A new survey says this restaurant chain is the least-trusted brand in the U.S. and it has 31 different locations here in Minnesota.

When it comes to national restaurant chains, some perform very well and get high scores from customers, while others could do a little better, apparently. That's the word from a new survey from Clarify Capital which found that the least-trusted restaurant chain in the country can be found at 31 different locations here in the Bold North. 

So just how did Clarify Capital determine which retail brands in the U.S. are the least trusted? They said: 'To determine which U.S. industries and businesses are the least trustworthy, we consulted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and then surveyed over 1,000 Americans about their opinions about different industries and specific brands,' the survey noted.

SEE ALSO: The Most Trusted Restaurant Chain in the US Has 112 MN Locations

And according to their research, Panera Bread is the least-trusted restaurant chain in the U.S., followed by Sonic Drive-In and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

A Panera Bread location in Rochester, MN (Google Street View)
A Panera Bread location in Rochester, MN (Google Street View)

The survey didn't list any reasons specific to Panera Bread's performance when they asked what makes a brand trustworthy, but according to Chain Store Age, here's what their respondents said:

  • Delivers on promises (36%).
  • Asks for honest reviews and feedback (36%).
  • Pricing transparency (35%).
  • Builds relationships with consumers (34%).
  • Consistent performance (33%).
  • Listens to and acts on feedback (31%).
  • Employee treatment transparency (30%).
  • Provides behind-the-scenes info about processes (29%).
  • Easy to use website (29%).
  • Pays employees well (28%)

I'm wondering if the recent news about Panera Bread changing its menu-- and eliminating some familiar items-- might have contributed to its ranking in this survey. Eat This, Not That! reported in April that the chain was rolling out would roll out "the biggest menu transformation" in its nearly 40-year history, and had eliminated over 45 familiar items from its menu in the process.

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To be fair, though, when it announced its menu changes, Panera Bread also said it was introducing many new, delicious-sounding items, as well. Eat This, Not That! said Panera was debuting "20 new or enhanced items including sandwiches, hearty salads, and a new spin on the classic Mac & Cheese," the story said.

Panera Bread has a fairly large footprint here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, with its 31 separate locations spread across our fine state:


  • Apple Valley
  • Blaine (2)
  • Bloomington
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Burnsville
  • Chanhassen
  • Coon Rapids
  • Duluth
  • Eagan
  • Edina
  • Elk River
  • Mankato
  • Maple Grove
  • Maplewood
  • Minneapolis
  • Minnetonka
  • Oak Park Heights
  • Plymouth
  • Richfield
  • Rochester (2)
  • Roseville
  • Saint Paul
  • Shakopee
  • St Cloud
  • St Louis Park (2)
  • Vadnais Heights
  • West St Paul
  • Woodbury

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LOOK: 50 Famous brands that no longer exist

Stacker compiled a list of more than four dozen famous consumer brands that no longer exist, consulting sites such as TheStreet, Good Housekeeping, and Eat This, Not That!, along with numerous throwback sites dedicated to consumer brands.

Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster