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BOULDER, Colo. -- Five Guys Burgers and Fries emerged as the favorite burger chain in a new quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry survey of more than 7,600 U.S. consumers. The research from Market Force Information, a worldwide provider of customer intelligence solutions, was conducted last month among respondents aged 19 to 65-plus.
Five Guys' top position is consistent with the brand's rapid growth, as well as the popularity of its food and atmosphere. West Coast burger chain In-N-Out Burger, which is known for having passionate patrons and strong word-of-mouth buzz, ranked second in the survey. Rounding out the top five were Fuddruckers, A&W and relative newcomer Smashburger.
Market Force first calculated the favorites based on number of votes and then factored in the number of locations for each chain for a more accurate view of the results. The results were also analyzed geographically to see which chains are most popular in the various regions of the country, including Northeast, Midwest, South and West.
When Market Force looked at the results to determine how the burger brands compared in the four different regions of the country, Five Guys still dominated, ranking No. 1 across all of the regions.
The survey also revealed that many seem to vote with their palates rather than their wallets. The three top-ranking burger chains -- Five Guys, Smashburger and In-N-Out – all rated high in key categories such as food quality/taste, friendly service and cleanliness. Five Guys received the highest marks across all of the major attributes except value, a category that was captured by In-N-Out and Whataburger.
"Five Guys has created a cult-like brand following by excelling in the areas that matter most to its diners -- high-quality food, customer service and cleanliness," said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. "Five Guys does zero advertising, but by delivering consistently great customer experience, they're able to build a word-of-mouth buzz that continues to bring new customers through the door."