- Market Force released its 2019 consumer survey ranking fast-food and fast-casual restaurant chains according to customer loyalty.
- The categories were: burger chains, coffee and bakery chains, frozen dessert chains, sandwich chains, Mexican chains, pizza chains, and chicken chains.
- Classic favourites like Chipotle and In-N-Out continued to dominate their respective categories, while Jersey Mike’s beat out reigning champ Wawa in the sandwiches category. Chick-fil-A unseated In-N-Out as America’s overall favourite chain.
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Winning the hungry hearts of the American people requires quality food, speedy and friendly service, and a clean and welcoming space – all for the best value possible.
Market Force, a customer experience management company, surveyed over 7,600 consumers to determine which chains were winning over customers in terms of satisfaction and loyalty. Market Force said in a press release about its study that it asked survey participants about their most recent visits to a fast-food or fast-casual restaurant and only included chains that received at least 100 answers, comprising at least 2% of all responses.
Brands were judged based on eight metrics: staff friendliness, overall cleanliness, food quality, curb appeal, atmosphere, speed of service, value for money spent, and healthy options. The scores for these metrics were added up to create a composite loyalty index for each brand.
The categories judged were burgers, coffee and bakery, frozen desserts, sandwiches, Mexican, pizza, and chicken.
Here are the winners:
BURGER CHAIN: IN-N-OUT — California darling In-N-Out won the hardest race, with 14 competitors in the burger category including Five Guys, Burger King, and McDonald’s. It scored high in all metrics, but consumers rated In-N-Out especially well for its value.
COFFEE AND BAKERY CHAIN: KRISPY KREME — The doughnut chain known for its soft, smoothly glazed doughnuts beat out big hitters like Starbucks and Dunkin’ to win the title.
FROZEN DESSERT CHAIN: CULVER’S — This Wisconsin-born frozen custard chain serves everything from burgers to onion rings to frozen custard concretes, which are a distinctly Midwestern dessert concoction. It scored higher than Coldstone Creamery, which won second place, in all but two metrics: food quality and healthy options.
SANDWICH CHAIN: JERSEY MIKE’S — Famous for its hulking made-to-order Jersey-style subs, Jersey Mike’s unseated the popular convenience-store chain Wawa. Consumers rated Jersey Mike’s especially highly for food quality and staff friendliness.
MEXICAN CHAIN: CHIPOTLE — Mexican-inspired Chipotle has dominated the fast-casual scene since its first restaurant opened in Denver in the ’90s. This year was no different. Consumers especially loved Chipotle’s food quality, cleanliness, and healthy options.
PIZZA CHAIN: BLAZE PIZZA — Blaze Pizza, which offers speedy, customisable personal pizzas, beat out behemoths like Domino’s and Papa John’s to take the pie in this ranking. It was the only fast-casual pizza chain on the list and scored especially highly for its healthy options, curb appeal, atmosphere, and speed of service.
CHICKEN CHAIN: CHICK-FIL-A: Chick-fil-A dominated the fried chicken competition in all metrics but one: Raising Cane’s ranked higher for its atmosphere. Despite continuing controversy over its charitable donations, Chick-fil-A remains extremely popular among consumers.
OVERALL CHAIN: CHICK-FIL-A — Chick-fil-A scored the highest for customer loyalty out of all the measured chains in Market Force’s survey, unseating reigning champion In-N-Out.
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