Restaurant chains in North America
A step up from fast food outlets but not as original a menu offering as individual restaurants and diners. Chain restaurants provide a sit-down service, offering predictable meals at a reasonable price in surroundings many people find comfortable.
This is a very popular form of eating out in the USA as an informal meeting place for friends, family and work colleagues.
Generally known as casual dining, the restaurant style can range from a basic diner to a reasonable mid to high range restaurant.
Unlike more formal or individual restaurants reservation of a table is generally not possible or practical, however as with other restaurants in North America generally you are expected to wait and be taken to a table.
Service at tables is generally quick and efficient although they can be very popular at peak periods, so waiting for a table can take some time.
With the exception of the breakfast chains and family restaurants, alcoholic drinks (with the usual North American restrictions) are available. A few of these chains include a bar (or a sports bar) inside the restaurants.
- Applebee’s – mainstream American dishes, "neighbourhood bar and grill" (US and 15 other countries)
- Bob Evans – family restaurant (eastern US, 19 states)
- Champps Americana – sport bar style, reasonable classic US food (50 locations in eastern/midwest US)
- J Alexanders – reasonable tasting meals (33 locations in southeast US, mostly large cities)
- Red Robin – quality burgers as well as good reasonable Mexican, fish and salad dishes with unlimited fries. (US and Canada)
- Skyline Chili – Ohio basic diner, cinnamon Chili on spaghetti is a must experience. (US regional: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida)
- T.G.I. Friday's – food and alcoholic beverages (US and 60 countries internationally)
- P.F. Chang’s China Bistro – American variation on Chinese food. Generally good quality. Also large western style dessert dishes. (US, Canada, 10 other countries)
- Olive Garden – basic American-Italian (US, with a few locations in Canada and Mexico)
- Chilli’s – Tex-Mex, USA interpretation of Mexican food (US, Mexico, Canada and 30 other countries)
- Buffalo Wild Wings – Sports bar and casual dining (US, Mexico, Canada, Philippines)
- St. Hubert and Swiss Chalet are separate but similar BBQ-style chicken chains in Québec and Ontario respectively.
- Bahama Breeze – Caribbean-inspired seafood, chicken, steaks, and tropical drinks (US regional, mostly eastern seaboard. 37 locations)
- Bonefish Grill – Specializes in grilled seafood, with fully stocked bars; specials on food and drink rotate about every 2 months. Owned by the parent company of Outback Steakhouse. (about 160 locations in 28 states)
- Mitchell’s Fish Market – quality fish restaurant (US regional, 19 locations, based in Houston TX)
- Red Lobster – seafood, steak. A bit pricey. (US, Canada, four other countries)
- Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar – high quality and price, requires formal attire (US east, south and southwest, 28 states)
- The Keg Steakhouse & Bar – Canada-based chain with locations in all provinces except Prince Edward Island, plus four US states
- Logan's Roadhouse – Southern US-themed steakhouse (about 260 locations, mostly US south and midwest)
- Outback Steakhouse – Australian-themed steak house (over 1200 locations throughout the US and more than 20 other countries, but almost totally gone from Canada)
- Ponderosa/Bonanza – steak house with buffet of side dishes, named for old Bonanza TV series (225 locations in US northeast, gone from Canada)
- Ruth's Chris Steak House – high quality and price; unlike Fleming's, business casual dress OK (about 125 locations throughout US, plus a few in Puerto Rico, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia)
- Texas Roadhouse – similar to Logan's, but with more of a Texas/Southwestern aesthetic (about 450 locations in most of the US, also present in the Middle East and Taiwan)
- Boston's – Pizza, pasta, ribs, hamburgers and salads. (Mostly in Canada, as "Boston Pizza"; 40 US/Mexico locations operate as "Boston's - The Gourmet Pizza" restaurant and sports bar to differentiate themselves from "Boston Market", a rival fast casual chicken eatery)
- California Pizza Kitchen – Good pizzeria a little more original than others. (US, Mexico, South America and Asia)
- Denny’s — always-open diner with table service (US, Canada, Mexico and 10 other countries)
- IHOP — originally known as International House of Pancakes; pronounced "EYE-hop" (US and Canada)
- Waffle House — breakfast foods (US south, 25 states)
- Smitty's — pancakes, waffles, omelettes, salad, sandwiches, steak, pasta, all day breakfast and lunch menus (Canada, national)