Taco Bell, KFC laggards in U.S. fast-food survey
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[July 02, 2014]
(Reuters) - Fast-food
titans McDonald's, Taco Bell and KFC are conquering the
globe, but they are losing to the likes of In-N-Out
Burger, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Chick-fil-A in the
United States, according to Consumer Reports' latest
The survey, released on Wednesday, ranked regional chain
In-N-Out-Burger the industry's best hamburger chain, based on food
quality, value and service. Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill was the No.
1 Mexican chain, followed by Chipotle, while Chick-fil-A ranked
highest among chicken chains.
The results track with sales results at many of the major fast-food
chains, which are struggling to find the right recipe to woo younger
U.S. diners who increasingly are seeking fresher, healthier food.
"More and more, food quality - not just low price - is emerging as a
deciding-factor for many Americans," said Tod Marks, senior projects
editor for Consumer Reports.
Marks called results Consumer Reports' poll of 32,405 subscribers, a
"wake-up call" for the industry: "Our survey clearly shows the big
guys need to respond."
The top-rated hamburger restaurants were
In-N-Out Burger, The Habit Burger Grill and Culver's. McDonald's
Corp <MCD.N>, the world's largest chain but a laggard when it comes
to taste, finished behind 20 others, including Jack in the Box Inc <JACK.O>,
Wendy's Co <WEN.O> and Burger King Worldwide Inc <BKW.N>.
Yum Brands Inc's <YUM.N> Taco Bell, which spiced up U.S. sales with
Doritos Locos Tacos and breakfast, finished at No. 8 among Mexican
chains behind Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, Chipotle Mexican Grill <CMG.N>
and Qdoba Mexican Grill.
Yum's KFC also landed the eighth position in the chicken restaurant
category behind Chick-fil-A, Boston Market and El Pollo Loco.
The nation's top pizza chain was Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza,
ahead of bigger rivals Papa John's International Inc and Domino's
Portillo's Hot Dogs, Jason's Deli and Firehouse Subs were leaders in
the fragmented sandwich category. Pei Wei Asian Diner was No. 1 in
the emerging Asian segment.
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Chick-fil-A, which has stirred fiery debate with its anti-gay
marriage stance, also led in service and clean surroundings.
Del Taco got first place for "more for your money".
Privately held Subway, whose pitch man Jared Fogle lost more than
200 lbs on a diet of the privately held sandwich seller's food, was
No. 1 for healthful choices, followed by Jason's Deli and Panera
When it comes to unhealthy "foods to fear," Consumer Reports called
out Firehouse Subs' large Sweet Thai Chili Pork Sub that clocked in
at 1,541 calories, 95 grams of fat and 3,458 milligrams of sodium.
U.S. dietary guidelines recommend individuals consume no more than
2,000 calories, 65 grams of fat and 2,300 milligrams of sodium
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; editing by Andrew Hay)
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