When it comes to Chick-fil-A, setting the industry standard is quickly becoming a centuries-old tradition.
For the eighth consecutive year, Chick-fil-A has been named America’s Favorite Restaurant, Fast Food or Other, according to the 2021-2022 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Restaurant Study.
The study – which describes Chick-fil-A’s perennially high rankings as a “stranglehold on the fast food industry” – measured customer satisfaction among more than 20,000 randomly selected customers between April 2021 and March 2022.
On a scale of 0 to 100, Chick-fil-A topped all restaurants with an unchanged ACSI score of 83.
By comparison, McDonald’s fell 3% and held onto its bottom spot with a score of 68.
Several other small fast food restaurants tied Jimmy John’s for second place with a 79, followed by Domino’s (down 3%) and KFC (down 1%) at 78 each.
Chipotle, Panera Bread (down 1%), Pizza Hut and Starbucks scored a 77, while Arby’s, Five Guys and Papa John’s fell to 76.
Burger King, Little Caesars and Panda Express met somewhere in the middle of the pack at 75; Dairy Queen, Dunkin’ and Sonic at 74, and Wendy’s just behind at 73.
The worst four performance restaurants were Jack in the Box and Taco Bell at 72, while Popeyes fell 3% to 71, leaving only McDonald’s at the bottom of the list.
In addition to fast food, Chick-fil-A also beat the top-ranked sit-down restaurants: Longhorn Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel and TGI Fridays.
The pandemic has forced most restaurants to rely more on contactless technology to stay in business, including improving the quality of their mobile apps, which not all have been able to do, according to Forrest Morgeson , Emeritus Research Director at ACSI.
“With fewer resources, smaller chains and independent restaurants are delivering apps that aren’t up to par with customers,” Morgeson said. “In contrast, positive changes in mobile app quality and reliability for several large chains appear to reflect major app updates for these major industry players.”
Owned by a devout Baptist family and with a Sunday-closed policy, Chick-fil-A has drawn controversy for its leaders’ religious opposition to same-sex marriage and its ties to conservative Christian groups.
There have been several examples of local governments or college campuses choosing to ban the chicken sandwich chain due to their conservative views.
Chick-fil-A itself often came under fire after its president, Dan Cathy, voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage in 2012.
The company also had to publicly state in 2019 that it “remains committed to Christian values” after the fast food chain’s charity arm decided to stop donating to three organizations criticized for advocating traditional Christian beliefs. on sexuality.
Trudy Cathy White, the daughter of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, and his wife, Jeannette, previously told the Christian Post that the family sees itself as part of the “people business,” not just of the “chicken business”.
“We appreciate that we feel like God is blessing our business,” she told CP. “I don’t know if there’s really a secret in that. My dad built this business on biblical principles. He felt like his business decisions somehow went along with biblical principles. It’s no secret. There are many things that we have been taught in the Word of God and we have been able to put it into practice in our business.”
“Above all, I think at Chick-fil-A we have real clarity on our purpose of why we are in business,” she added. “That was very important to us. In the early 80s we recognized the fact that we had no real clear direction as to why we were in business. But we know today that we are in business to glorify God. by being a faithful steward of all that has been entrusted to us and by having a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A. We love selling chicken, but we are really more in the field of human relations.