Chic-Fil-A Wins Again

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) restaurant report was released on Tuesday and the results are not that surprising.

Overall, restaurants are doing a better job keeping customers satisfied.

“Restaurants across the board, full service and fast food, are doing a better job of providing higher-quality food and better service than they have since we started measuring this two decades ago,” said ACSI managing director David VanAmburg.

The Good

Fast food restaurants are doing much better and gaining ground on their full service counterparts.

They gained an overall rating of 79 out of 100, which up 2.6 percent from last year. The results are based on the a March survey which polled nearly 4,800 customers.

Price and speedy service have always been a part of the measuring stick for fast food restaurants, but the new trend of providing quality ingredients and healthier options has definitely helped boost customer satisfaction.

“It’s still not the level of quality of a sit-down restaurant, but it’s better than it has been,” VanAmburg told NBC News.  “We’re seeing a bigger variety of healthy choices — more salads, more organic and fresh ingredients — and that’s all for the good.”

Chic-fil-A has once again crushed the competition by earning a total score of 87 which is up one point from last year.

The reason for their continuously high rate of success?

“They have a pretty limited selection of offerings and are really focused on chicken and chicken sandwiches,” said Forrest Morgeson, director of research at ACSI. “They focus on what they do best, and it does well.”

Papa John’s came in a distant second with a score of 82 out of 100. This is a 5 percent jump from last year’s score.

Little Caesars—9 percent increase and Arby’s—8 percent increase– were the most improved restaurants according to this year’s ratings.

Then there is the other end of the rating spectrum.

The Bad

Chipotle’s score tumbled 6 percent from last year and came in just under the overall average at 78.

This is due in large part to the multi state e.coli issue.

The ACSI report noted:

“Quality issues can be challenging, particularly for food services companies, which could elongate Chipotle’s recovery time.”

Other chains that did not fare so well were:

Dunkin’ Donuts (80)
Subway (80)
Domino’s (78)
KFC (78)
Pizza Hut (77)
Starbucks (75)
Taco Bell (75)

Hamburger chains typically score low. This year however, they all showed some improvement.

Burger King (76)
Wendy’s (76)
Jack in the Box (74).

And once again, McDonald’s came in last place with a score of 69. This is however, a 3 point increase from 2015 which is due in part to its new and wildly popular all-day breakfast menu.

The improved ratings are great news for the average consumer. Americans currently spend more money dining out than at the grocery store.  Restaurants are taking note and are finding ways to ensure that we get our money’s worth.

Featured image by Amy on Flickr. Available for use under Creative Commons 2.0 license.


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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Denise Hill

Denise is currently a writer and editor for a federal agency in Washington, DC. She is an open-minded free spirit always ready for new adventures. She enjoys traveling and relishes being exposed to alternate points of view. Faith, family and finances are the core of her value system. She follows her own path and marches to her own beat. She is a dream chaser and with her husband and best friend by her side, she plans to take over the world.

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