Overrated or Underrated? Rating America's Favourite Fast Food Chains

Overrated or Underrated? Rating America's Favourite Fast Food Chains

In the world of fast food, there are bound to be some highlights and some major disappointments. Everyone loves the convenience of fast food, but are the things you're getting really worth the money? No matter how big the brand is, today we're going to see if they pass the test - are they overrated or underrated? Let's rate America's favourite fast-food chains to see where they stand on this list.

1. In-N-Out Burger 

Before you get upset seeing this iconic burger chain on the overrated list, let us explain! While In-N-Out has a cult following thanks to its fresh burgers and cheap, consistent pricing, you have to admit, the fries are a different story. Too bland and lacking any crispiness, the fries just don't match the hype this beloved fast food chain holds. While you can try getting them animal-style, you can't cover up the fact that the fries are simply subpar. This is proof that even the most popular joints have their Achilles' heel!

Restaurant-5467806 1920Image by Trent Garverick from Pixabay

2. Panera Bread

Where do we start with Panera Bread? While they often advertise themselves as a "healthier" alternative compared to other fast food chains thanks to their cozy cafe vibe, it simply isn't true. Some of their menu items are the same, if not, even higher in calories than other fast food items! Not to mention the prices are way too high given the quality that's actually delivered. While Panera Bread may seem like a good option in the fast food world, expectations tend to fall short.

Pedro-Forester-Da-Silva-Uduqhwi09Oc-UnsplashPhoto by Pedro Forester Da Silva on Unsplash

3. Subway

Subway, a giant in the fast food world, has been a staple in the industry for a long time, providing customers with an array of customizable sandwiches. But over the years, it's become clear that Subway's quality has become inconsistent; many customers have repeatedly complained about the freshness of the ingredients, despite "eat fresh" being their motto. 

Matheus-Bardemaker-Rwoxb6Lk7Ra-UnsplashPhoto by Matheus Bardemaker on Unsplash

4. Dunkin' Donuts

Although Dunkin' Donuts is widely beloved throughout America, it's hard to deny its decrease in quality over the years, especially in their baked goods. Known more for its coffee these days, the brand's baked goods taste nothing more than mass-produced. They lack the homemade charm they once had, and customers have often stated different locations seem to be hit-or-miss. Inconsistency is never a great factor!

Isabella-Fischer-P6Kmvnpjcco-UnsplashPhoto by iStrfry , Marcus on Unsplash


5. KFC

KFC, once home to delicious, mouth-watering fried chicken, seems to have lost its edge. The famous chicken is now often found greasy, over-breaded, and if you're really unlucky, can even taste a bit stale. Compared to other growing fried chicken establishments, KFC is simply being outclassed. 

Istrfry-Marcus-Spfttafihz0-Unsplash (2)Photo by iStrfry , Marcus on Unsplash

6. Starbucks

Starbucks is a coffee brand known all around the world, but over the years, it's become much more about the experience than the actual coffee. It's about jumping on social media trends moreso than enjoying the coffee for what it is. And that's because unfortunately, Starbucks drinks are usually excessively sweet and way too overpriced. If you love a bit of sweet coffee, then it's just the place for you; but for true coffee enthusiasts, you'll likely be disappointed by the offerings.

Tr-Jy4T6Sy9Ax0-UnsplashPhoto by TR on Unsplash

7. Five Guys

Despite having some truly delicious burgers and fries that get praised for their quality, Five Guys just simply isn't worth it. For the price, that is. When you weighh the cost against what you're getting, suddenly, your meal doesn't taste all that great. Customers have constantly complained about the high price tag, and with inflation over the years, it's become something truly outrageous. Isn't fast food supposed to be on the cheaper side of things?

Elodie-Agodor-Cbsh2Ltkurq-UnsplashPhoto by Elodie AGODOR on Unsplash

8. Chick-fil-A

In the world of fast food chicken, Chick-fil-A has a cult-like following. However, the hype might be starting to outshine the actual taste and quality of their menu items. While the sandwiches are definitely good, they're not groundbreaking. And with such long line-ups just to get your food, is it really that good that you'd wait an extra 30 minutes for "fast" food?

Brad-Ppgsqdoandi-UnsplashPhoto by Brad on Unsplash

9. Taco Bell

Taco Bell, the go-to place for quick "not-so-Mexican" Mexican food. Often falling short in both authenticity and quality, Taco Bell always seems to be a hit or miss. Generally criticized online, many have commented that their items tend to be either excessively salty or too bland. 

Pj-Gal-Szabo-Umgu0Ug3Rxy-UnsplashPhoto by PJ Gal-Szabo on Unsplash

10. Sonic

Sadly, the fast food options at Sonic just don't live up to peoples' expectations. While they've got an extensive menu, most of them seem to be mediocre in taste. Many customers have also commented on how each location is either a hit or miss, making it a question of whether you're willing to risk a potential bad meal. Do we really want to gamble on our food?

1024Px-Sonic Drive In Restaurant, (14231135472)Mike Mozart from Funny YouTube, USA on Wikimedia Commons


1. Arby's

Although Arby's might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of fast food, it's certainly a hidden treasure. And if you're someone who craves a good roast beef sandwich, you'll definitely be pleasantly surprised by their offerings. Their meats tend to be well-seasoned and succulent, and their curly fries are phenomenal - crispy and perfectly spiced! Maybe it's time to give Arby's another chance...

Arby's (14162561487)Mike Mozart from Funny YouTube, USA on Wikimedia Commons

2. Burger King

Often standing in the shadow of its larger competitors (namely McDonald's), Burger King deserves way more credit. With tasty flame-grilled burgers like the iconic Whopper, its got a smoky flavour that tastes distinctly unique in the fast food realm. Let's not forget about their crispy onion rings too, because those have got some seriously good crunch on them.

Kseniia-Ilinykh-Geqbjxykt9E-Unsplash (1)Photo by Kseniia Ilinykh on Unsplash

3. Bojangles

Never heard of Bojangles'? Similar to how In-N-Out is only available in certain states, Bonjangles' is not typically known outside the Southeast. But it should! A cornerstone for Southern fast-food cuisine, here, you can get scrumptious chicken and biscuits that deliver on both comfort and flavour. They've got a great seasoning blend that'll keep you coming back. If you ever come across one, definitely give it a try.  

New Bojangles At Night (36854775384) (1)Mr. Blue MauMau from USA on Wikimedia Commons

4. Wendy's

While it's still a big name in the fast food world, Wendy's tends to be overshadowed by bigger brands like McDonald's. However, they actually offer a diverse and satisfying menu that people need to stop sleeping on! Aside from some great burger options, their salads are surprisingly fresh and tasty - a rare find in the fast food sector. Next time you stop by, take a good look at their menu and try something different!

Batu-Gezer-Agghkguvs2W-Unsplash (1)Photo by Batu Gezer on Unsplash

5. Popeyes

Although Popeyes is less popular than Chick-fil-A in the States, it definitely deserves some more recognition. Bringing a taste of Louisiana to the fast-food scene, their fried chicken is juicy, flavourful, and crispy. When paired with their buttery and soft biscuits, this might become your new go-to place for fried chicken.

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits (11523174093)Clotee Pridgen Allochuku from Sherman Oaks, California, United States on Wikimedia Commons

6. Culver's

Culver's might be a regional chain, but its appeal is universal. Known for their ButterBurgers and fresh frozen custard, they offer a quality rarely seen in fast-food. Each burger is cooked-to-order, ensuring that customers can enjoy a fresh, warm meal that stands out in the world of fast food.

Culver's, TallahasseeMichael Rivera on Wikimedia Commons


7. Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr. often gets lost in the sea of burger joints, but it truly stands out with its unique offerings. Their Thickburgers, made with 100% Black Angus beef, offer a juicy, gourmet experience. And their hand-scooped milkshakes are a decadent treat that perfectly complements their hearty meals. It's time to revisit Carl's Jr.!

Carl's Jr. Boron, CaliforniaTaurusEmerald on Wikimedia Commons

8. Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box might be known for its eclectic menu, but this variety is exactly why it's underrated. From burgers to tacos, and even late-night munchie meals, they cater to a wide range of cravings, all with consistent quality. It's a one-stop shop for any fast-food enthusiast.

1706028928606.pngBilly Hathorn on Wikimedia Commons

9. Del Taco 

Forgot about Del Taco, have we? Well, here's your reminder that you should skip Taco Bell and give this fast food chain some more love! Their burritos are generously filled so you have a quick meal that feels worth every penny, and their tacos have a uniquely homemade feel to them. It's a budget-friendly option if you're craving some fast Mexican-style food!

Del Taco, CentervilleMichael Rivera on Wikimedia Commons

10. Hardee's

Often clubbed as Carl's Jr.'s sibling, Hardee's is a delightful chain restaurant that shines particularly during breakfast hours. Their made-from-scratch biscuits will brighten anyone's morning, and their breakfast platters offer a comforting homestyle taste. But it doesn't just stop there - their burgers seriously won't disappoint either. Don't hesitate to stop by the next time you see one!

Hardee's - 16682654131CapCase on Wikimedia Commons