With high marks for food, service, value and speed, In-N-Out Burger topped the burger chart in Consumer Reports' first-ever major ratings of fast food restaurants. McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's all ranked lower.
Consumer Reports readers made over 98,000 visits to 53 fast food chains, and found that Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s and Taco Bell offered uninspiring food and so-so service.
While In-N-Out Burger was the top-ranked burger chain, other restaurants also did well in their categories. Chick-fil-A topped KFC and all other chicken chains, with high scores for food, value, speed, and the politeness of its staff. Chipotle Mexican Grill beat out 8 other Mexican food chains, including Taco Bell .
Many restaurants scored higher for service than they did for food. At chains with the highest rankings, 42 to 54 percent of customers called the food excellent, but at Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell, no more than 11 percent did. At pizza chain Sbarro, 27 percent judged the food fair, poor, or very poor.
While many fast food restaurants offer healthful menu options, most consumers are taking a pass; only 13 percent of those surveyed by Consumer Reports said they had eaten a healthful meal during their most recent visit to a fast food chain. "Indulgence wins over healthfulness every time,” says Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm in Chicago.