America loves to eat out. In fact, studies have shown that the average American eats out at least 4 times every week. Keeping these results in mind, the latest 2015 reports released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s Annual Restaurant Survey (ACIS) show some very surprising results. Customers are now moving away from the previously popular foods and chains. Not only are they opting for healthier options for their meals, but they also prefer chains that have a better service and are easier on the wallet. Many smaller and lesser-known restaurants are offering great quality products that are similar to the offerings of the giants, but are also more economical. They have managed to steal away some of the business.
ACIS took a survey of a cross section of customers chosen with no particular criteria and asked them how they would rate the food they’d recently bought. They were also asked about their experiences with the famous stores as against the locally known ones. Here are the fast food chains that Americans love best.
No. 1 On the List: The Winner is Chick-fil-A
And, the Runner-Up is Chipotle Mexican Grill
This chain has earned second place in customer enjoyment. As it turns out, consumers love the fact that they can always count on the freshest of food at the eateries made with good quality, organic ingredients.
Americans also love:
3. Panera Bread
Panera Bread is one of the top scorers on the list and it’s probably because customers love the great service and the top-notch quality of the products it offers.
4. Papa John’s
This pizza chain actually scores right up there with Pizza Hut. Considering that it intends to spend $100 million on eliminating artificial foods and coming up with healthier pizzas, families with kids might just prefer it to other brands.
5. Pizza Hut
Although its pizza is preferred over that of Domino’s and Little Caesar’s, the chain has still managed to see a slide downgrade in customer satisfaction of 5%.
This company has seen only a very nominal drop in satisfaction of a mere 1%. While customers still love the healthy sandwiches packed with nutrition, Chipotle and Panera Bread are managing to attract some of its customers. Chances are these chains are considered more hip to eat at.
Despite customers preferring the chain over Little Caesar’s, Domino’s has still managed to slip a little on the customer preference scale. Lower prices offered by other chains could be the reason for this drop.
There are more economical coffee stores than Starbucks that can offer similar quality coffee. People prefer to go to Dunkin’ Donuts lately
9. Little Caesar’s
The burgers and subs offered by the chain are better preferred than those of McDonald’s, Burger King and all the better-known chains.
The Surprise on the List: Dunkin Donuts
The fast food companies above are the best-rated eateries by Americans. But, while they all seem to be losing some amount of favor with customers, there is one company that has managed to score 78 and has actually gained 4% in the preferences of its customers. They seem to love the great coffee the company offers at better prices as compared to companies like Starbucks.
On the other hand, “the all-time favorites” that once were icons of America such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell seem to be slipping lower and lower on the list. However, McDonald’s is the first chain taking steps to turn the company round.
There’s one more factor that fast food companies need to take into consideration. They need to remember that customers are now looking for better services by way of a more friendly staff and higher quality of the food. They would also like more efficiency by way of fewer errors in taking and filling orders and (of course) a faster delivery time.
Maybe the list should serve as a wake-up call to other chains also.