Backtrack to yesterday's lunch: Did you choose to grab a salad at your favorite chain restaurant based on its convenience or because you liked the brand itself? In October, Nation's Restaurant News partnered with Datassential, a consumer research brand, to release its annual Consumer Picks survey, which shows us how popular restaurants stack up against each other based on customer loyalty. And because this is the 2020 report, this data focuses on which brands maintained customer loyalty during the pandemic.
Here are the chain restaurants that Nation's Restaurant News proclaims are "standout consumer picks," with #1 being customers' absolute favorite. Is your favorite chain on the list?
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When it comes to pizza, Little Caesars was the only chain to break Nation's Restaurant News' top-10 list.
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Ruth's Chris Steak House
When you're in the mood for a fancy steak, nothing beats Ruth's Chris.
McCormick & Schmick's
This seafood spot maintained customer loyalty during the pandemic.
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As NRN explains, American Deli has locations in just eight states. But those who know the chain love it for its gyros, cheesesteaks, and other sandwiches.
Freebirds World Burrito
Freebirds is only in Utah and Texas, but that didn't stop it from making the list. If you're lucky enough to live near this chain, let us know how it is.
Cafe Rio Mexican Grill
Move over, Chipotle! Cafe Rio is here with burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and more.
Celebrities and commoners alike flock to this California chain for its burgers and that not-so-secret menu.
The Cheesecake Factory
While indoor dining largely came to a halt in 2020, it's still a fan-favorite spot in terms of sit-down restaurants. "In the consumer survey during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheesecake Factory scored high (72%) among consumers for its 'sanitization,' or trust that the restaurants were cleaning frequently and to the highest standards," NRN explained.
Chick-fil-A's fans are so loyal they'll dress up like cows to get free chicken, so are you really surprised to see the chain on this list?
And for more food news, here's Every Fast-Food Chain in America—Ranked by Popularity.
For those who prefer to eat at home, Papa Murphy's take-and-bake pizza takes the prize.
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