The industry term for everything from Outback Steakhouse to Olive Garden, including Applebees, Chili's, TGI Friday's, etc.

Casual dining restaurants are usually marketed to the middle class customer; they offer more service than fast food while not reaching the quality or price of fine dining.

Most casual dining restaurants are part of a franchise that provides the theme. Themes can be ethnic/national (Tex-Mex, Chinese, Italian, faux Irish, Cracker), product-centered (steakhouse, seafood), or just Lots Of Weird Crap Glued To The Wall (Applebee's clones).

Casual dining chains in the US include:

(Additions welcome. /msg me about any national chains I've forgotten.)

SOURCE: http://www.fool.com/news/2001/osi010215.htm is a good overview of the casual dining industry.

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