Best and worst fast food restaurants in South Africa

Data from the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for fast food shows that South Africans are satisfied when it comes to the value and service they receive from their favourite restaurants.

The SAcsi reveals that Debonairs Pizza customers are the most satisfied with regards to expectations of value and service they received, followed by Nando’s, McDonalds, KFC, Chicken Licken and Steers customers respectively.

The 2016 SAcsi for Fast Food Restaurants benchmarks customer satisfaction through an internationally recognised model to achieve an overall result out of 100.

The Index provides a weighted average of the various aspects of a customer’s experience with fast food restaurants, and the degree to which their product and service has met, fallen short of, or exceeded expectations.

Consulta, the independent research company exclusively licensed to conduct the index in South Africa, surveyed nearly 2,400 fast food restaurant customers.

“Cash-strapped South Africans will choose a fast food brand that offers excellent value for money without sacrificing quality. They will not dig deeper into their pockets unless they believe that the quality justifies the price,” said Prof Adré Schreuder, CEO of Consulta.

“Fast food restaurants that deliver value without sacrificing quality scored well, even in this challenging economic climate.”

# Fast Food chain 2015 Score 2016 Score
1 Debonairs 81.1 85.0
2 Nando’s 83.0 83.8
3 McDonald’s 80.1 83.2
Industry Average 82.0 82.2
5 KFC 82.8 82.2
6 Other  – 81.8
7 Chicken Licken 83.0 81.1
8 Steers 81.2 79.6

In terms of value, Debonairs Pizza’s customers have expressed the highest perceived value score of 85.2, followed by KFC, Chicken Licken (both 83.1) and McDonald’s (82.4).

The perceived value industry average was 82.2, with Nando’s (80.8) and Steers (78.9) scoring below par. This should be of concern to Nando’s since its overall position does not correlate with the lower value score in this section, Schreuder said.

“Due to the expansion of the industry and the entrance of international brands like Burger King and Domino’s Pizza, customers are spoilt for choice and can afford to be more discerning,” he said.

Read: We taste-tested chicken wings from every major SA fast food chain – and the winner is clear

McDonalds customers rated them the lowest for complaints management with a very low score of 9.4%. On the other hand, Nando’s customers indicated that their complaints were well managed, with a score of 71.3, well above the industry average of 54.9.

According to Schreuder, South Africans are typically quite reluctant to complain about service or quality because they feel that no lasting change will occur. “Social media is making it easier for customers to express their concerns, and the brands that embrace this opportunity to engage with their customers are likely to see improvement in their scores over the next year.”

Read: Here are the best and worst banks in South Africa

The SAcsi for Fast Food Restaurants includes a Net Promoter Score (NPS) that measures the percentage of customers who would recommend a fast food restaurant to their family and friends minus the percentage of those with a low likelihood to recommend.

Debonairs Pizza’s NPS is a very positive 65%, compared to 56% for KFC, both above the industry average of 50%.

Falling below the industry average is Nando’s at 49%, Chicken Licken and McDonald’s at 44%, and Steers with a concerning 35%.

“New fast food brands that launch in South Africa may enjoy long queues for a while, but research suggests that in the current economic climate, South Africans only visit a fast food restaurant once a week. In the long-term, customers will remain loyal to restaurants that offer the best quality and value for money,” Prof. Schreuder said.

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Best and worst fast food restaurants in South Africa