Chick-fil-A is Gen Z’s most favorite restaurant chain

A recent survey conducted by investment bank and institutional securities firm Piper Sandler ranked Chick-fil-A as Gen Z’s most favorite restaurant chain in America.

Conducted between August 12th and September 23rd, The Piper Sandler Taking Stock with Teens Survey gathered input from 14,500 teens with an average age of 15.8 years, across 47 states. And 15% of them listed Chick-fil-A as their top restaurant.

The chain’s 15% score put it in the lead among all restaurant chains in the country. Next to Chick-fil-A is Starbucks with a 12% mark, followed by Chipotle with 7%, McDonald’s with 6%, and Olive Garden with 3% of votes.

Chick-fil-A’s other recent recognitions

Prior to being hailed as Gen Z’s top favorite restaurant chain, Chick-fil-A also ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction in QSR’s Drive-Thru Study released earlier this month. According to CNBC, respondents of the study reported an overall 95% customer satisfaction with Chick-fil-A, a metric that looks into the friendliness of the staff as well as customer expectations about how fast they expect to receive their order.

Chick-fil-A staff taking orders from customers
Chick-fil-A staff taking orders from customers

As reported by CNN, the Drive-Thru Study also found that the chain had improved its “check-point system,” which now keeps customers engaged through different interactions with employees, starting from placing their order to receiving “my pleasure” from staff after thanking them.

While the company beat out fast-food giants McDonald’s (85%) and Wendy’s (82%) in the customer satisfaction category, the same study found that Chick-fil-A had the slowest line among 10 restaurants, with an average wait time of about 107 seconds. That, however, was primarily because it’s so popular among consumers that it has a lot of cars lined up outside its locations.

As a privately owned firm, Chick-fil-A doesn’t publicize its sales and other data. But according to food industry research and consulting firm Technomic, the fast-food chain hit nearly $16 billion in sales in 2021.

Despite all these recognitions, Chick-fil-A hasn’t won everybody over. There have been calls for boycotts ever since the chain revealed its opposition to same-sex marriage and started supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations.

Aside from Chick-fil-A becoming Gen Z’s top restaurant, the recent Piper Sandler Taking Stock with Teens Survey also found that Amazon (52% share) is Gen Z’s most preferred e-commerce site. Results of the study also showed that Nike remains the No. 1 brand for all teens in both apparel (31% share) and footwear (60% share).

Moreover, e.l.f. (16% share) maintains its position as the No. 1 cosmetics brand among female teens. Bath & Body Works (38% share) comes in as the No. 1 fragrance brand among female teens and Ulta (42% share) defends its spot as the No. 1 preferred beauty destination among Gen Z.

Sources: Piper Sandler, QSR, CNBC, CNN

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