Warm, gooey and glazed have proved to be successful attributes in the restaurant realm.
Technomic Inc., a foodservice consulting and research firm, ranked Krispy Kreme as the most "craveable" restaurant chain. It's based on consumers' responses to a survey of the chain's "craveable items I can only get at this restaurant" and its overall visit satisfaction rating.
The firm cited Krispy Kreme's "Hot Now" signature doughnuts as garnering the highest craveability ratings.
While desserts and snacks drove quick-service restaurants to the top of the craveability charts, seafood and Cheddar Bay Biscuits pushed Red Lobster to the top of the casual dining category. P.F. Chang's China Bistro and Olive Garden also boasted craveable side items.
Zaxby's led the fast casual restaurants in craveability with its chicken and variety of sauces, as Chipotle and Firehouse Subs trailed closely behind. In general, midscale chains such as Waffle House and Big Boy had lower craveability ratings, with one exception: Cracker Barrel.
Technomic's research found craveability to be essential in the forging of an emotional connection with the customer as well as establishing a reputation. Women and younger consumers were more likely to rate craveability as important.
Factors such as variety and customization were shown to encourage craveability, and the firm suggested that targeting the senses in advertising can trigger cravings.