1 In 4 People Believe This Restaurant Has The Best Mozzarella Sticks

Mozzarella sticks, along with buffalo wings, are iconic game night appetizers. So, Mashed conducted a survey asking which chain restaurant offers the best mozzarella sticks. 504 Americans answered.

25 percent of all respondents pointed to Applebee's as the purveyor of mozzarella sticks par excellence. This is certainly more than the 8.93 percent who preferred Arby's, the 4.17 percent who liked IHOP, and the 11.51 percent who would opt for Sonic over the rest. A whopping 9.92 percent of respondents said "Other" offered the best mozzarella sticks, but when asked to elaborate, only two suggested Olive Garden, one stated Copperhead, and the rest commented either "None" or "I don't eat mozzarella sticks."

However, none of those could compete with TGI Fridays, which managed to accrue 35.52 percent of the vote. These 504 poll respondents aren't alone in their feelings: Business Insider found the TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks to be a "perfectly crafted cheesy delight," noting the "melty cheese stretched into a silken strand." They furthered their praise, calling the sticks "perfection." The Applebee's version, on the other hand, was deemed somewhat "rubbery."

TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks may be false advertising

The reason why people swoon over TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks may be because they are not mozzarella sticks, but cheddar. In December 2020, Top Class Actions revealed a false advertising class action lawsuit had been brought against the chain about this specific issue.

"Though the Product's front label states 'Natural and Artificially Flavored,' no reasonable consumer will expect this statement means they should not expect any mozzarella cheese," the plaintiff, Megan Nason, contends. The complaint points out that the mild taste and stringy texture of mozzarella, as opposed to the hard and sharp taste and texture of cheddar, is the appeal of a mozzarella stick.

However, while the two types of cheeses are indeed different, if TGI Fridays has been substituting cheddar for mozzarella while still winning acclaim, then the question of whether what people desire is in fact a mozzarella stick or a cheddar stick arises. On the other hand, those that dislike the mozzarella sticks at TGI Fridays may simply be responding to the fact that the mozzarella is actually cheddar.