This Fast-Food Chain Is America’s Favorite Restaurant—For the 5th Year in a Row

Hint: They have an amazing chicken sandwich.

Ft This Fast Food Chain Is America’s Favorite Restaurant For The 5th Year In A Row GettyimagesRD.COM, Getty Images

Ask anyone on the street what their favorite fast-food restaurant is and you’ll get a slew of answers. Some people rave about a brand’s burgers, whereas others swear a restaurant’s fries are the most iconic fast-food menu item out there. One fast-food chain takes the cake in America though, according to a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The ACSI scored 22 of the most popular fast-food chains in the United States, as well as 14 full-service restaurants, on a 100-point scale. More than 19,000 people participated in this study, and they spoke loud and clear: Chick-fil-A takes the top spot for the fifth year in a row, scoring an 83. Other restaurants in the survey included favorites like Starbucks, Dunkin’, Taco Bell, and McDonald’s. Behind Chick-fil-A in the limited-service category is Domino’s with a score of 80. Although Chick-fil-A topped the list this year, it did fall one point compared to 2020. Full-service restaurants had a higher combined score than fast-food restaurants, but Chick-fil-A had the highest score among all establishments. The establishment behind the chain famous for its mouth-watering chicken sandwiches is LongHorn Steakhouse with a score of 81.

Drive through customers wait in line at a Chick-fil-A restaurant on August 1, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Chick-fil-A’s score is well past the overall limited-service restaurant benchmark of 78. So, what is it about Chick-fil-A that people love? It could be a number of things, including its dedication to food safety and quality. The brand says it has fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to its restaurants up to six days per week and has rigorous standards for its famous chicken. The beloved chain is also known to have top-notch customer service.

Don’t worry—we didn’t forget about your other favorite restaurants. Here are some notable changes from this year’s survey compared to 2020’s:

  • Red Robin: 78, up two points from last year
  • Chili’s: 77, up two points from last year
  • Starbucks: 79, up one point from last year
  • Pizza Hut: 78, up one point from last year
  • Panera Bread: 78, down one point from last year
  • Red Lobster: 77, down two points from last year
  • Chipotle: 77, down three points from last year
  • Subway: 75, down four points from last year

Next, find out which grocery store has the best reputation—have you shopped there before?


Kelly Kuehn
Kelly Kuehn is a former editor for Reader’s Digest who covered entertainment, trivia and history. When she’s not working you can find her watching the latest and greatest movies, listening to a true-crime podcast (or two), blasting ‘90s music and hiking with her dog, Ryker, throughout the Finger Lakes.