The top 5 US fast-food chains according to customers

Chick-fil-A ranked 86 out of a 100-point scale

Chick-fil-A – one of the heavy hitters in the highly publicized chicken sandwich wars – continues to win over consumers across the country.

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The Atlanta-based chicken chain has been ranked as the top fast-food chain in the country for customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

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Chick-fil-A ranked 86 out of a 100-point scale, dipping only 1 percent from last year’s results. However, the chain holds a "commanding lead" over competitors with Panera Bread ranked at 81 and four other major chains - Arby’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut - sitting tight at 80.

Chick-fil-A logo is seen on a take out bag at one of its restaurants in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

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The index bases its results on full-service and limited-service dining chains through interviews with over 23,000 customers.

Customer satisfaction is key to driving future sales, however, chains need to focus on the rapidly evolving consumer preferences to remain a key player in the sector, according to ACSI.

"Restaurants that focus on changing consumer tastes and preferences, however, could see the biggest boost in customer satisfaction," said David VanAmburg, Managing Director at the ACSI.

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Companies are upgrading their technology and their menu options as consumers vie for healthier options as well as seamless ways to order them.

To adhere to these changing preferences, the company added menu items such as the company's Kale Crunch Side salad which hit stores in January. Back in September, the company announced it reached its goal to serve no antibiotics ever (also known as “NAE”) chicken in its more than 2,400 locations across the United States.

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In October, the company began offering “Dine-in mobile ordering," a new ordering option via the Chick-fil-A App eliminating a customer's need to stand in line or place an order at the counter.

The chain's popularity surged, however, amid the viral spat with rival chicken chains competing to create the dominant chicken sandwich.

And as competitors try and dethrone Chick-fil-A, the chain continues to climb in popularity. Despite being closed on Sunday's, the chain stood at $10 billion in systemwide sales heading into 2019, QSR Magazine reported.

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Check out the top performers based on consumer preferences and their rank:

Panera Bread

Scored 81 out of 100

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PNRAn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.

Arby’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut (Yum! Brands)

Scored 80 out of 100 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CMGCHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC.1,041.56-8.15-0.78%
PZZAPAPA JOHNS INTL80.38-0.19-0.24%
YUMYUM! BRANDS94.99+0.43+0.45%

Domino's, Starbucks, Subway 

Scored 79 out of 100 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DPZDOMINOS PIZZA INC382.78-7.36-1.89%
SBUXSTARBUCKS CORPORATION78.74-0.84-1.06%

Dunkin’ and KFC (Yum! Brands) 

Scored 78 out of 100 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DNKNDUNKIN BRANDS GROUP68.44+0.43+0.63%
YUMYUM! BRANDS94.99+0.43+0.45%

Little Caesars and Wendy’s

Score 77 out of 100 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WENTHE WENDY'S COMPANY21.94-0.24-1.08%