The results of Consumer Reports’ latest fast food survey are in, and there are some surprising winners, as well as some very expected losers. For example, in the categories of Best Service, Best Chicken, and Cleanest, Chick-Fil-A topped the charts. Chick-Fil-Friggin-A. Your flagrant homophobia may win this time, but if Consumer Reports should ever create a Moral Conscience category, the tables will turn!
The survey’s participants ate 96,208 meals at 65 chains across the country, then reported their opinions on several criteria back to Consumer Reports. In general, the survey found that food quality has grown more important than convenience of location when it comes to people’s dining decisions, especially young adults. Darren Tristano, executive vice president of food-service research firm Technomic, says that many traditional chains have lagged in offering higher-quality ingredients, and millennials may prefer, “Fast-casual dining in places like Chipotle [which] lets the consumer guide the staff to prepare their meal just the way they like it.” Great, more fodder for people to claim millennials are narcissistic.
But let’s get to the fun part: the survey asked eaters to rate the tastiness of foods on a scale of 1 to 10, in the categories of chicken, burritos, sandwiches/subs, and burgers. As mentioned, Chick-Fil-A was the golden egg in the chicken category, coming in at 8.1. Popeye’s and Boston Chicken tied at 7.7. Not surprisingly, Chipotle won out the burrito category with a 7.8, and also not surprisingly, Taco Bell came in at the bottom with a shockingly high 6.3. Portillo’s Hot Dogs, a midwestern chain originating in Chicago, scored the highest for sandwiches. Subway came in nearly lowest on the list, although consumers did rate it as the healthiest chain. Which apparently doesn’t mean squat, as only 20% of participants consider the availability of healthy options when choosing a restaurant.
And now for the category you’ve all been waiting for: burgers. While you may suspect that the west coast’s infamous In-N-Out Burger would rise to the top, it actually came in second, narrowly beat out by a place called Habit Burger Grill, another California native. As for the losing burger, McDonald’s came in at the bottom with the lowest score of all categories, 5.8. Another notable loser was KFC, which was voted to have the worst chicken, and be the least clean. Sorry Micky D’s and KFC, I guess people just don’t appreciate condoms and rags in their meals like they used to.
Oh, and White Castle was voted least healthy. But you already knew that.
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