Chick-fil-A has taken the crown from Starbucks. Teenagers have pushed the coffee shop aside, pledging their allegiance instead to the Atlanta-based chain.
A new survey from Piper Jaffray called Taking Stock With Teens revealed this week that Chick-fil-A has surpassed Starbucks in popularity among both middle- and upper-class teenagers, a coveted American demographic.
When your bestie wants to go to Chick-fil-A…the answer is always 'yes'! Photo Credit: @ansleymarie96 on Instagram pic.twitter.com/s0zuV1HPtW
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) September 6, 2018
Chick-fil-A is quickly pushing other companies out of the way. In 2010, the fast-food restaurant wasn’t even listed in the top five chains for middle- or upper-class teenagers, according to Restaurant Business Magazine.
This year marks the first time since 2011 that Starbucks, based in Seattle, hasn’t been the No. 1 restaurant chain among middle-class teenagers.
“They’re spending more on food than on clothes,” Piper analyst Nicole Miller Regan explained, noting teens are increasingly interested in “experiences over things.”
The Piper Jaffray survey also found that most teenagers — 68 percent — prefer limited-service dining experiences compared to full-service concepts. That preference, though, changes as younger people age. Three of the top five chains among millennials, for instance, have waitstaff.
Two-thirds of millennials prefer full-service dining experiences.
“As consumers age, [their preference for] experience over things gets amplified,” Miller Regan said. “Sitting down, socialization become much more important.”
As for Chick-fil-A, in July, the quick-service eatery topped the American Customer Satisfaction Index for the third consecutive year. Panera Bread came in second place, followed by Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, and Subway.