2016 NRN Consumer Picks survey ranks brand tops in Italian category, 5th overall among casual-dining chains, based on customer preference and brand strength
Macaroni Grill also ranked 5th overall among casual-dining brands, moving up from its No. 7 ranking in 2015.
The annual survey, which NRN produced with WD Partners, is a comprehensive look at customer preference and restaurant brand strength. Survey respondents rated 40 casual-dining chains on 10 attributes, including Food Quality, Cleanliness, Service, Value and Atmosphere. Those ratings created an Overall Score, which was weighted by the importance customers placed on each attribute.
“I could not be more proud of our team, or more thankful to our loyal customers, for helping Mac Grill achieve these wonderful results,” said John Gilbert, President & CEO of Romano’s Macaroni Grill. “We’ve have stayed true to our core philosophy of serving Italian favorites made from top-quality ingredients in a warm and inviting atmosphere.”
Gilbert noted that one of the first things the new owners did was to visit with their most important ingredient suppliers in Italy.
“We met face-to-face with nearly all of our Italian suppliers at their farms and in their kitchens. We wanted to learn what made their products so special so we could share it with our customers,” Gilbert said. “In some cases, like authentic buffalo mozzarella, we reopened long dormant supply routes in order to bring the very best items to our restaurants. We also upgraded the quality of all of our domestic proteins – chicken, shrimp and beef – so our dishes would taste even better.”
Macaroni Grill operates nearly 140 company-owned locations in 33 states, plus 29 franchise locations in the U.S. and 11 other countries. The company generates more than $275 million in U.S. sales and another $65 million through its franchise operations.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill is an Italian restaurant brand founded in 1988 by Phil Romano, one of the industry’s leading innovators. Inspired by the Italian country cuisine served in Romano’s grandmother’s kitchen, Macaroni Grill blends Italian traditions with progressive culinary inspiration from all regions of Italy and the U.S. An extensive wine list and the chain’s unique honor wine system finish out the experience in this polished casual atmosphere.