Satisfied customer? Survey ranks fast-food restaurants

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(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

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