Everyone enjoys some fast food now and then because it’s quick to find, easy to get and delicious to eat. According to a recent study, 80% of Americans visit a fast food restaurant at least once a month and as many as 34% of people eat fast food daily. But frequent fast food eaters should steer clear of these menu items, which can be enough to make your stomach turn.
Panera Bread, Soup
Although a cup of soup might seem like the perfect thing to pair your Panera sandwich with during your lunch break, you might want to think twice before ordering any of the soups on Panera’s menu. To prepare their soups, Panera employees simply defrost a bag of frozen soup in a sink that may or may not have been disinfected. The soup is the cut open, microwaved, and left to sit out in another container for hours.
Little Caesars, Breadsticks
Little Caesars’ food is far from home made, but their breadsticks are their worst offenders. Former employees have said that their breadsticks are sometimes smeared with days-old butter, while other people have stated that food dropped on the ground doesn’t always get thrown away.
Panda Express, Orange Chicken
Panda Express utilizes a few methods to keep their food easy to enjoy, like letting it sit out in trays awaiting hungry customers. But all that time under a heat lamp can really dry out the Orange Chicken, so employees often just slather it with more sauce to keep it looking appetizing.
Burger King, Big Fish Sandwich
Fast food fish is one of the iffiest things you can buy, but if you’re still looking for a good fast food fish sandwich, look somewhere other than Burger King. The restaurant reportedly prepares a ton of fish sandwiches ahead of time, so you might be eating a sandwich that’s hours, or even days, old.
Dairy Queen, Salads
Dairy Queen is known for their Blizzards and other treats, so they haven’t spent too much time perfecting their salads. Included in their salads are typically limp greens, stale veggies and sickly sauces. And if you’re looking for a healthy option, you could do better than DQ’s over-dressed and topping heavy salads.
Starbucks, Secret Menu Items
If you order a secret menu item at Starbucks, you’re basically left at the mercy of the employee who has to make your drink, and they might not be happy that they have to make a complicated order for you. Unless you know all of the ingredients that go in your chosen order, you may have a tough time replicating whatever the Starbucks employee wanted to put in your beverage.
Jimmy John’s, Veggie Club
Somehow Jimmy John’s have managed to make their Veggie Club even unhealthier than most of their other sandwiches, so if you’re looking for a healthy option, you might as well choose something with meat in it. The sandwich packs a whopping 2,000 calories, which is enough to keep many people fed for a day, and the amount of sodium in the club is truly mind-boggling.
Arby’s, Fried Chicken Sandwich
The problem with Arby’s Fried Chicken Sandwich is the same problem you’ll have after ordering anything from Arby’s that doesn’t contain roast beef. You’ll probably have to wait a while for the employees to cook up your order because it’s not the most popular thing on the menu.
Pizza Hut, Specialty Crust
Pizza Hut offers some great pizzas with mouth-watering toppings, but even employees of the chain steer clear of their specialty crusts. Adding gooey cheese, mozzarella sticks or other fried foods onto the crust makes the already heavy food almost sickening. And your arteries probably won’t thank you, either.
Five Guys, Burgers
Former employees of Five Guys have criticized the lack of hygiene in many of the restaurant’s locations, and sometimes food prep areas at this restaurant chain can be a total mess. Besides that, some former employees have said that burger patties can sit out for at least three hours after being prepared.
Steak ’n Shake, BLT
Steak ’n Shake has some great burgers that can really fill you up, but if you’re looking for something satisfying for a great price, you could do better than their BLT. Some locations put just two pieces of bacon on the sandwich instead of the usual four, and make up for the missing meat with tons of extra lettuce.
Wendy’s chili is the greatest use of fast food leftovers. To utilize leftover meat from their burgers, the restaurant chain will chop up the old meat and add it into their chili. And the chili itself probably isn’t very fresh either as it may have been sitting in the fridge for up to a week!
Sonic, Ice Cream
Sonic and other fast food restaurants often use an ice cream maker that is difficult to take apart and sanitize. As a result, the ice cream machine doesn’t get cleaned nearly as often as it should. Some former employees have reported even seeing mold in the container where fresh ice cream is kept!
Subway, Tuna Sandwich
Subway has recently been under hot water due to scrutiny about what is actually in their tuna salad, which some reports say is “made from anything but tuna.” While Subway continues to claim that there is real tuna in their tuna sandwiches, some customers are disappointed simply because the sandwiches are too mayo-heavy.
Taco Bell, Quesadilla
Taco Bell utilizes a few ingredients to make a multitude of different menu items, but if you’re ordering the quesadilla, you might want to have a few minutes to wait around before you chow down. According to employees and customers, the Quesadilla and AM Crunchwrap are the two most time-consuming menu items to make because they have to be both steamed and grilled.
Not many people order tacos from Chipotle and there’s a good reason why. The portions of meat and other fillings in the tacos are usually tiny compared to what you get when you order a bowl of food. So the better deal is to get a bowl with whatever you’d like and then ask for taco shells on the side.
Chick-fil-A, Chicken Minis
Although they’re one of the most popular items on the Chick-fil-A menu, few people know the trick to getting more chicken for your buck. An order of four Chicken Minis will cost the same as an order of eight chicken nuggets, which are roughly the same size as the chicken pieces you’ll find in Chicken Minis.
Dunkin’ Donuts, Hot Chocolate
America may run on Dunkin, but you’d be better off grabbing an iced drink than a hot beverage at most Dunkin locations because hot drinks including coffee, decaf coffee and hot chocolate are typically made in large batches at the beginning of the day and then left to sit out for hours.
Anyone who has made gravy at home knows that it can be a pretty messy process, and the same goes at most KFC locations. The gravy you get with your mashed potatoes and biscuits is made from the drippings of the fried chicken that is cooked in the kitchen each day. So, the gravy you’re eating might be made from chicken that was cooked days, or even weeks, ago, depending how long it was sitting in the fridge.
Hardee’s, Fried Chicken Sandwich
Some former employees of Hardee’s have spilled the beans on their chicken sandwiches and it’s bad news for all chicken lovers. Some employees noted that chicken that was well past its best by date was still breaded and fried to be used in their sandwiches rather than being thrown away.
Jack in the Box, Tacos
Jack in the Box’s tacos leave a lot to be desired in terms of taste, and that’s because their tacos arrive at the restaurant chain’s locations frozen and already filled with meat. That’s right, employees simply have to place the tacos in the fryers and serve them, no assembly required.
Tim Hortons, Soup
Tim Hortons’ serves soup, which may seem like a cozy meal to have on a hot day, but one former employee reported seeing maggots in a batch of soup that was set out for customers a little too long. Like other restaurant chain’s their soups arrive frozen and pre-packaged, so no soups are made freshly in the kitchen.
Jersey Mike’s, Meatball Sub
Jersey Mike’s is one of the most popular sandwich chains in the country, but two menu items don’t get the approval of many of the chain’s current and former employees. The Meatball Sub and Chicken Parm Sub are both sent to the restaurant already prepared and frozen, and are simply microwaved before they are served to customers. And rumor has it that the meatballs are the same Tyson brand meatballs that can be found in most grocery stores.
The chili served at Checkers may seem like a good topping for your hot dog, but the meat in the chili is usually meat that is leftover from other menu items. One former employee of the chain even recalled that they never threw away their leftover chili, they simply topped it with new meat and other ingredients whenever they were running low.
Domino’s, Philly Steak Pizza
Domino’s always arrives to your door hot and ready, but some ingredients can be less than fresh by the time they hit your plate. Specialty pizzas, like the Philly Steak Pizza, use unique ingredients that aren’t used on other pizzas, so sometimes these ingredients are less fresh than the ones that are used across many menu items.
A&W goes above and beyond to prepare all of their items in house for each order, so expect extra wait times if you’re ordering breakfast at any time of the day that isn’t early in the morning. Once breakfast hours are over, the kitchen might take longer to prepare breakfast items because nothing is prepared ahead of time.
7-Eleven, Hot Dogs
The hots dogs and taquitos that are offered hot at many 7-Eleven locations obviously aren’t the healthiest option around and it turns out that they’re not the freshest either, especially if you buy them late at night. The hot dogs and taquitos you see on the hot rollers have are set out as soon as the location opens, which can be as early as 5 in the morning.
Del Taco, Value Menu
Del Taco’s Value Menu is obviously the cheapest option when it comes to choosing something from their menu, but fans of the fast food chain and employees agree that the taste and quality of these items are seriously lacking compared to other choices from the menu.
White Castle, Hash Round Nibblers
Although an order of Hash Round Nibblers might seem like a good snack, these little potato bites pack a whopping 1,440 calories per serving along with 110 grams of fat. That’s more calories than many burgers and sandwiches from other fast food restaurants contain.
Auntie Anne’s, Jalapeño Cheese Pretzel
A Jalapeño Cheese Pretzel from Auntie Anne’s might seem like an innocent snack to have while you stroll through the mall, but these pretzels are extremely high in sodium and fat. So if you’re absolutely craving a pretzel, opt for an original and maybe skip the cheese if you’re looking for a healthy option.
Moe’s, Homewrecker Burrito
The Homewrecker Burrito from Moe’s could also be called the diet wrecker! This menu item alone contains about 945 calories, which is more than enough for one meal for the average person. The stuffed burrito also has over 1,800 mg of sodium, which comes dangerously close to the recommended serving of no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
Church’s Chicken, Cob Sandwich
This is another fast food item to steer clear of if you’re watching your weight, or want to each a side of fries with your sandwich without any guilt. Church’s Cob Sandwich comes in at about 810 calories and an incredible 1,460 mg of sodium. Plus, some customers have complained about this item being served a bit too damp for their liking.
Popeyes, Shrimp Po’Boy
Although Popeyes’ Shrimp Po’Boy has a respectable 660 calories, which isn’t much of a surprised for a fried fish sandwich, this menu item has almost the recommended daily serving of sodium with about 2,000 mg per sandwich. And some customers believe the simple sandwich with fried shrimp and lettuce is a little lack luster for its price.
Culver’s, Veggie Burger
Most fast food restaurants are adding vegan and vegetarian options to their menus, but if you’re a strict vegan, beware of Culver’s Veggie Burger. The vegetarian sandwich arrives to the restaurant frozen and is cooked on the same grill as the all-meat burgers, so some cross-contamination occurs.
Movie Theaters, Popcorn
There’s nothing like grabbing a warm bucket of popcorn before you go into a long film at a movie theatre, but if you’re a fan of extra butter on your popcorn, you might be surprised to learn that there’s no actual butter involved in the process. The yellow liquid that is put on your popcorn is actually a mix of butter-flavored oils and food coloring.
BoJangles, Chicken Rice Bowl
There are some unhealthy items on the menu of every fast food restaurant, but BoJangles’ Chicken Rice Bowl takes the cake. If you order this, you might want to split it with another person because one order has over 4,370 mg of sodium. That’s nearly twice the recommended daily amount of sodium! Besides also having over 1,100 calories and 126 g of carbs, this meal isn’t exactly a fan favorite.
Shake Shack, Double SmokeShack Burger
Shake Shack’s Double SmokeShack Burger pulls no punches. The bacon and cheese topped sandwich has about 870 calories and 1,895 mg of sodium. So, if you’re not feeling up to working out for a few hours to make up for eating this monster of a sandwich, a healthier option would be the chain’s hamburger, which has a respectable 370 calories.
Einstein Bagels, Fresh Eggs
Einstein Bagels is another restaurant that doesn’t make all of their menu items to order, and that includes their eggs. Every morning, employees make a batch of eggs in the microwave to place on breakfast sandwiches, but these eggs can sit under a warming lamp for hours before they’re used.
In-N-Out Burger, 4x4 Burger
One of In-N-Out Burger’s most infamous secret menu items is the 4x4 burger, which is exactly what it looks like. The burger has four hamburger patties stacked high with slices of American cheese between each patty. Add some of the chain’s signature sauce and you’ll be looking at a burger that easily packs over 1,000 calories.
Quiznos is comparable to Subway in that they both offer sub sandwich menu options like the Tuna Melt, Classic Italian sub, and Meatball sub. Quiznos also offers the popular Spicy Monterey and Turkey Ranch & Swiss sandwiches. But the franchise has a major Achilles heel, and some customers might have already noticed the reason why you typically see more Subway restaurants in crowded cities than Quiznos locations.
Their Subs Cost Too Much
Good sub sandwiches or not, people simply can’t keep up with Quiznos’ high priced, average tasting menu items. As a result, sales have suffered a lot, forcing the popular sandwich chain to shut down 94% of their restaurants. Their downfall is not surprising since they used to earn $1.9 billion a year in revenue in 2007 but this figure dropped to just $100 million by 2020.
Rubio’s Tex-Mex menu items like the Grilled Gourmet Tacos and the Burrito Especial with Guacamole have made mouths water for years. But in 2017, they faced a massive reduction in their work force and customers have noticed the lack of employees in the once packed restaurants. And there's a good reason why the restaurant is failing that actually has nothing to do with the food items on their menu.
Blame the IRS
The IRS implemented a new rule that requires employees to have valid social security numbers to work minimum wage jobs, like the kind that most Rubio's employees have. This led to many employees who were already staffed by the franchise to be laid off. And to add insult to injury, the pandemic forced the chain to shut down all of their locations in the states of Colorado and Florida. The company even had to file for bankruptcy in 2020.
From shakes to smoothies to burgers, sandwiches, chicken baskets and fries, Dairy Queen has been an American staple since 1940. But while most people are pretty happy with the unhealthy but equally delicious desserts that the restaurant chain offers, others aren’t happy with their savory items, which could convince them to skip the popular franchise altogether when they're looking for a place to eat.
The Hot Dogs and Burgers Are the Worst
Customers have complained for years that the Dairy Queen burgers and hot dogs are not up to par with the sweeter menu items. One of the biggest complaints from customers has been that these items are often undercooked or cooked beyond the point of recognition. It takes a lot of skill to cook meat correctly, and it just seems like the employees at Dairy Queen aren't receiving the proper training on these menu items.
Wendy’s might offer an impressively low $1 menu, but their combo menu items, like the Baconator or Spicy Chicken Sandwich, are pretty expensive, with the Baconator combo meal costing $8.09 and the Spicy Chicken Sandwich combo meal costing $6.69 as of August 2021. But customers are complaining about more than just the prices of their meals when it comes to Wendy's.
The Food is Mediocre
Most customers don’t have any issue paying a little extra for fast food that’s a decent quality, but that’s not what they’re typically getting when they eat at Wendy’s. Customers have complained that the famous square burgers sold at the franchise are served barely warm and in 2018, an uploaded video showed a mouse roaming near a bag of hamburger buns in one location of the popular chain.
McDonald’s offers a wide array of menu items like the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, and Chicken McNuggets, not to mention fries and soft drinks that customers can order at large sizes for a little extra. But the franchise’s minimum health requirements for their items is alarming (and frankly, gross!) Luckily for customers looking to save a penny, McDonald's is pretty cheap, all things considered.
The Cost is Unreasonable
McDonald’s has done its best to remain a low cost, affordable fast food alternative for their customers, which explains the cold burgers and limp fries. But in recent years, the prices have started to climb, leading to a significant drop in customers for the worldwide brand. And many customers no longer feel that their products are worth the new higher costs. This forced more than 200 McDonald's locations to close in 2020.
Unlike other fast food restaurants, Cinnabon is in a different class, mainly because their star menu items are cinnamon rolls. Admittedly, the rolls are massive, tasty and go great with a cup of coffee. But they aren’t always easy to find, as many of the restaurant chain's biggest fans have noticed in recent years. But why can't you find a huge cinnamon roll at any hour of the day anymore?
Customers don’t crave cinnamon rolls the way they crave burgers and fries, so Cinnabon has been working on promoting their products at other chains like Walmart. While this has certainly helped improved sales, it signals that Cinnabon restaurants may eventually fizzle out of mall food court locations, which are becoming more sparse themselves with each passing year. Some estimates show that up to 25% of shopping malls in the United States may close by the end of 2021.
Like Cinnabon, Dunkin' Donuts is a bit of a one trick pony by marketing a primary item, which in this case is an assortment of donuts. And while their variety is quite impressive and the donuts are delicious, they are also loaded with sugar, as are their coffee drinks, which places the company as one of Starbuck's biggest rivals. And the restaurant has even tried to distance their ties to their most popular food item by removing the word Donuts from the company's name in 2018.
Their Menu Rarely Changes
For a company to stand out, it’s important to introduce a new flavor or a new menu item to keep people interested. But Dunkin' Donuts’ menu hasn’t really changed much over the years. The prices, however, have continued to rise, leading to a drop in revenue and the closing of more than 800 locations in 2020 alone. So if you can still find a Dunkin' location and you're still interested in having donuts for breakfast, this could still be a good fast food option for you.
Since 1919, customers have relied on A&W for their famous root beer and root beer floats. The fast food franchise has also offered regular draft beer and hamburgers. But while customers have been quite satisfied with their floats and other drink options, their other menu items have not kept customers very happy. With more people becoming health conscious and trying to make better food choices recently, this fast food chain has noticed a decline in customers.
It’s Greasy and Unsanitary
A&W has earned a reputation for serving greasy fries, which isn’t nearly as bad as the complaints customers have made about the unsanitary conditions of some of their restaurant locations. And unless something changes, A&W may become a cautionary tale for other fast food chains. Thanks to apps like Postmates and Uber Eats, more hungry people have better options to get quick food, so fast food restaurants like A&W may be facing more closures in the near future.
Little Caesars may not necessarily offer the best pizzas in the United States, but they're not exactly the worst pizzas in the country either. Their pies are always hot, just like they advertise, and they're ready in a fraction of the amount of time it takes to get delivery from other pizza joints. And in addition to pizza, they also offer their garlicky and delicious breadsticks as well as chicken wings, too.
Their Prices Match Their Products
Little Caesars may not have five-star items on their menu, but at the very least, customers can count on the items being low priced. That same statement cannot be said of some other fast food restaurants on this list that offer mediocre options at high prices. So, if you're happy with the quality of this pizza, go on ordering it. But if you're looking for food that will really satisfy your taste buds, you would probably be happier taking your money somewhere else.
Hardee’s / Carl’s Jr.
Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. commercials were often a source of controversy as they often had racy looking swimsuit models eating juicy burgers in them. In some cases, they poked fun of vegetarians by showing a farmer standing in a field talking about their sandwiches have no vegetables and begging viewers to eat the meaty sandwiches and save the veggies for the cows. Fortunately, these restaurants are not all bad.
They’re Still Too Pricey
Although the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food franchises have toned down their commercials in recent years to avoid offending some people, the cost of their menu items is still pretty high compared to other fast food burger options across the country. However, hardcore fans are willing to fork over the cash for a Famous Star With Cheese, which currently costs $4.69 or The Big Hardee, which costs $5.19.
Jack in the Box
It seems like customers can’t get enough of Jack in the Box’s Mini Churros or Jack’s Teriyaki Bowl with Chicken or even Jack’s Spicy Chicken. And the best part is that the restaurant offers these items and other unique offerings at a low price. But there’s a downside to this fast food joint and it's not just because of the calories that some customers are steering away from the franchise.
The Service Isn’t Always Great
Some customers have complained that their Jack in the Box location messed up their order every time they visited the chain. Other times, the employees didn't open the doors at the time that they claim they advertise to open, and the wait time to get an order can sometimes take 30 to 45 minutes depending on how many items you order. And to make things worse, the quality of the food isn’t always so great either.
Jimmy John’s gourmet sandwiches, beefy wraps, and Chicken Caesar wraps have given customers a lot to talk about over the years. Unfortunately, the employees are the ones that aren’t happy at this chain because they’re forced to sign a non-competitive clause that prevents them from working for a competitor for up two years after leaving Jimmy John’s. For many job seekers in fast paced cities, the job just isn't worth the paycheck.
E. Coli Outbreaks Plagued Jimmy John’s
Lawsuits ultimately forced Jimmy John’s to remove the unfair non-competitive clause because it limited their former employees job prospects after they left the company. But just as the restaurant recovered from one scandal, they had to deal with approximately five E. Coli outbreaks in the past ten years, which not only had employees worried, but also had potential customers looking for other places to pick up a sandwich.
Tim Hortons is the Canadian equivalent to Dunkin’ Donuts. In fact, for many Canadians, this franchise provides people with pleasant memories of stopping by for some delicious donuts and coffee at any time of year. But they do have one major issue and that’s their coffee, which many customers claim is so bad that it is ruining Tim Hortons as a franchise. And that's not the only problem that the Canadian chain has endured recently.
2020 Crippled Tim Hortons
The pandemic forced several Tim Hortons locations to close by order of health inspectors after several employees tested positive. This hit the donut franchise where it hurts the most— their pockets. As a result, they were forced to close several locations. Thankfully for maple donut fans, there are still thousands of Tim Hortons locations across Canada and the United States to visit if you don't prefer any alternatives.
From beer battered fish tacos to regular beef tacos, Del Taco has attempted to outshine competitors like Taco Bell with their modern Mexican menu items with a twist. But customers claim the wait time at many of their locations is atrocious and others believe that the amount of rice in their burritos is simply unacceptable, but the franchise has recently released a new menu item to get people talking.
Meatless Tacos Is Their Saving Grace
Although many of Del Taco’s menu items are not intended for health-conscious customers, their menus do show how many calories their food have. Also, the franchise has introduced meatless tacos to their menu, which makes them not quite as bad health wise as some of the other fast food restaurants on this list, if you can stand to wait a little while for your food.
Popeyes has done its best to stay on top of its fellow fried chicken competitors like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Chik-fil-A. But as the pressure to succeed grew, they tried to release a chicken sandwich menu item that was a total flop, and many of their most frequent customers remember the disappointment that they got when they tried to order the highly publicized menu item.
Their Chicken Sandwich Was a Disaster
Popeyes added a chicken sandwich to their menus in August of 2019 that wasn’t even in the ballpark with chicken sandwiches from their competitors. And yet, they were popular enough that customers did order them. But they soon grew frustrated when the restaurants ran out of the item. As a result, Popeyes announced the closure of several underperforming restaurants in 2020.
Sonic Drive-In utilizes servers who roll out your food on roller skates and outdoor parking that gives customers their own personal drive-thru that they can park in front of and eat, just like a classic diner from the 1950s. But a lot of customers aren’t happy with the quality of service or the food, and the vintage experience just can't make up for the disappointment they get when they take their first bite.
The Food Isn’t Very Fresh
Customers aren’t expecting 5-star gourmet food items, but they would like their food to be fresh rather than a lukewarm and soggy mess. They also wouldn’t mind a little service with a smile, which some claim they have not gotten. Maybe this is because the added task of rollerskating to deliver a customer's food is a lot to handle for many minimum wage workers who would rather take an easier job somewhere else.
From handcrafted specialty pizza menu options like The Meats, Super Hawaiian and Zesty Italian Trio to BBQ Chicken & Bacon, Papa John’s certainly sounds like a pizza lover’s dream come true. But the quality of the pizza leaves a lot to be desired and that’s not the only thing that put a bad taste in people’s mouths. Even the founder of the company has expressed his distaste for their pizzas.
Their Founder Has Some Harsh Words For the Company
In 2018, John Schnatter, the founder and public face of Papa John’s used a slur during a conference call that went public. This forced him to resign as chairman to keep the franchise from taking the hit, but some customers are still feeling the bitterness of his words to this day. And to make matters worse, Schnatter has since criticized the franchise's pizzas since leaving the company, claiming that they have changed their recipes since he left.
Pizza Hut is the go-to-place for stuffed crust pizza or crusts with cheesy bites and sides like pizza folds and pasta. But although they used to be one of the most popular pizza franchises in America, the quality has taken a serious dive since their height in the '90s. And even the addition of WingStreet restaurants co-locating with the pizza franchise, customers aren't feeling satisfied.
The Hut's Prices Have Spiked
Some customers would say that Pizza Hut’s pizzas are great while others will argue that they are low quality. But one thing they can all agree on is that the prices for the menu items have made Pizza Hut unappetizing and in 2020, they were forced to close more than 300 locations due to a drop in sales. It's anyone's guess whether this pizza brand will manage to stay afloat against its competitors in the future.
Fans of chicken strips know that Raising Cane’s is the place to go because that’s literally the one thing they sell. Between their chicken fingers and their famous Cane's sauce, customers know what to expect when visiting the chain. But while the taste of these not-so-healthy menu items are passable, some customers have noted one serious issue with the franchise, and it has to do with the inconsistency of the quality of their meals.
Cane's Chicken Strips Aren’t Properly Prepared
Raising Cane’s customers aren’t happy that the chicken strips often come out either a little too soggy or a bit too overcooked making it difficult for them to enjoy their meal. And in addition to the cooking inconsistency, there’s also the fact that the food is greasy and probably not the best diet choice. Cane's competitor Chick-fil-A offers some healthier grilled chicken options, making it a better location for health conscious snackers.
El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco is a fairly popular Mexican-style restaurant franchise, which is really surprising given that a lot of customers don’t consider the food to be all that great. In fact, some claim that the food tastes like cardboard, and that’s not all that's wrong with this popular chicken wing joint. If you do enjoy the taste of the food, there may be a few other issues with the chain that will convince you to eat somewhere else.
They Lack Locations and Run Out of Chicken
In addition to there not being a lot of locations of El Pollo Loco across the United States, the food is reportedly dry, which can be very unappetizing when it comes to a restaurant that specializes in chicken meals. Customers have also claimed that El Pollo Loco is too expensive and the staff is often unfriendly. To make matters worse, the restaurants often run out of chicken, their most popular item.
Taco Bell’s menu items aren’t limited to tacos. They also offer burritos, chicken quesadillas and Mexican pizzas. But customers looking to satiate their hunger will be disappointed by the lack of ingredients and tiny portions on their menu, not to mention the stomach cramps and other intestinal issues some folks have complained about after eating at the popular franchise.
Burger King’s famous Whopper and crunchy onion rings might make some customers’ mouths water, but overall, the franchise seems to laugh in the face of good health with items like the triple whopper with cheese that is full of trans fat, sodium, fat and calories. And even though the franchise recently went vegan with their new Impossible Whopper, the chain still falls behind the quality of other restaurants.
Sbarro claims to offer Italian and New York style food items like pizza, calzone and pasta dishes. But a lot of customers aren’t happy with the low quality of the dishes, not to mention the fact that most of the food served at their locations sit there under food lamps for half an hour or more before they are served to customers. And if authentic New York style pizza is what you're looking for, you should probably check somewhere else.
Long John Silver’s
Long John Silver’s Alaska Pollock is one of the most popular fish items on the menu and so is their Cod meal. But others would prefer the fried shrimp dish with hush puppies. However, customers have complained that these dishes are either too dry and salty or too stale and greasy. And their meals are known to be extremely unhealthy, like their Big Catch plate, which contains about 3,900 milligrams of sodium, which is more than the daily recommended amount.
Checkers / Rally's
Checkers burgers don’t actually stand up to competitors like the McDonald’s Big Mac. They do however make some incredibly seasoned, crunchy, and crispy fries that are the franchise’s signature item. But everything on the menu is high in fat, unhealthy, and guaranteed to clog the much needed blood flow to those arteries. And if health isn't your biggest concern, you might be shocked to learn that many people got their identities stolen at one of 103 Checkers and Rally's locations which were tied to a long-running data breach that was disclosed in 2019.
Boston Market was pretty popular with rotisserie chicken enthusiasts in the 1980s, but eventually, people realized that they were paying too much for something they could make, or microwave, at home. Also, some of their other menu items were limited to a thin slice of meat with a spoonful of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. And if you like the food offered by this fast-casual chain, you may be better off buying their products at the supermarket instead of visiting their dining locations.
Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket, Loaded Italian, and Corned Beef Reuben are all practically cold cuts between two pieces of bread. And a lot of customers aren’t happy that they have to pay so much for heavily processed meat, which looks like a pink bag of squishy slime when it is delivered to each location. Also, there was that incident in 2012 where a customer reportedly found a human finger in their order.
Subway sandwiches have been riddled with controversy for a number of reasons. For one thing, the footlong sub is reportedly not actually a foot long. And recently, the popular restaurant chain came under fire when it was revealed in a study that their tuna sandwiches were found to contain no actual tuna. While the study didn't reveal what was actually in the fish mixture served on the restaurant's sandwiches, it was revealed that the fish was composed of a variety of different ingredients, none of which were tuna fish.
Auntie Anne’s shops are commonly found inside malls and are dedicated to serving pretzels. Unfortunately, customers aren’t happy that you have to pay so much money for an oversized pretzel that’s probably burnt, stale and is loaded with salt sprinkles that can raise blood pressure. With the closure of many malls in the United States, Auntie Anne's is one fast food chain that Americans might soon have to say goodbye to.
White Castle is known for their thin, mini, square-shaped burgers, which aren’t actually quite so bad. But some customers claim that they taste like microwaved food and feel they shouldn’t pay the high prices for menu items that they can just buy at a store and microwave at home. And the restaurant chain recently had over 20 health code violations reported at their largest location in its first inspection since reopening in 2021.