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Report: Chick-fil-A, Sonic earn top fast food customer rankings

BY Dan Berthiaume

Waban, Mass. — Chick-fil-A and Sonic Drive-In deliver the best customer experience in the fast food industry, according to the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Chick-fil-A led the food chains for the third year in a row, landing it in third place overall out of 268 companies across 19 industries. Sonic Drive-In came in a very close second with an overall ranking of fifth. Five other fast food chains earned an "excellent" rating: Dairy Queen, Starbucks, Little Caesar’s, Subway, and Burger King. The food chains with the lowest rated customer experience are McDonalds, Baskin Robins, and Orange Julius.

Here are some additional findings from the fast food industry:

• The ratings of all fast food chains in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings are as follows: Chick-fil-A (83%); Sonic Drive-In (82%); Dairy Queen (81%); Starbucks (81%); Little Caesar’s (80%); Subway (80%); Burger King (80%); Pizza Hut (79%); Domino’s (79%); Wendy’s (79%); Arby’s (77%); Taco Bell (77%);, Dunkin’ Donuts (76%); Jack in the Box (76%); Hardees (76%); KFC (76%); Quiznos (75%); McDonalds (75%); Baskin Robbins (73%); and Orange Julius (71%).

• KFC (+9 points); Burger King (+5 points); Wendy’s (+5 points); and Taco Bell (+5 points) improved their ratings the most between 2013 and 2014.

• Dunkin’ Donuts (-4 points), Arby’s (-2 points), and Jack in the Box (-2 points) were the only fast food chains whose ratings declined between 2013 and 2014.

• Overall, the fast food industry averaged a 78% rating in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings and placed 2nd out of 19 industries. It was also one of the 15 industries to improve its rating over the past year, increasing its average by 2.2 percentage points.

"Chick-fil-A continues to stand out amid an industry that receives overall strong marks for customer experience," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.

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Duane Reade pilots weather-based promotions

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Duane Reade and Poncho, a personalized weather-forecasting service that sends users relevant weather updates tailored to their preferences via text or email, are teaming up in a pilot program targeted to the New York Metropolitan area consumer. Poncho users will receive their regular weather updates with select alerts featuring coupons for Duane Reade products that will help them battle the elements and their allergies.

Poncho’s tailored weather alerts include messages for sufferers of seasonal allergies with special notifications on days when the pollen count is particularly high. On these days, Poncho users will receive exclusive discounts that can be used for specified allergy relief products available in Duane Reade stores.

"At Duane Reade, we constantly strive to offer our customers what they need now, with one-stop-shop convenience and localized relevance to their everyday lives," said Calvin Peters, PR & digital communications manager for Duane Reade. "Weather is a perfect example of something that impacts people’s daily decisions, which is why collaborating with a personalized tool like Poncho affords us another way to provide our customers with products and services that are intrinsic to their individual lifestyle."

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Meijer expands digital shopping app

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Meijer has added features to its mPerks program that allows customers to store digital receipts from purchases in a single place and details exactly how much they’ve saved by shopping at the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. The new features are available for subscribers who enable the digital receipts option on their accounts and enter their mPerks ID each time at checkout.

While paper receipts will still print at checkout for all customers, digital receipts will appear 15 minutes after a purchase, and savings graphs on their mPerks accounts will update every 24 hours. Once the features are enabled, users will be able to track how much they have saved in the "Receipts & Savings" section of mPerks. Pie graphs break down savings into various categories and also display overall savings.

In addition to viewing on mPerks.com, the Receipts and Savings features can also be viewed via the Meijer app. The app is available as a free download for iPhone and Android smartphones through Apple Inc.’s App Store and the Android Market, and has many other features, including:

• View and clip digital coupons with the mPerks program.

• Create and check off items on a shopping list.

• Browse sale items and save to a shopping list.

• Earn total purchase savings from Personalized, Pharmacy and Baby Reward programs.

• Receive maps to a nearby Meijer store.

• Search and find products on a store map.

"Customers who enjoy our everyday low prices and take advantage of mPerks can really see how their savings are adding up and better recognize the overall impact Meijer makes toward stretching family budgets," said Michael Ross, VP of customer marketing and emerging technology.

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