An annual consumer study by Market Force Information collected data on America’s favorite quick-service restaurants ranking the top chicken brands, burger, sandwich, Mexican, and pizza. The data was gleaned from nearly 11,500 consumers.

The data was complied by asking participants to rate their satisfaction with their most recent quick-service experience and their likelihood to refer that restaurant to others.  These results were averaged to attain a composite loyality index score.  Only chains that received at least 100 votes and representing two percent or more of votes were analyzed.

The study was conducted online in February.  Fifty percent reported household incomes of more than $50,000 a year.  Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65.  Approximately 73 percent were women and 26 percent were men

In the chicken quick-service category, Chick-fil-A’s dominant reign continued, with the chicken giant earning its fourth straight spot atop the rankings. The chain received the highest scores in every category except healthy options. El Pollo Loco got the highest score for healthy options. Raising Cane’s was a strong performer as well, taking second in seven of eight categories.

Full chicken rankings:

  • Chick-fil-A: 73 percent
  • Raising Cane’s: 68 percent
  • Zaxby’s: 51 percent
  • El Pollo Loco: 51 percent
  • Boston Market: 46 percent
  • Popeyes: 42 percent
  • Bojangles’: 41 percent
  • Church’s Chicken: 39 percent
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: 39 percent
  • KFC: 31 percent

Additional chicken highlights include:

  • 31 percent visited a chicken chain at least five times in the previous 90 days
  • The majority of customers opted for the drive-thru (39 percent), followed closely by those who chose to dine in the restaurant (33 percent)
  • 20 percent dined with children on their most recent visit
  • Buffalo Wild Wings led in loyalty card awareness—44 percent know they offer one
  • Chick-fil-A has the highest mobile app awareness with 55 percent, followed by El Pollo Loco with 45 percent

As a whole, Brad Christian, chief customer officer at Market Force Information, said scores on the composite loyalty index for quick-service chains declined versus last year.  “We attribute this to two factors:  consumer expectations of the quick-service restaurant experience are rising, and, in many cases, execution at these restaurants is declining. “As our research continues to show, delighting guests by providing an exceptional customer experience is a key differentiator in an incredibly competitive environment,” said Christian.