There’s nothing quite like going out to grab a bite to eat with your friends. However, the success rate of that meal relies entirely on what restaurant you choose to go to – one wrong choice, and your whole day could be ruined. To help you make better decisions when it comes to food, here are more of the Top 10 Worst Restaurants Ever! (Allegedly) (Part 2).
10. CiCi’s Pizza
Oh, pizza. The ultimate comforting fan favorite that always hits the spot. Obviously, the pizza market is booming, and options have never been so abundant! That means tons and tons of really good pizza joints have burst onto the scene over the years. However, that also means some less than desirable restaurants have opened up, and it can be hard to pick the right one sometimes. CiCi’s Pizza has often been linked to the “bad part of pizza.” The chain has never been considered a leader in the pizza-making industry. First opened in the 1980s in Plano, Texas, CiCi’s is known for its pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert buffet – only it wasn’t always for the right reasons. Just because you can get a lot of something doesn’t automatically make it good. CiCi’s Pizza has received numerous bad grades for the quality of its food and the cleanliness of its restaurants. Some reviewers online even been dubbed it the “Dollar Tree of food establishments.” Ouch. On the plus side, though, the polite and speedy staff often leave a good impression on patrons. Alas, this hasn’t saved the chain from its allegedly terrible food – no matter how many pizzas they make.
The fried chicken business has thrived in the last few years – probably because it’s so dang delicious! For those unfamiliar with this one, Bojangles is a chain of fast-food restaurants that specializes in Cajun-seasoned fried chicken, mostly in the Southeastern United States. Of course, you can’t say “Bojangles” without thinking of their acclaimed warm, buttery biscuits that have made people drool since the 1970s. While Bojangles isn’t the worst fried chicken restaurant on the market, it’s not the best either. Many people agree that the chain still has a long way to go before it can call itself “the king.” Back in 2017, the Washington Post did something rather bold that caused a lot of backlash from Bojangles fans. The Post referred to their flagship item as “Meh. Not a good biscuit!” That diss prompted southern parts of the United States to rise up. North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis even stepped in to defend the precious biscuits. And yet, according to Consumer Reports, only 45% of people who tried Bojangles would actually eat there again. So, Senator, it seems like not everyone agrees with your best ‘fast food’ biscuits, period” statement. Is this restaurant bad? Not necessarily, but is it the tastiest of them all? Probably not. With so many more biscuit options available from other chains to compete with, Bojangles could do much better.
Sbarro has never really been a fan favorite. While there are locations sprinkled across the country, it’s nothing too impressive – and many will argue that that’s a good thing. Sbarro first opened in the 1950s in Brooklyn, New York, and quickly began to spread. Thanks to its proliferation in malls across the states, the chain had a very steady debut. However, these 15 minutes of fame were rather short-lived. Today, the number of locations has dropped from over 1,000 locations to a shaky 600. It even filed for bankruptcy a couple of years back. Sbarro specializes in New York-style pizza, but not exactly the very good kind. It would seem impossible to come across something like “bad pizza,” but it very much seems to exist at Sbarro, at least, according to many customers. The majority of reviews online highlight that most people would only eat at Sbarro if they really, really had to, as in, there were no other food options for miles, and they were starving. Old, pre-made, warmed up pizzas simply can’t cut it in the pizza world nowadays, and if Sbarro wants to make it going forward, it’s going to have to change things up a bit.
Don’t get us wrong, Sonic’s drive-in concept is absolutely genius. It’s fun, vintage, and usually pretty convenient since you never have to leave your car. Sonic has a cult following of fast food lovers and always seems to be a fun experience. At least, it looks fun – until you actually go. According to many reviewers online, most of the time, this pied piper of a restaurant doesn’t live up to the hype. Reviewers say the food is fine but it’s just not as tasty as Sonic pretends it to be. You obviously can’t expect too much from a fast-food place – it’s not going to be a 5-star meal served with impeccable service – but a certain standard should be expected, especially when you’ve been told over and over how great the experience is. According to a Consumer Reports survey, only 36% of Sonic customers said they would go back for a second time – which is a pretty discouraging number. The chain keeps on ranking below other major fast-food competitors when it comes to sales and revenue and just can’t seem to catch up with today’s more health-conscious consumer. The food is loaded with calories, fat, and added sugar – as fast food is expected to be – but Sonic reaches new levels. A regular cheeseburger and fries combo could run up more than 1,000 calories. Basically, Sonic is only okay if you like fatty food and drive-ins.
Here’s another fallen soldier of the fast-food world, one that used to own the title of the biggest chain in the world! Today, however, things have changed for Subway, and they just keep getting worse every day. What happened to this once-so-successful chain? Well, let’s just say that Subway did not keep its “eat fresh” promise for very long. The restaurant used to hold the title of having the most locations around the world, with over 40,000 – that’s even more than McDonald’s. But that number has been dropping steadily over the last few years – just like the quality of the food. Considering the array of trouble Subway went through, it’s kind of easy to see why. First, there was the $5 footlong fiasco, then the lawsuits regarding those footlongs, and then the plentiful rumors about how some of the ingredients were really made; the whole company was in shambles. Then, in 2014, it was the whole azodicarbonamide in the bread scandal – a chemical also used in yoga mats. While Subway has since phased out the ingredient, the drama never ends. Recently, it’s the tuna that’s been the talk of the town. Subway claims to serve 100% wild-caught, cooked tuna mixed with mayonnaise and served fresh always. But, a DNA test conducted by The New York Times revealed that either there was no actual tuna in the sandwich, or it had been so overly processed that the lab couldn’t identify it as such. So, in conclusion, yea, we’ll steer clear of Subway from now on.
Opened in the 1930s in Chattanooga, Tennesse, Krystal has only about 350 locations across the United States. Like Bojangles, it’s mostly popular in Southeast part of the country. If you’re not familiar with Krystal, just think of it as something akin to White Castle – it serves sliders as well. Only there, they’re called Krystals. Hey, they at least get points for originality! The real problem with Krystal, though, has nothing to do with the “knock off concept”; but more so the execution of it all. Krystal’s food quality, or rather lack thereof, has attracted a plethora of complaints. According to some customers, the patty-to-bun ratio in most of their sliders is way off, and they taste bland. Their sanitary measures have also been questioned, as well as the customer service at some restaurants. Overall, Krystal doesn’t have anything to set itself apart from its competitors. The chain filed for bankruptcy in January 2020 and started shutting down many of its already scarce locations – it doesn’t seem like things are looking up. If you want some quality burgers, there are tons of other places with better reviews you can go and try.
4. Dairy Queen
Alright, settle down now – we’re not attacking your precious Blizzards, these are always delicious, and there’s really nothing negative that you could say about them. Still, many reviewers question the rest of Dairy Queen’s menu. Dairy Queen knows its way around frozen treats – that’s obvious – but when it tries to expand its menu to offer dinner options, that’s when things get a bit tricky. Indeed, more often than not, the burgers at DQ have received less than positive reviews. Some have called them “gray, flavorless and limpid patties.” Others “have accused them of having “peculiar texture, charred taste, and soggy buns.” Yummy. OK, fair enough, the name isn’t “burger” Queen, but still. You would think it would be pretty hard to mess up burgers, right? It’s just a beef patty and condiments in between two buns. Yet, Dairy Queen found a way to turn something so easy and wonderful into, well, something that’s not always so wonderful. There were even occurrences of food poisoning following the consumption of those sad little burgers. In 2017, a man sued a Fort Worth Dairy Queen after he was sent to the ER and had to pay over $20,000 in medical bills because of a moldy double patty burger he had ingested. In other words, maybe you should just stick to the Blizzards and other frozen treats when you go to Dairy Queen and get your greasy fix elsewhere.
3. Church’s Chicken
Honestly, we will most likely never get tired of fried chicken, which is why there are so many places you can get your chicken fix nowadays. However, some of these places could use a little help, and apparently, that includes Church’s Chicken. Known as Texas Chicken outside of the US, Church’s Chicken was first established in the 1950s and has been specializing in fried chicken, fries, biscuits, and jalapenos ever since. The only problem is, not everyone enjoys what this chain has to offer. One reviewer said the chicken had a “funny taste to it,” which isn’t the most appetizing description. Other customers had a lot to say about the alleged filthy state of the dining areas, the poor management, and what they described as frequent expired and burnt food. In general, Church’s Chicken is usually described as a Popeyes wannabe that doesn’t fully embody what a good chicken joint should be. Basically, Church’s Chicken might not be all that bad; it’s not all that good, either.
Yes, one of America’s sweethearts, one of the world’s largest chains, has earned its spot on this list of worst restaurants ever. But how? Well, back in the 1950s, when KFC first opened, it was on top of the world. The white-and-red striped bucket was iconic. These were the good olds days of the colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices. But, since all good things must come to an end, the chain lost quite a bit of its lustre in recent years. Since then, reviewers have criticized and challenged every single move and menu item from KFC. From the quality and freshness of the food going downhill, to the cleanliness of dining rooms, and kitchens — bad reviews have torpedoed their once stellar reputation. Of course, one or two bad reviews won’t harm your restaurant but multiply that over the years and see what kind of loyal fanbase you’re left with. One complaint led to another, and soon enough, the whole company had built a bad rep. With so many other up and coming franchises in the fried chicken game, KFC, once the poster child for tasty fried chicken, is now but a husk of its former glorious itself.
1. Long John Silver’s
Long John Silver’s is really a hit-or-miss type of restaurant. Since it primarily serves fried fish and seafood meals, you can’t really have an objective opinion on the chain if you don’t like fish. Thankfully, there are some seafood enthusiasts who have eaten at the restaurant before – and let’s just say the reviews aren’t always the most glowing. Long John Silver’s was first opened as a burger joint in the late 1920s and switched to fish in 1969. Perhaps it should’ve stayed in safe territory and stuck with burgers, leaving the little fishies in the sea. Many complaints have been filed against the restaurant, ranging from food issues to the customer service. Long lines, bad service, and downright dirty facilities in some cases, the bad feedback just keeps pouring in. And if that wasn’t enough, it turns out the food is also very unhealthy. Again, it’s basically a fast-food chain, so duh! It’s not going to be all that healthy to begin with, but how many restaurants do you know have won accolades for “Worst Restaurant Meal In America?” Back in 2013, Long John Silver was awarded this”honor” thanks to its “Big Catch” meal which consisted of a 4.5-ounce fish fillet, onion rings or fries, and hushpuppies – and the whole thing was deep-fried. Not a meal to eating everyday – or ever!