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Monday, December 4, 2017

Tastes Like. . .Chicken

It’s been a few months since the 2017 report on restaurant preferences was released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). According to the report, customers found full-service restaurants less satisfying based on 5,557 customer surveys collected between June 8, 2016, and May 12, 2017. Their satisfaction was down 3.7 percent to a score of 78 out of 100 possible points. This is the lowest score in more than 10 years.

It also marked another first. That being the first time that full-service restaurants scored lower than the fast food category! Not good. As we all know, it’s a whole lot cheaper to buy fast food.

For sit-down fans, Cracker Barrel was tops for the second year in a row, with a score of 84. Texas Roadhouse came in second at 82. In third place, Olive Garden was rated at 81 and tied with Red Lobster. One of my favorites, Red Robin, dropped several points to a 73. That was disappointing.

Now to the fast food leaders. The reigning champion scored another victory! Chick-Fil-A took the honors with 87. (By comparison, KFC had a 78). Panera Bread tied with Papa John’s at 82 for second place. A bit of a shock, Dunkin’ Donuts scored a 79 compared to coffee rival Starbucks at 77. What’s the deal with that?

In the burger wars it was Burger King that became, well, king! The chain scored a 77 compared to Wendy’s 76. McDonald's had an embarrassing score of 69.

Now let me move to another survey. This was reported recently in Christianity Today. (link below) The results are from a group called Morning Consult and it’s their 2017 Community Impact Ratings.
And who is dominator in this category? Once again…Chick-Fil-A! This must really fry a lot of the competition, so to speak. Especially after all the negative press the company has received in recent years over their pro family attitude. Plus the fact they even close their restaurants on Sundays! How dare they!?

The chicken champ remains a family owned business. At last count, Chick-Fil-A had operations in 43 states and Washington, DC. Revenues exceeded $6 billion annually.

According to the results shared by CT, the most positive view of the Atlanta-based company came from evangelicals and fellow Christians. This likely comes as no surprise to many within the fold. I WAS surprised, however, to read of the chain’s popularity among millennials!

Despite the rejection by colleges to even allow Chick-Fil-A to exist on their campuses, students see past it. “More than half of adults ages 18-34 and 35-44 rated Chick-Fil-A as having a positive impact.” Oddly, the older age brackets seem less enthusiastic.

More good news. When stacked up against their similar competitors, Chick-Fil-A customers believe the stores offer higher-quality food, better customer service, and happier employees. This has been their winning formula.

There is a seeming contradiction of values with evangelical preferences, however. As the CT story points out, a majority of evangelicals have Target almost matching Chick-Fil-A for positive impact. Target scored 60 percent favorable rating; Chick-Fil-A, 62 percent. This seems odd in light of the ongoing boycott of Target by some groups.

Truett Cathy, who founded Chick-Fil-A, had a clear set of core values. His mission statement, dating back to 1967, reads “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-Fil-A.”

Such a mission statement certainly does not guarantee financial success in business. It does, however, reflect a bold commitment. Ask a workplace leader to use that same standard for their company. Many will simply…chicken out.

That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.

Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand can be heard weekdays from 4-6 PM Central. To listen outside the Chicago area, tune to for live streaming or podcasts, or download the AM1160 app.

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