Fast Food Mega-Chains Fall Short when Consumer Reports Takes on Fast Food Burgers

Consumer Reports tackles the beloved burger in the October 2010 issue. Results are based on an online survey of more than 28,000 Americans asked to rate the burgers they had eaten on their last visit to each restaurant on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.   Who makes America's "Best Burger"? (Find out after the jump.)

7.9 In-N-Out Burger
 7.9 Five Guys Burgers and Fries 7.7 Fuddruckers 7.6 Burgerville 7.6 Back Yard Burgers 7.5 Culver's Frozen Custard 7.3 Whataburger 7.2 Hardees's 6.9 Carl's Jr. 6.9 Checkers Drive-In 6.7 White Castle 6.6 Wendy's 6.6 Sonic Drive-In 6.5 A&W Restaurant 6.3 Krystal 6.3 Burger King 6.3 Jack in the Box 5.6 McDonald's

The "Best" In-N-Out Burger, with 247 locations in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, and plans for expansion in Texas, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries with 640 restaurants in 42 states. Check out what burger connoisseur Robb Walsh had to say about Five Guys here.

The "Worst" McDonald's rated dead last and was the only chain to receive below a 6 point overall score. Following closely behind in a three-way tie for 2nd-to-last place were Jack in the Box, Burger King, and Krystal.

In a statement, a spokesperson from McDonald's said all of the company's burgers, from the Big Mac to the Quarter Pounder, remain popular. "Today we are serving more customers than we ever have," she said. "This is evident by our very positive business results." And they have the business figures to back that up. McDonald's stock is at an all-time high -- with a new 52-week high set again this week. Rock bottom prices and new menu items like the McCafe and Fruit Smoothie appear to have been successful in bringing in new customers and keeping old ones coming back.

The article did offer this rationale as to why the largest burger chains came in at the bottom of the pack:

"The Five Guys burger was bigger and beefier but costs about $5, compared with $1 for McDonald's. (Five Guys sells a one-patty Little Hamburger for about $3.50.) And the meat is made to order, not in advance, so we waited 5 to 10 minutes."

If time is a factor, we for one would rather wait. If it's price, In-N-Out Burger -- rated the best -- sells for around $2. Food for thought.

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