In a Consumer Reports survey that asked 32,405 subscribers about more than 96,200 dining experiences at 65 hamburger, Asian, pizza, sandwich, chicken, and Mexican fast-food and fast-casual chains on a 1 to 10 scale in a variety of categories, readers had some surprises.
Signature dish failures Include McDonald’s burgers
For example, when it came to signature items McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) was given the worse burger, KFC the worst for chicken, while Taco Bell had the worst burrito. All the results will published in the August print issue as well on the magazine’s website.
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Chick-fil-A received great reviews for its chicken, cleanliness of the dining area, and along with polite and speedy service. The best of the burgers went to Habit Burger Grill, In-n-Out and Five Guys Burgers who received the highest rating for their burgers, 8.1, 8.0 and 7.9 respectively.
Despite the fact that numerous chains not known for their health offerings have begun offering them, consumers didn’t seemed to care with only 20% of respondents saying that they made a choice of where to go based on healthy offerings, and only 19% order a healthy meal in their most recent restaurant visit.
It’s believed that American’s spend roughly $683.4 billion per year dining out so there is plenty of money to go around to multiple chains. It also seems that consumers are now willing to drive further for better food and location isn’t nearly as important as it was just three years ago.
The rise of fast-casual
“Fast-casual dining in places like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) and Panda Express lets the consumer guide the staff to prepare their meal just the way they like it,” Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food-service consulting firm, said in the report.
Chipotle was rated as the top fast-casual restaurant while McAlister’s Deli was the most improved since the 2011 report.
“More and more, food quality ? not just low price ? is emerging as a deciding-factor for many Americans when choosing where to spend their dining dollars,” said Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports in a press release about the survey.
He continued, “Strong regional players and slightly more upscale fast-casual chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) are giving the heavy-hitters in the fast-food business a wake-up call. And our survey clearly shows the big guys need to respond.”