Industry News | February 3, 2011

And the Award for No. 1 Quick Serve Goes To...

Just as it is Academy Award season for the entertainment industry, the restaurant industry is also staging its top awards, and Cafe Rio Mexican Grill just took home an Oscar.

Announced this week, Cafe Rio Mexican Grill received the "excellent" status in every category in Sandelman & Associates’ Quick-Track Award and was voted No. 1 quick-service restaurant in the nation, edging out strong competition such as Chipotle, In-N-Out Burger, Chick-fil-A, and Pei Wei. The Quick-Track Award is an honor limited to the very best restaurant performers in the nation. This highly respected award is based solely on customer reviews and dining experience: taste of food, overall service, speed of service, and value.

The restaurant company is familiar with this award, having received No. 1 Mexican restaurant standing in the nation by Sandelman & Associates in 2009. In that same year, it had an eighth-place ranking for the overall best quick serve in the nation. However, a new year has passed, and with it, a huge honor.

"Cafe Rio Mexican Grill could not be more honored by this award,” says president and CEO Bob Nilsen. "We are completely speechless here at headquarters. After working as hard as we do, it's surreal for us to be recognized with such a high honor. No. 1 in the nation ... I mean, it can't get any better than that."

Cafe Rio "Superfans" have made their voices heard with this award. In an effort to show their loyal following and dedication, fans are posting videos on the Cafe Rio Facebook page where they are competing for the No. 1 "Superfan" title.  

The Utah-based company started in 1997 and is known for its made-from-scratch meals and fresh ingredients. With recent openings in Grand Junction, Colorado; Las Vegas; and Redlands, California, Cafe Rio is looking forward to the future and continued growth. Starting in 2011 Cafe Rio is looking forward to introducing its award-winning food to new markets in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.