What makes a good fast-food restaurant, at least from the standpoint of the customers? Menu? Price? The technology used to take orders and to pay? When they are open? The answer is all of the above.
Widely followed research operation the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has just released its “Restaurant Report 2018-2019.” Among other things, it polled the opinion of people who go to 18 fast-food restaurants. ACSI polls 300,000 consumers each year and looks at 400 companies in 46 industries.
McDonald’s, by most measures the largest fast-food company in the United States, ranked dead last in the poll. Out of a potential score of 100, it received a grade of 69. The chain has been among the American companies that pay its workers the least.
Moreover, the McDonald’s score is not getting better in the annual poll. According to the report: “[T]hus far, guest satisfaction has not budged as McDonald’s stagnates at the low score of 69 for the fourth straight year.”
The primary drivers of the opinions about the fast-food companies were the accuracy of order, staff courtesy, layout and cleanliness, variety of food and beverages on the menu, and speed of check out. The ACSI also looked at online customer service factors, which included the restaurant’s website, the quality of mobile apps and whether the app was reliable (mostly app speed and downtime).
Its customer service has not hurt the McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) lead in the fast-food market — these are America’s favorite regional fast food chains. The National Retail Federation puts its revenue at $37.6 billion and its store count at 14,036. None of the top 15 retailers based on sales of any kind tops the McDonald’s location count. Walmart, for example, has 5,328 stores. McDonald’s was founded in 1940 and is the second largest private employer in the world after Walmart.
Chick-fil-A was at the top of the list with a score of 80. Chick-fil-A, which is expected to be the third-largest fast-food chain by sales in the country in 2019, has been listed in another major research report as one of the best fast-food chains.