Continued consumer demand for “Netflix and off-premise” has hit the casual-dining sector hard. In late January, for instance, Bar Louie and the parent company of Bakers Square and Village Inn filed for bankruptcy. When consumers can get high-quality service and hospitality at quick-service chains such as Chick-fil-A, and they can find upscale food at fast casuals such as Zoes Kitchen, it gets even more difficult to make the case for visiting casual and upscale chains. Nevertheless, consumers have their favorites for special occasions and other dining trips when an experience is paramount. Interestingly, despite the higher price point at casual-dining restaurants, consumers gave them roughly the same scores for value as chains in other categories.
2. Ruth's Chris Steak House
Service & Hospitality: 75.1%
Ambiance & Appearance: 65.9%
Food & Beverage: 60.4%
Takeout & Convenience: 58.7%
No other concept among all of the top restaurants in America’s Favorite Chains scored higher for service and hospitality than Ruth’s Chris Steak House, with an impressive 75.1% of consumers awarding it high marks in the category. The chain is working on drawing younger consumers with a variety of menu options and price points as well as expanded seating at its bars, where the menu features less-expensive offerings. Ruth’s Chris has found a way to offer delivery, too, by marketing its sides to go.
Source: Technomic Ignite consumer data
About the research
The Technomic Ignite: Consumer program is an ongoing study that tracks the performance of leading chains by measuring the consumer experience. This report includes the top chains in the U.S. by sales, plus 53 additional chains to round out categories or capture regional data. The data represents responses from more than 100,000 consumers, collected from Q4 2018 to Q3 2019. Scores represent the percentage of respondents who strongly agree with the statements, on a scale of 1 to 5.