Eating as a Digital Branding Experience: Heardable Unveils The Top 100 Restaurant Chains in America

Today Heardable, Inc., (, the standard for measuring online brand performance, answers the question: Does a full-service menu equate to a full-service brand? Heardable profiles the online strengths (and weaknesses) of The Top 100 Restaurant Chains in America in its latest research report. Chili’s earns the #1 position in a field of strong competitors.

According to the research, Chili’s brand health score of 636 out of 1,000 possible points beat its nearest competitor, Denny’s, by 6 points, or 0.94%, and surpassed third place Olive Garden by 10 points, or 1.57%. The gap between Chili’s and lowest-ranked Macaroni Grill was 151 points, or 23.74%.

Heardable research does not rely on aggregate cookie data, customer opinions or satisfaction with particular brands. Instead, the Heardable brand monitoring platform studies how effective each brand performs according to 800+ online marketing metrics and best practices. Brands are examined and benchmarked based on measurable performance data, rather than estimates or opinions.

So how did Chili’s rise to the position of category leader? Three areas of competence caught our attention:

1) search engine optimization
2) social media participation and fan base
3) mobile optimization

In addition to, Chili’s maintains a strong social media presence in Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, along with testing location-based channels such as FourSquare and mobile (mobile coupons, mobile advertising to boost ordering via smartphones, and charity awareness via mobile bar codes printed on menus).

“Chili’s has utilized the essential online branding tools of community management, customer service and content outreach to emerge as a leader in the full service restaurant category,” said Gunther Sonnenfeld, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Heardable, Inc. “Chili’s understands that the value of its service product extends far beyond calorie counts, specialty food items and discounts — it sees its business value in the direct relationships it builds with its customer base, and it shows. Congrats to the restaurant chain and its franchise owners.”

The Top 100 Restaurant Chains

1. Chili’s
2. Denny’s
3. Olive Garden
4. Applebee’s
5. Souplantation
6. Yard House
7. Texas Roadhouse
8. Red Robin
9. BJ’s Restaurant
10. California Pizza Kitchen
11. Bob Evans
12. Red Lobster
13. Outback Steakhouse
14. Benihana
15. Carrabba’s Italian Grill
16. Morton’s
17. Joe’s Crab Shack
18. The Cheesecake Factory
19. Capital Grille
20. McCormick & Schmicks
21. Bennigan’s
22. Logans Roadhouse
23. Smokey Bones
24. Fazolies
25. Macaroni Grill
26. Houlihan’s
27. FATZ
28. Sizzler
29. IHOP
30. Buffalo Wild Wings
31. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
32. Steak N Shake
33 T.G.I. Friday’s
34. Hooters
35. Brick House Tavern + Tap
36. Friendly’s
37. Bertuccis
38. Earls
39. Buca Di Beppo
40. Maggiano’s Little Italy
41. Ruby Tuesday
42. Bonefish Grill
43. Waffle House
44. P.F. Chang’s
45. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
46. Golden Corral
47. Fuddruckers
48. Cracker Barrel
49. Elephant Bar
50. Carrows Restaurant
51. Swensen’s
52. The Melting Pot
53. First Watch
54. Roy’s
55. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
56. Elmer’s Restaurants
57. Famous Dave’s BBQ
58. Lone Star Steakhouse
59. Coco’s Bakery
60. Acapulco
61. Marie Callender’s
62. Village Inn
63. Perkins Family Restaurant
64. Rainforest Cafe
65. Tony Romas
66. O-Charley’s
67. Mimi’s Cafe
68. Chart House Restaurant
69. Bravo Cucina Italiana
70. Huddle House
71. Redstone American Grill
72. Quaker Steak & Lube
73. Max & Ermas
74. Claim Jumper
75. Ra Sushi
76. Big Boy
77. East Side Mario’s
78. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano
79. Black Angus
80. Saltgrass Steak House
81. Le Peep
82. Shanes Rib Shack
83. Rock Bottom
84. El Torito
85. McGrath’s Fish House
86. Don Pablos
87. Country Kitchen
88. Bakers Square
89. Cheddars
90. Copelands
91. Mitchell’s Fish Market
92. Vic & Anthony’s
93. Ponderosa Steakhouse
94. Shari’s Restaurant
95. J. Alexander’s
96. Black-eyed Pea
97. Johnny Rockets
98. Ground Round
99. Shoney’s
100. Rusty Pelican

A free 264 page research report profiling the Top 25 Restaurant Chains is available at:

To learn more about the report, Heardable’s methodology or get insights into other brands, contact marketing(at)heardable(dot)com or call 1-888-520-0034.

Heardable is the world’s first and only real-time contextual brand analytics platform that measures the online health of brands across hundreds of business categories. With its Growth and Accelerator platform-as-a-service offerings, Heardable helps organizations make smarter, faster business decisions to impact tomorrow’s quarterly results. With over 15 million brands profiled and 800 unique online variables capture per brand at various points in time, Heardable’s “big brand data” repository can be utilized by any business looking for ways to optimize their online performance, boost brand awareness and increase revenue. Heardable, Inc. is a privately held company based in Southern California with an office in Singapore.