America’s Best Loved — and Most Loathed — Fast-Food Chains

Photo (cc) by frankieleon

Chick-fil-A is the nation’s highest-ranked fast-food chain, beating out 16 others in the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s latest annual restaurant report, which was released today.

This was the first year that Chick-fil-A made the list. It earned an 86 out of 100, the highest score ever for a restaurant in the fast-food category.

Forrest Morgeson, ACSI’s research director, tells CNN Money:

“[Chick-fil-A] is laser focused on a particular product. It focuses on one thing and does it exceptionally well … and that is chicken sandwiches.”

The chains that earned the second- and third-highest scores, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, also made their debut on the list this year.

Chipotle and Panera are among the restaurants that have taken well-publicized steps to address consumer concerns about food quality and safety.

Earlier this year, Chipotle booted GMOs from its menu, and Panera eliminated artificial ingredients.

The ACSI report states:

As the economy improves, consumers with more disposable income — but squeezed for time — want higher-quality ingredients, freshness and better service at a reasonable price. They also are willing to pay a bit more. High scores for Chipotle and Panera Bread suggest that consumers think they’re getting a reasonable value for money.

Of the 17 fast-food chains in the ACSI this year, those that scored highest on the 100-point scale are:

  • Chick-fil-A: 86
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill: 83
  • Panera Bread: 80
  • Papa John’s: 78
  • Pizza Hut: 78

The chains that scored lowest are:

  • Wendy’s: 73
  • KFC: 73
  • Burger King: 72
  • Taco Bell: 72
  • Jack In The Box: 72
  • McDonald’s: 67

Click here to view the rankings of all 17 fast-food chains.

Among the 12 full-service restaurants in the ACSI this year, Texas Roadhouse earned the top score of 83, and Ruby Tuesday’s got the bottom score of 73.

Click here to view the rankings of all 12 full-service restaurants.

Did your favorite eatery make the list? Do you agree with the highest and lowest scores? Sound off with a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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