The Worst Fast Food Chains We Can’t Believe Are Still in Business

Fast food isn’t supposed to be a culinary delight. We know what to expect when we pull through the drive-through to order a greasy burger: cheap, fast, mass-produced food that isn’t horrible but tastes the same wherever you go. 

However, some fast food restaurants broke the contract, serving genuinely awful food at outrageous prices. While scrolling through one of my favorite subs on Reddit, R/AskReddit, I found a question asking users to share their opinions on the worst fast-food restaurants. 

Here’s what the internet thinks. 

Panera Bread

Exterior of a Panera Bread restaurant.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Weiss via Shutterstock.com.

Panera used to be so good. Nothing beat their creamy broccoli cheddar soup served in a sourdough bread bowl. Their salads burst with flavor from the fresh ingredients. 

In recent years, Panera hasn’t just gone downhill. It nosedived. 

One user called it “Insanely expensive for extremely average food,” while another said, “It’s gone so far downhill since it was acquired by a private equity firm. The ingredients are less fresh, portions are stingy, and the price is no longer a reasonable value.”

Dunkin Donuts

Two donuts sit on a napkin next to a Dunkin Donuts coffee drink.
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“You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results,” said one user of Dunkin’s quality. “Their iced coffee tastes like fake chemically garbage unless you get it with a ton of cream and sugar,” complained another. 

Users agreed that Dunkin still does one thing right: donuts. The namesake and staple food at Dunkin Donuts is basically the same as it’s always been. Don’t go to Dunkin expecting a good breakfast, and you’ll be fine. 

Subway

Two six inch Subway sandwiches on a Subway wrapper next to a fountain drink.
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One user lamented that Subway used to be good, but now all you get is a giant hunk of bread. Many agreed that they used to love Subway, but it’s significantly decreased in quality over the years. 

“They have changed their meat vendor and the veggies are like the batch that’s just under grocery quality,” said one Redditor. “The last time I went they were even stingy with the toppings,” complained another. 

Subway has to be bad when some countries can’t even consider their bread “bread.”

KFC

Bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken
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“All it is is grease,” grumbled one user, “and the Mac and cheese is school cafeteria level,” they added. 

Others agreed, saying they used to love the iconic chicken brand in the 90s, but the quality declined considerably in recent decades. 

Five Guys

A hamburger and cup of fries on a table at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
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The internet’s issue with Five Guys is the price more than the food quality. A burger meal at the “fast food” joint can easily cost upwards of twenty bucks. 

Others complained that the food is only good when it’s hot. “You have to eat it in store otherwise you just paid $20 for a soggy mess of fries and burger. It’s top tier fast food if you eat it fresh though.” said one user. 

Starbucks

The iconic circular green Starbucks coffee sign hanging in front of a store.
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“It’s shocking to me how poor both the food and coffee are, and I’m not even a coffee snob,” stated one user, referring to the iconic coffee chain. 

“The popularity of Starbucks is so weird to me when it’s not even very good. It almost feels more like a trend that people want to be part of than a reasonable option.” offered another. 

Maybe the reason we all go to Starbucks is that it’s cool, not because it’s good. 

Mighty Taco

Side view of a Mighty Taco fast food restaurant.
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Mighty Taco is a fast-food taco joint in the Northeast. Although it doesn’t have the national footprint other chains on this list do, one user said it’s the worst fast food chain ever. 

“They were even voted best tacos a few years ago. It is absolutely terrible food. I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances. Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites. Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla” said the user of their local chain. 

Dairy Queen

The iconic sairy Queen sign on a large pole.
Photo Credit: Ken Wolter via Shutterstock.com.

Dairy Queen used to be the best place to get delicious ice cream treats. Their blizzards were iconic! The food offerings have always been subpar, but Redditors think it’s gotten worse in recent years. 

“The last couple years the prices doubled and the food quality is way down,” said one user who used to frequent DQ regularly. 

McDonald’s

Large stack of McDonald's food and branded McDonald's food packaging.
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Many users said McDonald’s has been declining in quality and rising in price for many years.

 “The price of two meals for me and my friend is about the same as the price of two meals at Cracker Barrel- where you get twice as much, homemade styled food” said one user. Another said fast food isn’t even about price anymore, as prices at most fast food chains are comparable to casual dining. People only grab fast food for convenience. 

Others disagreed, saying McDonald’s is one of the few chains where you always know exactly what you’ll get. 

Popeyes

A Popeyes Chicken Fast Food Restuarant.
Photo Credit: Urban Images via Shutterstock.com.

Popeye’s service is so bad it’s not even worth trying. “Last time I went the food was slappin but the employees looked so unhappy. I felt bad, If the service is bad everywhere, means the company treats them bad.” said one Redditor. 

Others said they can’t even do their core function. “I’ve been to Popeyes on more than one occasion where they actually tell me they are out of chicken,” another user complained. 

Most agreed that despite the service, the chicken is still pretty tasty. 

All of Them

Pretty young woman shrugging like she doesn't know.
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Tons of users couldn’t choose. They said all fast food chains are terrible. Most charge too much for subpar food and poor service. 

Others said the problem is the price. Fast food chains would be fine if the cost wasn’t comparable to a sit-down restaurant. 

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man cooking in a professional kitchen.
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