8 Fast Food Chains With Most Food Quality Complaints – Eat This Not That

The quality of ingredients can make or break a fast food chain. It’s what sets one restaurant apart from another and, in the case of many brands, what sets them apart from popular polls winning or barely winning lawsuits. While some companies tend to rack up praise, others tend to perform less well in public opinion.

Many restaurant chains have a bad reputation for various reasons, while others tend to be criticized specifically for the quality of the food, or lack thereof. These are the types of places that might use toxic ingredients, or serve meat with antibiotics, or their menu items are just plain sketchy.

Whatever the uncertain reasons, customers aren’t too happy about it, and whether they’re taking their complaints to Reddit or the courtroom, these are the fast food restaurants we hear about most often.

And don’t miss 8 sandwich chains that use the highest quality ingredients.


When it comes to receiving complaints, Subway is the unhappy king of the fast food kingdom. At this point, the massive chain is as synonymous with infamy as sandwiches, especially since most of its latest headlines relate to a lawsuit alleging that its tuna isn’t really tuna, which isn’t not very beautiful.

And while Subway technically won the first battle on the way to justifying its shady spread, much of the damage has already been done in terms of public perception. That, and that’s just weird and rude.

But Tuna is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Subway drama. It seems the chain is constantly putting its foot in its metaphorical mouth, whether removing the beloved sandwiches from its menu (and prompting a slew of customer complaints), using chicken which may or may not contain 50% of meat, or by refusing to honor coupons.

Ultimately, however, a chain with an “Eat Fresh” slogan is now seen as a cesspool of low-quality, questionable ingredients and chemical-laden foods.


For generations, McDonald’s has been a fast food staple in the United States and around the world. Beloved for its irresistible fries, Happy Meals and pure Americana, there’s plenty to find endearingly at this mega-chain.

But there is also something to criticize. After all, this is the company responsible for one of the most epic customer complaints in history, culminating in that infamous hot coffee lawsuit.

Beyond that, patrons have rightly seized on rude knocks and broken ice cream machines, with the latter also resulting in its own lawsuits.

A few years ago, the chain was ranked dead last in a customer survey on food quality, and things haven’t really improved lately – the company has recently been accused of dropping major public health promises.

steak and shake

The weather hasn’t been kind to Steak ‘n Shake. Neither does public opinion. The once-popular burger and milkshake chain is on the verge of bankruptcy to continue losing revenue at an alarming rate.

Massive restaurant closures may be due to customers complaining about long wait times and declining food quality. The internet buzz hasn’t been helpful, with critics lambasting the chain for reduced portion sizes, nasty jerks and lack of good service.

Taco Bell

In terms of complaints from nutritionists about food quality, Taco Bell just doesn’t fare well. With a menu loaded with sodium, fats and sugars, the Mexican chain is notoriously bad for you. And in some alarming cases, so serious that they trigger a trial and charges of bodily paralysis.

The chain is also particularly infamous for creating menu items that have become the laughing stock of the internet, drawing numerous complaints and reviews online for things like Cinnamon Twists and Power Bowls.

The company has also had to deal with ingredient shortages recently, resulting in disgruntled customers being turned away empty-handed.

pizza shack

Everyone’s favorite childhood pizzeria may not have aged so well after all. Though rooted in American nostalgia and experiencing a pandemic-induced surge in sales, Pizza Hut has fallen seriously out of favor with customers lately, causing sales to plummet.

Thanks in part to its shoddy beef and the simple fact that it serves some of the most unhealthy pizza around, things aren’t looking too good for The Hut right now.

More recently, the addition of a new style of pizza drew a lot of criticism from Detroit residents, earning the company a mostly negative response on social media. That there is a comment thread online titled “Why does Pizza Hut pizza now taste bad?” doesn’t really help the brand either.

kfc drive-thru

KFC has both its naysayers and its diehards, but the fact that the company has the unfortunate distinction of being the world’s most hated fast food chain is hard to ignore. That’s according to social media data from RAVE Reviews, a company that tracks comments and complaints on Twitter about fast food restaurants around the world, with KFC coming in by far last.

The main criticism is that the quality of the food is inconsistent or downright poor, which makes sense given that this is one of the fast food chains using questionable quality ingredients and has a long list of scandals and criticism.


To many, Chipotle may seem like the pinnacle of quality fast food, but the tides could be moving in the wrong direction for the burrito brand. The chain is losing points on its overall US customer satisfaction index, and it has become a frequent target for criticism on everything from reduced portion sizes to foodborne illness outbreaks.

This, coupled with the fact that prices continue to rise and burrito deals are a recurring nightmare for customers and employees, only adds fuel to the complaint department’s fire.

More recently, Chipotle added smoked brisket to its menu, and let’s just say customers have given the texture some thought.


There’s a lot to love about Chick-fil-A, consistently ranked among the nation’s most adored chains. But for every top-notch nugget, there seems to be a misstep leading to complaints about everything from inconsistent food quality and nuisance driving to shrinking sandwich sizes.

In fact, the inconsistency is such a problem that it sparked a massive Reddit thread discussing issues with food, prompting dozens of commenters to talk about their woes. Chick-fil-A has also come under fire for its policy, banning it in certain areas, and lawsuits have hit the chain for “misleading” charges.

About Walter Bartholomew

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