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Study: Cheesecake Factory Fave Casual-Dining Restaurant

MIAMI (CBS4)- The votes are in, and for the second year in a row the Cheesecake Factory tops the list of America's favorite casual-dining restaurants, according to a recent consumer survey.

An August 2011 survey of 4,500 restaurant customers, including those in South Florida, gave the chain high marks for food, cleanliness and taste. The restaurant chain has 15 restaurants in the state of Florida alone.

The survey was conducted by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence and customer experience management solutions.

It examined which casual-dining restaurants consumers prefer and which attributes are the most important to them. Market Force first calculated the favorites based on pure number of votes, and then factored in the number of locations for each chain to effectively measure which chain garnered the most votes per restaurant.

When the consumers were shown a list of the country's 51 top casual-dining restaurants and asked to select their single favorite, Cheesecake Factory was the first choice among consumers by a wide margin, earning 7.3% of the vote share – more than double the 3.2% earned by the second-place finisher Texas Roadhouse. Texas Roadhouse has approximately 10 restaurants in the Sunshine State.

Texas Roadhouse was followed by Olive Garden and PF Chang's.  Applebee's was tops for overall value and speed of service.  Ruby Tuesday was the top option for healthy choices.

Golden Corral was named the best restaurant for children.

This is the second year in a row that Cheesecake Factory, Texas Roadhouse and Olive Garden took the top three spots. In Market Force's 2010 restaurant chain survey, Cheesecake Factory ranked first, Texas Roadhouse and Red Robin tied for second, and Olive Garden came in third.

On the flip side, restaurants that are not tickling as many tastebuds this year include Denny's, IHOP and Ruby Tuesday. While in the top 16 overall, all three landed on the bottom of these rankings with one-half percent or less of the vote.

For more on the survey findings, including information on the company and in-depth report, click here.

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