The beefy burgers of McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s no longer reign supreme in the United States. Instead, the chicken sandwiches of Chick-fil-A apparently now rank as top dog for consumers.
Recently, the American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report released its findings for 2015 and Chick-fil-A came out on top in the fast-food category, reports KFOR.
Even though three years ago the chain found itself the focus of protests because of remarks by the company’s CEO that were deemed offensive to the LGBT community, people still apparently flock to those chicken sandwiches for a quick meal. The chicken chain scored 86 out of 100 points on the index, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“It is laser focused on a particular product,” said Forrest Morgeson, director of research at ACSI, to KFOR. “It focuses on one thing and does it exceptionally well … and that is chicken sandwiches.”
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The other top contenders on the index? Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, garnering second and third place, respectively. Notably, fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s all dropped in customer satisfaction since 2014. McDonald’s even came in last place.
“All those companies down at bottom [of the list] have been around for a very long time, they just aren’t as fresh any more in the mind of the consumer, just not exciting,” said Morgeson to KFOR.
Pizza chains dropped in customer satisfaction as well. However, The Los Angeles Times attributes these drops in the once-beloved fast-food chains to overall trends: Customers just want healthier and fresher food -- the kind offered by such restaurants as Panera and Chipotle.
Another surprise? In coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts beat out Starbucks. Dunkin’ Donuts customer satisfaction increased by 4 percent while Starbucks’ dropped by 3 percent, according to KFOR.
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“They are expanding into new markets … reaching new consumers,” Morgeson told KFOR about Dunkin Donuts. “They have freshened up their brand a little bit and improved their perception of quality and are still price competitive.”
However, despite this year’s surprising shake-ups, customers in general seem to be moving away from fast-food restaurants. Overall customer satisfaction dropped 3.8 percent to 77 percent -- the lowest score in the past five years, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Here is the full list from ACSI, with rankings on a scale from 1 to 100:
1) Chick-fil-A — 86
2) Chipotle Mexican Grill — 83
3) All Others — 81
4) Panera Bread — 80
5) Papa John’s — 78
5) Pizza Hut — 78
5) Dunkin’ Donuts — 78
8) Subway — 77
9) Domino’s — 75
10) Little Caesars — 74
10) Starbucks — 74
10) Arby’s — 74
13) Wendy’s — 73
13) KFC — 73
15) Burger King — 72
15) Taco Bell — 72
15) Jack in the Box — 72
18) McDonald’s — 67