Chick-fil-A Inc. employees prepares chicken sandwiches for guests attending a friends and family event ahead of it's grand opening in New York, U.S., on Friday, October 2, 2015.  Photographer:  Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
Operations inside Chick-fil-A's Manhattan location. Photograph by Michael Nagle — Bloomberg via Getty Images

This Southern Icon Is America’s Favorite Fast Food Restaurant

Jun 21, 2016

Seems as though Americans do love their chicken.

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report 2016, Chick-fil-A is the highest ranking fast food restaurant in the country for customer satisfaction, taking first with 87 points on a scale of 100. The surveys were based on responses from almost 5,000 diners in March.

Papa John's came in second place in the fast food rankings with a score of 82, a 5% increase from 2015. Little Caesars and Arby's experienced the biggest score changes with 9% and 8% gains, respectively. According to the study, customer satisfaction increased 2.6% from last year.

However, Chipotle Mexican Grill (cmg) took the biggest ACSI hit, falling 6% to 78 in the wake of the E.coli outbreak that hit many of its stores. As of the first quarter of 2016, sales were down more than 20% year-over-year, according to the study. As of June, Chipotle’s stock price was down over 45% compared to levels seen prior to the outbreak. Quality issues might elongate Chipotle’s recovery time, according to the study.

Back in February, the company reported its first-ever quarter of declining sales, with revenue down 6.8% to just under $1 billion. During the period same store sales declined 14.6% and net income plummeted 44% to $67.9 million.

In the category of full service restaurants, Cracker Barrel ranked the highest in the industry, followed by LongHorn Steakhouse (dri) and Texas Roadhouse (txrh).

Here's how fast food restaurants ranked:

1. Chick-fil-A, 87
2. Papa John's, 82
3. All Others, 81
4. Little Caesars Pizza, 81
5. Panera Bread, 81
6. Arby's, 80
7. Dunkin' Donuts, 80
8. Subway, 80
9. Chipotle Mexican Grill, 78
10. Domino's, 78
11. KFC, 78
12. Pizza Hut, 77
13. Burger King, 76
14. Wendy's, 76
15. Starbucks, 75
16. Taco Bell, 75
17. Jack in the Box, 74
18. McDonald's, 69

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