Some very big fast food chains — McDonald’s, Taco Bell and KFC — will have a tough time swallowing this.
Their own customers say their signature items are the worst in their categories, according to a exhaustive consumer survey of the chain’s own customers by Consumer Reports.
McDonald’s makes the worst burgers. KFC offers the worst chicken. Taco Bell sells the worst burritos. This according to 32,405 Consumer Reports subscribers, in a survey whose results are bound to leave some high-powered fast-food executives scratching their heads today.
“A lot of the big chains leave a lot to be desired. This is a wake-up call,” says Tod Marks, senior projects editor at Consumer Reports. “Whether or not they choose to sleep through it is their choice.”
Fast food is big business. Americans will spend more than $683 billion eating out this year, estimates the National Restaurant Association. That’s close to $2 billion a day. While the convenience, low price and predictability big chains offer are a big plus, that’s no longer enough for a generation of patrons who demand higher-quality, better-tasting food.
“The landscape is changing as Millennials come into adulthood,” says Marks. Younger consumers not only embrace value, but also quality and social issues, he notes. This is hitting the big chains — slow to embrace these consumer needs — especially hard.