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New Study Reveals the Restaurant Chain With the Best Reputation In 2023

The top chain is known for its massive menu and dessert selection.

While serving great food is essential to running a successful restaurant chain, earning a great reputation with customers is also very important. In 2023, one restaurant chain is topping all of the others when it comes to this important metric.

Marketing technology company SOCi recently conducted a study that looked at the online reputations of various major restaurant chains, FSR Magazine reported. SOCi used data science to evaluate more than 100 different metrics—such as restaurant reviews and rankings—across Google, Yelp, and Facebook that measure how customers feel about and engage with different chains online. 

RELATED: 10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Cheesecake

SOCi then calculated a "reputation score" for each chain based on a few different factors, including their average ratings, mix of positive and negative reviews, and the average number of reviews per location. The chain that ended up earning the highest reputation score is known for its massive menu and myriad of cheesecakes: The Cheesecake Factory. 

cheesecake factory
Idealphotographer / Shutterstock

The Cheesecake Factory scored 75 out of 100 possible points in the study, while Olive Garden wasn't too far behind with a score of 74. Outback Steakhouse and Applebee's came in third and fourth with scores of 64 and 60, respectively. Chains that didn't score quite as high included California Pizza Kitchen, Buffalo Wild Wings, Denny's, and Chili's Grill & Bar, all of which received a 58.

SOCi's chief marketing officer Monica Ho said in a statement that maintaining a positive reputation online is vital for bringing in customers. So chains with a high reputation score like The Cheesecake Factory may have a better chance of attracting guests who use online reviews to decide where to eat.

"Consumers are increasingly turning to online reviews not only to make in-person dining decisions, but also to discover new places to dine," Ho said, according to FSR. "A restaurant's online reputation, therefore, has a profound impact on its success and its local visibility—how prominently it features in local search results and the likelihood it gets discovered by potential customers. As such, effectively managing online reputation becomes a strategic imperative for enhancing local visibility and driving business growth."

RELATED: The Best & Worst Menu Items at The Cheesecake Factory

Customers may lose trust and loyalty to a restaurant when it doesn't respond to their online feedback. So engaging with customers online and addressing their concerns is also important for a chain's success, Ho added.

While the Cheesecake Factory has the highest reputation score among sit-down restaurant chains, Chick-fil-A scored the highest (66 out of 100) in another SOCi study earlier this year that assessed the online reputations of major fast-food chains. That was yet another accolade for America's top chicken chain, which ranks high in customer satisfaction year after year

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe