Top 5 Restaurant Chains With The Most Loyal Customers
Customer satisfaction and loyalty can either make or break a restaurant in the service industry. When a restaurant creates solid relationships with consumers or a happy fanbase, business tends to improve and/or bring in consistent revenue to a brand. Nation's Restaurant News used data insights from market research firm, Datassential, to determine where customer loyalty lies when it comes to fast food chains in America.
The survey reached 16,000 consumers through an online data platform (Brand Fingerprints) and was published alongside the NRN Consumer Picks report, balancing the overall findings with the total general population. The True Loyalty figures—ranks whether customers are really loyal to a brand or visit for its convenience—were found to be much lower even though 80% of consumers said they ordered more or the same amount of delivery as in years past.
While younger generations responded positively to online/delivery apps, older generations still prefer in-person or over-the-phone ordering. However, 84% of consumers said they ordered more or the same amount through drive-thrus as in the previous year and that was heavily due to younger consumers using mobile app ordering. To help foster happy customers overall, many restaurant chains have either perfected their most attractive products or treated customers with such outstanding service, they can't wait to return for more.
That being said, all of the eager and committed fans have spoken, and these are the top 5 chains that have earned strong customer loyalty status.
The creators of animal-style fries and burgers, In-N-Out, also happens to have quite the fanbase. Coming out strong with 58% customer loyalty to the brand, the Cali-based burger joint has narrowed down how to accommodate diners quickly, efficiently, and never without a smile.
After 75 years in the making, there are over 380 In-N-Out Burger locations across the country to reach their beloved customers. Some even claim the brand has somewhat of a "cult following" because of how consistent and fresh the products are at almost every single restaurant.
In the end, Culver's came out on top of In-N-Out Burger, but the chain's fans will gladly come to its defense if need be. The regional burger pit-stop is mostly raved about for having the best hometown hospitality and mouthwatering menu items that sell out instantly.
With over $2 million in sales going into 2022 and ranking at #30 for Restaurant Business's Top 500 Fast Food Chains, it's simply undeniable that customers stick by the side of Culver's and will continue doing so moving forward.
When a company has big plans to expand nationwide, it's usually a good sign that they're doing something right. Jet's Pizza was set to open 30 new locations in the U.S. this year, including five new states the chain had never been to before. For many customers, loyalty sprouted as a result of the unique Detroit-style pizza that Jet's Pizza is most known for, The Takeout reports.
Jet's Pizza scored a 59% from supportive customers, which could just be because the chain is "Delicious and quick – Jet's Pizza never disappoints."
"We are big fans of their square pizza and boneless chicken wings," one customer gushes on Tripadvisor, adding that "Jet's Pizza is in my contact list. So helpful for quick last-minute dinner needs AND you can buy their pizza dough if you feel like making your own pizza at home."
Chick-Fil-A came in second for having loyal customers, with little to no surprise as it's America's sweetheart of fast food. "My pleasure" from every employee and out every drive-thru window across the country may have actually played a big part in the whopping 60% customer loyalty status.
The company has been praised for committing to high quality and food safety standards, using fresh ingredients, and top-tier chicken sandwiches to go along with their impeccable customer service. Fans continuously make trips to the restaurant six days a week because of their deep love for Chick-Fil-A as a whole.
"I've been going there since 1998 and they've got great consistent food quality and good service every time," one Redditor explains.
Papa Murphy's Pizza
Finally, Papa Murphy's Pizza is ranked #1 by loyal customers with 61%, outperforming the most well-known brands—Domino's, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, and Papa John's. The establishment gained an enormous following in the last few years, and even in the midst of the pandemic, profits soared by almost 11%.
The "Take N Bake Pizza" concept—where the restaurant makes your custom pizza, but you cook it when you get home—sets Papa Murphy's Pizza apart from most all other pizza chains on the market. Customers love and stay loyal to the restaurant brand because they trust the customer service, quality, and affordability of products on the entire menu.
As one reviewer put it, "Papa Murphy's, is in my opinion the best pick up/ pizza in town. The ingredients are fresh, the quantities are reasonable and the value is the best."