Established restaurant brands have been replaced by lower-cost ‘treat providers’ such as Greggs, Millie’s Cookies and Krispy Kreme at the top of a list of companies proving the best customer experience.

A survey of 7,300 consumers covering 250 UK brands included three new entries in the top 10 from the eating out/take out sector: Millie’s Cookies and number six, Greggs at eight and Krispy Kreme at 10.

Meanwhile, well-known eateries slipped down the list, including Zizzi (down 11 to joint 38th), Subway (down three to joint 38th), Pizza Express (down 27 to joint 47th), Pizza Hut (down 10 to joint 47th) TGI Fridays (down 39 to 49th), Domino’s (down 43 to 59th) and McDonalds (down four to 67th).

The Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence survey, carried out in September 2011, saw customers asked to rate different venues from one to 10 on customer service.

Nunwood said: “Restaurant groups TGI Friday’s and Nando’s fell out of the Top 10, replaced by lower cost recessionary treat providers Greggs, Millie’s Cookies and Krispy Kreme.

“Our preoccupation with making our day feel better through sugary snacks doesn’t tell the whole story because these companies also get a number of other things right; Greggs focuses on driving down queuing times and extolling the freshness of its products - when combined with friendly staff it amounts to a powerful motivator to repurchase.

“Krispy Kreme and Millie’s were hailed by our respondents for their product innovation; new recipes and products giving consumers reasons to keep coming back.”

JD Wetherspoon was the only pub company in the list, although it slipped 40 places to 51st.

“For JD Wetherspoon’s customers, their experience is underpinned by outstanding value for money. Great prices, warm atmosphere and good food create a powerful reason to continue going back,” Nunwood said.

Other well-known restaurant and takeaway brands in the top 100 list were Frankie & Benny’s (down 30 to joint 51st), Harry Ramsden’s (new entry at 56), Burger King (down 29 to 81st), Chiquito (down 46 to 88th) and Cafe Rouge (down 76 to 90th).

Top of the list was Amazon, followed by John Lewis, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Marks & Spencer.