The Best and Worst Fast-Food Chains, According to a Major Customer Survey

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I Can't Get No Satisfaction

Opening a fast-food bag after you pull away from the drive-thru is often an unsatisfying experience. Did they forget an item? Give you someone else's order completely? Are the fries ice cold? All those metrics and more, including food quality, order accuracy, staff helpfulness, and reliability of the restaurant's mobile app, were included in a survey of over 20,000 respondents about their satisfaction levels with fast-food chains conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index over the last year. 

Here are the five chains that respondents were most satisfied with — the winner has taken the top spot eight years running — plus the five that got the lowest scores. You can bet you've complained about the one that ranks the worst.

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Chipotle Satisfaction Rating
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5th Best (Tie): Chipotle, Panera, Pizza Hut, Starbucks

Customer satisfaction score: 77 out of 100

Chipotle, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks have very different offerings but the same score in the ASCI survey, with above-average customer satisfaction.

Related: The Biggest Fast-Food Flops of All Time

KFC Satisfaction Rating
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3rd Best (Tie): KFC

Customer satisfaction score: 78 out of 100

Are those 11 secret herbs and spices the key to KFC's high ranking in the ACSI survey? They can't hurt.

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Domino's Satisfaction Rating
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Jimmy John's Satisfaction Rating
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2nd Best: Jimmy John's

Customer satisfaction score: 79 out of 100

Being "freaky fast" no doubt helped score Jimmy John's some points in the speed category, landing it the second spot on the list of chains with the most satisfied customers. Also scoring 79 out of 100 in the survey is the catch-all category of "all others," which includes smaller chains.

Chick-Fil-A Satisfaction Rating
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Best: Chick-fil-A

Customer satisfaction score: 83 out of 100

For the eighth year in a row, Chick-fil-A has taken the top spot in the customer satisfaction index. While it's a divisive chain due to its owners' social and religious views, it's also well known for fantastic chicken sandwiches and excellent customer service — just not on Sundays.

Wendy's Satisfaction Rating
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5th Worst: Wendy's

Customer satisfaction score: 73 out of 100

Wendy's is rated the fifth worst fast-food chain for customer satisfaction, despite launching new french fries and breakfast over the last couple of years.

Jack in the Box Satisfaction Rating
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3rd Worst (Tie): Jack in the Box

Customer satisfaction score: 72 out of 100

While Jack in the Box likely had a high score for food variety, thanks to its diverse menu, that wasn't enough to save it from a below-average score in overall satisfaction. 

Taco Bell Satisfaction Rating
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3rd Worst (Tie): Taco Bell

Customer satisfaction score: 72 out of 100

Despite the survey starting right after Taco Bell brought back the popular spicy potato soft taco, it's still ranked the third least satisfactory fast-food chain in the country. 

Popeye's Satisfaction Rating
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2nd Worst: Popeyes

Customer satisfaction score: 71 out of 100

Popeyes' infamous chicken sandwich must not be enough to make up for the rest of the chain's faults, since it got a satisfaction rating of only 71 out of 100.

McDonald's Satisfaction Rating
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Worst: McDonald's

Customer satisfaction score: 68 out of 100

McDonald's has the most unsatisfied customers, according to the survey. It's the only chain that scored below 70 out of 100, which is even 2 points lower than the chain scored on the same survey last year. It would appear that Golden Arches customers are not, in fact, loving it.

Related: Surprising Things You Didn't Know About McDonald's