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McDonald's Ranks as America's Least Favorite Fast Food Chain

The company dropped 3 percent in customer satisfaction compared to last year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Newly anointed McDonald's CEO Donald Thompson gets some perks with his fries.

    Apparently not everyone is lovin’ McDonald’s.

    The Illinois-based chain ranks the lowest of all big-name fast-food chains in terms of customer satisfaction in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, released Tuesday.

    McDonald's dropped 3 percent compared to last year, giving the chain an ACSI rating of 71 out a possible 100. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Barely inching out McDonald’s was Taco Bell, which also dropped 3 percent for a rating of 72.

    KFC, which had an all-time high of 81 last year, dipped 9 percent to 74, the biggest decline among all restaurants — fast food or full service.

    Subway, which held the top spot in the fast-food category for several years, and Starbucks also saw major declines, with the coffee giant dropping 5 percent to 76 and the sandwich hub dipping 6 percent to 78.

    Papa John’s and Pizza Hut were the only fast food chains that didn’t see a decline. Papa John’s remained steady and Pizza Hut increased by 3 percent, with both coming in at 82.

    Americans ate out an average of four meals per week in 2013, according to data from the ACSI, marking a 60 percent increase since the end of the Great Recession.

    “In a weaker economy, price plays a more important role in determining dining preferences and smaller restaurants that compete on quality rather than price may be more challenged to thrive,” the report states. “But in a strong or improving economy — as is the case now — the opposite is true.”

    Full service restaurants are reportedly keeping customers happier, with a rating of 82, an increase of more than 1 percent. Fast food followed with an ACSI score of 80 and large.

    But perhaps the biggest contenders in keeping customers pleased are smaller chain restaurants like Panera and Chipotle, which were up 2 percent for an overall score of 83.

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