Cream of the Crop: This Year’s Surprise Winner Outperforms the Competition in both Customer Loyalty and Trust in Market Force QSR Study
Cream of the Crop: This Year’s Surprise Winner Outperforms the Competition in both Customer Loyalty and Trust in Market Force QSR Study

In this year’s study, both the burger category and chicken category are hotly contested.  In burgers there were strong showings from the top 5 brands with CLI scores ranging from 4.5-4.67 on a 5pt scale.  Culvers, In-N-Out, Freddy’s, Five Guys, and The Habit all out-performed their peers.  In the chicken category Raising Cane’s is nipping at the heels of Chick-fil-A with the remaining brands tailing by a significant margin.  

Andy’s Frozen Custard’s rise to prominence is attributed to its commitment to high-quality products, exceptional customer service, and active community involvement. Andy’s President is quoted as saying, “Our approach has been fairly simple: Hire great people, treat them right, and try to get the product in as many mouths as possible.” This strategy has not only elevated Andy’s in CLI rankings but also in brand trust, nudging out MOD Pizza for the top position. Other top performers in CLI include Chick-fil-A, Culvers, Dutch Bros, and In-N-Out.

The study also places Dutch Bros at the forefront in terms of ‘share of wallet’, leading a metric that is dominated by coffee companies, followed by Starbucks, Tropical Smoothie Café, Jersey Mike’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Despite excelling in speed of service, staff friendliness, and beverage quality, the QSR industry faces challenges in offering healthy choices and value-for-money, with recent price hikes significantly impacting customer perceptions.

The correlation between customer satisfaction and loyalty remains high, with an 89% correlation between satisfaction and likelihood to recommend and a 74% correlation between satisfaction and likelihood to return. However, problem resolution emerges as a critical area for improvement, with 57% of customers dissatisfied with how their issues are handled, underscoring the need for enhanced customer recovery processes.

The study reinforces the importance of food quality, customer service, and competitive pricing in driving repeat business. QSR brands can leverage these insights and more to refine their operations and promotional strategies.

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