The 40 Worst Fast Food Restaurants In America
40. Taco John's
Only 41% of customers love the Potato Oles enough to keep driving through Taco John's. The others probably discovered that the Six-Pack and a Pound meal won't actually help them chisel a two-pack.
39. Long John Silver's
Long John Silver's has only 41% of loyal customers to dig into fish and chips and hushpuppies. But they mostly stick with the baked seafood and skip the fried platters which won't have them feeling confident about swimsuit season.
38. Jimmy John's
Jimmy John's may be "Freaky Fast, Freaky Fresh," but its ingredient quality and service speed only impress 34% of customers. After all, who needs a nearly 1,000-calorie sub delivered at the drop of a hat? Certainly not us.
Only 34% of customers consider themselves Hardee's fans and it's most likely because of the char-broiled sliders, which contain a waistline-friendly 220 calories and 11 grams of muscle-maintaining protein in every single slider.
Bojangles' claims to specialize in chicken with unique cajun seasoning and buttermilk biscuits. However, it is only because they serve it all day, it doesn't make them experts. And, even though North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis stepped in to defend the home of 'Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits,' Only 43% of Consumer Reports taste testers would come back to Bojangles after trying their food.
35. Carl's Jr.
According to the Consumer Picks survey, only 33% of survey respondents seem to crave Carl's Jr.'s fires and some other fast food, because these items have a calorie as high as 920. Guys, you may want to skip the Big Carl with that.
According to Arby's slogan, they've got "the meats." Arby's has a pretty simple formula that has kept it going for the last few years. The roast-beef-loving fast food joint touts their meats as a big draw for customers. However, there are obviously not as many people who crave roast beef to satisfy their fast food needs as one would think. What's worse, there were rumors about what goes into their roast beef, the fast-food chain has been struggling for a long time.
Subway is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the United States. However, many people complain about the freshness of their salads and the quality of their meat. In 2018, Subway closed over 1,000 stores as people are seeking healthier options for their lunches. And only 42% of people said they would return for another meal at Subway.
For anyone not familiar with Krystal's food, just think of it as a worse version of White Castle. Krystal is a small fast-food chain with only about 350 stores in the United States. It is known for its small burgers – but sadly, the patty-to-bun ratio of their burgers is way off. The bland patty is complemented with a tiny amount of sauce that is tasteless when you eat it.
31. White Castle
This fast-food chain might have gained popularity due to its role in the 2004 comedy Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. And its small and square hamburger is the star product. However, the hamburgers aren't as nice as they seem in the film. They're often too small that leaves consumers disappointed every time they order.
30. Del Taco
The Mexican chain Del Taco is basically a worse version of Taco Bell. Imagine that you've been waiting at a quick fast food stop seemingly forever, and when the food finally comes, it tastes unpleasant and unappealing. That's many customers' experience visiting Del Taco.
Although Wendy's has amassed many followers on social media, that can't save the fast-food chain from the quality of its food. In 2018, a video of Wendy's employee finding a mouse inside a bag of hamburger buns went viral. Of course, we hope it wasn't real. However, the fact is 38% of reviewers said they would come back to Wendy's for another meal.
Since 1986, Checkers has sold anything from hotdogs, hamburgers, and milkshakes to people around the country. However, according to the Consumer Reports' survey, long wait times were the top complaint about Checkers. Only 36% of customers said that they would go back to visit Checkers.
Sonic can be called a cult classic among fast food lovers because of their parking lot and roadside delivery style. The entire experience that Sonic provides has drawn many visitors. However, once customers try the quirky Sonic's food for the first time, they won't come back.
Quiznos has been toasting the submarine sandwiches since 1981, but there was a drop in store branches from 5,000 locations in 2007 to around 800 today. Truthfully, the quality of the food is fine, but most of the customers complained about the price of the sandwiches.
25. Einstein Bros. Bagels
People headed to Einstein Bros. Bagels for some pretty good bagels, but the bagels served up at the chain were bland. This is the main complaint. What came inside the bagel was not much better. For example, the vegetables lacked freshness. Only 40% of the customers said they would return.
24. Jack In The Box
Jack in the Box is famous for its funny round-headed mascot. It started the business as a burger joint, and now it has expanded into fajitas, tacos, and all-day breakfast. However, the main complaint is the quality of the food as well as their bad service.
A&W is famous for its burgers, root beer, and 'beer floats' - merging the drink with a large scoop of ice cream. However, lots of customers have called their fries soggy and greasy, and some even comparing it to eating oil.
22. Auntie Anne's
Auntie Anne's started its business as a small pretzel shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now, it has become one of the most famous fast-food chains in the country. Though Auntie Anne's has expanded its menu beyond sweet and savory pretzels and hot dogs, the problem is the bad customer service.
21. Shake Shack
Shake Shack is actually fine, but there is something wrong with its reputation. It's regarded as one of the best burgers out there, but does it deserve the reputation? Maybe no. We have to say that the size of the burgers is not enough for a hungry customer.
20. Boston Market
Boston Market, formerly known as Boston Chicken, offered customers various options, including sandwiches, rotisserie dishes, pot pies, and more. It should be great, but according to the customers, the main complaints are muddled orders and long wait times.
19. Charley's Philly Steaks
The Ohio joint, Charley's Philly Steaks, is well-known for providing customers with gourmet fries, Philly Steaks, and lemonade which is even made from real juice. Then, what’re the problems? Maybe this is a little harsh, but the location definitely disappoints people from the East Coast.
18. El Pollo Loco
Obviously, El Pollo Loco isn't as famous as big chicken brands like KFC. Loco even cannot compete with Bojangles. Customers may think the value menu isn't impressive, and the recipes aren't as delicious as the well-known herbs and spices promised by KFC.
Unlike other fast food joints, Cinnabon sells certain desserts instead of burgers or pizza. It is famous for the cinnamon buns, but this isn't the excuse for the rudeness of the servers. Plus, some online reviews show that the buns are left out too long, so they become hard dough.
At Wingstop, when you're ordering your chicken wings, you do have a bunch of specials and individual combos to choose from. Sounds perfect? Well, that's not always the case. Some customers complained about unseasoned or burnt chicken wings. We hope that it will improve for the next few years.
15. Five Guys
Five Guys is proud of its four choices: burger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, or bacon cheeseburger. As a result, they will throw different toppings to your double patty. It may sound wonderful, but actually, after you finish eating, you'll feel sick. The strikingly high calories in every bite will stop customers from coming back again.
Founded in 1961, Wienerschnitzel is one of the most popular hotdog chains in America. it serves more than 120 million hot dogs every year. However, it seems that Wienerschnitzel doesn't pay enough attention to providing good quality meat in its hotdogs. Plus, customers also complained about the poor ratio of bread and hot dog.
Smashburger is quite a young fast-food chain which was founded in 2007. So, to accord with its young age, Smashburger advertises burgers with trendy items, such as avocado and truffles. However, the nutritional value of its food is questionable. Many items aren't really healthy.
12. Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen is an old fast-food chain with a history of nearly 80 years which focuses only on ice cream. We all love the trick that the ice cream can be held upside down, but it's just showcasing how much fat is there in each drink.
11. Panda Express
The only Asian fast food chain on this list, Panda Express allegedly offers gourmet Chinese cuisine, but the quality and freshness of its food is only so-so and its dishes are too pricey, according to the survey. Meanwhile, the quality of its service fared relatively well.
10. Taco Bell
The best-known Mexican fast food chain in the country, Taco Bell also ranked as the worst Mexican fast food chain in America, receiving particularly bad grades for its mediocre food quality and freshness. It recently entered the breakfast market, going head to head with McDonald's.
9. Little Caesars
Pizza restaurant Little Caesars, which was started in Michigan more than 50 years ago, ranked especially low on the quality and freshness of its food, despite advertising its fresh-quality ingredients.
Another global pizza chain ended on the worst fast food restaurant list. Domino's fared poorly on all criteria including the quality of the food, the value of its food, the speed of its service and the cleanliness of its dining areas, but its wait staff received a relatively high mark for politeness.
7. Pizza Hut
One of the most famous pizza chains in the world, Pizza Hut was started by two brothers more than 55 years ago in Kansas. Now part of Yum! Brands, it has about 6,000 restaurants in the U.S.
6. CiCi's Pizza
CiCi's Pizza, which launched in the 1980s in Plano, Texas, now has about 500 restaurants in 34 states. Although the chain received bad grades for the quality of its food and the cleanliness of its restaurants, it did okay with the speed of its service and politeness of its waiting staff.
5. Burger King
Another burger giant chain fared poorly in the rankings, with mediocre food quality and freshness and bad value for its food. Burger King, which debuted a Gay Pride Whopper this week, has about 13,000 franchised restaurants.
Every minute, McDonald's sells Americans nearly 1,500 burgers, which it touts as being 100 percent USDA-inspected beef, free of preservatives, fillers, extenders and so-called pink slime. But none of that prevent Consumer Reports' readers from rating its food quality and freshness as one of the worst.
3. Church's Chicken
Church's Chicken, also established in the 1950s, sells fried chicken, fries, biscuits and jalapenos. The chain, known as Texas Chicken outside the U.S., has more than 1,600 locations worldwide.
KFC's food quality and freshness, its value, and the cleanliness of its dining area all got bad reviews. The chain, which has famously sold its fried chicken in buckets since the 1950s, has restaurants throughout the country.
Sbarro, which specializes in New York-style pizza, placed especially low in this year's list because of its poor food quality and lack of freshness. The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year the second time it's done so in about three years.