Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is Papa John's tops in satisfaction? A leading survey says yes

When it comes to fast food customer service, Papa's at the top - Papa John's, that is, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The Louisville, Ky.-based pizza purveyor topped the annual rankings, founded at the University of Michigan, based on customer evaluations of quality of products and services.

Most large fast-food chains saw their scores improve, buoyed by frequent price promotions and new menu items, the ACSI said. Pizza places have been perhaps the most visible on that front, offering pizzas for $10 and less and in other combination deals. That paid off in the rankings: Papa John's led the limited-service restaurant category with a score of 80 out of 100, up from 75 last year, while Pizza Hut and Little Caesars were close behind at 78. Domino's held steady at 77, despite the highly publicized rollout of their new pizza recipe. KFC and Burger King also saw their scores rise. In fact, McDonald's was the only restaurant in the category to drop, to a score of 67, compared to 70 last year. That put it last in the category.

I was initially all set to jump to McDonald's defense, because I think they're good at what they do - offering consistent and by no means terrible food at an inexpensive price. And they've recently introduced more products to broaden their menu, with more snack items and coffee drinks. However, that's sort of the big picture - and people's views are shaped by their personal experiences with the Golden Arches (or any other retailer). For instance, I went to a local-McDonald's-that-shall-remain-nameless last night and the following occurred: It took several minutes of standing at the cash register just to be waited on or acknowledged, even though there was no one else in line and plenty of staffers walking around in full view. The worker that did end up taking my order sneezed into her arm in the middle of making it, so she had to hand it off to another employee, who accidentally dropped the order on the ground as she was about to serve it to me, and had to make a new one. They ended up being very pleasant about it, but the whole thing was positively sitcom-esque - and suggests that maybe the survey respondents are onto something. You can find the full list, with historical data, here.

On a semi-related note: With perhaps unintentional humor, the report notes that "still, airlines remain near the bottom of all industries in the (index)." And US Airways is near the bottom of that category, with a score of 62. However, I can't exactly throw stones. Only newspapers and subscription TV have equal or lower scores, as a category. (Insert gallows-humor newspaper-industry-woes joke here.)


John said...

I have to go with Papa John's... I've tried the new Dominos and yeah, it tastes better than it used to, but don't forget that there was a reason they had to fix it to begin with! Add to that, they seem to take a lot longer to deliver and frequently have trouble finding my house (GPS Please guys), and I prefer to just stick with the Papa. Another factor is that have you ever noticed how little grease you see on a Papa John's pizza box? Certainly LOOKS healthier.

One thing I DO look to Dominos for, is their new hot sandwiches. They make a nice change of pace and taste wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised that McDonald's ratings dropped, based on my experience at the McDonald's inside the Wal-Mart in the Galleria Center at CrownPoint.
I waited in line to order and pay for a mocha around 1 p.m. recently. The cashier continued to take and fill food orders for another 10 minutes, refusing to make eye contact with me. She was the only person working the register while several others milled around in the back.
Finally, she served me, without so much as a thank you.
I figured they were just having a bad day, so a few days later I tried at about the same time. Exactly the same experience.
Sorry McDonald's, two strikes and you are out with this ex-customer.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I have to differ on the opinions. I do not like Papa John's and never have. Every time we order a pizza, the dough in the center is raw. GROSS!

If you want a good pizza, try Jets (on Montfort) or Hawthorne's. I would take either over any other pizza in the Charlotte area.

Papa John's could go out of business and we wouldn't miss it!

Anonymous said...

Papa John's add loads of sugar to their pizza sauce - it is probably 25% or more pure white sugar. Thus eating their pizza is like eating candy. ENJOY!

Anonymous said...

Papa Johns is by far the best tasting pizza franchise. I'm frankly not sure what people see in Donatos or other more established restaurants other than lower prices. Their prices are hire but they may command it due to the flavor and better tasting ingredients.