Lifestyle

Panera is America's Most Trusted Restaurant Brand

In bread bowls we trust! 

According to something called the Reputation Institute, which unfortunately has nothing to do with Olivia Pope and a lot to do with how consumers respond to corporations, Panera is America's most trusted hospitality brand.  

The firm measures the emotional bond people have to big companies and how willing they are to buy, use, and recommend said companies' products. For its inaugural list of the most trusted hospitality brands, the firm looked at the reputations of the 100 most highly regarded companies (largely food and hotel brands), and based its results off more than 50,000 interviews with consumers, who were given questions regarding trust, admiration & respect, good feeling, and overall esteem.

We're not entirely convinced this isn't just a ploy to lobby for Big Bread Bowl, however. 

According to the firm, all of the top 25 companies in the hospitality industry achieved at least a “strong” reputation, but Panera is the only company to achieve an "excellent" reputation. Because nothing says excellent like unthawed soup.

Dunkin' is the country's second most trusted brand, while Subway came in third. Strip malls everywhere have America's trust. Chipotle also cracked the top 15, but surprisingly in at just no. 11; Dear Consumers: what barbacoa burrito spurned you?

Check out the full list below:

15. Hilton Worldwide
14. Omni Hotels
13. Papa John's Pizza
12. Mrs. Fields
11. Chipotle Mexican Grill
10. Hyatt Hotels
9. Wynn Resorts
8. Intercontinental Hotels
7. Wendy's
6. Texas Roadhouse
5. Marriott International 
4. Krispy Kreme
3. Subway
2. Dunkin' Brands
1. Panera Bread

Lucy Meilus is a staff writer for Thrillist. She's been spurned by a burrito before, but she doesn't hold grudges. Follow her on Twitter at @Lucymeilus and send news tips to news@thrillist.com.