Panera Bread Co. has the best quick-service salads, according to a consumer survey.

Zagat Survey LLC, a New York-based research and rating company, ranked the fast food companies and their salads in its 2009 Fast Food Survey.

The Cheesecake Factory took the same honor in the full-service category.

Zagat surveyed more than 6,000 consumers about their favorite places to eat across the nation.

The best quick-service restaurant salads are:
    1. Panera Bread
    2. Wendy’s
    3. McDonalds
    4. Au Bon Pain
    5. Corner Bakery Café

Zagat rates top salads
                                       Courtesy Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory's luau salad is just one of many that helped it earn the No. 1 spot for best salads at a full-service resturant in a recent Zagat survey.

The best full-service restaurant salad providers are:
    1. Cheesecake Factory
    2. Olive Garden
    3. California Pizza Kitchen
    4. Ruby Tuesdays
    5. Applebee’s

Panera’s signature salads include fuji apple chicken, chopped chicken cob, grilled chicken Caesar, Asian sesame chicken, and a seasonal strawberry poppy seed salad with romaine lettuce, fresh strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, pecans and poppy seed dressing.

The chain also serves a Greek salad, classic salad with field greens and romaine, a Caesar salad and a fresh fruit cup with honeydew, grapes, cantaloupe and pineapple.

Health magazine voted Panera most healthy fast food restaurant in its March issue, praised for its choice of apples or baked chips as a side item, and half-size salads, sandwiches and soups as lunch choices.

The Cheesecake Factory’s salad list includes Caesar, Chinese chicken salad, a luau salad with chicken, greens, cucumbers, green onions, red and yellow peppers, green beans and mango; a Santa Fe southwestern salad, barbeque ranch chicken, grilled chicken tostada, cob, herb-crusted salmon, seared tuna titaki and three salads it calls Weight Management Salads: Asian chicken, spicy chicken and pear and endive. 

The rest of Zagat’s 2009 Fast Food Survey results are available at