The ACSI uses a 100-point scale to measure customer expectations, perceived quality, value, complaints, and loyalty and Papa John's posted the top score of 80 points, 7% up from last year. Little Caesar and Pizza Hut tied just behind the leader at 78 points each followed by Dominoâ€™s with 77 points.
The largest mainstream fast food brands all scored below their pizza chain competitors with Wendyâ€™s being the burger-chain leader at 77 points. Burger King showed the largest improvement in score from the year prior by gaining 7.2% to score 74 points this year. Taco Bell tied the King at 74 points while McDonaldâ€™s lost 4.3% to rank at the bottom of this yearâ€™s ACSI study with just 64 points overall.
The ACSI report acknowledged that 2009 was a difficult year for restaurants of all types and fast food sales were down 2.9% overall for 2009 after falling 1.2% in 2008. The tough economy meant that consumers ate out less often and spent less when they did. The pizza and fast food segment fared better than general restaurants due to their lower menu prices, but both categories (fast food and restaurant) lost some business in 2009.
The ACSI Report is an economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services offered to consumers in the United States. The Report is updated every quarter with new data on Airline, Hotel, Fast Food, Restaurant, and Express Delivery Service businesses.