There’s a lot of things that can make or break a fast-food restaurant. Whether it’s the food quality, the customer service, or even the cleanliness of the kitchen, no one is safe from receiving a place on the podium of bad restaurants. To enlighten your next fast-food run, here are more of the Top 10 Worst Fast Food Chains (Allegedly) – Part 2.
10. Checkers / Rally’s
In America, there are tons and tons of fast-food restaurants that serve up good and juicy burgers, french fries, and soda – they’re probably the most commonly found menu offerings. While continuity and consistency can be a good thing, it can also mean that standing out in a sea of similar chains can be quite the task. Sadly, Checkers – also called Rally’s, depending where you live – does not seem to be up to the challenge. Unlike other big fast-food chains like McDonald’s or Burger King, Checkers does not have any truly signature items, nothing that immediately screams “Checkers.” The menu is mostly composed of easily forgettable items that could be mistaken with foods from just about anywhere. And not only is the food ordinary and bland, but it’s also rather low-quality and one of the less healthy fast food options out there. Most of the meals at Checkers have higher levels of saturated fat than the majority of its competitors. Sure, it might be cheaper, but it probably doesn’t take into consideration the possible future health issues it can lead to! To add to the whole mess that is Checkers, you need to wait forever to get your food. Seriously, it takes a long time to get served, even when the restaurant is empty. So, your food is boring, unhealthy, and takes ages to get to you. So it’s not surprising that only 36% of customers said that they would go back, according to Consumer Reports. Sometimes, blending in is not the way to go, especially when you don’t have a secret weapon!
9. Jimmy John’s
Jimmy John’s is the perfect example of how poor management can affect a chain right across the board. Even if we disregard the at least 5 E. Coli outbreaks the chain has had in the past decade and the very arguable quality of the food, we would still be left with a restaurant at the center of controversy. From 2014 to 2016, Jimmy John’s employees were forced to sign a notorious noncompete clause, which created a lot of backlash. This eventually landed the restaurant in court. The clause in question prohibited employees from working at other delis for two years after their employment with Jimmy John’s ended. By signing the contract, workers basically agreed not to work at any business which derives more than 10% of its revenue from selling subs or any type of sandwich for that matter. In 2016, employees fought for their rights and won, forcing Jimmy John’s to remove the clause from their employment contracts. The judge ruled in the employees favor saying that having non-compete agreements for low-wage workers was considered immoral. Bad management aside, Jimmy John’s doesn’t have a lot going for them. So much so, they were even desperate enough to buy people’s houses so they could move into a location’s delivery zone! Back in 2019, there was a promotion in which customers living outside the zone could win $250,000 towards a home, that, you guessed it, was in the JJ delivery zone. Desperate times call for desperate measures, indeed.
8. White Castle
Okay, White Castle isn’t bad, per se; it’s just not the best of the best. It’s one of the oldest fast-food chains in America, so it’s probably allowed a few setbacks from time to time. However, what shouldn’t happen is a decrease in quality, and this is exactly what is happening. Over the last few years, as more fast-food restaurants joined the party, White Castle seems to have let itself go a little bit. The quality of the food has dropped drastically, and people started to take notice, especially with the release of their boxed frozen sliders you can get at the local grocery store. For frozen burgers, they taste amazing. The problem comes from the fact that the sliders you order at the actual restaurant taste exactly the same. Why even bother going to White Castle at all if you can get the exact same experience at home? Plus, they’re cheaper at the store! Problems with the buns, usually thin and bland patties, nothing at White Castle is very high-quality. To top it all off, not too long ago, White Castle recalled over 72,000 packages of frozen burgers shipped to 22 states due to possible listeria contamination. Listeria can cause serious infection and short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, and stiffness. It just sounds like White Castle could do a lot more to better its reputation and make an effort to please its loyal customers.
Surprisingly enough, one of America’s biggest fast-food chains has made it on this list. While KFC was pretty big back in the day, once considered many people’s favorite fried chicken joint, it has slowly been turning into an average, dull fast-food chain that no one really pays too much attention to anymore. This regrettable downfall is mostly due to the numerous crazy rumors that have been swirling around KFC’s specialty; the chicken. The word is that the restaurant allegedly injects its chickens with steroids to make them larger in size, thus creating some kind of “mutant chicken.” Even though KFC has denied these claims, most people are still on the lookout and no longer trust what’s in their once-adored red-and-white-striped bucket. But the enhancement of the chicken isn’t the only thing wrong with KFC. Far too often, people have complained about the soggy, dry, or even burnt chicken they would receive. KFC’s reportedly dirty locations and lack of fresh and quality options is probably the straw that broke the camel’s back, and a lot of people have been snubbing the chain because of it. With scandalous rumors, second-rate chicken, and filthy restaurants, it’s only fair that KFC loses some of its former royal status.
6. Sonic Drive-In
Sure, if you want some happy hour, carnival-style food delivered to your car on roller skates, Sonic is the best place to go. But, if you want that same food to be of good quality, then you should probably look elsewhere. Sonic has been rolling with this unique and nostalgic idea for decades now, and the entire experience has drawn a lot of visitors over the years. However, just because it draws people in doesn’t mean it keeps them in – or even makes them want to come back again. Sonic has been met with countless complaints, ranging from food quality to the dining and service experience. Many people have admitted that the service at Sonic did not meet their expectations and that they wouldn’t consider going back. The food has always come under fire for not being as fresh as that of its competitors. In other words, for many, it does not live up to the hype. Even though it’s one of the more unique nationwide fast-food restaurants, it could still do better. It looks like Sonic has been stuck in the past for too long and keeps dealing the same cards over and over. Maybe a little revamp and new menu options would do Sonic some good, but in the meantime, it’s not worth the drive.
5. Little Caesars
The love/hate relationship people seem to have with Little Caesars’ pizza is incredible. One minute, it’s the best pizza they’ve ever had, and the next, it shouldn’t even be called pizza anymore. That is because if you can only have a Little Caesar’s pizza, then you’ll take it, because well, it’s pizza. But if you put it next to an authentic good pizza, then it gets ridiculously awful. Of course, it’s edible, and it’s perfect for a late-night craving when nothing around is open, but other than that, you can save yourself the trouble. With so many awful online reviews, this one sums them all up – “the absolute worst in terms of everything.” It begs the question, why and how is Little Caesars still open. The answer lies in the sweet, sweet deals the chain offers for its low-quality pizza. If there’s one thing Little Caesars has going for them, it’s their cheap prices. Do you know many places where you can buy a large pizza for only $5? Probably not. But remember, you do get what you pay for. Nevertheless, it is kind of refreshing to see a restaurant chain offering fair prices in a time when fast-food prices are constantly increasing. While it might be one of the worst in terms of taste, Little Caesars couldn’t do much better in terms of price.
Speaking of paying too much for low-quality food, Arby’s is the best at that! Known to “have the meats,” Arby’s is a fairly popular fast-food chain that offers up some unique menu options. One of the most popular is the roast beef sandwich, which is supposed to be a delicious, meaty sandwich for an affordable price. However, it’s been referred to by some customers as “overpriced garbage.” Not exactly kind words to describe the restaurant’s signature item, but unfortunately, it seems to be most representative of the whole brand. The food at Arby’s has been said to be ridiculously overpriced, especially given the ingredients and preparation involved. But that’s not even the worst part about the roast beef. A lot of rumors have popped up about the chain, but nothing ever quite beat the reality. Back in 2012, an incident happened that left many people iffy about ever going back to Arby’s. A customer from Michigan found a piece of a severed finger in his roast beef sandwich. The most disturbing part? The fast-food chain is still in business. You would think that finding a piece of a human finger would be enough to close down a restaurant, and yet, the doors are still open. Most people have forgotten about the incident today, but it doesn’t change the fact that it happened.
3. Dairy Queen
When it comes to delicious dessert options, Dairy Queen is definitely one of the best out there. Perfectly formed ice cream cones and tasty Blizzards are what they do best, but when it comes to actual food, well, that’s another story. There’s no denying that DQ’s strength is definitely anything that contains ice cream – and not much else. Multiple complaints have been made about the chain’s hot dogs and hamburgers in particular. There is simply no consistency whatsoever in how the food is cooked. Either overcooked and undercooked, there never seems to be any happy middle ground. And when the cooking isn’t the issue, it’s the taste – or more like, the lack thereof. The patties are often described as dry, gray, and flavorless – overall, pretty disappointing. The burgers often have a peculiar texture, a charred taste, and soggy buns. There have been cases of food poisoning following customers eating the DQ burgers, and a man even sued a Fort Worth Dairy Queen over a moldy burger that sent him straight to the ER. Not only is it a bad burger, but it’s a burger that could send you to the hospital. And it’s not like their chicken is any better either. Apparently, raw or undercook chicken strips aren’t uncommon at DQ. Maybe they should stick to everything ice cream and leave the burgers to the big guys. Without its sweet treats, Dairy Queen most likely would’ve failed a long time ago.
A&W is mostly known for its world-famous root beer, which is considered iconic in American fast-food lore. One of the best things about A&W root beer? The root beer floats, of course! The restaurant has been around since 1919, and in 2019, it became the first fast-food chain to celebrate its 100th anniversary! Impressive, right? Unfortunately, the delicious and historical root beer isn’t enough to compensate for the rest of the menu. According to many customers, the other items don’t quite live up to the expectations that the root beer has. Unlike many other restaurants we’ve seen so far, the burgers are okay. Not the best, but they aren’t the main issue. The fries, on the other hand, yikes! They’ve often been described as overly greasy. How greasy? Well, one reviewer said it was like consuming an entire cup of oil. These fries are also usually served with the added bonus of poor customer service and in dirty and unsanitary restaurants. As much as we can like A&W for their frosted mugs of goodness, we simply can’t overlook the obvious lack of quality the rest of the menu offers. If you still want to enjoy a nice, cold root beer, the coast is clear; however, if you’re craving some burgers and fries, there are about a million other places you can go.
1. Jack in the Box
With an iconic mascot, a ton of affordable menu options, and some hilarious television commercials, Jack in the box looks like the perfect, successful fast-food joint. However, looks can be quite deceiving. Even if Jack in the Box has a large selection of menu items, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re all good. A lot of people have gone off on Jack in the Box, especially online, trashing the food and calling it all kinds of names. From tasteless to sloppy, most people seem to agree that the quality isn’t all there. Perhaps it’s because there are so many choices. Sometimes, the more options, the lesser the quality. Since Jack in the box has yet to come up with a go-to menu item like the Big Mac or the Whopper, it might be what’s keeping the chain from finding its own personal flavor. If you want to see some real internet rage, just Google “Jack In The Box food reviews,” and you will be more than kept busy. The negative feedback isn’t just about the food though; there’s also the bad and low-quality service. So bad, in fact, that only about 33% of people who ate at Jack In The Box said they would return. Not exactly the best of odds when you’re trying to compete with a few pretty big players.