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Health Team

Smaller fast-food chains beat out big names in poll

Posted August 24, 2011

Have a hankering for a big, juicy hamburger or maybe a hearty burrito? You can just zip to a fast-food restaurant. But with so many choices, which one do you choose?

Consumer Reports recently asked more than 36,000 people to rate 53 restaurants for food quality, service and value.

In all, the poll covered more than 98,000 visits to five types of fast-food chains.

"Some big-name restaurants didn't do so well because of low ratings for food quality," Consumer Reports' Tod Marks said.

According to those surveys, those chains are McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC.

Service speed was an issue, too.

"KFC was called out for being one of the slowest places to get 'fast' food," Marks said.

Overall, some smaller chains got especially high marks for food quality, and they offered speedy and polite service that some of the bigger chains didn't match.

One of the top rated burger places was Five Guys, where you can choose up to 15 toppings from its menu for free.

Chick-fil-A, with its sandwiches, nuggets and salads, came out on top for chicken. (delete space) With it's "my pleasure" response to nearly every customer request, it also typically ranked high for customer service,

"As for pizza chains, don't just go run off to the big names like Domino's or Pizza Hut," Marks said. "They got surprisingly low marks."

So did Little Caesars and Sbarro.

Papa Murphy's Take'N'Bake Pizza, where you custom-order your pizza to make at home, pushed its way to the top of the ratings.

Chipotle ranked first for Mexican food.

"People found the service speedy and polite, and the food was highly rated," Marks said.

As for subs, all factors considered, Jason's Deli and Firehouse Subs ranked the highest.

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