Many fast-food chains have particularly loyal bases of customers. Someone who loves Burger King may not love McDonald's, despite the two chains having similar menus. Why? One reason is taste. Many fast-food chains have specific spice blends, sauces, and recipes they and their fans claim differentiate their products from competitors.
In addition to food quality, customer service can be a major factor in determining consumer opinion of a fast-food chain. Chains that prioritize friendly and efficient service, such as Chick-fil-A and Starbucks, have built a loyal customer base who appreciate the experience they provide, and they come back again and again.
Adam Chandler, author of "Drive-Thru Dreams: A Journey Through the Heart of America's Fast-Food Kingdom," argues that people see fast-food restaurants as a reflection of American ideology: open for everyone. Chandler also notes that fast-food chains are frequently demonized and have become proxy battlegrounds for many political issues, such as health and fair labor practices.
No matter how Americans feel about fast food, the industry generates a lot of cash. Per a Stacker analysis of QSR data, seven of the 23 chains on this list surpassed $10 billion in sales in the United States for 2021. The 23 chains combined for $213.07 billion in sales during 2021, an average of $9.26 billion per chain. Only one fast-food chain improved its customer satisfaction score from 2021 to 2022. All the other 22 chains on this list either stayed the same or decreased. Stacker ranked 23 major fast-food brands based on their 2022 customer satisfaction score, as calculated by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Click through for a look at how these 23 brands fared and what makes each unique.
You may also like: Food fads and their origin stories