Subway, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, Five Guys & Chick-fil-A are the Top Brands




Subway, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, Five Guys, and Chick-fil-A are the top choices of over 20,000 people who participated in the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study for the most familiar and best quality quick-service brands.  About 1,500 brands were included in the survey, according to QSR.  Mary Bouchard of Harris Interactive says, “The more these restaurants have been leaning toward higher quality, the more their ratings start going up.”  In the pizza category, Pizza Hut did not make the marks for the first time in the eight year history of the poll.  The new coffee category, only debuting this 2012, saw Einstein Bros. Bagels on the top.  Bouchard continues,  “They have really started to pick up on that trend of delivering food with coffee, and then actually serving food that is considered much healthier for you. It’s the same kind of food, if you think about it, that you see being sold in Subway.”

When it comes to familiarity, product quality, and intent to purchase, consumers rank Subway higher than any other quick-service brand, according to a new study.

Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, Five Guys, and Chick-fil-A round out the top five of the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, which measures and compares brand health for more than 1,500 brands.

“When you look at companies like Subway, like Einstein Bagels, like Panera, you see that quality of product is huge in the decision-making process,” says Mary Bouchard, vice president of consumer goods, retail, and restaurant research at Harris Interactive. “The more these restaurants have been leaning toward higher quality, the more their ratings start going up.”

In the pizza category, Papa John’s unseated Pizza Hut for the first time. This is the first time in Harris Poll’s eight-year history that Pizza Hut has not earned top marks as the pizza chain brand of the year.

Harris also debuted a new category with its 2012 poll to survey the coffee category. Consumers ranked Einstein Bros. Bagels as the No. 1 quick-service coffee company, followed by Dunkin’ Donuts.

“I would say that Einstein has done a terrific job of combining the new positioning of coffeehouses with bringing in the trend of healthy, reasonably priced foods to go with it,” Bouchard says. “They have really started to pick up on that trend of delivering food with coffee, and then actually serving food that is considered much healthier for you. It’s the same kind of food, if you think about it, that you see being sold in Subway.”

The most important aspect when considering the poll, Bouchard says, is not a brand’s score for a particular year, but its trend over time.

Georgetown University, for example, analyzed the EquiTrend study to track whether a real relationship exists between perception of a company and its stock or financial performance. Georgetown reported that brand equity, built on a brand’s relevance, quality, consumer connection, and buzz, can be an actual predictor of stock performance in financially difficult times …

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