10 Things food

America’s Favorite Casual-Dining Restaurant is…. Cheesecake Factory?

Top Secret Restaurant Recipes
Top Secret Restaurant Recipes

Would you have guessed that THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY would be named the 2011 FAVORITE CASUAL DINING RESTAURANT in a recent consumer survey?

Yup, it beat out a lot of local favorites to claim the top spot for the 2nd year in a row.


  1. Cheesecake Factory
  2. Texas Roadhouse
  3. Olive Garden
  4. PF Chang’s
  5. Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  6. Red Lobster
  7. Outback Steakhouse
  8. Cracker Barrel
  9. Red Robin
  10. Longhorn Steakhouse

Now, we know what you’re saying to yourself — how can this be?  Cheesecake Factory isn’t even located in the majority of towns across this country!  There are people who probably hadn’t even stepped into a Cheesecake Factory before!

That’s why this list is weighted to be based on the number of locations that each chain has available.  It’s the only way to weigh the results equally, as people are more likely to vote for a place that they’ve frequented that’s just down the street over some place they hadn’t heard of.

Which brings us to the raw data based on the 51 total restaurants that the respondents had to choose from. 

If we go strictly by the original answers, without taking into account whether there is a location on every street corner or not, the list becomes much, much different:

  1. Olive Garden
  2. Applebee’s
  3. Red Lobster
  4. Chili’s
  5. Outback Steakhouse
  6. Cheesecake Factory
  7. Texas Roadhouse
  8. Cracker Barrel
  9. Red Robin
  10. IHOP

Heck, even Golden Corral made it onto the list, and you wouldn’t think of buffet lines as being at the same quality level as a sit-down place.

So where do you go in your local neighborhood when you’re looking for someplace casual to eat?