The 2015 American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report was just released, ranking fast-food restaurants in the U.S. in terms of customer satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 100. Not only does this year mark Chick-fil-A’s debut on the ACSI list, but the chicken chain ranked No. 1, and its score (86) is the highest ever achieved in the category.
Forrest Morgeson, director of research at ACSI, talked to CNN Money about Chick-fil-A’s success:
The American Customer Satisfaction Index included responses from more than 5,000 individuals. Below are the highest-ranked fast-food restaurants, from Chick-fil-A to Pizza Hut. We’ve included our thoughts on why chains like Chick-fil-A and Chipotle are always winning in the hearts and minds of consumers.
1) Chick-fil-A (86)
CFA overcame serious public perception problems—including homophobic comments from the upper brass, and being closed on Sunday—by having an unstoppable product and super-friendly customer service. This is the chain that inspired Momofuku chef David Chang to open Fuku, after all.
2) Chipotle Mexican Grill (83)
Despite some carnitas-related hiccups, Chipotle is the golden child of the new fast-food movement, with the biggest reach of any brand that has professed interest in sustainability and transparency. The brand’s marketing strategy has been hugely successful, resulting in die-hard fans like Big Sean.
3) All Others (81)
4) Panera Bread (80)
5) Papa John’s (78)
Papa John’s has social media on lock.
better ingredients. better memes. it me. papa john. pic.twitter.com/FSkEPs7itr
— L.A.S (@SartoriallyInc) May 1, 2015
6) Pizza Hut (78)
Pizza Hut is always churning out crazy sh*t—for example, Sweet Sriracha Dynamite and BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger pies. The chain takes way more risks than Domino’s, and it seems to be paying off.