May 11, 2016 | by S.A. Whitehead
Consumers rank Panera, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, DQ as favorite brands

Nearly 50,000individual assessments of 36 QSR brands over the first quarter of this year have resulted in a couple of eye-opening Top 10 lists. Consumers, for example, ranked Panera Bread, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Baskin-Robbins as their favorite brands, according to Phoenix Marketing International, which collected data through its RestaurantXP mobile insights platform to reveal how QSR guests rated brands based on performance and service. Through the combined use of mobile devices and GPS, the platform gives customers a chance to provide feedback about their experiences while they’re still in the restaurant.

In total, 49,474 assessments were collected on 36 brands between January and March. According to the responses of those diners, the top decisive factors on a restaurant's performance include the delivery of "fast, efficient service" and "food served fresh." The research shows that restaurants that surpass expectations on those two aspects fare best on ratings.

"Our insights are captured-in-the-moment while guests are at the restaurant, giving us the ability to identify customer opinion from those orderinginsidethe restaurant versus those parked at the drive-thru," said Lane Mann, president of the Phoenix mobile research business mXP.

Mann added that the monthly tracked information on key restaurant performance factors to  assemble something that he called a "net promoter score." Mann explained that the score rated customers’ likelihood to recommend a brand, while also gauging overall dining experience. In creating the score, special attention was paid to the composition of guests, time of day, food selection and even some data on the recent meals they’ve eaten.

What makes guests come back?

According to the data from the three-month study period, aside from the freshness of food and timeliness of service, the other four top factors included:

  • Order accuracy
  • Cleanliness
  • Appropriate food temperature
  • Courteous friendly staff

How restaurants were rated

In order to rate the restaurants, guests were asked to select their satisfaction on a five-point scale, from one — "not at all satisfied," — to five "extremely satisfied."

The assessments were also weighted nationally according to monthly visits to the brand. The list compiled as a result reporteds the percentage share of guests whose overall satisfaction was at the top of the scale. Then, they were broken into two groups: customers who ordered inside restaurants (below) and those who used the drive-thru.

  1. Panera Bread (88.2 percent)                                        
  2. Chick-fil-A (88 percent)
  3. Starbucks (84.4 percent)                                              
  4. Dairy Queen (83.4 percent)
  5. Baskin Robbins (83.percent)                                   
  6. Dunkin' Donuts (82.7 percent)
  7. Jimmy John's (80.3 percent)                                         
  8. Subway (80.2 percent)
  9. Wendy's (78.8 percent)                                                 
  10. Jack in the Box (78.6 percent)

Guests who ordered at the drive-thru yielded this list of Top 10 for overall experience:

  1. Chick-fil-A (89.6 percent)                                               
  2. Little Caesars (85.4 percent)
  3. Panera Bread (83.7 percent)                                         
  4. Starbucks (82.1 percent)
  5. Dunkin' Donuts (81.8 percent)                                              
  6. Sonic (78.3 percent)
  7. Arby's and Wendy's (77.3 percent)                          
  8. Dairy Queen (76.8 percent)
  9. Taco Bell (76.3 percent)                                                
  10. Jack in the Box (74.9) percent

The mobile platform nets about 15,000 detailed assessments monthly from guests, according to Phoenix Marketing International. It collects data on the following brands: 7-Eleven, Arby's, Baskin Robbins, Burger King, Casey's General Stores, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, Circle K Stores, Cumberland Farms, Dairy Queen, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, Holiday Station, Jack in the Box, Jimmy John's, KFC, Kwik Trip, Little Caesars, McDonald's, On The Run Convenience, Panera Bread, Papa John's, Pizza Hut, QuikTrip, Rally's Drive-In Restaurants, Royal Farms, Sonic, Starbucks, Stripes Convenience Stores, Subway, Taco Bell, The Pantry, Thornton's, Wawa and Wendy's.



Topics: Burger/Steak/BBQ, Business Strategy and Profitability, Chicken, Coffee/Bakery/Donut, CRM, Customer Service / Experience, Drive-thru, Food & Beverage, Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Online / Mobile / Social, Operations Management, QSR Report, Systems / Technology, Trends / Statistics

S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of and after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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