And from the ever-growing Master List of Lists comes this, from Consumer Reports: the 25 most-complained-about chain restaurants.
For context, the ratings are based on 170,838 reported visits to 238 full-service restaurant chains (so no McDonald’s or Burger Kings). Some are regional, but many have a national presence, and thus might well be among the dining options for travelers visiting areas with fewer independent restaurants.
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The offenders, beginning with the worst, as measured by the most complaints per 100 visits:
- Dave & Buster’s
- Taco Mac
- Native Grill & Wings
- Quaker State & Lube
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- The Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grille
- Huddle House
- P.J. Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant
- Joe’s Crab Shack
- Hurricane Grill & Wings
- Wild Wing Cafe
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Rainforest Cafe
- Iron Skillet
- Texas Roadhouse
- Buffalo Wings & Rings
- Dick’s Last Resort
- Logan’s Roadhouse
- House of Blues
- Bar Louie
- Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
- Waffle House
- Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill
- Duffy’s Sports Grill
Among the complaints’ causes, excessive noise was cited most often, followed by poor service and badly prepared food. Survey participants who dined at Fricker’s, for instance, dinged the chain for noise (22 percent of respondents), service (22 percent), “dirty environment” (22 percent), and food (12 percent).
The complaints report is part of Consumer Reports’ comprehensive Restaurant Buying Guide, which also includes ratings of 238 chains, tips on getting good value (10 or 15 percent AARP discounts at some popular chains, for example), healthful eating, restaurants that serve antibiotic-free meats, and so on.
Reader Reality Check
What are your most and least favorite restaurant chains?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.