The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) recently shared a study that details the top fast-food chains in the country based on customer satisfaction. While I agree with the top choice, the others are questionable. And hey, taste is subjective. I’m something of a fast-food restaurant connoisseur. So, here I will re-rank the country’s top five fast-food restaurant chains based on personal experience. (Hence, “Definitive” in quotes in the headline.)
First, let’s examine the numbers in this report, as there are certainly some valuable points to consider. It appears as if their customer satisfaction entails 11 important factors. These include areas such as the accuracy of food orders, staff courtesy, and cleanliness. Another important measurement these days is the efficiency of the chain’s app.
The ACSI report is based on 16,250 customers who were surveyed. Their top five looked like this:
- #1 Chick-fil-A
- #2 Jimmy Johns
- #3 KFC
- #4 Papa John
- #5 Domino’s
Technically “other” landed at number three, but for the sake of top brands, that is the top of the list.
While I do like the variety in cuisine displayed in ACSI’s list, I am surprised at many of the names I see there. To create this ranking, I did follow and considered the customer satisfaction criteria previously laid out in the survey. Though I am a drive-thru-first type of person, I will quickly peel out of the parking lot if I detect the joint doesn’t look like it takes cleanliness seriously. Regardless of how much I am craving that chicken sandwich. In other words, those scored questions are legit measurements.
It’s worth mentioning that I travel quite a bit as well. Whether taking my kids to a weekend lacrosse tournament or heading south to visit family, a fast-food meal is often all I have time for. Nonetheless, I don’t just stop for anything, and I do aim for the healthiest option possible (most of the time).
So, imagine I just pulled off a magical interstate exit where all of these fast food restaurants had an open establishment. I’m considering the criteria points ACSI has laid out, and looking for a quality meal. Here is my official re-ranking of the top five fast-food restaurant chains in the country.
*Side-note, the ACSI also includes statistic results on full-service chain restaurants. That is not applicable to my ranking, but Chili’s is the clear number one, with all the rest being second.