Nando’s knocked off top spot in poll to find the UK’s favourite chain

Washington, UNITED STATES: TO GO WITH AFP STORY-US-FOOD-RETAIL-COMPANY: Five Guys revive American love affair with the hamburger-BY JUSTIN COLE

Burgers are assembled,at the Chantilly, Virginia  Five Guys restaurant 25 June 2007. Five Guys restaurant sells about 1500-to-2000 of the all fresh, completely handmade burgers made anyway your want each day. America's hundred-billion-dollar fast-food market is already crowded and battling to retain health-conscious customers, but one company has people lining up to feast on its hamburgers and fries.  AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The likes of McDonald’s and Nando’s have been nudged off top spot in a poll to find Britain’s favourite fast food restaurant.

According to business analysis firm, Market Force Information, the UK’s favourite place to grab a bite to eat is Five Guys Burgers and Fries, which takes over the crown from last year’s winner Nando’s.

Five Guys, which only launched in the UK in 2013, roared into the number one position for its food quality and friendliness, although Nando’s rated highest for speed and value.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) took third place, followed by KFC.

Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer at Market Force, said: “The quick service restaurant category is evolving all the time, with new chains launching and arriving from overseas. Our research shows the quick traction of newcomer Five Guys – guests really appreciate the tasty burgers and think the brand offers great value.”

Meanwhile, Pret A Manger retained its position as the nation’s favourite café and coffee shop for a second year running, while Caffè Nero overtook Greggs to claim second place. Third-placed Greggs is closely followed by Costa Coffee and Starbucks.

Consumers also rated restaurants out of five on various attributes relating to satisfaction. Pret A Manger very nearly swept the board by being rated as top in all but one category with Greggs taking top spot in the crucial value for money category.

Greggs also scored well on food quality, speed and availability of healthy options, while Caffè Nero was recognised for staff friendliness and atmosphere.

Flink said: “The popularity of speciality coffee in the UK has exploded and shows no signs of slowing. Our research shows that this sector is intensely competitive. Although Pret A Manger scores best, the other brands have very similar guest ratings and will need to focus on product quality and the service from staff to differentiate. ”

In addition to burgers and coffee, the research looked at four other categories: pizza, Sandwich, pub/bar and Italian.

PizzaExpress emerged as the UK’s favourite pizza restaurant, with Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s just behind. The availability of healthy food options is a key area for pizza chains to differentiate.

JD Wetherspoon overtook Toby Carvery as the UK’s favourite Pub / Bar eatery, although the latter is only marginally behind. In this category, food quality and availability of healthy options are the main opportunities to differentiate.

As with cafés, Pret A Manger topped the sandwich category, followed by Subway and Greggs.

PizzaExpress and Prezzo shared the honours in the Italian category with Bella Italia in third and Frankie & Benny’s in fourth.

More than 4,565 UK consumers were asked to rate how satisfied their last experience at a given restaurant was and how likely they would be to recommend it to others.

This data was averaged to rate each brand on a Composite Loyalty Index which benchmarks overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

The Market Force study also looked at the specific attributes that drive satisfaction, analysing factors such as speed of service, food quality and value for money.

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