The Worst American Fast-Food Chains Ranked By Customers

Published on 08/20/2019
ADVERTISEMENT

While fast-food is a convenient, quick, and cheap solution to meals, it’s losing its edge as of late. Recently, consumers have become more and more interested in high-quality, fresh food, cleanliness, and, of course, great service. However, there are a lot of fast-food chains that are struggling to maintain these standards for their customers. As one would expect, this means that the customers want to return less and less.

Screenshot 1

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

Arby’s doesn’t have the best track record seeing as only 44% of people come back for a second burger. Not only do many guests report getting sick after eating one of the famous roast beef sandwiches, but they’ve gained the reputation: “expensive yet delicious trash”. The chain has also faced rumors regarding a certain extra ingredient they add to their food. Let’s just say it’ll make you never want to eat there again.

Arby’s

Arby’s

Arby’s has been fighting off the rumors that their roast beer is made of powder, liquid, paste, and gel, but many guests don’t buy it…literally. This fast-food chain seems to be under a lot of heat, especially after a customer found a piece of human skin in his sandwich in 2004. If that’s not bad enough, in 2012, an employee somehow managed to serve a human finger on a bun!

Consumer Score: 44%

Starbucks

Although Starbucks used to be the “it” place to be and be seen, that no longer seems to be the case. These days, the coffee powerhouse is struggling to make ends meet. Their fancy drinks, tasty pastries, and creative mugs and travel cups aren’t as enticing for consumers as they once. Interestingly enough, the Starbucks stores in malls do the least amount of business.

Starbucks

Starbucks

Starbucks is another company who has faced controversies in the past. Back in 2018 when 2 African-American men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadephia, the chain was condemned for racism. In turn, the chain shut down the operation of all stores nationwide for a day to train employees on racial biases and how to avoid them.

Consumer Score: 44%

Wingstop

Wingstop sees about 44% of costumers returning for their fix of greasy chicken wings, salty fries and loads of ranch dressing. While the company receives rave reviews of their sweet fries and house-made ranch dressing, the food’s saltiness and their sub-par boneless wings are the reason for the low returning customer rate.

Wingstop

Wingstop

Wingstop is known to use way too salt on their wings, so much so, they become impossible to enjoy. Customers also complain that the boneless wings are always soggy, instead of crispy, as they should be. They’re also not a fan-favorite thanks to the high prices and awful sauces.

Consumer Score: 44%

Boston Market

Boston Market had over 1,100 locations across the U.S. back in the 1990s. Fast forward to today, and the brand has only 400 stores left. Their popularity came from their rotisserie chicken, customers thrilled with the idea of not having to cook an entire chicken at home. But, their claim to fame is now the reason for the absence of customers.

Boston Market

Boston Market

Making rotisserie chicken convenient for consumers was an easy process to replicate…cue the competitors. Today, most grocery stores offer roasted chickens for a fraction of the cost. With the demands of diners today different than in the past, it is important for the menus to change with the people. Unfortunately, Boston Market had a difficult time providing multi-cultural flavors and vegan options for the younger generations.

Consumer Score: 43%

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen is the only place you can find upside-down ice cream…cue the watering mouths! The chain got its start in 1940 and their gravity-defying blizzards have been going strong since! But, with the good comes the bad. Customers complain that their ice cream isn’t real, that it tastes like plastic and oil, and that it melts too fast.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen also sells food, but the reviews for that aren’t too great either. One review stated that “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”. They are also known to under-cook their chicken.

Consumer Score: 43%

El Pollo Loco

Fast food diner, El Pollo Loco, got its start in Mexico back in 1975. The founder, Francisco Ochoa, named the chain “The Crazy Chicken” in Spanish. It wasn’t until 1980 that the people of America finally got a taste of Ochoa’s goodness. Although, only 43% of customers return to the Mexican food diner, the bad service and low-quality food just doesn’t attract consumers.

El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco

Not only are the employees rude, but the wait times are extremely long, and the orders are often incorrect. In addition, the food has no flavor, and it costs a fortune. El Pollo Loco’s chicken seems to be the runt of the litter as customers complain it is either undercooked and raw, or overcooked and dry. Certain locations are also known to run out of chicken during the day…no bueno!

Consumer Score: 43%

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a fan-favorite, and in 2018, it was even crowned “America’s favorite Mexican restaurant.”  The chain’s most popular items have to be the Nacho Fries, the CrunchWrap Supreme, and the Beefy Chalupa. Although they may be seen as the best by some, others claim that they’re at the bottom of the lot.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

According to Consumer Reports, Taco Bell’s burritos are ranked the least tasty, and their food doesn’t keep diners full. The company also receives many complaints of stomach pain and diarrhea, a side-effect of their food. This, in turn, damages Taco Bell’s reputation.

Consumer Score: 43%

Bojangles’

Bojangles’ first store was in Charlotte, North Carolina and today, the chain only exists in 12 states, Alabama, Maryland and Florida being three of them. The fast-food joint was established back in 1977, but they are still known as one of the worst chains in the nation. Their fried chicken and buttery biscuits just don’t garner enough attention.

Bojangles’

Bojangles’

Many people hate their biscuits, and that includes taste testers from the Washington Post. The judges said, “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%

Subway

Don’t let Subway’s large number of stores across the country impact your view of them. The best-selling Fresh Fit Choices and five-dollar footlongs aren’t cutting it any longer. Don’t believe us? They closed over 1,000 stores back in 2018.

Subway

Subway

People now prefer hormone-free meat and locally sourced produce rather than the processed options Subway offers. Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike’s are two competitors that are currently knocking Subway off its’ wheels. The company is in the process of changing its bland menu, so let’s see what happens!

Consumer Score: 42%

Krystal

Krystal is most often put into the same category as White Castle since both joints offer tiny burgers. Although they do score better than White Castle, and customers love their Corn Pups, they aren’t perfect.

Krystal

Krystal

Consumer Reports claim that Krystal has one of the worst burgers in the entire nation. The oversized buns don’t measure up with the tiny patty, and the taste, along with the sauce, is lackluster at best.

Consumer Score: 41%

Domino’s

Domino’s isn’t a favorite among customers thanks to the cardboard-like taste of their pizza and their plastic-esque meat. If that isn’t bad enough, people claim their sauce takes more like ketchup than it does pizza sauce.

Domino’s

Domino’s

Back in 2009, the company admitted their food was lackluster at best, and so they tried to fix it. Here we are 10 years later and it’s still known as one of the worst in the country. The gross dining experience and snail-slow service is just the icing on the cake.

Consumer Score: 41%

Long John Silver’s

This fish-and-chips and hushpuppies provider serves just that, and nothing more. Too bad Long John Silvers’ food is salty, greasy and too stale for diners to enjoy. People also complain that their food is often overcooked and cold. The fried fish they produce is mainly batter and no meat at all.

Long John Silver’s

Long John Silver’s

The orders with missing items, long lines, and awful customer service make it a reason not to come back. Customers also complain of the dirty stores, with filthy tables, bugs everywhere, and a foul smell in the air.

Consumer Score: 41%

Taco John’s

Although Taco John’s customers love the Potato Olés, only 41% come back, mainly because of the lackluster menu. White burritos are often wrapped weirdly and the salad tacos are just thrown together with zero effort.

Taco John’s

Taco John’s

Not only is the presentation bad, but so is the food’s taste. This chain is yet another that receives complaints of overly salty food. Diners also complain that the cheese tastes fake and that the meat is covered in oil and grease.

Consumer Score: 41%

Wienerschnitzel

Wienerschnitzel, also known as The World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain, dishes out over 120 million hot dogs each year! Although, the company, established back in 1961, does have a low number of customers returning for more, mainly due to the low-quality food.

Wienerschnitzel

Wienerschnitzel

The chain’s meat is god awful, often burnt and always tasteless. The bun is also much bigger than the dog itself, meaning all you taste is bread, and no meat. Their fries also don’t have the best rep thanks to their rubbery texture and mushy-ness.

Consumer Score: 41%

KFC

KFC has been struggling for years now as consumers no longer trust their food. In 2002, they had 5,742 locations, and in 2016, that number dropped to 4,270. The chain is facing rumors claiming they infect their chicken with steroids, though they deny all claims.

KFC

KFC

Customers aren’t fans of the gross dining quarters and the poor food quality. Although the brand advertises crunchy, crispy meat, customers claim their chicken is soggy, and only crispy when it’s burnt.

Consumer Score: 40%

Cinnabon

The pastry powerhouse we all know and love as Cinnabon offers warm, gooey cinnamon buns that taste like heaven. But, for some reason, only 40% of customers return after getting their sugar-fix. The chain is working to switch things up, but it doesn’t seem like diners are too impressed.

Cinnabon

Cinnabon

Their low-quality food and terrible service deters customers from coming back for more. Many consumers also complain of their buns being reheated rather than fresh out of the oven.

Consumer Score: 40%

Del Taco

Del Taco, a Mexican fast-food chain, is known for their cinnamon churros and taco combos. But, customers complain of long lines and unappetizing food, the reason only 40% of people return for more nachos.

Del Taco

Del Taco

Their meat has no taste, and they put too much rice in the burritos, but, somehow, they continue to reap positive reviews. We’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for them in the future.

Consumer Score: 40%

Einstein Brothers

Einstein Brothers only sees 40% of customers returning for their “gourmet” bagels. Many diners complain of the freshness and blandness, opting for higher quality grocery store bagels instead.

Einstein Brothers

Einstein Brothers

Not only are their bagels bad, but people also complain of the awful customer service and bitter coffee. Accuracy and timeliness are not their selling points, if you get what we mean!

Consumer Score: 40%

White Castle

It’s safe to say that not many people like White Castle. Although they’re famous for their tiny, square hamburgers, it’s slowly turning into their weakness. Customers complain that in order to feel full, they must buy more than 1 burger.

White Castle

White Castle

And that’s not all. The buns are supermarket-like, too airy and big in comparison to the burger. Diners also complain of the bland taste of the meat itself and of the overpowering taste of onions.

Consumer Score: 39%


ADVERTISEMENT