These 9 Fast-Food Chains Are the Biggest Ripoffs, According to Reddit

Burger King: Triple Stacker King


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Taco Bell empty Taco
Amy B./Yelp

Drive-Thru Deceit

Fast food isn't cheap anymore, whether that's due to inflation, corporate greed, or a little bit of both. You can easily drop $10 or more on a combo meal now if you're not careful, and your sad burger and cold fries rarely seem worth the price. Some fast-food chains always seem worse than others when it comes to overpriced, terrible food, so it pays to know which ones to steer clear of when money's tight. Here's advice from drive-thru fans on Reddit when they were posed with the question, "What fast food is the biggest ripoff?"

Warning: Unappetizing and just plain sad fast-food pics ahead.

Panera Sandwich Yelp
Sabrina M./Yelp

1. Panera

Many Redditors say that Panera is the biggest ripoff, and we've got to agree. Decades ago, the food was fresh and actually tasty, but it's hard to get a single, wimpy sandwich for less than $10 now. "I paid $15 for a chicken Cesar salad and drink the other day," says u/Nomad942. "All of it super cold (croutons included) so it was obviously just pulled from a fridge and dumped in a bowl. No thanks."

"Early mid 2k was the golden Panera years," says u/Kreos642. "Nowadays it's 100% garbo, which is such a shame." Other commenters compare it to airline or hospital food, which sounds about right.

Want more fast-food news delivered to your inbox? Sign up for our free newsletters.

Chick-fil-a breakfast bagel yelp photo
Taelor W. / Yelp

2. Chick-fil-A

Even if some people can't get enough of those pickle-topped fried chicken sandwiches, many people are over the chain's prices, especially given the simplicity of the food. "It's chicken nuggets/sandwiches and some sauce," says u/GirlWhoWoreGlasses. "It's overpriced."

Some say the chain's "fries are the worst," while others attribute the mega popularity of Chick-fil-A to something other than its affordability: "Chick-fil-A has always been over-rated because of the Christian hype."

Burger King bad Whopper
Molly H./Yelp

3. Burger King

Burger King is another fast-food choice that many agree has gone way downhill in recent years. "WTF happened to them in the past 5-7 years?," asks u/NeuroguyNC. "It used to be one of my top choices, but now it's terrible — the food, the service and store cleanliness. All of it."

Redditor u/Siphon098 agrees with them. "This is every BK I've been to and for much longer than 7 years. Hands down the dirtiest fast food regardless of location."

Subway sandwich and chips Yelp
Thomas G./Yelp

4. Subway

Five dollar footlongs are long dead, even if that annoying jingle still lives on in all our heads. "I have no idea how things got so expensive there," writes u/RomeoPanelli888. "The last time I went, I bought a sub with chips and a drink for each of my [two] sons, and I had a wrap and a drink. It was $55."

"Footlong ham with chips and a small drink: just shy of $15," says u/Longjumping-Many4082. "And they were stingy with the ham and only put four slices of tomato...for a foot long sub."

(Protip: Head to your nearest grocery store for a cheaper alternative. "We have switched to grocery store subs," says u/Steakonanopenfire. "Harris Teeter or Publix where we are. Made to order and tons of meat for a lot less money."

Related: Subway Ditches Employees and Dining In for Vending Machines

Chipotle burrito bowl Yelp
Moira F./Yelp

5. Chipotle

Burrito prices at Chipotle have been steadily increasing, and of course, guac is always extra. "Chipotle is not worth it anymore," says one Redditor. "It's $10+ for a burrito that's mostly bread now."

"Chipotle used to be my favorite, but 3 tacos for $10 half full of ingredients is the biggest rip-off I've experienced," writes u/Tiberius5454. Other users chime in about how portion sizes have shrunk, and some say they prefer Qdoba now, which at least give you guacamole and queso for free. Burritos the size of a small baby seem to be a thing of the past. These days, you're more likely to find a teeny, tiny burrito — especially if you order online.

Five Guys Burger Yelp
Jennifer D./Yelp

6. Five Guys

Even if they fill your bag up with those greasy fries, many people feel Five Guys is a total ripoff. "5 Guys cost me like $18 for a burger, fries, and a drink recently. All regular/small size," says u/Nomad942. "Never again."

"The prices are just getting silly and now their POS terminal ask you to include a tip for the staff," says u/Expat111. "For the $$ I just paid you for a burger and some fries, you can damn well pay your own staff a decent salary without asking customers to subsidize your payroll."

McDonald's Fries Yelp
S C./Yelp

7. McDonald's

The golden arches don't impress most people anymore. "The price to tastiness ratio is wildly off," says u/ApatheticMuckraker. "You can get a better burger for the same price at most other fast food restaurants." 

"Egg mcmuffin was about 2.39 - 2.69 just a year or two ago … it’s up in the 4.39 range now," according to u/angmaranduin.

Thanks to the price increases, people have started going elsewhere. "In the past year or two, it has literally become cheaper for me to take the family to Red Robin than to go to McDonald's," says u/BumpyMcBumpers. Unlimited steak fries beat McDonald's any day.

Taco Bell empty Taco
Amy B./Yelp

8. Taco Bell

Even if people still love the food at Taco Bell, the steady price increases have people rethinking their commitment to the chain. "The local taco bell prices have almost doubled in the last 5 years but the food quality seems to have declined since," says u/howtoeatfriedpizza. "It's not our too tired to cook meal of choice anymore."

"I remember being a kid and tacos were like 0.49 it was dirt cheap," says u/Cloud_Strife83. "It would take effort to break $10. Now the combos are just as bad as anywhere else."

KFC Yelp Chicken
Matt K./Yelp

9. KFC

"Since the Colonel died, it has gone steadily downhill. He had his way of doing things, and maintained standards," says u/Doozer1970. "After his death, whoever runs it now, is maximizing profits, at the cost of quality. The portions are smaller, the cost has more than doubled, and the taste is not the same. I think that they cut some of the herbs and spices to cut costs."

Others have much less nuanced takes on why KFC is a ripoff now: "KFC chicken just taste like grease."

Related: KFC Ditches Popcorn Chicken, 4 Other Items To Simplify Menu