Books, Food and Reviews

Reviews and Recommendations

American Chain Restaurants

The quality of a restaurant is based on three general factors: the food of course, the environment, and lastly, customer service. Every successful restaurant chain makes sure that it hits it off under all three categories in order to build a brand. Specifically, there are three particular restaurants that knock all three of these out of the park: Red Lobster, P.F. Changs, and Olive Garden. However, all three of these restaurants have their strengths, as well as their weaknesses. According to Forbes, all three of these restaurants are among the best in terms of restaurant chains.


Red Lobster has some of the best seafood for chain restaurants. They are very well known for their high quality seafood as well as their broad range of choices. They not only offer great seafood but also have other options as well from burgers and fries to salads. The environment is pleasant, making it a place to go for people on Friday and Saturday nights. Over the weekends, lines go out the door and the wait times can be up to an hour. The customer service, like any other restaurant, can be hit or miss. Personal experiences range from solid service to a terrible disrespectful waitress that doesn’t deserve employment at any reputable business. This may indicate the business needs more controls in place for more consistent customer service. One potential area of opportunity for Red Lobster is going international. They only have restaurants in the United States right now, but by expanding and spreading their name brand internationally, it could be a boon for their business. Whenever we travel overseas and get a hankering for good seafood, having a Red Lobster around would be nice.


P.F. Changs is another example of a restaurant that has excellent food choices compared to most restaurant chains. Their environment is fantastic and very unique. They have special dishes as well as great tables to sit at. Like most restaurant chains, their customer service is solid. Many times people walk into P.F. Changs with a high level of curiosity of food options. The waiters often help with this situation with great suggestions. Their food is amazing with a great selection, whether you’re a vegetarian or carnivore. One of the weaknesses of P.F. Changs is high staff turnover. This is a bad sign because behind the scenes this may indicate problems with restaurant operations. An area of opportunity for the chain is targeting new markets worldwide, similar to Red Lobster. By expanding their brand internationally, they can increase their customer base and increase demand for their business.


olive garden


Olive Garden is another chain that not only has a great selection of food, but also a great selection of healthy foods. In America today, many people are more health conscious and worried about obesity and the trouble it can bring to one’s health. We no longer live in an environment where fast food is the predominant trend. Restaurants like Olive Garden have a distinctive advantage in this regard. Olive Garden also has good customer service and offers catering over the phone to help people at parties or at work.The customer environment is great and most customers notice a unique appetizing smell compared to other restaurants, and that helps improve their brand. The dining environment is also unique and gives a feel of an authentic Italian experience with the way food is presented and the design of the restaurant. One of the positive aspects of Olive Garden’s business is that they have gone international. However, they need to find ways to be more creative in marketing their brand in the face of increasingly tough competition and a challenging international market. However, Olive Garden has managed to build an excellent overall brand which it needs to maintain over time and with changes in demographics.