NEW YORK (MainStreet) Hitting the road for the holiday weekend can mean more fast food stops than usual. Maybe a good thing for the kids, but you? Not so much. Before you make your drive-through decision, want to guess the worst-tasting burger of them all? If you said McDonald's, you're right, according to a survey of over 32,000 Consumer Reports readers. Also at the bottom of the fast-food chain are KFC and Sbarro.
Some 65 burger, chicken, sandwich, pizza, Asian and Mexican fast-food chains were rated. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Smashburger and Fuddruckers took top honors for tastiness in the burger category. When it comes to yard bird, Chick-fil-A rules the roost, scratching out a victory over KFC, Boston Market and Popeyes.
"More and more, food quality ¿ not just low price ¿ is emerging as a deciding-factor for many Americans when choosing where to spend their dining dollars," says Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports. "Strong regional players and slightly more upscale fast-casual chains like Chipotle are giving the heavy-hitters in the fast-food business a wake-up call. And our survey clearly shows the big guys need to respond."
It's likely most diners would be hard-pressed to make the distinction, but Consumer Reports says "fast-casual restaurants" are a step up from fast food, providing "higher-quality fare" with accompanying higher prices -- and a focus more on dine-in than drive-through. Ranking highest in the fast-casual category were: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Firehouse Subs, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Jason's Deli, Jersey Mike's Subs, Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches, McAlister's Deli, Panera Bread and Schlotzsky's.