Satisfied customer? Survey ranks fast-food restaurants

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(June 20, 2014) – We have a love-hate relationship with eating out.

Numbers show Americans spent $117 billion on fast food. And according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Americans ate out an average of four meals per week in 2013, a 60-percent increase since the end of the recession.

ACSI scored sit-down and fast-food restaurants based on 4,572 random customer interviews between Jan 13 and March 11.

According to rankings, people enjoy full-service restaurants more than a burger at a fast-food joint. They even get quicker service at those sit-down restaurants, yet the allure of cheap combo meals draws them back time and time again to places like Burger King and McDonald’s.

Pizza chains topped the list for fast-food (or “limited service”) restaurants while burger and sandwich shops showed declines in customer satisfaction. Overall, fast-food restaurants posted a customer satisfaction score of 80, which was in line with 2013 but ranked below full-service restaurants (the latter scored 82 overall, up a point from last year).

Here are fast-food restaurants as ranked in the survey from best to worst (the scale is 100 points):

  1. Papa John’s: Score 82, same score as 2013
  2. Pizza Hut: Score: 82, up two points
  3. Little Caesar: Score: 80, down two points
  4. Domino’s Pizza: Score: 80, down one point
  5. Subway: Score: 78, down five points
  6. Wendy’s: Score: 78, down one point
  7. Starbucks: Score: 76, down four points
  8. Burger King: Score: 76, same score as 2013
  9. Dunkin’ Donuts: Score: 75, down 5 points
  10. KFC: Score: 74, down 7 points
  11. Taco Bell: Score: 72, down 2 points
  12. McDonald’s: Score: 71, down 2 points

Smaller chains like Panera and Chipotle performed extremely well, scoring 84 overall, the survey found.

PDF | ACSI Restaurant Report 2014