Each year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index ranks customers’ satisfaction with full-service and limited-service restaurants, including Louisville-based chains.
The ACSI surveyed 5,023 people during the first quarter of 2015 and asked them questions tied to the quality and variety of food and beverages, restaurant layout, cleanliness, service and speed of service.
Papa John’s International Inc., Texas Roadhouse Inc., KFC Corp., Taco Bell Corp. and Pizza Hut Inc. — the latter three being subsidiaries of Louisville-based Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) — all received ratings of 72 or higher on a 100-point scale, according to ACSI’s 2015 report released today.
Full-service restaurant Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ: TXRH) garnered the highest rating, 83, out of not just the Louisville companies but also out of the the 11 other full-service chains that participated in this year’s report.
“Despite rising beef prices, the Southern-style steakhouse has not increased prices much, opting not to pass on this cost to customers in an effort to retain them — an approach that seems to be appreciated by diners,” the report states.
This was the steakhouse chain’s first year to be included in the ACSI report. The organization typically rates the largest companies in a given industry but also includes companies that receive a large number of consumer responses.
Texas Roadhouse also was the leader for website satisfaction. Texas Roadhouse and competitor Longhorn Steakhouse were named leaders of the full-service chains in the survey for quality of drinks, and both, along with Cracker Barrel, were lauded by customers for speed of service.
Overall, consumers ranked full-service and fast-casual restaurants higher than fast-food restaurants, according to ACSI. The reason, it said, is the improved economy.
“On the demand side, consumers with greater discretionary income seem to put quality ahead of price in their decision-making,” Claes Fornell, ACSI chairman and founder, said in a news release. “On the supply side, restaurants are finding it harder to hire and retain qualified and motivated workers, which can have an adverse impact on service quality.”
Limited-service restaurants Papa John’s (NASDAQ: PZZA) and Pizza Hut tied for second among the Louisville-based restaurant companies and fifth among limited-service restaurants. Both rated 78, a 4.9 percent drop from the previous year.
“Over the past several years, pizza chains have increasingly competed on price, sometimes at the expense of quality ingredients, and that is now beginning to have a negative effect on customer satisfaction,” the report reads.
Papa John’s also was listed along with Chick-fil-A as a leader in website satisfaction for limited-service restaurants.
KFC Corp. and Taco Bell Corp. rated 73 and 72, respectively, with Taco Bell’s rating remaining steady and KFC’s declining 1.4 percent. The report generally stated that competition in the fast-food realm is increasing, and fast-food restaurants aren’t seen as paragons of quality food.
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