America’s Least Favorite Fast-Food Restaurants

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This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site

Americans spend billions of dollars on fast food every year, which is funny, because they’re not all that satisfied with it.

People enjoy full-service restaurants much more than fast-food ones, even when it comes to speed of service, according to the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index, but people keep going back.

Love-hate relationships with fast food are common: It’s often unhealthy and addictive, but it’s convenient and cheap (until it adds up — Americans spent $117 billion on fast food in 2011, according to Fast Food Marketing). As a result, it’s unsurprising that some of the most popular fast-food chains are also among the least liked from a customer-satisfaction standpoint.

Here are the bottom five:

5. Burger King – anACSI score of 76 (out of 100), same score as 2013.

4. Dunkin’ Donuts – a score of75, down five points.

3. KFC – a score of74, down seven points.

2. Taco Bell – a score of72, down two points.

1. McDonald’s – a score of 71, down two points.

Starbucks scored the same as Burger King (76), which was a four-point slide from last year for the coffee chain. The scores are based on 4,572 random customer interviews between Jan. 13 and March 11.

People may be less satisfied with these traditional drive-through kings, but enthusiasm for fast food isn’t exactly waning. The best experiences seem to come from smaller chains like Panera and Chipotle, which were grouped together in the “other” category, which held the top spot with a score of 84.

The remaining spots in the top five were taken by pizza joints: Papa John’s (82), Pizza Hut (82), Little Caesar (80) and Domino’s (80).

It’s unsurprising that eating out is a common budget-killer (the most common, according to some financial advisers), and using a credit card when doing so means you’re likely to spend more than if you were paying with cash. And if you tend to carry credit card debt from month to month, especially if it’s higher than 30 percent of your credit limit, you’re not really doing your credit standing any favors. (You can get an idea of your credit standing by checking your credit scores for free on, where you can also get a breakdown of what’s influencing your credit, and a plan to improve it.)

A fast-food addiction can easily deplete your bank account or trash your credit if you thoughtlessly charge all those runs to the drive-through, so make sure you’re considering the whole picture before eating out. Convenience and speed may not be worth it when it comes to quality and cost.

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  • nitemare2

    I can’t really see any news in this blog as none of these restaurants are going to close anytime soon and all are still doing a healthy trade. I know the MickyD’s where I live are all busy as are the other 4. DD just opened it’s first place in the area several months ago and is doing an outstanding business. I do not know where these reports are taken from but any drop in business should be attributed to the economic situation of the country as a whole, as much as the “experts” and the Presidents spokes people tell us everything is good it’s not. Millions are still unemployed or underemployed the price of gas and utilities has risen, as has food and just about everything. People now have to buy healthcare insurance which even if subsidized still cost because of high deductibles and premiums they didn’t have before. Used cars have become more expensive because of the cash for clunkers program which crushed good used cars that many people need. We are all told to buy electric cars or ones like the smart car, these are all expensive and the payments do not compare to the savings of a used car that gets 30-35 miles per gallon in a 5 year period. Besides if I have a poor paying job I can’t afford a $40k car and don’t want a 2 seat casket on wheels.

    • I.Popoff

      Yes, but what’s the BAD news?

      • nitemare2

        I guess according to Washington there is no bad news

  • ModernMode

    I used to eat at Burger King until I noticed they were microwaving all the sandwiches after making them. When I complained to the Burger King home office the response was “Yes, we are doing that and have no plans to change”. I took my business elsewhere. I don’t like nuked lettuce and tomatoes.