Special Report

Restaurant Chains With the Happiest Customers

Source: CGP Grey / Wikimedia Commons

Sirloin Stockade
> Category: Buffet restaurants
> Score: 7.53/10

Founded in Oklahoma City in 1966 and now operating more than 80 restaurants in nine U.S. states and Mexico, this chain offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of steak and a wide range of other hot entrees, as well as vegetables, salads, soups, and desserts. Despite its relatively high ranking on the Newsweek list, customer reviews are mixed.

Source: jeepersmedia / Flickr

Cracker Barrel
> Category: Casual dining restaurant chains
> Score: 9.01/10

Coming off a slump in sales volume last year, blamed at least in part on declining customer satisfaction, Cracker Barrel reevaluated the way its servers interacted with diners as part of its strategy to rebound.

Source: jeepersmedia / Flickr

Texas Roadhouse
> Category: Casual dining restaurant chains
> Score: 8.90/10

A measure of the loyalty this Indiana-based chain inspires is the fact that, according to the Wichita Eagle, a couple named Ron and Diana Watson have eaten at the restaurant’s West Wichita location six nights a week since it opened in 2004.

Source: njpPhoto / Getty Images

Olive Garden
> Category: Casual dining restaurant chains
> Score: 8.52/10

This seemingly ubiquitous Italian-inspired chain — there are more than 850 locations in North America alone — not only makes up dishes no one in Italy has ever heard of, but also mock-Italian words. The most prominent of these is “Hospitaliano” — which Olive Garden says describes “our passion for delighting guests.” One of the program’s initiatives to keep customers satisfied is the integration of tabletop tablets to speed up the ordering process.

Source: JohnFScott / Getty Images

> Category: Coffeehouse chains
> Score: 8.29/10

This unstoppable coffee and breakfast chain credits its Starbucks Rewards program for cementing customer loyalty. Some 16.3 million people are active in the program — a million of them added in the last quarter alone. This year, the chain plans to add nitro coffee to its menu, remodel about a third of its U.S. locations, and begin delivery through Uber Eats.