Report: Consumers say McDonald's has the worst quality fast food

McDonald's and other traditional fast food giants may be losing marketshare to fast casual spots and regional chains, but a new study has confirmed just why some consumers are stepping away from big brands.

According to a new report, consumers surveyed said McDonald’s has the lowest quality food out of all the big fast food food restaurants. The chain was ranked in the number 12 spot (out of 12) in a review conducted by RBC Capital Markets, a global investments bank.

Together with research firm Mission Measurement, RBC asked 1,000 people to determine how they ranked the top U.S. sandwich and burger chains based on the quality of the food served.

In-N-Out Burger was ranked number one, followed by Chick-fil-A and Culver’s. Sonic was ninth, followed by Jack in the Box, Burger King and Mickey D’s in the last slot.

Based on the survey’s results, millennial customers are rejecting the traditional big chains in favor of smaller eateries that have “strong people cultures and appealing treats.”

“For all-family brands, the bar may be higher on ingredients, and the media and promotional tools these (big brand) companies employed a decade ago seems to be far less impactful today,” RBC said.


But, according to the survey results, McDonald’s (which currently has more than 36,000 locations around the globe) has lots of work to if they want to impress younger consumers.

“We wonder if McDonald's can make a bold move to leap frog the competition with regard to quality--something that would be difficult at McDonald's scale,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst David Palmer.

The chain has recently enacted plans to launch both a new mobile ordering platform and improve food quality. The latter would incorporate a new line of high-quality “signature” burgers. McDonald’s also plans to start using sustainably raised beef in more locations.