Poll: Cheescake Factory ranks at top for casual dining

Casual dining patrons prefer the Cheesecake Factory by far, according to a new report suggesting that customers –- even faced with tough economic times –- are still willing to swallow a bigger bill.

Revenue at the Calabasas Hills-based company is up year over year in the second quarter. Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Carrabba’s Italian Grill rounded out the top five in the study from Market Force Information.

The consumer research firm last month released quick-service restaurant data showing smaller companies like Five Guys and In-N-Out pushing McDonald’s and Burger King to the backburner.

Researchers in the casual dining study polled more than 4,500 consumers –- more than three-quarters of them women –- and then divided the votes for each chain by the number of restaurants. In weighted votes, the Cheesecake Factory garnered 7.3% of the vote share –- more than double the 3.2% from Texas Roadhouse.

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-- Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

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