Friday, June 29, 2012

Consumer Reports' Nine Best Chain Restaurants: St. Louis Has Only Three

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Usually, when Gut Check mentions chain restaurants, no matter the context, at least one of you, dear readers, helpfully points out that "OMG CHAINS ARE TEH SUCK, JUST GO LIVE IN THE COUNTY IF YOU LOVE CHAINS SO MUCH."

Or something like that.

Consumer Reports' survey (via Eater) of 47,565 diners suggests yet another, counter-intuitive explanation for such hostility toward chains: Of the nine most highly rated chains, St. Louis has only three.

From the press release announcing the survey (access to which is subscriber-only):

Nine chains earned high marks across the board for the four attributes in the Ratings--taste, value, service, and mood--plus praise in three other key areas: menu variety, cleanliness, and a lack of noise. They were: Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Black Angus Steakhouse, Bob Evans, Bravo Cucina Italiana, First Watch, J. Alexander's, Le Peep, Elmer's and Fatz Eatz & Drinkz.

St. Louis claims Bob Evans (multiple locations), Bravo! Cucina Italiana (15 West County Center Drive, Des Peres; 314-821-2562) and First Watch (multiple locations).

One chain that fared especially poorly, at least in the information provided in the Consumer Reports press release, has multiple locations in St. Louis: Buffalo Wild Wings.

The pub-style Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar was another laggard, criticized for value and noise.

Bad service was another complaint, especially at Hard Rock Café, Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, Chevys Fresh Mex and Benihana.

Least likely to sell healthful fare were Buffalo Wild Wings, Quaker Steak & Lube, Waffle House, Hooters, and Johnny Rockets, according to respondents.

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