Chick-fil-A has been named the United States’ favorite fast-food restaurant for the fourth year in a row by an organization that studies customer satisfaction.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index reported Tuesday that Chick-fil-A again topped their list of fast food restaurants, also known as “limited service” restaurants.
On a scale of 1 to 100, Chick-fil-A scored an 86, which was 1% below their rating last year. Behind them was Panera Bread at 81, and Arby’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut in a four-way tie at 80.
Subway dipped by 1% and scored 79, tied with Domino’s and Starbucks, the latter of which gained 1% in their customer rating. McDonald’s was ranked low at 64.
ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg said in a statement released Tuesday that the overall numbers for the report found a decline in favorability for fast food restaurants.
“The restaurant industry faces challenges in everything from staffing shortages to competition from other vendors, like prepared foods from grocers and convenience stores,” said VanAmburg.
“Overall, foot traffic continues to decline, and restaurants are seeking to grow sales by relying on guests spending more per visit. Restaurants that focus on changing consumer tastes and preferences, however, could see the biggest boost in customer satisfaction.”
For their data, ACSI interviewed more than 23,000 randomly selected customers via email between June 5, 2018, and May 27, 2019.
In February, the business research group Technomic, Inc. ranked Chick-fil-A No. 5 among the top 500 restaurant chains in the United States, with U.S. sales estimated above $10 billion.
“The limited-service chicken category continues to be a pacesetter for growth, led by strong years from not only Chick-fil-A, but also Wingstop and Raising Cane’s,” said Technomic.
Owned by a devout Baptist family and with a policy of being closed on Sundays, Chick-fil-A has garnered controversy for its leadership’s religious opposition to same-sex marriage and ties to conservative Christian groups.
There have been several instances of local governments or college campuses opting to ban the chicken sandwich chain over their conservative views.
Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that stops the government from punishing a company or individual for donating to religious groups.
Known as the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill, it came in response to the San Antonio City Council voting to ban Chick-fil-A from an airport food court.