Tuesday, June 9, 2009

McDonald's: Zagat Rated

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 3:57 PM

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If financial woes have you shifting from bistros to Burger King at lunchtime, the Zagat Survey still has you covered.

Zagat, maker of those burgundy-colored restaurant guide books published for so many cities, this week released the results of its latest Fast Food Survey.

The winners were chosen from some 103 chains across the country and selected based on the responses of more than 6,000 consumers who participated in the survey. Zagat says the typical surveyor eats at chain restaurants 11 times a month.

Wendy's won for Best Burger, while McDonald's took Best French Fries, Best Value Menu and overall Best Value.

Here are highlights of overall category winners, direct from Zagat:

  1. Among fast-food mega chains (those with more than 5,000 U.S. locations), Wendy’s was ranked No. 1 for Food and Facilities, while sandwich specialist Subway was voted Most Popular and No. 1 for Service and Healthy Options.
  2. Looking at fast-fooders with under 5,000 locations, Panera Bread, specializing in fresh-baked breads, sandwiches and salads, scored as Most Popular and No. 1 for Facilities, Healthy Options and Salads. Top Food and Top Service ratings went to In-N-Out Burger.
  3. Milkshake mavens gave the nod to Ben & Jerry’s, with Dairy Queen placing second.
  4. In the Chicken championships, Chick-fil-A was named best in the grilled category while KFC took the fried prize.
  5. Surveyors also voted on full-service chains: P.F. Chang’s China Bistro scored a triple, ranking as Most Popular and No. 1 for Food and Facilities. Carrabba’s Italian Grill topped the Service category, while California Pizza Kitchen was favored for Healthy Options. The Cheesecake Factory topped a few categories as well, including Best Value, Best Coffee and – natch – Best Desserts."

The critical attention to giant fast food chains is fairly new for Zagat, but one of the survey's chief strengths has long been the comprehensive range of restaurants covered in its slim pages, rather than a focus on the upper echelon. In New Orleans, establishments from Brennan's to Bud's Broiler are "Zagat rated" and can hang burgundy-colored signs by their door saying so. The New Orleans guide even recently started rating nightclubs and corner bars in a nightlife section.

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