New top fast-food CX ratings—leaders and laggards revealed

by | Apr 24, 2018 | Public Relations

Subway and Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen deliver the best customer experience in the fast food industry, according to the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience benchmark of companies from CX research, consulting, and training firm Temkin Group.

Subway took the top spot out of the 24 fast food chains included in this year’s ratings, earning a score of 83 percent and placing second overall out of 318 companies across 20 industries. Popeye’s came in a close second with a rating of 81 percent and an overall rank of 12th. Two other fast food chains received “excellent” ratings: Panera Bread and Little Caesar’s, both of which received a score of 80 percent and placed 17th in the final rankings.

Overall, the fast food industry averaged a 76 percent rating and came in second place out of 20 industries. The average rating of the industry declined by 0.4 percentage-points between 2017 and 2018, dropping from 76.5 percent to 76.1 percent.

New top fast-food CX ratings—leaders and laggards revealed

The ratings of all fast food chains are as follows:

  • Subway: 83 percent
  • Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen: 81 percent
  • Panera Bread: 80 percent
  • Little Caesar’s: 80 percent
  • Baskin Robbins: 79 percent
  • Pizza Hut: 79 percent
  • Sonic Drive-In: 79 percent
  • Starbucks: 79 percent
  • Dairy Queen: 79 percent
  • Chick-fil-A: 78 percent
  • KFC: 78 percent
  • Taco Bell: 77 percent
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 76 percent
  • Arby’s: 75 percent
  • Jack in the Box: 75 percent
  • Wendy’s: 75 percent
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill: 75 percent
  • Hardee’s: 75 percent
  • Domino’s: 74 percent
  • Papa John’s: 74 percent
  • Panda Express: 73 percent
  • Burger King: 72 percent
  • IHOP: 72 percent
  • McDonald’s: 70 percent

“The fast food restaurant does a good job with customer experience. It’s impressive that the four top chains earned excellent scores,” said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, in a news release.

Taco Bell’s customer experience score improved the most over the previous year, gaining seven percentage-points. Hardee’s score, on the other hand, declined the most, dropping by eight points.

New top fast-food CX ratings—leaders and laggards revealed

Now in its eighth year of publication, the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings is the most comprehensive benchmark of customer experience in the industry, evaluating 318 companies across 20 industries: airlines, auto dealers, banks, computer & tablet makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, health plans, hotels & rooms, insurance carriers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, rental cars & transport, retailers, software firms, streaming media, supermarket chains, TV & appliance makers, TV/Internet service providers, utilities, and wireless carriers.

Download the full report here.

To generate these ratings, Temkin Group asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to evaluate their recent experiences with a company across three dimensions: 

  • Success (can you do what you want to do?)
  • Effort (how easy is it to work with the company?), and 
  • Emotion (how do you feel about the interactions?)

Temkin Group then averaged these three scores to produce each company’s Temkin Experience Rating.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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