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June 25, 2024

Press Release Restaurant and Food Delivery Study 2024

For more information contact :
Denise DiMeglio
[email protected]

LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse Taste Victory Among Restaurants, While Chick-fil-A Leads Fast Food for 10th Straight Year, ACSI Data Show

ANN ARBOR, Mich., (June 25, 2024) — Restaurants may be having their biggest year yet, but inflation is making dining decisions much more complicated.

Although customer satisfaction with fast food restaurants is up 1% to a score of 79 (out of 100) and up 4% to 84 for full-service restaurants, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) Restaurant and Food Delivery Study 2024, households earning less than $75,000 a year are reducing their restaurant visits because of rising prices.

“Both full-service and fast food restaurant customers are skewing a bit more toward higher income levels and college graduates,” says Forrest Morgeson, Associate Professor of Marketing at Michigan State University and Director of Research Emeritus at the ACSI. “Customers are being forced to make decisions between groceries and restaurants, with full-service restaurant inflation about two times that of groceries in the past year and fast food and fast casual restaurants prices up three times the rate of groceries. With customers seemingly viewing dining out a luxury, restaurants that can differentiate themselves in terms of quality and value will have a competitive advantage.”

‘Well done’ to LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse, the new restaurant champs

ACSI results again show consumer preferences for steaks as LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse both climb 4% to 85, tying for the top spot among full-service restaurants (and restaurants overall).

The former shows its commitment to customer satisfaction by running counter to the “shrinkflation” trend and providing more bang for the customer’s buck, while striving to maintain a cultured dedicated to quality. Meanwhile, despite inflation, Texas Roadhouse is keen on keeping prices low and investing heavily in staffing.

Olive Garden is next among major chains, up 4% to 83. Chili’s also improves 4% to 80. The chain benefits from a combination of high perceived value through its “3 for Me” menu and service strength through employee retention.

Last year’s category leader, Outback Steakhouse, slips 4% to 80. Outback appears to be challenged by a slowdown in spending by lower-income consumers consistent with ACSI findings regarding their customers’ price sensitivity. Meanwhile, IHOP soars 8% to 78. Customers are responding favorably to menu changes that offer more variety.

Denny’s and Red Robin share last place, slipping 1% each to 76.

Customers indicate better performance across most aspects of the full-service restaurant experience — with food order accuracy (92) and waitstaff courtesy and helpfulness (90) leading the way — appreciating restaurants’ efforts to satisfy customers despite inflation. Providing an outstanding customer experience will be even more critical for consumers feeling pressured to cut back on discretionary spending.

Chick-fil-A still rules the fast food roost

Chick-fil-A drops 2% to an ACSI score of 83 but still leads among individual fast food chains for the tenth consecutive year. This long-term success is reflected in revenue, as the chain’s non-mall locations averaged $9.4 million in revenue in 2023 (more than double that of McDonald’s while being open one day less per week).

KFC finishes second at 81 (unchanged), appearing to hold on to highly loyal customers as competitors cut into its domestic market share. There is a four-way tie for third place at 80 between ACSI newcomer Culver’s, Panera Bread (up 5%), Arby’s (up 4%), and Starbucks (up 3%). Culver’s continues to open locations at a consistent rate while also growing revenue per location.

Despite being well behind the leaders, Sonic makes the biggest leap in the industry, surging 6% to an ACSI score of 76, same as Wendy’s, up 3%.

After slumping 1% and 3%, respectively, Jack in the Box and Popeyes fall toward the bottom at 72. Meanwhile, McDonald’s remains in last place even after improving 3% to an ACSI score of 71.

Order accuracy (86), mobile quality (86), and mobile reliability (85) receive high scores as improving technology may be increasing accuracy in filling customer orders. In fact, mobile quality for fast food restaurants tops that of full-service chains. Fast food restaurants also receive high benchmarks for staff courtesy and both food and beverage quality (all 84), although sit-down chains outperform fast food on these measures.

Food delivery debuts with less than stellar results

The food delivery industry debuts in the ACSI with a score of 73 — significantly lower than both full-service restaurants and fast food restaurants.

The group of smaller food delivery services outpaces major competitors with a score of 79. Uber Eats, at 74, edges out the other reported brands, DoorDash (73) and Grubhub (71).

Customers give the highest ratings to the mobile apps (82) and websites (81) used to place orders. The cost of food delivery is a concern in terms of the fairness of food prices (69) and pre-tip taxes and service fees (69).

The ACSI Restaurant and Food Delivery Study 2024 is based on 14,604 completed surveys. Customers were chosen at random and contacted via email between April 2023 and March 2024 for the restaurant industries and between November 2023 and March 2024 for food delivery. Download the study, and follow the ACSI on LinkedIn and X at @theACSI.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the data and information in this release without the express prior written consent of ACSI LLC.

About the ACSI

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) has been a national economic indicator for over 25 years. It measures and analyzes customer satisfaction with approximately 400 companies in about 40 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies. Reported on a scale of 0 to 100, scores are based on data from interviews with roughly 200,000 customers annually. For more information, visit

ACSI and its logo are Registered Marks of American Customer Satisfaction Index LLC.

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