Chick-fil-A consumer picks brand snapshot Bret Thorn

Chick-fil-A: Catering to a cult following

NRN presents Consumer Picks, a comprehensive look at customer preference and restaurant brand strength. This annual special report is produced with Datassential. Get the full report >>

What can be said about Chick-fil-A that hasn’t already been said?

The Atlanta-based quick-service chicken chain has been on fire since, well, forever, thanks in large part to the amazing loyalty the company has engendered among its consumers.

Related: Papa Murphy’s: Focusing on freshness

Chick-fil-A’s “True Loyalty” score was ninth among the more than 120 chains featured in this ranking. That’s a feat, considering its size.

It’s the 8th largest restaurant chain in the country, according to the NRN Top 100 ranking.

Related: 10 brands ranked highest for service

Its customers love the company where it matters: Food quality, where it finished second, and service, where it finished fourth. Among limited-service chains, only In-N-Out scores in the top four in both of those attributes.

Chick-fil-A has done this with a highly selective process, carefully choosing store operators who are in their stores every day and share in the profits.

When it opens new locations, it promises free Chick-fil-A for a year to the first 100 customers, which leads to nights out in tents and sleeping bags.

“You wouldn’t believe the things in our parking lot, and it’s just a big street party,” company President Dan Cathy said in a 2013 interview. 

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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