Texas Roadhouse, LongHorn Steakhouse outrank the industry on customer satisfaction (2024)

Consumers are visiting restaurants less than they were last year (and the year before that) as inflation puts a squeeze on disposable income. This traffic-eroding environment doesn’t seem to be impacting customer satisfaction levels at some chains, however. That is especially true for Chick-fil-A, Texas Roadhouse, and LongHorn Steakhouse.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has once again been named the top quick-service restaurant brand in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index – its 10th year on the throne. This consistently high level may explain why Chick-fil-A has grown its sales by a staggering amount over the past several years. According to Technomic Ignite data, the chain’s sales have grown by over 77% since 2019.

Related: Texas Roadhouse is seeing no behavior changes from consumers

Overall, the QSR segment’s satisfaction level is up 1% compared tolast year, despite relentlessly high menu inflation. That said, households earning less than $75,000 a year are reducing their visits, a theme shared widely during Q1earnings calls.

The ACSI also found that full-service restaurant satisfaction scores are up 4% year-over-year, led by LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse, both of which were also up 4% to 85, tying for the top spot among full-service restaurants.

“Both full-service and fast food restaurant customers are skewing a bit more toward higher income levels and college graduates,” Forrest Morgeson, associate professor of Marketing at Michigan State University and director of Research Emeritus at the ACSI. “Customers are being forced to make decisions between groceries and restaurants, with full-service restaurant inflation about two times that of groceries in the past year and fast food and fast casual restaurants prices up three times the rate of groceries. With customers seemingly viewing dining out a luxury, restaurants that can differentiate themselves in terms of quality and value will have a competitive advantage.”

LongHorn and Texas Roadhouse sit atop the industry

In addition to beating their full-service counterparts, LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse are also atop the entire industry, as full-service scores tend to outpace QSR scores based on the nature of the service model. Their respective 85 scores compared to Chick-fil-A’s 83, for instance.

LongHorn, which was also named as one of Technomic’s “America’s Favorite Brands,” is credited with providing large portions and maintaining a culture dedicated to quality, a characteristic shared by all of its fellow Darden brands. Texas Roadhouse has held relatively steady on pricing, meanwhile, while also investing heavily in staffing and adding new technologies such as pay-at-the-table. Both have far outpaced their casual dining peers in sales throughout the past several quarters.

That said, Olive Garden and Chili’s also made big strides in the past year, both up 4% to 83 and 80, respectively. Olive Garden has found traction in the value conversation with its Never-Ending Pasta Bowl offering, while Chili’s has done the same with its “3 for Me” menu. Both have also made improvements in staffing levels. IHOP is also experiencing a tailwind from its menu evolution efforts, increasing a whopping 8% to 78.

Last year’s category leader, Outback Steakhouse, declined by 4% to 80. The company is navigating pressure from discerning consumers and is closing dozens of underperforming locations this year to right-size. Denny’s and Red Robin share last place, slipping 1% each to 76.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the full-service category’s performance this year is that chains’ efforts to improve staffing and retention levels seem to be paying off across the board. Customers indicate better performance across most aspects of the full-service experience, with food order accuracy (92) and waitstaff courtesy and helpfulness (90) leading the way.

QSRs slip a bit

Meanwhile, despite taking the throne for the 10th year in a row, Chick-fil-A’s score slipped two points from last year, to 83. Still, the chain’s results speak for themselves, including a record $9.3 million in average unit volumes.

KFC finished second at 81, which is unchanged from last year even as sales have dipped a little compared to its competitors. There is a four-way tie for third place at 80 between ACSI newcomer Culver’s, Panera Bread (up 5%), Arby’s (up 4%), and Starbucks (up 3%). Notably that newcomer Culver’s grew its sales by nearly 13% last year, according to Technomic Ignite data, finishing 2023 with $3.3 billion.

Despite being well behind the leaders, Sonic made the biggest leap in the industry, surging 6% to an ACSI score of 76. This matches Wendy’s score, as the chain gained 3%.

Last year’s No. 2 – Jimmy John’s – isn’t even in the top five this year. Its 84 from last year would have led all QSRs this year. After falling 1% and 3%, respectively, Jack in the Box and Popeyes are toward the bottom, at 72. Meanwhile, McDonald’s remains in last place even after improving 3% to an ACSI score of 71.

Order accuracy (86), mobile quality (86), and mobile reliability (85) received high scores in QSR, as improving technology may be increasing accuracy in filling customer orders. QSRs also receive high benchmarks for staff courtesy and both food and beverage quality (all 84).

Delivery measured for the first time

For the first time this year, the ACSI also measured the food delivery industry, which scored 73 overall, much lower than both QSR and full-service categories. Smaller food delivery services outscored major competitors with a score of 79. Uber Eats, at 74, edged out the other reported brands, DoorDash (73) and Grubhub (71).

Customers give the highest ratings to the mobile apps (82) and websites (81) used to place orders. The cost of food delivery is a concern in terms of the fairness of food prices (69) and pre-tip taxes and service fees (69).

TheACSI Restaurant and Food Delivery Study 2024is based on14,604 completed surveys. Customers werechosen at random and contacted via email between April 2023 and March 2024 for the restaurant industries and between November 2023 and March 2024 for food delivery.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [emailprotected]

Texas Roadhouse, LongHorn Steakhouse outrank the industry on customer satisfaction (2024)


Why do people like Texas Roadhouse so much? ›

The Success of Texas Roadhouse. The secret to our success, first and foremost, is our Legendary food and service. Complimentary fresh baked bread and peanuts, hand-cut steaks daily, with 2 made from scratch sides, and Fall-Off-The-Bone-Ribs are few other reasons why our guests love dining with us.

What makes Texas Roadhouse unique? ›

Texas Roadhouse is famous for its hand-cut steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs, made-from-scratch sides, and fresh-baked bread.

What type of entrepreneurship is Texas Roadhouse? ›

Corporate Profile. Texas Roadhouse, Inc. is a growing restaurant company operating predominantly in the casual dining segment.

Is Texas Roadhouse a big company? ›

About the Company

Texas Roadhouse, Inc. is a growing restaurant company operating predominantly in the casual dining segment that first opened in 1993 and today has grown to over 750 restaurants system-wide in 49 states and ten foreign countries.

What are the four core values at Texas Roadhouse? ›

For an inclusive and people-first culture, our core values are everything - Passion, Partnership, Integrity, and Fun... All with Purpose.

What is Texas Roadhouse target audience? ›

Texas Roadhouse Threats
Texas Roadhouse Overview
SegmentationWestern themed restaurants
Target MarketHigher and above middle income group families
PositioningLegendary experience for people of all ages
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What is an interesting fact about Texas Roadhouse? ›

14 Things You Should Know About Texas Roadhouse
  • The restaurant chain came to life on a co*cktail napkin. ...
  • It uses USDA Choice beef. ...
  • The company holds an annual meat-cutting competition. ...
  • It has a fund to help employees financially. ...
  • Texas Roadhouse claims all its food is made from scratch.
May 25, 2024

What is the secret to Texas Roadhouse steaks? ›

Texas Roadhouse's steak prowess starts with quality beef. While you can mask an average or low-quality cut of meat with heavy seasoning, you cannot mimic the juiciness and flavor of high-grade beef. According to its FAQ page, Texas Roadhouse selects USDA-certified beef that has been grain-finished for 120 days.

What is the best selling steak at Texas Roadhouse? ›

The best selling steak at Texas Roadhouse is the Ribeye. At Texas Roadhouse, all of the beef is imported from the US, is USDA certified and grain finished for 120 days. The best meal at Texas Roadhouse depends on what you are craving. We offer you a wide array of irresistible varieties.

Who is the sister company of Texas Roadhouse? ›

It is a subsidiary of Texas Roadhouse Inc, which has two other concepts (Bubba's 33 and Jaggers) and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. As of August 2021, the chain operates about 627 locations in 49 U.S. states and 29 international locations in 10 countries.

Who owns most of Texas Roadhouse? ›

What percentage of Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) stock is held by retail investors? According to the latest TipRanks data, approximately 14.43% of Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) stock is held by retail investors. Who owns the most shares of Texas Roadhouse (TXRH)? Vanguard owns the most shares of Texas Roadhouse (TXRH).

Why did Texas Roadhouse stop doing peanuts? ›

Since Texas Roadhouse restaurants are franchised operations, it's possible that the peanut practices vary from location to location. The overall consensus online is that the practice was phased out during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that bags of peanuts are still available to go if you ask.

What makes Texas Roadhouse different? ›


Legendary means Hand-Cut Steaks, Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs, Made-From-Scratch Sides, Ice-Cold Beer, and of course, our irresistible Fresh-Baked Bread.

What is Texas Roadhouse most famous for? ›

Texas Roadhouse is famous for its Hand-Cut Steaks, Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs, Made-From-Scratch Sides, and Fresh-Baked Bread.

What franchise owns Texas Roadhouse? ›

Texas Roadhouse Development Corporation was incorporated as a Kentucky corporation on June 21, 1995. Since October 8, 2004, they have been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Texas Roadhouse, Inc., a Delaware corporation whose stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Is $50 enough for two people to eat at Texas Roadhouse? ›

With a little savvy planning and some strategic menu maneuvering, you and your partner can absolutely two-step your way to a delightful Texas Roadhouse experience for under fifty dollars.

What is interesting about Texas Roadhouse? ›

Every Texas Roadhouse location prides itself on hiring a butcher and a baker. The butchers are kept busy cutting an average of $1 million worth of steak per location, in an average year. They do all of this from inside a cooler that's only 34 degrees on the inside.

Why are the rolls at Texas Roadhouse so good? ›

The flour mixture is sweeter than most rolls

The same principle applies to Texas Roadhouse's rolls too — only this time, the flour mixture is made to be sweeter than most you'd find in bread recipes.

Why are Texas roadhouses so crowded? ›

The popularity of Texas Roadhouse is undeniable. Not only did it come back stronger than its competitors in the post-pandemic recovery, but the chain's popularity continues to soar even in this less euphoric time, as inflation forces Americans to rethink their dine-out budgets.

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