Top 15 Most Popular Restaurant Chains in The U.S. (Is Yours #1?)

SAVING & SPENDING - BUDGETING & EXPENSES
Did your favorite smoothie shop or steak restaurant make the cut?
Updated April 9, 2024
Fact checked
couple dining at a restaurant

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Chain restaurants are a good choice for Americans who want an easy and affordable night out or just need a break from making an expensive trip to the grocery store.

But some chains are better than others when it comes to which ones are America’s favorites, based on things like food options, convenience, or service among other choices.

Here are the top 10 chain restaurants that Americans said were their favorites based on a survey of chain restaurants by Technomic.

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10. Smoothie King

JHVEPhoto/Adobe smoothie king

You may be surprised that a chain restaurant with only one main menu item made it into the top 10 of America’s favorite chain restaurants.

But while Smoothie King is mainly just smoothies, the restaurant chain gives customers plenty of options for a quick smoothie that’s also delicious, which is why its highest rankings were in service and convenience.

9. The Capital Grille

Victoria/Adobe capital grille entrance

On the other end of the spectrum is The Capital Grille and a menu that features lobster bisque, a selection of steaks, and fries tossed in parmesan cheese and white truffle oil.

The restaurant chain got its highest score for service and hospitality. It has 66 locations across the U.S.

8. Tropical Smoothie Cafe

tanvirshafi/Adobe tropical smoothie cafe restaurant in florida

Another smoothie shop made the top 10. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has more than 1,000 locations in the U.S.

But unlike Smoothie King, this chain has food so customers can choose from smoothies as well as sandwiches and wraps. More than 60% of respondents ranked it high for its food and beverage selection.

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7. Cooper’s Hawk

Joe Hendrickson/Adobe coopers hawk winery and restaurant

Cooper’s Hawk calls itself a winery and restaurant, so expect a wide selection of wines to choose from including spiced wines and sangria.

But the restaurant really earned its high ranking with 67.2% of respondents saying the restaurant chain excelled in service and hospitality.

6. Longhorn Steakhouse

JHVEPhoto/Adobe longhorn steakhouse

Longhorn Steakhouse is a great option if you like steak, but its menu selection also includes plenty of other options like salmon, burgers, and baby back ribs.

Technomic’s survey found that customers enjoyed the menu items as well as the service and hospitality when sitting down at the restaurant or ordering for pick-up.

5. Bahama Breeze

JHVEPhoto/Adobe bahama breeze restaurant

Bahama Breeze has unique dinner options like coconut shrimp tacos or jerk chicken in a pineapple bowl, along with plenty of fruity cocktails that are sure to make customers feel like they’re on a beach in the Bahamas.

That may be one reason the restaurant chain picked up the highest score for food and beverage among the top 10 favorite chain restaurants with a whopping 85.2% of respondents giving it a high score.

4. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

jetcityimage/Adobe flemings prime steakhouse

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar only has 64 locations in the U.S., but they have made an impression on customers.

The restaurant chain had 68% of respondents give it high marks for service and hospitality along with a good score for the appearance and ambiance of its locations.

3. Dutch Bros

Brett/Adobe dutch bros coffee

Dutch Bros may have a wide selection of unique drinks at its locations, especially coffee drinks, but that’s not the thing that customers notice the most.

Instead, the chain shined with its service and hospitality with a high score of 75.4% from survey respondents. That mark was the second-highest service and hospitality score in the top 10 restaurants in the survey.

2. Seasons 52

Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe A Season's 52 restaurant

Seasons 52 has a wide selection of food for the whole family on its menu including kids’ items, but that’s not what customers paid attention to the most.

The restaurant chain got its best score for service and hospitality with 70.3% of respondents giving it a good score for its treatment of customers.

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1. Ruth’s Chris Steak House

jetcityimage/Adobe ruth's chris steak house restaurant

Go to Ruth’s Chris Steak House for delicious steaks, seafood options, and desserts, but stay for other things that make this restaurant chain great.

The chain received the highest score for service and hospitality as well as appearance and ambiance. It also received the second-highest score for its food and beverages, behind only Bahama Breeze.

Bottom line

Monkey Business/Adobe family eating meal at restaurant

Chain restaurants can be a good escape from cooking dinner at home every night, but dining out regularly can cost you a lot of money.

Some chain restaurants may have loyalty programs that can save you money with special deals or by earning perks depending on how often you dine there. Check your favorite local chains to see what kind of programs they may offer to help you keep more cash in your wallet.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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