Most consumers think Texas Roadhouse is doing a good job with steaks and other dishes, but many wish they would turn the music down a notch or two. And please do something about those long waits.

Texas Roadhouse is a casual dining restaurant chain that first opened in 1993 and today operates 345 restaurants in 46 states. In 2010, the chain ranked in the Top 10 on Forbes Fastest Growing Retailers list, and was named Winner, Large Company of the Year, by Business First Magazine.

Positive Themes

The biggest positive theme by far (76 percent) is “delicious food,” and the food item customers like most is steak. (But not everyone shares this opinion, as we’ll see in Negative Themes.)

  • Texas Roadhouse has awesome steak. If you can look past the line dancing, it is good eatin. 4:37 PM Jun 12th, 2009 via web.

Many customers just like “everything” about the chain’s food.

  • This place is supposed to be great: Pantry, 63 East South Temple, Lion House, Salt Lake City, UT … Texas Roadhouse is my favorite restaurant! I love the Ribeye with baked potato and salad with hou… Address: 7807 Market St., Boardman, OH 44512 Phone: 330-758-8262 Enjoy!

The restaurants have a consistent atmosphere: loud music (often with customers singing along), peanut shells on the floor, line dancing, etc. It’s not for everyone, but for those who like it, it’s another reason to go to the restaurant.

  • Last night my family and I went to Texas Roadhouse in Worcester for dinner. We love the atmosphere at Texas Roadhouse because it is free-style and boisterous. There are buckets of peanuts everywhere and you can take as much as you like. People can dump the peanut seed coat onto the floor. (source)
  • They serve other foods as well, though I have only tried from their steak menu. Everything tastes great and is in true steak house fashion. Atmosphere- Texas Roadhouse has a fun atmosphere. There is a periodic dance done by the wait staff which livens up your meal. It is a very casual atmosphere and you will enjoy the entire dinner. (source)

Negative Themes

The majority of customers like Texas Roadhouse steak, but a sizeable minority doesn’t. “Best steak around” said 31 percent of positive sampled sound bites; but “nasty steak,” “tuff steak,” and “competitors better steak” were the comments in 26 percent of negative sound bites.

  • Texas roadhouse has always disappointed me. Ive never had a steak that didnt taste like it was under a heat lamp for the last 24 hours. (source)
  • YES Longhorn was much better than Texas Roadhouse by a long shot… at least in my opinion. I have not been to the TR in Delaware yet but with it being a chain, I’m assuming it will taste the same as the ones in Tennessee did.

Texas Roadhouse has made a deliberate decision to have a unique atmosphere—but that polarizes customers: Ones who love it, love it; ones who don’t, hate it.

  • quit going to Texas Roadhouse couldn’t talk without ear-splitting music, line dancing, screaming and yelling… I am paying to enjoy something, not be bombarded by crap needs to stop…if you want clapping and happy birthday songs from the staff, go to Chuck E Cheese. (source)
  • Ugh I hate Texas Roadhouse cus of all the peanuts on the floor…. So unsanitary!!!

Bad service was also a prominent negative theme.

  • Texas Roadhouse in Texas is way better…they [Texas Roadhouse] burnt Corleys steak, messed up my order and have terrible service I do believe the waitress only came by our table twice ugh…and I need my drink refilled.
  • The Texas Roadhouse has the worst service ever, and I have a sneaky suspicion that my pulled pork sandwich will not be Pig Shack quality. Only time will tell. (source)

Long waits are also a pet peeve with the chain’s customers.

  • Originally Posted by Al_4_State This post pretty much nailed why I hate Texas Roadhouse. I bet people waited in line over an hour to eat there. Why in the hell would you wait an hour to eat anywhere, let alone an extremely average chain?

Insights

Texas Roadhouse is in the crowded “casual dining” niche, and more specifically in the steakhouse niche, along with Outback Steakhouse, Logan’s Roadhouse, Longhorn, Ruby River and others. So consumers have plenty of options, and to maintain and grow market share, a chain has to deliver a better overall dining experience than competitors. This netnography suggests that Texas Roadhouse is succeeding on the food aspect of the experience, which is arguably the most important aspect. But their service, long waits, and boisterous atmosphere are turn-offs for many diners. If they can improve their service and shorten waits, they could capture diners who may like their food but not come back because of those shortcomings.

Speaking of long waits: On the one hand, that’s an indication of how popular the restaurants are—many restaurants would like to have that problem. Still, it does annoy customers. Maybe the chain can dispel some of those bad feelings with offers like free appetizers for customers who have more than a 10-minute wait, or a small discount on their tab.

And speaking of the atmosphere: Their rowdy scene is their brand personality, and to change it would be to fundamentally change part of their appeal. More consumers like it than don’t, and it does help them stand out, so changing it in major ways is probably a bad idea. Maybe they could just turn the music down a bit. That’s easy to do, and would improve the experience for quite a few customers.

NetBase Product Line

Premier social media analytics platform

Tailored platform for growing businesses

Expand your social platform with LexisNexis news media

Power of social analytics for your entire team

Customer experience analytics platform

AI, Image Analytics, Reporting Tools, APIs & more

Product configurations to meet all needs

Quid Product Line

Media analytics and market intelligence platform

Enrich your media analytics with social data

Media coverage for historical & real-time monitoring

AI algorithms, NLP, data sources, and visualization

Tailored, configurable solutions