There exists an annual report known as the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s Restaurant Report, in which survey proctors ask 22,500 Americans (!) about their experiences at various chain restaurants. Customers are asked to rate restaurants on a scale of 0 to 100 in categories such as food accuracy; waitstaff behavior; food quality; beverage quality; restaurant cleanliness and layout; food variety; beverage variety; and website satisfaction. At the end of all this, a customer-satisfaction winner is crowned.
This year, that winner among fast-food restaurants is Chick-fil-A, which bested runner-up Panera Bread by what USA Today calls “a comfortable margin.” (“Yeah, suck it, broccoli-cheddar soup bread bowls,” one of the Chick-fil-A cows subsequently taunted.) The report really can’t pile the praise on thick enough, lauding Chick-fil-A for its “superior customer satisfaction,” and food quality that “continues to rate higher than the competition.” (It maintains a “wide lead” over paltry poultry purveyor KFC.) This is more good news for Chick-fil-A, which is on pace to become America’s third-largest fast-food chain behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks.
Among full-service restaurants, Texas Roadhouse came out on top, which made me realize I’ve never eaten at a Texas Roadhouse. Is it that great? It overtook last year’s king, Cracker Barrel, which fell a few points this year to tie for second with LongHorn Steakhouse. Olive Garden—which is known to have a strong following—came in third place. Mazel tov to all the honorees.