Five Guys Burgers and Fries, In-N-Out Burger, Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread topped the 2011 rankings of favorite quick-service chains in a poll conducted by Market Force Information.
Market Force, a consumer trends research firm based in Boulder, Colorado, surveyed 4,500 consumers nationwide in August, asking which quick-service restaurants were their favorites and why.
According to Market Force methodology, consumers were shown a list of 55 top quick-service franchised restaurants and asked to select their single favorite. Chick-fil-A received the highest number of votes, with 10.4 percent of the total. Panera Bread came in second with 9.9 percent and Five Guys ranked third with 9.1 percent.
However, “[S]ince consumers are only likely to vote for restaurants they visit, Market Force indexed the results to account for the number of restaurant locations per chain to see which would dominate,” the firm said.
As a result, when Market Force indexed the results by dividing the number of an individual chain’s units into its total number of votes, Five Guys finished first, with 7.2 percent of the total.
According to Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 100 Census of chains and companies in the foodservice industry, Five Guys grew its system to 736 locations in 2010.
In-N-Out Burger, the 250-unit West Coast chain, came in second with 5.9 percent of the indexed votes. Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread, with slightly more than 1,500 and 1,300 locations, respectively, tied for third place with 4.1 percent.
Source: Nation’s Restaurant News