Least Trusted US Fast Food Chains (According To Experts)

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Least Trusted US Fast Food Chains (According To Experts)

Photo by OlegDoroshin from Shutterstock

Yes, fast food restaurants aren’t the first ones to pop into our minds when we talk about healthy food, but we do bank on them when we don’t have time for anything else or if it’s one of those days when we can’t say no to a cheeseburger and soda. Even though fast-food chains have a bad reputation and can be responsible for our unhealthy lifestyle, customers believe they are more dependable than others.

I mean, none of us thought Chipotle will close during the pandemic, but other restaurants have undergone some changes to keep running. If you’re curious to hear how fast-food chains stack up against each other, a “Best Life” survey from 2020-2021 made an “American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Restaurant Study”, to see which fast-food chain is the least trusted.

  1. Arby’s – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 77. This sandwich restaurant was only one point away from an average customer satisfaction score. Its customers say that the items the fast-food chain is best known for are not as good in reality. One client noted how the “hot” sandwiches are at best, cool to room temperature. And that, in a fish sandwich, is nothing but gross.
  2. Chipotle Mexican Grill – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 77. The fast-food chain is nearly three points away from an average rating. Although it seems like they have a bunch of happy customers, they still might have some improvements that need to be done. As a customer from North Carolina mentioned, the portions are small, and they add things you do not want and leave things off that you ordered. Plus, the food is constantly cold and old-tasting.
  3. Dunkin’ – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 77. Dunkin’s got a decent customer satisfaction score this year. Although the chain has a rating of 3.7 out of 5, customers mention that the donuts aren’t what they used to be. A customer in Georgia explained how, with the exception of some stores, the donut quality has decreased significantly.
  4. Papa John’s – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 77. It looks like Papa John’s low-quality rates are caused by its delivery service and poor management. As customers said, the employees are rude and unprofessional. You can wait up to 90 minutes and when it arrives, the pizza is cold.
  5. Burger King – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 76. Although it has a fair overall score, with a 3.6 out of a 5-star average overall customer rating, Burger King has some major quality issues. One customer from Florida wrote that the order they received had raw meat in it, and when they called the customer support service, they hung up twice on the phone. There is also another customer from Florida that said the food was undercooked: “Even if you’re busy and rushed, food should at least be cooked.”
  6. Little Caesars – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 76. As the rating can clearly show, Caesars had poor quality pizza and rude staff are the two biggest problems customers report.
  7. Panda Express –  ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 76. Its below-average score of 76 is not a surprise for anyone, since Panda Express has an overall customer rating of 1.6 out of 5 stars. To put it in a nice way, it appears that the low score may be caused by the fact that the prices don’t match the quality of the food. A customer in Washington wrote, “$14.00 meal that I wouldn’t feed to a pig.”
  8. Subway – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 75. Subway suffered the biggest dropdown year over year, from 79 to 75. Apparently, in the midst of COVID-19, many customers complained that some locations seemed to be struggling to keep hygiene in mind. Reportedly, some employees didn’t even bother to wear a mask.
  9. Dairy Queen – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 74. Although it has a 3.7 overall customer rating out of 5 stars, Dairy Queen was called out for its long wait times, high prices, and quality that doesn’t match.
  10. Taco Bell –  ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 74. One customer recalls the experience of eating at Taco Bell: “It is my favorite thing to eat. Unfortunately, I won’t return. My order was wrong over half the time. [Taco Bell] don’t care about their customers.”
  11. Jack in the Box –  ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 73. This fast-food chain has a 3.3 out of a 5-star overall customer rating, because of how unfriendly the staff can be, especially when it comes to feedback. A California customer related the experience when there were items missing from their order. They came back to tell the manager they had a few items missing, and the manager came running and screaming to get out.
  12. Popeyes – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 73. Not only that the Louisiana-inspired chain had lower points on last year’s ASCI survey, but also had a rating of 1.6 out of a 5-star overall customer rating. One customer in Midwest said that the Popeyes’ meal was “the worst dining experience in years”.
  13. Sonic – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 73. On the review site, there are many customers that shared their experiences with Sonic’s poor quality food and unprofessional staff.
  14. Wendy’s – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 73. The popular fast-food chain has a 2.1 out of a 5-star rating, because of the inaccuracy of their orders and poor customer service.
  15. McDonald’s – ACSI customer satisfaction score out of 100: 70. The world’s largest fast-food restaurant is also the one customers have the worst impression of. Although it has a 3.8 out of a 5-star overall customer ranking, its customers are deeply unsatisfied. A customer recalled: “I was at the McDonald’s in San Diego, [there were] errors in my order and there was a rude manager who was disrespectful”.
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