America's Favorite Fast Food Restaurant Revealed, and It Isn't McDonald's

For the fourth year in a row, Chick-fil-A has been crowned America’s favorite fast food chain, beating out the likes of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The index is based on input from nearly 23,000 consumers and uses a 100-point scale.

The Georgia-based chicken chain, which asks people to “Eat Mor Chikin,” scored an 86, something that Forrest Morgeson, director of research at ACSI, attributes to the chain’s “laser focus” on a single product.

“It is laser focused on a particular product," he told CNN Money. “It focuses on one thing and does it exceptionally well...and that is chicken sandwiches."

It’s 86-point ranking beat out the runner up by a full five points, with Panera Bread coming in second with a score of 81. Meanwhile, Papa John's, Arby's, Chipotle, and Pizza Hut, all tied for fourth with an 80.

Wendy’s ticked in with 77, with Burger King trailing just behind a point with a 76. Fellow big-name fast food chain Taco Bell scored a 75.

And while McDonald’s may be home to the Big Mac and other beloved items, it appears that their often broken ice cream machines are having a major impact. The Golden Arches ranked at the very bottom of the list, scoring just a 69.

“All those companies down at bottom [of the list] have been around for a very long time, they just aren't as fresh any more in the mind of the consumer, just not exciting," Morgeson said.

However, despite Chick-fil-A’s high ranking, it is notably not universally loved thanks to its certain political stances. The Christian-run chain, known for being closed on Sundays, recently found itself in hot water after 2017 tax records showed that they donated millions of dollars to charities known for having a long history of LGBTQ discrimination.

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Although the donations led to plenty of controversy, including Chick-fil-A being banned from a number of airports, the chain stated their stance on the matter, claiming that they “embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The chain also assured its customers that following its 2017 donation to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which reportedly teaches boys that same-sex marriage is a “rage against Jesus Christ and His values,” it had decided to no longer donate to the group. Its decision came “after a blog post surfaced that does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all.”

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