The world is huge

Don't miss any of it

Travel news, itineraries, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


Warning: The 25 Most-Complained-About Restaurants

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.

The offenders, beginning with the worst, as measured by the most complaints per 100 visits:

  1. Fricker’s
  2. Dave & Buster’s
  3. Taco Mac
  4. Native Grill & Wings
  5. Quaker State & Lube
  6. Buffalo Wild Wings
  7. The Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grille
  8. Huddle House
  9. P.J. Whelihan’s Pub and Restaurant
  10. Joe’s Crab Shack
  11. Hurricane Grill & Wings
  12. Wild Wing Cafe
  13. Hard Rock Cafe
  14. Rainforest Cafe
  15. Iron Skillet
  16. Texas Roadhouse
  17. Buffalo Wings & Rings
  18. Dick’s Last Resort
  19. Logan’s Roadhouse
  20. House of Blues
  21. Bar Louie
  22. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
  23. Waffle House
  24. Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill
  25. 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?

More from SmarterTravel:

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.

Don't Miss a Trip, Tip, or Deal!

Let us do the legwork! Sign up for our free newsletter now.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From