Chain Coffee Drinkers Most Loyal to McDonald's

Sarah Gilbert

If I were to have guessed the results of a study comparing the loyalty of fast-food customers to their favorite chains, I would have guessed the most loyal would be Dunkin' Donuts coffee lovers. Customers of that chain -- and Northeastern U.S./Canadian restaurant chain Tim Horton's -- are always the most vocal in any post I write discussing the comparative merits of Starbucks, McDonald's, or other chain restaurants.

But based on the way the designers of the CustomersDNA LLC study defined loyalty, I would have been wrong: They call McDonald's coffee lovers the most loyal because they don't "roam" as much.

In other words, if one of the 15,000 study participants identifies one chain -- McDonald's, in this case -- as their "primary source" for coffee, they are less likely to stray from the Golden Arches and end up at a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts than the other way around. According to the study, only 29% of McDonald's' loyalists will go elsewhere in a month, compared to 53% of Starbucks' and Dunkin' Donuts' aficionados.

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