisket Sizzlin' Skillet, Oven-Baked Lasagna, and Caramel Apple Pie Crisp, proved a big hit with customers, driving an 8.4 percent increase in sales across all its restaurants in the first quarter of 2023. These recent successes propelled the South Carolina-based chain from No. 27 to No. 10 in FSR's latest rankings.

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LongHorn Steakhouse

longhorn knife
Longhorn Steakhouse / Facebook

LongHorn Steakhouse just had its best year ever, reporting over $2.6 billion in sales in fiscal year 2023, an increase of over 7%. FSR credits parent company Darden Restaurants for its laser-focus on keeping menu prices below the rate of inflation. LongHorn has grown tremendously since Darden took over in 2008, expanding from 305 to 562 company-owned locations nationwide.

Outback Steakhouse

outback steakhouse bloomin onion burger
Outback Steakhouse / Facebook

The famed Bloomin' Onion isn't the only thing that's blossoming at Outback Steakhouse. The Florida-based chain has been making improvements to both the design and operations of its restaurants. The newest Outback locations are smaller, more modern-looking, and more cost-efficient, without giving up any tables. The company is updating its kitchens, as well, installing high-tech grills and ovens in an attempt to improve meal quality and pacing. With 566 company-owned restaurants and 127 franchise locations, Outback aims to add another 75 to 100 more units to its U.S. footprint, according to FSR, with a focus on fast-growing markets like Miami, Nashville, and Austin, Texas.

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Cracker Barrel

Homestyle Chicken n' French Toast at Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store/Facebook

Despite seeing fewer customers in recent months, Cracker Barrel remains one of the country's most resilient restaurant companies, operating some 664 locations nationwide. The Tennessee-based chain raked in $2.6 billion in sales in 2022, according to FSR, which credits the brand's affordable prices, including programs like 20 meals under $12 and $5 take-home meals. Cracker Barrel recently expanded its drink menu to include more beer and wine, and the old-timey chain has even modernized a few things, too, like adding Apple Pay and Google Pay, plus launching a new app and loyalty program.


Cinn-A-Stack pancakes at IHOP

IHOP made the biggest leap in FSR's rankings, jumping from No. 28 to No. 6, after generating over $2.8 billion in sales last year. The California-based chain opened 19 new restaurants in the first part of 2023, bringing its total to 1,790, the magazine reported. The all-day breakfast behemoth also rolled out its largest menu update ever this past spring, introducing new items like Sweet & Savory Crepes and Ultimate Steakburgers. The chain even brought back its popular Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes. On top of that, IHOP signed up a whopping 5.5 million members to its new loyalty program, per FSR.

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Buffalo Wild Wings

Boneless Bar Pizza at Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings/Facebook

America's preeminent sports bar chain has been a font of menu innovation of late, introducing new items like the highly customizable Saucy Chicken Sandwich, available in your choice of over two dozen signature sauces. For a brief time, B-Dubs even tried combining its boneless wings with pizza. And, of course, the chain is constantly coming out with new wing sauces, from General Tso's and Sweet Chili Lime to the more recent Bulleit Bourbon BBQ. With over 1,200 locations, Buffalo Wild Wings surged from No. 23 to No. 5 in FSR's rankings, after generating an estimated $3.5 billion in sales in 2022.


Appetizers at Applebee's
Applebee's Grill & Bar/Facebook

After closing hundreds of locations in recent years, Applebee's entered 2023 on a hot streak, following eight straight quarters of positive sales growth. The casual-dining chain shot up from No. 23 to No. 4 in FSR's rankings, after generating over $3.7 billion in sales last year. Applebee's continues to score high marks from customers in terms of convenience and variety, with popular deals like Two for $25 and $14.99 all-you-can-eat boneless wings, riblets, and shrimp.

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"3 For Me" deals at Chili's
Chili's Grill & Bar/Facebook

Industry vet Kevin Hochman made some big changes after taking over as Chili's CEO in June 2022, like cutting back on discounts and outfitting its kitchens with high-tech grills to speed up cooking times and eliminate costly errors. The savings allowed Chili's to start advertising on TV for the first time in three years. The chain began promoting its "3 for Me" value deal during prime-time shows and sporting events, as well as on streaming sites like Hulu and Paramount+, attracting more customers. The improvements pushed sales up to $3.8 billion in 2002 and drove Chili's from No. 14 up to No. 3 in FSR's rankings.

Texas Roadhouse

texas roadhouse spread
Texas Roadhouse / Facebook

Texas Roadhouse kicked-off 2023 with a bang, experiencing record foot traffic and surging sales over the first seven weeks of the year. In just five years, the Kentucky-based chain has doubled its annual sales from $2 billion to $4 billion and expanded its footprint to over 650 locations of its eponymous steakhouse. According to FSR, a big reason for its success has been takeout orders, which nearly doubled in sales since the pandemic, and its dine-in business remains strong, too. In the first quarter of 2023, existing restaurants made almost 13% more in sales compared to the previous year. The chain even set a new company record for sales in a single week.

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Olive Garden

Dinner spread at Olive Garden
Olive Garden/Facebook

Diners have never been happier at Olive Garden, which saw its customer-satisfaction scores hit all-time highs this yearvaulting the Italian-themed chain from No. 6 to the top spot in this year's rankings. FSR credits increased staffing and streamlined operations, but perhaps most of all, it's the prices, which parent company Darden Restaurants has managed to keep below the rate of inflation. Though the company has stopped offering big discounts, it got major results by bringing back its Never-Ending Pasta Bowl promotion. Despite raising the  price by $3, the deal helped boost traffic and sales last year. It proved so successful that the chain has relaunched the program again this fall. Olive Garden reported over $4.8 billion in sales in fiscal year 2023.

Chris Shott
Chris Shott is the Deputy Editor covering restaurants and groceries for Eat This, Not That! Read more about Chris