Inside A First Watch Dining Room
First Watch's Hacienda Hash Dish
Texas Roadhouse Ribeye Steak
Cheesecake Factory Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake
Bonefish Grill's Catering Menu Items
LongHorn Steakhouse
A Bowl Of Pasta Held By An Employee At Olive Garden
Lasagna On Dishes From Carrabba’s Italian Grill
A Spread Of P.F. Chang's Food In Black Bowls
Ribs At BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
Outback Steak 'N Mate Combo
The Bakery By Perkins Virtual Brand
Food From Red Lobster's Seafood Summerfest Menu
Golden Corral
Barcocina's Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos

Nostalgia wins out

Amid national brand favorites like Target, Trader Joe’s, and Costco, 14 casual dining chains emerged as leaders on Yelp’s first-ever Most Loved Brands Report, released earlier this month. Bloomin’ Brands in particular got some love, with three of its restaurant concepts making the list. 

To determine America’s most-loved brands, Yelp looked at restaurant, food, and retail brands with more than 200 locations across 25-plus states that had 500 or more reviews, and at least one review for every two locations in 2022. Yelp then assigned each brand a loyalty score, consisting of the brands’ 2022 review rating, along with the percentage of business page views by returning customers.

Image credits:First Watch

First Watch

The rapidly scaling Bradenton, Florida-based cafe is known for its scratch, made-to-order breakfast and brunch food, and ranked as the No. 4 favorite on Yelp’s list.

Read more: First Watch’s Demand is Higher Than Ever

Image credits:First Watch

Texas Roadhouse

The steakhouse chain doubled its revenue in five years, and recently surpassed $4 billion in revenue for the first time with nearly 700 stores. Jerry Morgan, CEO of Yelp’s No. 6 favorite brand, believes the brand will continue on that growth path.

Read more: Texas Roadhouse Takes Aim at Becoming $8 Million Company

Image credits:Texas Roadhouse

The Cheesecake Factory

Ranking at No. 7 on Yelp’s most-loved brands list, The Cheesecake Factory recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, plus exceeded $3 billion in annual sales during 2022 with menu innovation, hospitality, and operational excellence driving its strong top-line performance, according to CEO David Overton.

Read more: Cheesecake Factory Eclipses $3 Billion, Plans for More Price Hikes

Image credits:Cheesecake Factory

Bonefish Grill

Under the umbrella of Tampa, Florida-based Bloomin’ Brands, Bonefish Grill is Yelp’s No. 8 most-loved brand and features seafood like Bang Bang Shrimp, Ahi Tuna Poje, and wood-fired grill Chilean Sea Bass. The American casual dining chain has nearly 200 locations nationwide.

Image credits:Bonefish Grill

LongHorn Steakhouse

In an upset, LongHorn Steakhouse ranked above its big sister Olive Garden, also owned by publicly-traded Darden Restaurants. LongHorn placed at No. 12 on Yelp’s list.

Read more: Darden’s Pricing Strategy Attracts Guests Amid Inflation Concerns

Image credits:LongHorn Steakhouse

Olive Garden

Owned by Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden is known for its hot garlic breadsticks, pastas, soups, and salads. The casual Italian eatery has more than 850 restaurants and employs more than 96,000 team members worldwide, and ranked No. 15.

Image credits:Olive Garden

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Yelp’s No. 17 most-loved brand features Italian-American cuisine like chicken parmesan, pork saltimbocca, and eggplant parmesan. Owned by Bloomin’ Brands, Carrabba’s has more than 200 locations nationwide.

Read more: Carrabba’s ‘Earns the Right’ to Seek Growth

Image credits:Carrabba’s Italian Grill

P.F. Chang’s

P.F. Chang’s is one of several casual-dining chains trying out to-go-only models, though P.F. Chang’s is still seeing pent-up demand in the full-service sector. Founded in 1993, the Asian and Chinese food restaurant placed No. 24 on Yelp’s list.

Read more: From To Go to Dine-In: How P.F. Chang’s Adapted to Guest Behavior

Image credits:P.F. Chang’s

BJ’s Restaurants

The casual dining chain recently announced it was eliminating 10 percent of its current menu offerings when it rolls out its new menu this summer, all in an effort to boost margins. The No. 27 favorite is also experimenting with store remodels, pricing, and more. BJ’s remodel initiative is centered around upgrading the bar area and expanding seating capacity, and the company plans to expand the initiative to 30 restaurants, or approximately 15 percent of its restaurant base, in 2023.

Image credits:BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse

Dave & Buster’s

The eatertainment brand placed as the 34th favorite on Yelp’s list and offers a sports-bar atmosphere with American food and arcade games. Dave & Buster’s has more than 150 locations.

Read more: Dave & Buster’s Hopes to Be ‘Undeniable Leader’ of Eatertainment

Image credits:Dave & Buster’s

Outback Steakhouse

Ranked No. 37 overall on Yelp’s overall list, this Bloomin’ Brands favorite blossomed during the pandemic, with its decision not to furlough workers accelerating its recovery. From launching catering for the first time to unveiling a new prototype with a more efficient layout, Outback is poised to remain an all-star.

Read more: Bloomin’ Brands Eyes Outback Remodels, Seeks Efficiencies

Image credits:Outback Steakhouse

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

With nearly 300 company-owned and franchised locations in 32 states, plus two Canadian provinces, Perkins is a staple in the classic American breakfast category and ranked No. 39 on Yelp’s list.

Read more: Perkins Reignites Growth with Virtual Partnerships and Fresh Prototype

Image credits:Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

Red Lobster

Coming in at No. 42, Red Lobster recently launched a lineup of retail seafood products for the first time in February and has more than 600 locations. 

Image credits:Red Lobster

Golden Corral

Privately-held and headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, Golden Corral touts itself as the nation’s largest grill-buffet restaurant chain. Founded in 1973, the comfort food brand has grown to nearly 400 locations in the U.S. and ranked No. 44 of Yelp’s 50 Most-Loved Brands list.

Read more: Golden Corral’s Renaissance Has Been One for the History Books

Image credits:Golden Corral

Most-Loved Food Items

In a ranking of what food items people were ordering most frequently, Red Lobster’s Half Dozen Cheddar Bay Biscuits placed No. 6 and was included in 17 percent of orders.

No. 8 was Fettuccine Carrabba at Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and No. 9 was Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill.

Image credits:Barcocina
Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Consumer Trends, Slideshow