Sandelman Names 2013 Quick-Service Restaurant Awards of Excellence Winners

Sandelman Names 2013 Quick-Service Restaurant Awards of Excellence Winners

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
1. Chick-fil-A
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
8. Rush’s

Top 10 Large Quick-Service Restaurant Chains (500+ units)

1. Chick-fil-A
2. Firehouse Subs
3. Panera Bread
3. Five Guys Burgers & Fries
5. Chipotle Mexican Grill
6. Zaxby’s
7. Papa Murphy’s
8. Jersey Mike’s Submarines
8. Culver’s
8. Starbucks

“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.