It’s official. Chili’s is Texas’ most popular restaurant chain

As COVID-19 numbers drop, the hospitality industry is booming, and a new report highlights America’s favorite restaurant chains, ranging from Applebee to Wingstop. It turns out that Chili’s is the most popular restaurant chain in the Lone Star State.

the report from marketing agency TOP presents a number of key findings related to the hospitality industry at both the national and state level. In the United States, casual dining traffic has increased by 8.4% since 2021, according to the report, although six states saw an overall reduction in casual dining traffic during this period. In Texas, restaurant visits increased 5.4% from 2021 to 2022, per TOP.

With restaurant traffic in the Lone Star State on the rise, what are the best restaurant chains for Texans?

Overall, Chili’s Grill & Bar took first place in Texas as the most popular restaurant chain, according to the report, followed by IHOP, Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden and BJ’s Restaurant.

Texans weren’t the only restaurateurs with a penchant for Chili’s-style Tex-Mex. Nationally, the acclaimed back ribs chain has claimed the top spot in 12 states. This includes all states bordering Texas as well as Illinois, Florida, Colorado and Connecticut.

While the Chili fandom covered much of the Southwest United States, Waffle House and Cracker Barrel were other popular options in the Southeast. Among the outliers, Utah was the only state where Olive Garden ranked first. Similarly, Kansas is the only state where IHOP has reigned supreme. Additionally, Green Mountain State, Vermont was the only state with LongHorn Steakhouse as the top pick.

It’s official. Chili’s is Texas’ most popular restaurant chain.


Although the report focuses on restaurant traffic, it is also possible to gauge take-out interest using Google Trends. Searches related to takeaway food from Chile spiked in late March and early April 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By mid-June 2020, search interest in Texas related to Chilean takeout would drop 77% from its April peak, according to the Google Trends dataset. This week, search interest related to takeaway food from Chile had hit its lowest point since the start of 2020.

Filtering the results for the United States, the data shows that national interest in Chile’s takeout followed a similar trajectory as detailed in the Texas dataset, peaking at the onset of the pandemic in the spring. 2020 before hitting recent two-year lows in April. 2022.


To determine the ranking, the company “aggregated visitation data” involving 12 million Americans to “compared the restaurant chains and states that get the most foot traffic to 2021 numbers.”

About Vivian J. Smith

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