In 2013, Café Rio and Chick-fil-A tied for No. 1 best-rated quick-service restaurant chains (of 147 chains ranked) in Sandelman & Associates’ Quick-Track study annual Awards of Excellence. Chick-fil-A ranked No. 1 Large QSR chain (500-plus units).
In Sandelman’s market-level Quick-Track study, quick-service restaurant customers rate on a 5-point scale overall satisfaction with their most recent visits to QSR chains; and they rate chains they’ve recently patronized on 16 customer satisfaction attributes. Awards of Excellence are based on the proportion of respondents who rate a chain “excellent,” or “5” on a 5-point scale. In 2013, 100,000-plus Quick-Track respondents rated the chains they patronized.
Eight of the Top 10 best-rated large quick-service restaurant chains—Firehouse Subs, Panera Bread, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Zaxby’s, Jersey Mike’s Submarines, Culver’s and Starbucks—are not surprisingly among the fastest growing fast-casual chains.
The 2013 Top 10 Excellent Fast-Food Chains (Overall Satisfaction) are:
Top 10 Quick-Service Restaurant Chains (all chains)
1. Cafe Rio
3. In-N-Out Burger
3. Raising Cane’s
5. Firehouse Subs
6. Jason’s Deli
6. The Habit Burger Grill
8. Panera Bread
8. Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Top 10 Large Quick-Service Restaurant Chains (500+ units)
2. Firehouse Subs
3. Panera Bread
3. Five Guys Burgers & Fries
5. Chipotle Mexican Grill
7. Papa Murphy’s
8. Jersey Mike’s Submarines
“It’s notable almost all of the Top 10 excellent large chains are fast-casual QSRs,” says Bob Sandelman, CEO and founder of Sandelman & Associates, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in business in 2013. “These fast-casual chains offer tasty, fresh food, served in attractive and inviting surroundings, and they continue to set new standards for quick-service chains.”
Awards of Excellence are given for overall satisfaction and for the best performances on 16 attributes of the quick-service restaurant dining experience. Café Rio, a fast-casual Mexican chain based in Salt Lake City ranked No. 1 on overall rating of customer satisfaction and placed No. 1 on “taste and flavor of the food,” “quality of the ingredients” and “temperature of the food.” In-N-Out Burger was ranked in the Top 3 highest-rated chains on nine of the 16 customer satisfaction attributes studied; Chick-fil-A was among the Top 3 on seven of the 16 attributes; and Raising Cane’s was ranked Top 3 on six characteristics.
For the sixth consecutive year, Little Caesars garnered the top spot for “affordability of the prices” and “value for the money.” Fast-food unit leader Subway continues to be the highest rated chain for “availability of healthy and nutritious food.”
The awards are based on results reported in the quarterly syndicated Quick-Track study conducted by San Clemente, Calif.-based Sandelman & Associates. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013, the market research firm tracks attitudes, awareness and usage at the media market level for the restaurant industry. In 2013 Quick-Track surveyed more than 100,000 quick-service restaurant users, gathering information about nearly 1.5 million visits in almost 100 U.S. media markets.
Information from this press release must be accompanied by a statement identifying Sandelman & Associates as the publisher and Quick-Track as the source. The information contained in this press release cannot be used for advertising, public relations or promotional purposes without the express prior written consent of Sandelman & Associates.