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America's favorite fast-food restaurant is ...

It's not what you think.
by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

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When it comes to America's favorite fast-food destination, Chick-fil-A continues to rule the roost.

The chain known for its fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries retained the top spot in the American Customer Satisfaction Index's Restaurant Report for 2018, finishing comfortably ahead of Panera Bread in a survey of 22,500 restaurant customers.

Panera Bread was followed by Papa John's, Pizza Hut and Subway to round out the top five in the survey, which asked customers to rate the quality of the food, service and overall satisfaction.

Chick-fil-A, whose most popular menu item is surprisingly not chicken, earned a score of 87, with Panera Bread finishing second with 81. McDonald's finished last among 17 national fast-food restaurants with a score of 69.

The scale ranges from 0 to 100, with restaurants being scored on the accuracy and quality of the food orders, the variety of the menu, cleanliness of the restaurant, behavior of the staff and website satisfaction.

The biggest gain was by Pizza Hut, which saw its score increase 5 percent, making the company the only fast-food chain to show an increase of more than 1 percent from last year's survey.

Texas Roadhouse overtook Cracker Barrel for the top spot among full-service restaurants, with Longhorn Steakhouse tying Cracker Barrel for second place. Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse rounded out the top five.

Red Robin surged 8 percent from its score in last year's survey to make the biggest jump, finishing seventh overall in the ranking of full-service restaurants.

Chick-fil-A-Style Chicken Sandwich

The survey also found that satisfaction with dining out is up 1.8 percent overall between fast-food and full-service restaurants.

Restaurants have also revamped their menus in response to demand for more fresh and organic ingredients by millennials, who spend more money dining out than any other demographic.

More people are opting to eat at home as well, as deliveries have increased 20 percent in the past five years, the report found.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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