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Best fast food chains (according to Zagat)

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  1. Didn't go thru each category, but no arguments with the megachain ratings (then again I go to Subway 2x/year). It's in the fast food category - I want to know where these great Paneras are, because I've never been to one. I've been to a few (thank you Panera for free wireless). But the food tastes institutional at best and cleanliness has been spotty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Panini Guy

      The only Panera locations I've been to have been clean. The vary quite a bit from each other (ie, the one near my college was set up to attract students who would stay and study and use the wifi, versus the ones nearer the highways which are more quick in and out oriented). I do think the food is a bit lacking, given that they're baking fresh breads.

      I do think that Chick Fil A and Quiznos doing well in food ratings in their categories lines up wtih my experiences at both. Some of the best food of the chain offerings in my opinion.

    2. I can't argue too much with the ratings here, although I have no clue how Pizza Hut managed to get so high on the list. As for Panera, I have only been to the one here a few times (a relatively new location) and I haven't had any problems with the food or cleanliness there.

      1. Not a real fast-foodie, so no comment on the ratings themselves. What got me were the customer out-takes. I'm assuming this was done as customers were entering/exiting the restaurant which makes their quotes even more hilarious!

        1. Hooters for the "Top Service" category - Woo hoooo Hooters! I'm venturing a guess, but the survey seems to have been responded to by alot more guys... really horny guys who were way too self-absorbed to know what they were eating and with a totally different take on what service is...

          4 Replies
          1. re: bulavinaka

            Actually, I know many folks of the female persuasion that find the service at Hooters to be very good, dress code and curvaceous factor notwithstanding ...

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I stand corrected... now tell my wife so I can go... >:-)

            2. re: bulavinaka

              I've been to Hooters twice. Both times with vendors taking me to lunch. I find the food typical of chains, mostly flavorless.
              The girls try hard to make it a good experience. Not really much different than most places.
              In other words, I think your ventured guess is mostly wrong.

              1. re: Bobfrmia

                Sounds like I was at least half-right - or wrong - flavorless food, but as I mentioned (pleaded) to Ipsedixit, now tell my wife so I can be the judge. >:-)

            3. I'm surprised that Zagat even rates fast food. I don't know much about Zagat.

              As for the list, I think Wendy's is okay. Subway is pretty good. I tend to frequent Del Taco more these days, and I see that didn't make the list

              Hooters for best service? Very interesting. Must be the orange shorts.

              I've never tried Outback, Chick-fil-A, Sonic or Panera.

              I was surprised that Olive Garden made the list.

              1 Reply
              1. re: katkoupai

                i've been to hooters once. (i'm a woman, and indulged my boyfriend on vacation in fort lauderdale.) the waitresses are very nice. i think they feel vulnerable in those outfits, so it's good terms with everyone.

              2. Best food chains? Isn't that an oxymoron? Why is it that so many Americans will visit chain restaurants w/ the afore knowledge of mediocrity, but be afraid to visit some little local ethnic gems because they are afraid that they don't know what to order? Gimme local grease over internat'l conglomerate food additives!
                Chow Hounds of the world unite!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  1) not every town has "local ethnic gems."
                  2) fast food is fast and cheap.
                  3) there is nothing wrong with a burger from wendy's now and again. I agree wendy's has the best burger. i think there are definitely more flavor molecules coming naturally from the food then from artificial additives. anyone else notice this, with respect to mcd's?

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Convenience, price, and the drive-thru.

                  2. this list proves how indiscriminatingly stupid most people are
                    where the heck is in and out burger, where is a&w

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: celfie

                      In & Out may not qualify, since it's only available in a couple of states. And on the East Coast, every A&W I've seen share's a space with Long John Silver's. That should disqualify them automatically!

                      1. re: mojoeater

                        ah well this lowly canadian gets to experience the joy of the newly revamped a&w and it is delicious especially when confronted by a nasty hangover

                      2. re: celfie

                        Neither of those were on the list of places that were rated. The ratings were based on "reviews" from only 5500 people. In N Out wouldn't qualify as a national chain.

                        1. re: ccbweb

                          ahhh thanks for the info... i was wondering where my animal style burgers would fit into the whole mix.... never had a wendy's burger.. how does it compare to in n out? great, now i'm posting about in n out... and now i want a burger... =)

                          i downloaded the rest of the findings, and while i love local ethnic gems, and mom and pop restaurants, chains aren't "beneath me" hahaha i usually find something yummy wherever i go =) and i do like some certain chains =) this is good to know info.... i'll prolly look these over more carefully after work...

                          1. re: kinipela

                            If I'm gonna grab a burger on a road trip, Wendy's is better than McD's by far, and better than BK by some. I do wish In & Out was more widely available.

                            1. re: mojoeater

                              I agree with your national chain ordering of burgers....but now that I've been in In-N-Out country for going on a year, I'm ruined.

                      3. Disagree! The only one they come close to getting right is Chik-fll-a.
                        Best burgers that should beat out Wendy's:
                        1. Culver's
                        2. Carl JR's
                        3. In n; Out
                        4. Hardees

                        Actually... McDonald's still may have the best fries. I haven't been in forever.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Paul N

                          IN n Out and Culver's don't qualify since they are comparing national chains. Carl's Jr and Hardees are the same thing.