Chick-fil-A was named the most popular fast-food chain for the fourth consecutive year in a 2018-2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index report published Tuesday.
On a customer satisfaction scale of 100 points, which is based on the input of nearly 23,000 individual customers, the fried chicken restaurant earned 87 points in 2018 and 86 in 2019. Panera Bread received the second-highest score with 81 points for both years, and McDonald’s earned the lowest score with 69 points for both years.
“The company still demonstrates customer satisfaction dominance,” ACSI reported. “With its strong satisfaction edge and plans to continue expanding, the chicken specialist could pose a threat to even the largest players in the industry.”
The chain, which is open six days a week and closed on Sundays, made the third-highest sales at $10.46 billion in 2018, falling behind Starbucks, which made $20.49 billion in total sales, and McDonald’s, which made $38.52 billion, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. (RELATED: Chick-Fil-A Becomes One Of The Top 3 Largest Restaurant Chains In America)
Chick-fil-A’s rankings in customer satisfaction come as no surprise since its employee training programs put an emphasis on the words “please” and “thank you”
Over 95% of Chick-fil-A drive-thru encounters included a “thank you” from an employee based on QSR Magazine’s 2016 annual drive-thru report, which studied 2,000 visits to 15 restaurant chains.
“Employee service attributes from smiling and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to making eye contact and having an overall pleasant demeanor were sky-high at Chick-fil-A and cumulatively far ahead of the rest of the pack,” the report read.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a “Save Chick-fil-A” bill into law on June 12, which makes it illegal for cities to interfere with the fast-food restaurant’s business with “adverse action” based on the founder’s and CEO’s Christian beliefs and stance on traditional marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” CEO Dan Cathy, the son of founder S. Truett Cathy, said in a 2012 interview with The Baptist Press. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
Around the same time, LGBTQ protests against Chick-fil-A erupted. Two major airports banned the restaurant in Buffalo, New York, and San Antonio, Texas, in 2019. (RELATED: Department Of Transportation Launches Investigation Into Chick-Fil-A Bans)
“I challenge anyone to find one word of discrimination in this bill. This bill clearly and simply provides that if you affiliate with or make a donation to a religious organization, you cannot be punished by your government,” Texas Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes, who authored the bill, said after the Senate vote in May. “This protects everyone’s right to religious freedom.”