The Best Chain Restaurant in America Is ....

Cheesecake FactoryThe Cheesecake Factory blew other restaurants away in a recent survey among consumers who were asked to rank their favorite casual chain establishments.

The top five were rounded out by: Texas Roadhouse, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Olive Garden, and Ruby Tuesday. Ratings were based on things like food taste and quality, service, atmosphere, cleanliness, kid friendliness, and speed of service.

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Hooters didn't make the list!

I've had my ups and downs with the Cheesecake Factory, but for the most part, I'd probably give it my top vote too. I love that they've added a children's menu (finally!), and I also really like their new Small Bites and Snacks menu (the hummus is good!).

The rest of the top five ... eh. I thought P.F. Chang's should have come in higher than Olive Garden, but apparently Americans love their endless bread sticks and salad.

The survey also looked at Americans' dining out habits and the economy and found some good news.

Six months ago a similar survey found that 50 percent of people planned to cut back on eating out. This survey, conducted in May and June, found that just 8 percent of people planned to cut back on eating out.

I guess that means either the economy is bouncing back or people can't cut back anymore? Hopefully the former!

Image via marvin L/Flickr

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