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#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 10:25 AM

The Worst Fast Food Restaurants in America, Ranked
By Rachel R.
Reference.com

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Fast food is quick, convenient and cheap, but it's also losing its edge. Consumers are interested in high quality and fresh food, cleanliness and great service. However, many fast food chains are struggling to meet their customer's standards. As a result, guests don't return. A Consumer Picks survey found consumer scores of America's popular restaurants. The scores are based on customer loyalty to the brand. Read on to find out the worst fast food restaurants in America and why they've failed their customers.

30. El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco is Spanish for "The Crazy Chicken." Founded by Francisco Ochoa, the fast food diner first opened in Mexico in 1975. The U.S. didn't get a taste of El Pollo Loco until 1980, when the company opened in Los Angeles. Only 43 percent of customers return to El Pollo Loco. What's wrong with it? From service to food, El Pollo Loco suffers from a low quality environment. Diners complain about the terrible service, emphasizing that employees are rude,orders are often incorrect and wait times are long. In addition, the overpriced menu isn't worth it because of the bland and flavorless food. Guests dislike the chicken, which is either overcooked and dry or undercooked. Sometimes, locations even run out of chicken.

Consumer Score: 43%

29. Taco Bell

In 2018, Taco Bell was voted "America's favorite Mexican restaurant." The Beefy chalupa, Nacho Fries, and CrunchWrap Supreme are their most popular items. But how could Taco Bell also be the worst in the country? Many guests criticize the food. Diners ranked Taco Bell burritos as the least delicious, according to Consumer Reports. The menu items also don't make customers feel full, so they become hungry a couple of hours later. On many internet forums, customers claim that eating food from Taco Bell gives them stomach pains or diarrhea. There are many jokes about it too, which damages the fast food joint's reputation.

Consumer Score: 43%

28. Bojangles'

Established in 1977, Bojangles' first set up shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. The business only exists in 12 states, including Alabama, Maryland and Florida. Bojangles' gets some praise for their food, but the company is still considered one of the worst fast food chains in the nation. The chicken and biscuits joint doesn't attract enough returning customers. Some consumers loathe their biscuits, including taste testers from the Washington Post. The judges called Bojangles' biscuits salty and burnt. In addition, the judges said, "So many carbs, so little flavor. It's crying out for jam, jelly, anything to distract from the bland-yet-fluffy body. I can taste leavening in this; it tastes like baking soda."

Consumer Score: 42%

27. Subway

Although Subway has more than 24,000 stores across the country, it also holds a low return score. The famous five-dollar footlongs and Fresh Fit Choices just don't cut it anymore. In 2018, the company closed more than 1,000 stores. Today's consumers are seeking locally sourced produce and hormone-free meat instead of the processed lunch meats offered at Subway. It also doesn't help that Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike's are kicking Subway's butt. As a result, Subway is trying to evolve its plain menu and lackluster brick-and-mortar sites.

Consumer Score: 42%

26. Krystal

Many customers who review Krystal often compare it to another restaurant called White Castle because of their tiny hamburgers. Krystal scores slightly better than White Castle in this list. Although guests like Krystal's Corn Pups, the burger joint still has some flaws. According to Consumer Reports, Krystal serves one of the worst burgers in the country. The buns are so big that the patty seems to disappear in the middle. Inside the burger, customers will find a bland square patty and the smallest amount of sauce.

Consumer Score: 41%

25. Domino's

Before 2009, customers complained that pizza from Domino's tasted like cardboard. The meat that the business used for toppings was gross. People also thought the tomato sauce tasted like ketchup. In other words, Domino's was committing crimes against pizza. The company was well aware of it too. Domino's admitted that their food sucked in 2009. In response, the company tried to improve the taste of their product. However, Domino's is still considered one of the worst fast food restaurants in the nation. The company's slow service and dirty dining environment lose customers.

Consumer Score: 41%

24. Long John Silver's

Long John Silver's exclusively sells fish and chips and hushpuppies. However, the fried fish flops and the hush puppies flounder. The food is hard to enjoy because it's too stale, salty and greasy. The majority of the fried fish consists of batter instead of meat. Other common complaints include the food being either cold or overcooked. Poor customer service, long waits and orders with missing items are also cons for diners. Many stores also receive criticism about being untidy. Consumers describe the tables as filthy and say that the air has a foul smell. Sometimes, flies buzz around indoors, making an awful dining experience.

Consumer Score: 41%

23. Taco John's

Taco John's only sees 41 percent of its diners come back a second time. Customers love the Potato Olés, but many of them don't return because the rest of the menu is a total mess. For instance, salad tacos appear carelessly tossed together, while burritos are wrapped incorrectly. Besides the terrible presentation of the food, the meals at Taco John's taste awful. Customers call the food overwhelmingly salty. The taco meat is so greasy that all of the oil leaks out of the shells. Some diners also say that the cheese tastes fake.

Consumer Score: 41%

22. Wienerschnitzel

The World's Largest Hot Dog Chain, Wienerschnitzel, was established in 1961. Today, the chain serves more than 120 million hot dogs every year. But the company has a low customer returning score. Why is Wienerschnitzel falling short? The culprit is the low-quality food. Wienerschnitzel's meat is vile. Guests don't understand why there are options to have the meat cooked to your liking when it's usually just burnt. The ratio between the meat and bread is hugely off, with the bread overshadowing the meat. In addition, some diners say the fries have a texture of rubber, while others call them mushy.

Consumer Score: 41%

21. KFC

Suffering for decades, KFC went from 5,472 locations in 2002 to 4,270 restaurants in 2016. KFC has been dealing with rumors that they inject their chickens with steroids to create "mutant chickens" or "Frankenchickens." Although the chain has denied these claims, consumers say that they still don't trust the food. Diners often slam KFC for having poor food quality and a filthy dining area. The stale, bland, fatty and slimy chicken is unappealing. KFC advertises crispy, crunchy food, yet customers complain about receiving incredibly soggy chicken. Sometimes, the chicken is crispy when it's burnt and dry.

Consumer Score: 40%

(snip)

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#2 User is offline   Howsithangin 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 10:53 AM

Meh, it's fast food, not The Ritz. Whenever I see one of these ratings rants, I close my eyes and envision some smug, Whole Paycheck-type at the kitchen table typing away at her iPad while munching on avocado toast while the crumbs fall onto the latest issue of the New Yorker.

I saw Panda, which caught my eye. It's food is overpriced? Seriously? You can emerge full for 8.99 for Chinese-American food that is better imho than most strip mall Chinese takeout. And with less chamce of dog meat, tomaine, and roaches


ETA: And it was 100% predictable who was #1. Mot sure why these types hate that place with such a particularlylar vengeance

This post has been edited by Howsithangin: 12 August 2019 - 10:56 AM

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#3 User is offline   Natural Selection 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:04 AM

Most of the problems experienced by these chains can be traced to the help they hire. Mainly south-of-the-border immigrants with no sense of food safety or quality. Add to that the habit of many chains hiring felons and other losers for the tax breaks and you have a recipe for failure.
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#4 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:07 AM

My two cents...


30. El Pollo Loco - Never eaten there.

29. Taco Bell - I swear the rumors are true.

28. Bojangles' - Never eaten there.

27. Subway - Bland, nasty. Meat seems old. Toppings are old. Do they still put plastic in the bread?

26. Krystal - Never eaten there.

25. Domino's - Worst pizza on the planet.

24. Long John Silver's - Never eaten there.

23. Taco John's - Never eaten there.

22. Wienerschnitzel - Never eaten there.

21. KFC - Disgusting. Used to be pretty good. Food is now dried out, old, bland. Portions are tiny.

20. Cinnabon - All the sugar make my teeth hurt just thinking about it.

19. Del Taco - Never eaten there.

18. Einstein Brothers - Never eaten there.

17. White Castle - They're called 'Sliders' for a reason.

16. Panda Express - A little bland as far as Chinese food goes, but okay in a pinch.

15. Church's Chicken - Never eaten there.

14. Wendy's - Bland and boring, but better than Burger King or McDonald's

13. Little Caesars - Never eaten there.

12. Checkers - Never eaten there.

11. Sonic Drive-In - Meh

10. A&W - I loved A&W as a kid. Haven't eaten at one in decades.

9. Auntie Anne's - Never eaten there.

8. Quiznos - I actually like Quiznos but haven't eaten at one recently.

7. Hardee's - Can't remember the last time I ate here. So... meh.

6. Jimmy John's - The only cheese they use is provolone. No thanks.

5. Sbarro - Never eaten there.

4. Burger King - Generally nasty.

3. Carl's Jr. - Never eaten there.

2. Jack in the Box - Never eaten there.

1. McDonald's - Extremely nasty.

This post has been edited by MTP Reggie: 12 August 2019 - 11:08 AM

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#5 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:11 AM

Unsurprisingly, I disagree with several of their picks.

We've had lots of "Subway" discussions here at RN, so everybody already knows I love Subway. Maybe we just have the only good Subway on earth right here in Blaine, but whatever the reason, it's great food. Fresh-baked bread every day, fresh-chopped veggies, great meat selections (i.e. neither dry nor greasy.) There are so many here at RN who hate Subway that I can only conclude ours here in Blaine is the exception, not the rule, but I don't care. Great food.

And the same goes for Burger King - Maybe the BK here in Blaine is the exception. All I know is, I LOVE them flame-broiled burgers better than anything you can get from Mickey D's or Jack's Box or any other quickie-burger place. Flame-broiling is the only way to go.

And Sbarro pizza? Here I admit it's been a long time since I went there, so maybe they've changed for the worse. Fifteen years ago they were great.

A&W - They still make the best root beer on earth, and who ever went there for anything else? You put up with bland food in order to drink the world's best root beer.

Church's Chicken - This one for me is similar to Sbarro's: Haven't been there in years, so maybe they're crappy now. USED to be great, decades ago.

B)

This post has been edited by MontyPython: 12 August 2019 - 11:24 AM

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#6 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:18 AM

Oh and, as for Panda Express, I admit my low opinion is based on only one visit, never went back. So maybe they're great. But the one time I was taken there I couldn't find any meat! It was noodle dish after noodle dish, veggie dish after veggie dish, then back to noodles again.

Then when I finally found one tray with some kind of meat in it, I couldn't tell what kind of meat! Beef? Pork? Chicken? Who knows? I ate some just because I'm a carnivore, but it wasn't good.

B)
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#7 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:22 AM

View PostNatural Selection, on 12 August 2019 - 11:04 AM, said:

Most of the problems experienced by these chains can be traced to the help they hire. Mainly south-of-the-border immigrants with no sense of food safety or quality. Add to that the habit of many chains hiring felons and other losers for the tax breaks and you have a recipe for failure.


^ This. :yes:
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#8 User is online   gravelrash 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:28 AM

Quote

8. Quiznos
Customers’ biggest complaint? The subs are too expensive.


True. I love Quizno's meatball sandwiches but even in the 1990s, they were $9!

I also concur that fast food is just that. Something to throw in your face because you're hungry but not feeling fancy. Predictably, McDonald's is #1 because it represents the scourge of capitalism and minimum wage jobs.
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#9 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:47 AM

View Postgravelrash, on 12 August 2019 - 11:28 AM, said:

True. I love Quizno's meatball sandwiches but even in the 1990s, they were $9!

I also concur that fast food is just that. Something to throw in your face because you're hungry but not feeling fancy. Predictably, McDonald's is #1 because it represents the scourge of capitalism and minimum wage jobs.


The Quiznos' meatball sammich is one of their best items.
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#10 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:50 AM

View Postgravelrash, on 12 August 2019 - 11:28 AM, said:

True. I love Quizno's meatball sandwiches but even in the 1990s, they were $9!

I also concur that fast food is just that. Something to throw in your face because you're hungry but not feeling fancy. Predictably, McDonald's is #1 because it represents the scourge of capitalism and minimum wage jobs.


I think the beef at McD's is gross.

View PostMontyPython, on 12 August 2019 - 11:18 AM, said:

Oh and, as for Panda Express, I admit my low opinion is based on only one visit, never went back. So maybe they're great. But the one time I was taken there I couldn't find any meat! It was noodle dish after noodle dish, veggie dish after veggie dish, then back to noodles again.

Then when I finally found one tray with some kind of meat in it, I couldn't tell what kind of meat! Beef? Pork? Chicken? Who knows? I ate some just because I'm a carnivore, but it wasn't good.

B)


They didn't have labels above each choice? The ones I've been too are all labeled on the glass. And I don't think I've EVER seen just a veggie option there.
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#11 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:56 AM

I will eat at some of these places I normally wouldn't, if my blood sugar is low. Burger King. Taco Bell. Subway. Sonic.

But I rarely eat out and when I do, it's not normally fast food. So I may eat fast food once every month or two? And there is a much better fried chicken place than KFC near me. Most of them are in Texas.

Golden Chick

This post has been edited by MTP Reggie: 12 August 2019 - 11:56 AM

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#12 User is online   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:04 PM

A & W used to have the BEST soft serve rootbeer ice cream. I'd walk miles (was a college student with no car) to get some.
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#13 User is offline   Magic Rat 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:05 PM

It is amazing that McDonald's is hated by every internet commenter on Earth. How do they stay successful? Someone else besides myself must go there too.
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#14 User is offline   USNRETWIFE 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:11 PM

Eh, I live in a small town with only a Subway, Micky Ds, Dairy Queen, a diner that closes at 2pm, an over priced steak house and the Elks Club that serves over priced meals. I don't have the option of fine dining like the writer of this article apparently enjoys. And I disagree with quite a few of the rankings on this list and I love the way Howsithangin described whoever made this list up. Perfect. I can see that in my mind's eye. By the way, our Subway is clean, has friendly help and serves good sandwiches. Our Dairy Queen used to be better because the owner had it so long things like broasted chicken were grandfathered in. When he sold it, it had to be changed to the Chill n Grill DQ, and it lost a lot of local favorites. Our McDonalds is okay, not bad but not great. We still hit it occasionally. I still don't think it deserves first place on the list.
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#15 User is online   Tikk 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:27 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 12 August 2019 - 11:56 AM, said:

I will eat at some of these places I normally wouldn't, if my blood sugar is low. Burger King. Taco Bell. Subway. Sonic.

But I rarely eat out and when I do, it's not normally fast food. So I may eat fast food once every month or two? And there is a much better fried chicken place than KFC near me. Most of them are in Texas.

Golden Chick


One thing I've learned over the years is that most people are morons when it comes to food. Most online reviews are useless. The star ratings are even more useless.

For the most part it boils down to management. How the employees are kept to standards is important. Most companies have strict processes on how food is prepared, held, and delivered to the consumer. When these are followed, the end product is good. When the staff are just allowed the least path of resistance, the end product is bad.

You can have a good Subway or a bad one, depending on how much the owner gives a damn.



One exception: Wendy's ----- their beef tastes like it was boiled.

This post has been edited by Tikk: 12 August 2019 - 12:28 PM

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#16 User is offline   Natural Selection 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:29 PM

View Postgravelrash, on 12 August 2019 - 11:28 AM, said:

Predictably, McDonald's is #1 because it represents the scourge of capitalism and minimum wage jobs.


Some members of my family as well as their friends feel that way. They don't eat food from sources that don't support income equality, or have donated to causes frowned upon by the progressive activists. It also must be organic, raised ethically, and support fair trade growers. The entire organization also must be environmentally friendly from end to end.

I gave up trying to have food ready for them when they visit. I usually send them to Whole Foods which is a block away. Now they're having issues with Whole Foods because it's owned by Amazon. I'm surprised they don't starve to death.

When I visit them I make an effort to identify everything they prepare for meals. It's just a matter of time until they resort to cannibalism to save the Earth.
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#17 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 01:16 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 12 August 2019 - 11:50 AM, said:

They didn't have labels above each choice? The ones I've been too are all labeled on the glass. And I don't think I've EVER seen just a veggie option there.


It was way back when Panda was brand-new. The place we went to had only been open for a couple weeks. Maybe they're better organized now.

:shrug:
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#18 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 01:23 PM

I went to a fast food Chinese place once. It was with a class in mid town Manhattan. I glanced into the kitchen and noticed the staff eating ham & cheese and tuna sandwiches. I decided to stick with a diet coke. Haven’t tried any since.

This post has been edited by Ladybird: 12 August 2019 - 01:25 PM

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#19 User is online   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 01:31 PM

View PostTikk, on 12 August 2019 - 12:27 PM, said:

One thing I've learned over the years is that most people are morons when it comes to food. Most online reviews are useless. The star ratings are even more useless.

For the most part it boils down to management. How the employees are kept to standards is important. Most companies have strict processes on how food is prepared, held, and delivered to the consumer. When these are followed, the end product is good. When the staff are just allowed the least path of resistance, the end product is bad.

You can have a good Subway or a bad one, depending on how much the owner gives a damn.



One exception: Wendy's ----- their beef tastes like it was boiled.

We had a really bad "In-n-Out" here (first bad one I'd ever eaten at) by our house. So I agree it depends on the manager.
Also, years ago my husband and I ate at a pizza place in Northern California. The meal so SO great we raved about it to a bunch of his firemen friends. (We were at the Fireman Oympics in Sunnyvale.) So two nights later we (and a bunch of friends) go to this place for dinner and it STUNK! Either the chef who made our food was on his/her day off--or something. I was so embarrassed.
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#20 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 01:38 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 12 August 2019 - 01:16 PM, said:

It was way back when Panda was brand-new. The place we went to had only been open for a couple weeks. Maybe they're better organized now.

:shrug:


Here's everything they have now. And I'm not saying Panda Express is great, but it's decent for a fast food joint.
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