Six of the top 10 companies on the list of America's 50 most reputable hospitality companies are fast casual restaurants.
Panera, one of a new breed of fast-casual restaurants catering especially to Millennials with fresher, healthier menu items, tops the list of America’s most reputable hospitality companies as ranked by the Reputation Institute, a global consulting firm.
Six of the top 10 companies are in the food industry. The topped rank hotel chain, Marriott International, comes in at No. 5.
Following Panera are Dunkin’ Brands Inc., Subway and donut emporium Krispy Kreme (no one said this was a list of America’s healthiest hospitality companies). Following Marriott International are, at No. 6, Texas Roadhouse, Wendy’s, InterContinental Hotels, Wynn Resorts and Hyatt Hotels.
Reputation Institute conducted more than 50,000 interviews with American consumers during the first quarter of 2015. The data measures how the public views the world’s best-known companies,
“The overall reputation of the hospitality industry in the United States is stronger than other industries, which is indicative of the positive feelings Americans have towards food and travel and the way companies in this space have been able to build an emotional bond with consumers,” Brad Hecht, Reputation Institute chief research officer, said in a statement,.
That emotional bond may trump concerns over whether a food is good for you. The Washington Post reported Monday that doughnut sales from quick-service restaurants such as Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are up for the third consecutive year after several years in decline. Last week, Krispy Kreme reported a 9 percent increase in earnings in its first-quarter report. Revenue was up nearly 40 percent from the first quarter a year ago.
It’s the best of times (for Chipotle) and the most struggling of times (for McDonald’s), according to the rankings. On a scale of 1 to 100, Chipotle’s rep jumped from 69.4 in 2014 to 74.2, while McDonald’s score dropped to 55.2 from 64 last year. One three-in-ten respondents said they would invest in the company, down almost 10 percentage points from 2014.
In comparison, Panera’s score is 80 out of a possible 100.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.