Chipotle is back, America.
The Motley Fool reports that consumers were asked to rate various fast food and QSR restaurants for value, food quality, service speed, staff friendliness, cleanliness, atmosphere, healthy options, and curb appeal. These ratings generated a "Composite Loyalty Index score," and Chipotle was given the highest out of all of the Mexican restaurants surveyed after finishing in the top three for every single category.
Chipotle also captured the top ratings this year for food quality, curb appeal, healthy options (tie with El Pollo Loco), service speed (tie with Qdoba and Moe's Southwest Grill), and cleanliness. Cleanliness is a huge rating for Chipotle to get top honors in considering all of the health issues they've had over the past couple of years.
The top five restaurants in the Mexican category were Chipotle, Moe's Southwest Grill, El Pollo Loco, Qdoba, and Taco Cabana.
Chipotle was the top Mexican QSR in the United States in the same study back in 2015, but fell to second in 2016 thanks to its health and food safety scandals. The fact that it's reclaimed the number one position is a strong sign that consumers are ready to trust the chain once again.
Sales numbers are also beginning to back that statement, as restaurant sales for the company went up 15% in December 2016 compared to December 2015. As consumers continue to restore their trust and loyalty in the brand, those numbers can only keep getting better as time goes on.
Welcome back to the top, Chipotle. It's great to see you heading back in the right direction.