UK’s five most popular restaurant chains

Franco Manca and Honest Burger both appear in TopDish’s independent survey of over 90,000 diners.

28 November 2019

You might know about the new restaurant food ratings app, TopDish, from their launch advert. Dropping in September, it featured a credible Gordon Ramsay impersonator turning his nose up at burgers.

The app, which allows diners to choose restaurants’ best and worst dishes, now has over 90,000 ratings and comments on over 20,000 dishes in over 3,500 restaurants, making it the UK’s largest dish survey of its kind. This week, it announced the top five UK restaurant chains based on their ongoing scores, including most popular dishes.

The results include chains with at least 20 branches and are based upon a one-to-five-star scale.

Across the five most popular brands, over 91% of diners gave dishes ratings of four or five stars, with Wagamama scoring the highest overall proportion of five-star ratings (65%).

The Japanese-inspired chain, which earlier this week launched its food-to-go concept, Mamago, didn’t score top spot, however...

Wagamama's raisukaree

Winner, winner, chicken curry

Of the top five leading UK restaurant chains, Bill’s had the best score with a 93.5% positive rating and only 1.2% of diners giving negative feedback.

Their best rated menu item is the chicken green curry, which comes with sugar snap peas, red peppers, mint, spring onions, and chilli and coconut rice.

Thai food has been on the rise in chain restaurants over the past five years, with the recent CGA and AlixPartners Market Growth Monitor Report revealing that the number of chain Thai restaurants has more than doubled over the past five years, up 123% to 147 sites.

Asian cuisine in general is on the rise, with Wagamama’s position in the TopDish top five perhaps not too surprising considering the success of the chain over the past year – turnover increased 11% to £92.6m in the 13 weeks to 29 September, 2019, up from £83.4m in the same period last year.

Their 91.2% positive rating is led by their raisukaree – a mild and citrusy Japanese-style curry that comes with either chicken or prawns as the main ingredient, flavoured with coconut, mangetout, peppers, red and spring onions, sesame seeds, chilli, coriander, fresh lime and white rice.

Honest Burger's Tribute burger

Meaty three

Also appearing on the top five list is Franco Manca, whose chorizo and mozzarella pizza was their most popular dish.

Chorizo has long been a favourite of the British public, with both Tesco and M&S pairing the spicy Spanish sausage with pigs in blankets in their respective Christmas NPD. 

Honest Burgers and Cote Brasserie complete the top five, with their top dishes the Tribute burger and the 10oz ribeye steak respectively.

The former, a classic beef burger with bacon, American cheese, burger sauce, French’s mustard, pickles, onion and lettuce, suggests that old-school US staples are far from finished in the UK, with the burger sector expected to grow by 4% in 2019, bringing sales to more than £5.2bn.

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