Thursday, August 4 2022

(NEXSTAR) – Again, Americans preferred chicken over burgers.

Chick-fil-A beat all comers in the US Customer Satisfaction Index survey released Tuesday.

Random interviews with 20,143 fast food customers found the Atlanta-based chain had an overall satisfaction score of 83, four higher than second-placed Jimmy John’s (79). Domino’s and KFC are tied for third with 78 points, followed by a tie at four between Chipotle, Panera, Pizza Hut and Starbucks (77).

McDonald’s, which trailed all others last year with 70 points, remains in last place with 68 this year. The biggest decline, according to the survey, was Dunkin’, which fell 4%.

Despite Chick-fil-A’s dominance, however, the fast food industry may have cause for concern – the overall industry score fell 2.6% to 76, while full-service restaurants maintained an 80 rating.

According to the survey, sit-down restaurants beat fast-food vendors in order accuracy, restaurant layout/cleanliness, food quality/variety, and staff courtesy.

The only advantage given to fast food restaurants was the quality of restaurant apps, an area that the large full-service chains seem to focus on.

According to a report released Wednesday by app analytics firm data.ai, time spent in apps in the food and beverage category increased 65% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022.

More than half of these app downloads were for food delivery and transportation, followed by grocery delivery, accounting for just under a quarter of downloads.

“In the midst of the pandemic, restaurants needed to quickly up their game in the mobile arena,” says Forrest Morgeson, assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University and director of research emeritus at ACSI. “With fewer resources, smaller chains and independent restaurants are offering apps that are not up to par with customers. In contrast, positive changes in the quality and reliability of mobile apps for several large chains appear to reflect upgrades major day applications for these major players in the industry.

When it comes to top-rated full-service restaurants, LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse led the way (80), with Applebee’s and IHOP tied for last place (73).

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