Customers Prefer Fast Food Over Full-Service Restaurants

For the first time, fast food restaurants are offering better service to their customers than full-service restaurants, becoming a threat to the restaurant business, according to a report released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The Chick-fil-A restaurant garnered a score of 87 from consumers, above the Cracker Barrel restaurant, which was rated at 84 said the  ACSI report. “Quality ingredients combined with fast service and low prices are helping limited-service restaurants outperform full-service restaurant”, indicate the report.

This is the first time in ten years that the full-service restaurant satisfaction score falls below 80 points, obtaining 78 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 100-point scale, a 3.7% loss from 2016.

Consumer satisfaction with fast food or limited service restaurants remained stable with a score of 79, the same as last year.

Customers Are Getting Better Service at Fast Food Restaurants

This restaurants have improved many aspects of the dining experience, particularly in terms of customer service. According to patrons, food orders are more accurate and staff are more courteous and helpful. Restaurants are clean and well laid out and the quality of food and beverages have improved from a year ago.

Chick-fil-A is still the leader (87 points); In second place, Panera Bread rose 1 percent, tied with Papa John’s in 82.

Infographic Courtesy of ACSI

The American Customer Satisfaction Index indicates in its report that consumer satisfaction in full-service restaurants falls due to menu prices on the rise, that is not justified with the service that they provide; Lower grocery prices may encourage more Americans to dine at home, and younger consumers look for quicker service, convenience, and healthier choices.

“Lower customer satisfaction is a major threat to the restaurant business,” said Claes Fornell, president and founder of ACSI. “Full-service restaurants can not lose against fast food in quality and customer satisfaction because they can not compete on price. If a lower-priced competitor has higher customer satisfaction than a competitor who competes in quality, the latter is obviously in Serious problems.The low price alone rarely leads to high levels of satisfaction, but generally makes it high quality. “

Among the large chain restaurants, Cracker Barrel scored the highest score for the second consecutive year (84); Texas Roadhouse was second (82); Olive Garden third (81) and Red Lobster tie it with the same score (81).

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a national economic indicator of customer ratings on the quality of products and services available to domestic consumers in the United States.

The ACSI report is based on 5,557 customer surveys conducted between June 8, 2016 and May 12, 2017.