How we ranked the 25 best fast food chains in America

Business Insider just released its ranking of the 25 best fast food chains in America. To create the ranking, we collaborated
with Restaurant Business
, a foodservice industry expert and media outlet, and its sister research firm Technomic
, to examine and assess nearly 89 of the largest US chains. We rated them on three key criteria that we considered the most telling for all-around fast-food excellence: financial performance, customer satisfaction, and overall value.
Here’s a deeper look behind the methodology, as explained by Restaurant Business:

“Technomic Inc. tracks consumer perceptions of the leading chains in its Consumer Brand Metrics program. The ongoing study includes the top 100 chains by U.S. systemwide sales, plus about 20 additional chains that round out segments, or are particularly fast-growing and expected to land among the top 100 soon. There are 89 limited-service brands, which include quick-service chains like McDonald’s and Subway and fast-casual concepts such as Panera Bread and Chipotle.

This ranking is based on an overall score that averages simple rankings of 2015 sales financials (average unit volume, year-over-year change in average unit volume, U.S. systemwide sales, and year-over-year change in sales — all sourced from Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report), satisfaction ratings of Consumer Brand Metrics respondents, and value (including overall value ratings in CBM and the chains’ average per-person checks). Sales and satisfaction scores are weighted to impact the overall score twice as much as value scores. Because scores are based on rankings, a lower score is better.”

Because our financial performance score considered growth and average sales per location — rather than a raw, aggregate sales figures — a number of fast food giants don’t rank as highly as they might have otherwise. Additionally, since our ranking accounted for how happy restaurants make their customers and how much value they provide, regional chains offering a higher-grade product performed better.

No McDonald’s, no Wendy’s, no Burger King, no KFC, and no Taco Bell. Instead, you get restaurants that customers are truly passionate about: Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s, In-N-Out, and Jersey Mike’s Subs. And while it was too small to make the cut this year, expect Shake Shack to break into the rankings in 2017.

NOW WATCH: A self-made billionaire gifted each of his 2,000 employees shares worth $150,000 to $1 million

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.