Customers Rank The Worst American Fast-Food Chains, Find Out The Results Here

Published on 11/26/2020
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While fast-food is a handy, fast, and affordable meal solution, it loses its advantage late on. Consumers have recently become even more interested in high-quality, fresh produce, orderliness, and excellent service, of course. However, for their clients, there seem to be a lot of fast-food stores that are struggling to achieve these specifications. This implies as one would expect, that consumers want to come back far less.

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The Worst American Fast-Food Chains Ranked By Customers

A Customer Picks survey found the scores consumers have given some of America’s most popular restaurants. These scores are based on customer loyalty to the brand. If you want to find out which are the worst fast-food restaurants in the United States and why they’ve failed their customers, read on.

Arby’s

As only 44 percent of people come back for a second burger, Arby’s just does not have the best track record. Not only do several diners seem to get sick from eating one of its renowned roast beef sandwiches, but now they’ve acquired the public image: “expensive yet delicious trash.” Also, the chain has faced speculations about a certain extra ingredient they incorporate into their food. Let’s all just say you’re never going to just want to eat there ever again. The speculations that their roast beef is created with powder, liquid, paste, and gel have been fought against by Arby’s, but several diners literally do not buy it. It seems that this fast-food chain has been under a lot of tension, particularly after a customer discovered a piece of human skin in his sandwich. If that isn’t bad enough, somehow, an employee managed to serve a human finger on a bun in 2012!

Consumer Score: 44%

Arby’s

Arby’s

Starbucks

While Starbucks was once the place to be and to be seen, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The coffee powerhouse, these times, is struggling financially. Their flashy drinks, delicious pastries, and artistic mugs, as well as cups, are not as appealing to customers as they once were. Interestingly enough, the least amount of business is done by the Starbucks stores in malls. Another firm that has faced controversial issues in the past is Starbucks. Back in 2018, the chain was convicted of racism when 2 African-American people have been arrested at a Starbucks in Philadephia. In turn, for a day, the chain completely closed down the operation of all shops nationwide to train staff on racial biases and how to prevent them.

Consumer Score: 44%

Starbucks

Starbucks

Wingstop

Around 44% of customers come back for their fix of oily chicken wings, salty fries, and heaps of ranch dressing for Wingstop. While the business receives great reviews for its sweet fries as well as house-made ranch dressing, the saltiness of the food and its sub-par boneless wings are the reason for the low customer rate of return. It is identified that Wingstop uses too much salt on its wings, so much so that it is difficult to enjoy them. Consumers also whine that as they should be, the boneless wings always are soggy rather than crispy. Due to its high prices and awful sauces, they’re not really a fan-favorite.

Consumer Score: 44%

Wingstop

Wingstop

Boston Market

In the 1990s, the Boston Market had over 1,100 locations across the U.S. Fast forward to today, and there are only 400 stores remaining for the brand. Their prominence came from their chicken rotisserie, with clients excited about the concept of not trying to prepare an entire chicken at home. But the reason for the absence of customers is now their claim to fame. It was an easy process to replicate… cue the rivals to make rotisserie chicken convenient for consumers. Today, for a fraction of the cost, most grocery shops offer roasted chickens. It is essential for the menus to adjust with the people, with the demands of diners today differently than in the past. Unfortunately, the Boston Market has had a difficult time providing the younger generations with multi-cultural flavors and vegan options.

Consumer Score: 43%

Boston Market

Boston Market

Dairy Queen

The only spot you can discover upside-down ice cream is Dairy Queen…cue the watering mouths! The chain began throughout 1940, and ever since then, their gravity-defying blizzards have also been running great! However, the bad comes with the good. Consumers are complaining about their ice cream not being real, that it tastes like plastic as well as oil, and that it melts too quickly. Dairy Queen also serves food, but not too great are the reviews for that either. “The hot dog looks like a blown-up Slim Jim in a cold, soggy bun, and the burgers come with burned patties and squishy buns,” one review stated. It is also identified that they under-cook their chicken.

Consumer Score: 43%

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen

El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco, a fast-food diner, got its start in Mexico back in 1975. In Spanish, the founder, Francisco Ochoa, named the chain ‘The Crazy Chicken.’ And it wasn’t until 1980 that the American people eventually got a dose of the goodness of Ochoa. While only 43 percent of customers come back to the Mexican food restaurant, consumers are just not attracted by bad service and low-quality food. The staff is not only rude, but the processing time is exceptionally long, and the orders often are wrong. Moreover, there is no flavor in the food, and it costs a lot of money. As clients make a fuss that it is either undercooked and raw, and otherwise overcooked and dry, El Pollo Loco’s chicken does seem to be the runt of the litter. Throughout the day, specific locations are also known for running out of chicken.

Consumer Score: 43%

El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a crowd favorite, and it was even crowned “America’s favorite Mexican restaurant.” in 2018. The Nacho Fries, the CrunchWrap Supreme, and the Beefy Chalupa must be the most popular items in the chain. Even though some may see them as the best, others declare they’re at the bottom of the lot. Taco Bell’s burritos are consistently rated as the least tasty, as per Consumer Reports, and their food doesn’t keep diners full. Many concerns about stomach pain and diarrhea are also received by the company, a side effect of their food. This, in turn, will damage the reputation of Taco Bell.

Consumer Score: 43%

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Bojangles’

Bojangles’ first store had been in Charlotte, North Carolina, and also the chain only that continues to exist in 12 states today, three of which are Alabama, Maryland, and Florida. The fast-food joint had been initially created in 1977 but is still recognized as being one of the nation’s terrible chains. They just really don’t gain sufficient interest from their fried chicken as well as buttery biscuits. Many folks despise their biscuits, and this also involves the Washington Post taste testers. The judges mentioned, “The biscuits are salty and burnt. 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%

Bojangles’

Bojangles’

Subway

Don’t let Subway’s huge number of stores throughout the nation affect your view of them. It is no longer cut down by the best-selling Fresh Fit Choices and five-dollar footlongs.  Back in 2018, they shut down over 1,000 stores. Instead of the processed choices that Subway offers, people prefer hormone-free meat as well as locally sourced produce. Two competitors, Firehouse Subs as well as Jersey Mike’s, are presently knocking Subway off its wheels. The business is changing its bland menu in the process, so let’s just see what happens!

Consumer Score: 42%

Subway

Subway

Krystal

Since both joints offer small burgers, Krystal is most often placed in the same category as White Castle. Although they perform better than White Castle, and their corn pups are loved by consumers, they’re not perfect. Consumer reports are saying Krystal has the worst burgers in the whole country. With the tiny patty, the oversized buns do not measure up, and the flavor, along with the sauce, is at best unimpressive.

Consumer Score: 41%

Krystal

Krystal

Domino’s

Thanks to the cardboard-like flavors of their pizza as well as their plastic-esque meat, Domino’s is not a personal fave among consumers. If this isn’t terrible enough, people say that their sauce is far more ketchup-like than pizza sauce. The company claimed that their food was pretty lackluster back in 2009, and so they managed to rectify it. Ten years later, here we all are, and it is now widely acknowledged as one of the worst in the country. Just the cherry on top is the pretty disgusting dining experience as well as snail-slow service.

Consumer Score: 41%

Domino’s

Domino’s

Long John Silver’s

This provider of fish-and-chips and hushpuppies serves just that and no more. Too bad the food of Long John Silvers is salty, greasy, and too stale to enjoy for diners. People are also complaining that their food is often cold and overcooked. Most of the fried fish they produce is battered, and there is no meat at all. The requests with missing items, huge queues, and poor customer service end up making it a reason not to return. Customers are also complaining about dirty shops, dirty tables, bugs all over the place, and a foul smell in the air.

Consumer Score: 41%

Long John Silver’s

Long John Silver’s

Taco John’s

Although the Potato Olés are loved by Taco John’s customers, only 41% come back, primarily because of the lackluster menu. White burritos often are strangely wrapped, and with zero effort, the salad tacos are just thrown together. The presentation is not only bad but so is the taste of the food. This is yet another chain that receives complaints about excessively salty food. Diners also whine that the cheese tastes fake and that there is oil as well as grease covering the meat.

Consumer Score: 41%

Taco John’s

Taco John’s

Wienerschnitzel

Also known as The World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain, Wienerschnitzel dishes out around 120 million hot dogs each and every year! And although the company founded back in 1961, it has a limited number of customers coming back for more, primarily because of low-quality food. The flesh of the chain is horrible, almost always burnt, and often bland. Also, the bun is much bigger than the dog itself, meaning bread and no meat are all you taste. Thanks to their rubbery texture and mushy-ness, their fries also don’t have the best rep.

Consumer Score: 41%

Wienerschnitzel

Wienerschnitzel

KFC

For years now, KFC has already been battling as consumers do not trust their food anymore. They had 5,742 locations in 2002, and that number dropped to 4,270. In 2016. Although they deny all claims, the chain faces rumors claiming that they infect their chicken with steroids. Customers are not fans of the big dining rooms and the poor quality of food. Customers declare their chicken is soggy, and therefore only crispy when it’s burned up, even though the brand advertises crunchy, crispy meat.

Consumer Score: 40%

KFC

KFC

Cinnabon

The pastry powerhouse people all love and know as Cinnabon continues to offer warm, gooey cinnamon buns that taste like heaven. But really, only 40 percent of consumers come back after obtaining their sugar-fix, for some reason. The chain works to make things change, and it doesn’t seem that diners are too amused. Their low-quality meals and awful service discourage clients from returning for some more. Several customers also grumble that their buns are reheated instead of fresh from the oven.

Consumer Score: 40%

Cinnabon

Cinnabon

Del Taco

For its cinnamon churros and taco combos, Del Taco, a Mexican fast-food chain, is known. Consumers, however, grumble about long queues and unappealing meals, which is why only 40% of individuals come back for even more nachos. They don’t taste their meat, and they put too much rice in their burritos, but somehow they’re still reaping positive reviews. In the future, we’ll just have to sit tight and see what’s in store for them.

Consumer Score: 40%

Del Taco

Del Taco

Einstein Brothers

Only 40% of customers return to Einstein Brothers for their “gourmet” bagels. Numerous guests grumble about the freshness as well as blandness, instead opting for bagels from the superior quality grocery store. Their bagels are not only bad, but people also complain about the poor customer service as well as bitter coffee. Accuracy and timeliness, if you get what we mean, are not their selling points!

Consumer Score: 40%

Einstein Brothers

Einstein Brothers

White Castle

It’s safe to assume that White Castle doesn’t like many people. Even if they’re renowned for their tiny square hamburgers, their weakness is slowly becoming theirs. Folks think that they should purchase more than 1 burger in order to feel full. And it isn’t all that. In contrast to the burger, the buns are supermarket-like, excessively airy, as well as large. The boring taste of the meat itself, as well as the overly strong flavor of onions, are also complained about by diners.

Consumer Score: 39%

White Castle

White Castle

Panda Express

The largest Asian restaurant chain in the USA is Panda Express. Back in 1983, the joint was founded, and nowadays they have 2,000 stores nationwide. Panda Express asserts that they serve gourmet Chinese food, but clients whine that there is a lack of flavor and overpriced products in the food. Panda Express is often at the center of controversy between chef David Chang and BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed questioned Chinese people to try food from the chain, and their answers were pretty funny. One food taster said, “Do I gnaw on my own thumb, or do I get the orange chicken?”

Consumer Score: 39%

Panda Express

Panda Express

Church’s Chicken

This provider of chicken, fries, and biscuits was first launched back in the 1950s and is referred to as Chruch’s Chicken. Many returning customers do not see the restaurant, mainly because of the poor quality food, the worst of the worst being the hand-breaded fish, honey-butter biscuits, as well as popcorn shrimp. Although no one says that the chicken is greasy or dry, they grumble about the disheartening taste. Consumers also get frustrated with the hardness of the biscuits, but with improved service and food, the chain hopes to turn things around.

Consumer Score: 38%

Church’s Chicken

Church’s Chicken

Wendy’s

It appears, as we’ve seen from the figures that people no longer value Wendy’s as well as their square hamburgers. Their Frosty and sea salt fries signature does not cause people to come back to see more as they scored 38 percent in customer satisfaction. The “finger in chili” incident of 2005, and the “live mouse in bun” ordeal of 2018, will also never live down the chain. Poor Wendy’s, apparently they can’t get a break! Diners are also complaining about their inflated prices, flat burgers, stale buns, and old vegetables. There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel, though! The chain promotes that its burgers are never frozen, which is why they do significantly better than some rivals.

Consumer Score: 38%

Wendy’s

Wendy’s

Little Caesars

Little Caesars is probably familiar to you, not so much because of their meat, mostly because of their renowned catchphrase, “Pizza! Pizza!” The chain is also known for selling for only 5 bucks a large cheese and pepperoni pizza. But what you’re paying for, you get. Consumers have a different view, even though they boast of high-quality ingredients and freshness. Diners argue that the food is not fresh and that it all tastes bad. For using low-quality ingredients and also for their pizza flavoring like cardboard, Little Caesars is often mocked.

Consumer Score: 37%

Little Caesars

Little Caesars

Checkers

The place to go for hot dogs, burgers, fries, and milkshakes has been Checkers since 1986. However, with the low-quality meat, awful customer experience, and the long wait times, diners are not pleased. There the criticism doesn’t stop. For their flavorless burgers as well as tasteless iceberg lettuce, Checkers is so often mocked, but they have few other interesting things going for them. Diners rave about their banana milkshakes as well as fries.

Consumer Score: 36%

Checkers

Checkers

Sonic Drive-In

Food-style carnival, happy hour, retro-theme, as well as drive-in?! It looks like a dream to Sonic. 6 and only 6 items are sold in the fast-food chain: burgers, onion rings, corn dogs, slushies, milkshakes, and chili dogs. Even though it all sounds like fun and games, customers are deterred by the low-quality snacks and lack of freshness. Sonic’s cheeseburger is fairly common, but they’re going wrong somewhere. Their burger is recognized to be unseasoned as well as dry, and for the sandwich, the lettuce is often wilted and too large.

Consumer Score: 36%

Sonic Drive In

Sonic Drive-In

A&W

From their popular draft root beer and root beer floats, A&W obtained its claim to fame. Most people don’t know that they’ve been there since 1919, and they’re recognized for their burgers as well! The main reasons for complaints are root beer, the food itself, and the customer service, by far their best-seller. Diners often grumble about fries that are excessively oily, greasy as well as gross. One client said that eating fries from A&W is like ingesting a cup of oil. For their filthy fast food places and complete absence of timeliness, they are also recognized.

Consumer Score: 35%

A&W

A&W

Auntie Anne’s

Auntie Anne’s is known to be their best-seller for their delicious sweets, the drool-worthy salted and cinnamon pretzels. The first-ever branch of Auntie Anne was opened in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, back in 1988, and they have been going strong ever since! Though, as of late, our beloved pretzel supplier has seen a decrease in sales, their location is the main reason. Most of Auntie Anne’s are in malls, and today, with the rise of Amazon, malls are less popular than ever before. The chain decided to confront the situation head-on in more populated places and opened stores. But even after the fresh openings at outdoor shopping centers and tourist spots, it turns out that location is not the biggest issue for Auntie Anne. With the uninviting staff and the burnt and often stale pretzels, guests are not pleased.

Consumer Score: 35%

Auntie Anne’s

Auntie Anne’s

Quiznos

In recent years, the popular sandwich hub, Quiznos, hasn’t been so hot. Quiznos now has only 800 stores left in the U.S., thanks to financial problems and store closings. This decline is drastic from the 5,000 they had in 2008. Customers are complaining about the inflated prices, which is a major reason Quiznos filed for bankruptcy in 2014. Quiznos tried to contend with their very own discount, huge shock, it didn’t work when Subway started their $5 footlong campaign. Back in 2009, the chain sent diners a free sandwich coupon, but because many places already were faring badly, they continued to refuse the voucher. As you can imagine, many clients became really upset, only further ruining the reputation of Quiznos.

Consumer Score: 35%

Quiznos

Quiznos

Hardee’s

None other than just the South as well as Midwest chain is the home of charbroiled burgers and contentious ads: Hardee’s. Hardee’s is renowned for their consistent competition with KFC, McDonald’s, and Jack in the Box. Hardee’s not scared to acknowledge, at least, that they’ve fall short. They acknowledged in 2003 that their menu was complicated, their food was not excellent, and their service was sub-par. However since consumers are still complaining about the joint, they have not seemed to change one bit.

Consumer Score: 34%

Hardee’s

Hardee’s

Jimmy John’s

Some other fast-food chain with a good headline is Jimmy John’s, also recognized as JJ’s, and theirs is “Freaky Fast, Freaky Fresh”.  In 2016, the gourmet sandwich store made all staff sign a non-compete clause, preventing employees from working at any kind of deli until 2 years after finishing at JJ’s. The chain was taken to court by a few states, and JJ’s was in turn told to remove the clause completely. That’s not all, however. JJ’s is in charge of a number of outbreaks of food poisoning. Guests got really sick in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with salmonella or E.Coli after having eaten JJ’s sprouts. In 2013, after eating JJ’s food, 100 customers in Kansas also got sick. The chain was bashed again in 2018 because there was yet again another event of food poisoning.

Consumer Score: 34%

Jimmy John’s

Jimmy John’s

Sbarro

The New York Times’ Neil Irwin said once, “You eat Sbarro not because you want Sbarro, but because it is the food that is available at the moment you want some food.” Most guests agree with him as only 34 percent come right back for more. The pizza place seems to see a drop in repeat buyers due mainly to the disgusting food. It’s yet another joint which is often situated in malls, and reduced business comes with a dying location. On top of all that, people really enjoy Blaze Pizza’s custom-made pizza instead. Sbarro is just no longer at its A-game.

Consumer Score: 34%

Sbarro

Sbarro

Burger King

Burger King, recognized as the Home of the Whopper, has recently been making news articles for its new options. Some ears have perked up with the addition of tacos as well as vegan burgers, although most people choose the initial whopper. But not necessarily for the taste, because of convenience, the majority only resort to the chain. Their burger is really plain as well as tasteless, despite being the home of the whopper. The ratio is also way off between the hamburger toppings and the patty itself. No one likes overpowering their burger with onions!

Consumer Score: 33%

Burger King

Burger King

Carl’s Jr.

Initially, a hot dog stand, Carl’s Jr. has been recognized for its burgers and hypersexualized commercials as a fast-food chain. The joint was formed in 1941 in Los Angeles, but we’re not sure how much longer it’s going to be around. Guests aren’t fans of food or of advertising. Even though they brag about their big burger, it’s also quite untidy, associating to a dining experience that is less than desirable. In recent years, they too have raised the rates, but along with the cost, the quality has not improved.

Consumer Score: 33%

Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr.

Jack in the Box

Throughout 1951, Jack in the Box was first created as a burger joint. They offer a variety of options today, including fries, tacos, chicken fajita pitas, and an all-day breakfast. They are mainly remembered for their funny-looking mascots and hilarious ads. But they don’t, sad to say, have the greatest track history. Many clients say that the food, particularly the deep-fried tacos, is pretty disgusting. Guests have characterized the food as “vile” and the tacos “a wet envelope of cat food” on various social media sites.  “The tacos are gross, yet I still love them and am unable to “resist” them,” said one consumer.

Consumer Score: 33%

Jack In The Box

Jack In The Box

McDonald’s

The most famous fast-food chain, although McDonald’s is all over the world, is also ranked as one of the worst. Regardless of the fact that they sell a lot of burgers, people would prefer quality rather than quantity, and that there is simply no McDonald’s quality. While McDonald’s uses 100% USDA-inspected beef without additives, fillers, extenders as well as “pink slime,” they are frozen and thus not the freshest. As one of the worst chains relating to food quality and freshness, McDonald’s tends to come in. Guests grumble that the burgers taste like such a “hot mess” and are dry.

Consumer Score: 28%

McDonald’s

McDonald’s

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