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Study Shows Cleanliness Matters Most to Restaurant Customers

Chicagoans buck trend, ranking food above cleanliness

Diners in U.S. cities consider restaurant cleanliness to be more important than the quality of the food, according to new research from Technomic, a Chicago-based foodservice research firm.

The study also included a breakdown by major cities. Diners in Chicago ranked the quality of the food as their number one concern when choosing a restaurant, with cleanliness of dishware second and cleanliness of restaurant interior third. Diners in Washington, D.C., rank cleanliness above taste and food quality. Respondents from Denver and New York rank cleanliness of dishware as important as the taste and quality of the food.

Restaurateurs across the country can learn what people value most in their dining experience at, which includes an interactive map showing city-specific results of the survey.