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Food Service Industry Updates Franchising Industry Updates

And Consumers’ Favorite Quick-Service Restaurants Are …

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Market Force Information has unveiled consumers’ favorite quick-service restaurants (QSR) in five categories — burgers, chicken, pizza, Mexican fare and sandwiches — based on a poll from more than 9,500 consumers.

Peachtree Corners, Ga.-based Market Force Information, a management company that focuses on the customer experience and employee engagement, said the pandemic impacted the QSR industry tremendously, changing the metric for success in this year’s competition. “Why guests chose one restaurant over another has transformed into a dynamic scenario defined by visit satisfaction and brand trust, each playing off the other across the lifetime of the consumer’s engagement,” the company said. “The competitive benchmark study examines these changes surveying why customers prefer one brand over another, looking at factors such as service, trust, food quality, value and technology. There are clear winners and losers in each category.”

Burgers

In the burger category, In-N-Out Burger ruled with an overall score of 71.3%. Market Force Information said the Irvine, Calif.-based chain’s fans are “known for their fierce loyalty and — in many cases — their pleas for this regional burger chain to bring a location to their town.”

Five Guys Burgers and Fries finished second. The chain also rated highest on food quality with a 73.6% score in the category— “demonstrating its strong focus on execution in each restaurant,” according to Market Force Information.

Culver’s finished third. Carl’s Jr., Burger King and McDonald’s received the lowest scores among the 11 chains studied.

Chicken

Not surprisingly, Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A ruled the roost with a score of 76%, slightly higher than Raising Cane’s, which earned a 72% score. Chick-fil-A received the highest scores in every category.

Pizza

The ease and affordability of pizza made it a pandemic staple for many families and a rare bright spot for the QSR industry as a whole, according to Market Force Information. Detroit-based Little Caesars, with its Reserve-N-Ready pizza, led in food quality, earning it the No. 1 spot with a 54% score. “Reserve-N-Ready allows customers to order directly from the mobile app or website. When an order is ready, guests receive a notification, swing by the store and pick up the pizza without any direct contact,” Market Force Information said.

Consumers ranked Papa John’s a favorite for overall service (55%), while Pizza Hut’s staff came out on top as the friendliest (52%) in the highly competitive category.

Mexican

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Chipotle Mexican Grill, known for its highly customizable burritos and bowls, took the title of consumer favorite for overall satisfaction. Del Taco and El Pollo Loco were close behind. El Pollo Loco, which Market Force Information said is the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, offers menu items that are a standout with diners, who ranked it first in the food-quality category. Del Taco, the nation’s second-largest Mexican quick-service restaurant chain, was first for fast and friendly service.

Sandwiches

The sandwich wars continued with top brands competing intensely for the overall share of stomachs, according to Market Force Information. Manasquan, N.J.-based Jersey Mike’s and Jacksonville, Fla.-based Firehouse Subs are “far and away” the nation’s preferred sandwich chains, according to Market Force’s study. Both brands scored 80% on overall satisfaction. Jimmy John’s and Panera also ranked high on the list.

To see the entire study results along with additional categories, download the study at https://www.marketforce.com/qsr-research.

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