Chick-fil-A takes bite out of In-N-Out, named America’s favorite fast food restaurant

Chick-fil-A is officially America's favorite fast food restaurant.

The fast-food chain beat out reigning champion In-N-Out, and took home the top spot on Market Force's Fast Food Market Research Report. Market Force evaluates input from 7,600 consumers to assess the winner.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) also named Chick-fil-A as America’s favorite restaurant for the fourth year in a row.

The chain, identified by its red chicken logo and cow mascot, scored well above other chains in its customer service, curb appeal and speed of service.

In-N-Out still held the top spot in the burger loyalty category, with a 73 percent for staff friendliness, but was challenged by competitor Five Guys in the Food Quality and Speed of Service category.

Chick-fil-A is on track to generate more than $10.4 billion in sales, easily surpassing Taco Bell and Subway for the No. 3 spot in the industry.

Considering the chain is not open on Sundays, this is quite a feat. Founder S. Truett Cathy, a devout Baptist, opened the first Chick-fil-A in Atlanta in 1967, and the chain has since stayed in the family’s ownership. Today, there are more than 2,300 locations across the country, which all follow the original model.

However, the chain hasn't enjoyed success without controversy. The founder's son, Dan Cathy, told the Baptist Press in a 2012 interview that he did not support same-sex marriage, saying he believes in the “biblical definition of the family unit.”

The controversy escalated when it was revealed that the Cathys regularly donate to charities that discriminate against LGBTQ people, including one that supports conversion therapy.


Meanwhile, in the Mexican fast-food category, Chiptole narrowly beat out Moe’s Southwest Grill with 61 percent of the vote to Moe’s 60 percent.

The biggest movement came in the sandwich and pizza departments. Papa John's held on to 47 percent of consumer loyalty, beating even Pizza Hut. Despite rocky sales for Papa John’s this year, a recent partnership with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has allowed the chain to stabilize.

Krispy Kreme remained the country's favorite coffee and bakery spot with 64 percent of consumer loyalty, leaving Dunkin' in last place.