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Among the survey category findings in the 2014 Market Force survey:

Pizza



Vancouver, Wash.-based Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza remained as the top favorite pizza chain, standing out for food and service. Orange City, Iowa-based Pizza Ranch ranked second, “doing incredibly well this year,” Eden-Harris said. Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s Pizza was third.

Coppell, Texas-based CiCi’s Pizza dropped out of the Top Three grouping from last year, she said. CiCi’s Pizza, Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut also rated high in satisfaction, but consumers were less likely to recommend them to friends and family.

Mexican



Wheatridge, Colo.-based Qdoba Mexican Grill ranked No. 1 in the Mexican category, edging out Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill and Atlanta-based Moe’s Southwest Grill.

“Last year, those were the top three, but Chipotle led,” Eden-Harris said, followed by Qdoba and Moe’s. Del Taco, Taco John’s and Taco Bell also made it into the top six.

Sandwich

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Firehouse Subs led the sandwich category, followed by St. Louis-based Panera Bread and Champaign, Ill.-based Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. Eden-Harris said Firehouse Subs moved up considerably, replacing Beaumont, Texas-based Jason’s Deli, which led the sandwich pack last year but did not meet the hurdle for number of votes to meet the statistical threshold for the survey.

Subway, Arby’s and Tim Hortons were in the next tier.

Chicken



Plano,Texas-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers led the chicken category, with Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A a close second.

“The same leaders are at the top quadrant,” Eden-Harris said. “Raising Cane’s this year did exceptionally well, though they are neck-and-neck with Chick-fil-A.”

Athens, Ga.-based Zaxby’s dropped down slightly, she said, but remained at No. 3. The next tier included Wingstop, El Pollo Loco and Boston Market.

The Market Force study found most respondents visited a QSR for lunch or dinner at least two to three times in the previous month, with slightly more dining out for lunch.

Market Force said the survey respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with nearly 60 percent reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to older than 65. About 75 percent were women and 25 percent were men, and 41 percent of respondents had children at home.
 
Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
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