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Chick-fil-A tops U.S. fast food restaurants in customer satisfaction, study finds

When it comes to U.S. fast food restaurants, Chick-fil-A is tops for a second straight year, according to a survey that measures customer satisfaction.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index uses a 0-100 scale, and restaurant grades are composed of several factors that include accuracy and quality of the order, cleanliness, online user experience, behavior of staff and menu variety.

The study found that Chick-fil-A is far outpacing chicken competitor KFC, which wound up in 12th place.

Following Chick-fil-A in the top five are Panera, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut and Subway.

The study found that people are generally happier with dining out in 2018 than they were in 2017, but not every type of fast food restaurant has experienced a bump. Burger restaurants are flat in terms of customer satisfaction, with Wendy’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box and McDonald’s making up four of the bottom five in the ACSI’s ranking.

“As Millennials gain spending power, their preferences shift the industry landscape — from more demand for fresh, organic ingredients to new ways to order and deliver food,” researchers found. “In response, restaurants are revamping menus and investing in new technology (for example, smartphone apps and automated kiosks), as well as adding curbside and third-party delivery services.”

With revenue from delivery up 20 percent over five years, it’s not surprising that pizza restaurants are cashing in – and the battle is tightening. Pizza Hut made a 5 percent gain in 2018, pulling into a tie with satisfaction leader Papa John’s.

The top five restaurants in the full service category are Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse.