It's 2016, and these days hungry diners are presented with a variety of options (and sometimes obstacles) to deliberate on before choosing where to go for dinner.
There are food trends to sample, food intolerances to mind, and above all, atmospheres to consider: Nobody wants to go eat at a restaurant with a history of insulting its patrons' attire!
So perhaps that's why The Cheesecake Factory ended up being named the country's favorite casual eatery in the annual Consumer Picks survey from Nation's Restaurant News — because it offers something for everybody.
The popular chain (which boasts an impressive 187 locations, according to Nation’s Restaurant News) is known for its extensive menu that offers a wide variety of options in order to appeal to a vast constituency — in fact, they offer 70 rotating varieties of cheesecake to try alone.
Clearly, The Cheesecake Factory’s vast menu of more than 250 made-from-scratch items is doing its job, because the annual Consumer Picks survey collected 4,805 responses from diners about their experiences with more than 173 brands nationwide, according to The Huffington Post.
The report divides restaurants into several categories — casual dining, fine finding, family dining and limited service — and rates the eateries based on food quality, reputation, variety (clearly, The Cheesecake Factory scored big here) and cleanliness, among other criteria.
Nation’s Restaurant News attributes The Cheesecake Factory’s success to its ability to keep its vast menu relevant, especially with Millennials. David Overton, who is The Cheesecake Factory founder and CEO, goes on to add that while food is a focal point, the experience is also a top priority.
Rounding out the top 3 in the casual dining index is runner-up The Melting Pot (diners also seem to appreciate its varied menu) and the Bonefish Grill, in the Seafood segment.