Chick-fil-A has been voted as America's favorite fast food place for the seventh year in a row, according to a poll of almost 20,000 people. And who came in last, you ask? Well, it's none other than the golden arches - McDonald's.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index recently released its annual ranking of the best chain restaurants, showing full-service restaurants outperforming fast-food chains and Chick-fil-A topping the fast-food rankings, with McDonald's taking the last place.
The report asked participants to rank chain restaurants on a scale from 1 to 100 in eleven categories including food quality, taste, and helpfulness of workers.
Chick-fil-A came in first place with a score of eighty-three, making this the 7th consecutive year the fast-food chain topped the rankings. Over the pandemic, Chik-fil-A had a heavy focus on drive-thru, mobile ordering, and contactless payments, and boasted a strong customer service.
The home of the famous chicken sandwich was five points ahead of second place, Domino's and thirteen points ahead of the last place, Mcdonald's with a score of seventy.
When it came to sit-down restaurants, satisfaction increased by 1.3 points in comparison to 2020, indicating that customers enjoyed sitting down for a meal despite the pandemic, when delivery and takeout seemed to dominate the means of ordering.
Interestingly, the top-ranked restaurant in the full-service category was "all others," which is a term encapsulating all smaller restaurants that are not big enough to be included in the ranking. Following that, LongHorn Steakhouse continued to rank near the top of the list, while Olive Garden and Red Robin also made gains. Red Lobster, TGI Fridays, and Cracker Barrel all saw decreases from last year's score.
The fast-food rankings saw Wendy's and Arby's having the biggest declines in customer satisfaction, with the mass chains losing three and two points respectively, whereas Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks all saw incremental gains.
Chick-fil-A has been in the mass of controversy over the past couple of years, resulting in boycotts and negative press, both of which don't seem to have touched their rankings amongst the American people.
The company has been accused of being anti-LGBTQ+ as it regularly donates to such groups including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Salvation Army, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home through its foundation. Vox reported that Chick-fil-A's business model is largely rooted in its owner's, S. Truett Cathy, who is a devout baptist.
Today there are more than 2,300 locations across the country — all of which are closed on Sundays. Cathy was also quoted in a radio interview that he believes in the "biblical definition of the family unit", meaning he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. This invited many in the LGBTQ+ community to denounce the chain, however, what was more worrying for the group was how much money he was contributing to anti-gay organizations.
Equality Matters obtained tax records that revealed that the Cathy family had donated more than $1.9 million to anti-gay groups in 2010 through the WinShape Foundation, the Cathy family's charitable giving organization founded by Truett Cathy in 1984.
Those donations included a $1.1 million gift to the Marriage & Family Foundation, a group that promoted so-called traditional marriage and opposed both gay marriage and divorce; $480,000 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an athletic organization that requires applicants to agree to a "sexual purity statement" that condemns LGBTQ people for living "impure lifestyle[s]"; and $1,000 to Exodus International, a group that promotes anti-gay conversion therapy.