What consumers want from restaurants…

By Rieva Lesonsky

Nation’s Restaurant News recently released the results of its “2015 Consumer Picks” survey, which studies major chain restaurants and franchises. While the winning restaurants are mostly household names, there’s a lot independent restaurant owners can learn from the results about what consumers are looking for when they go out to eat.

No matter what type of restaurant they are dining in (from fast food to fine dining), all diners are looking for food quality, service, value and cleanliness. Those who eat at family restaurants or fast casual establishments also want menu variety.

At limited-service restaurants, 86 percent of diners say food quality matters. Other factors important to them are a restaurant’s reputation, atmosphere and “craveability.” Food quality is even more important to casual dining consumers, with 91 percent ranking food quality as their number-one want. Atmosphere is more important to these diners than reputation.

In case you want to experience the best for yourself and see how you compare, the winners in each category are:

Casual Dining: The Melting Pot

Family Dining: First Watch

Limited Service: In-N-Out Burger

Fine Dining: Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Photo Courtesy: The Melting Pot