There’s nothing wrong with stopping by a drive-thru once in a while. Sometimes, after a long day, all you want is a handful of hot fries from McDonald’s. But no two fast food places are exactly the same. A popular new Reddit thread might help you learn which spots to avoid on your ride home.

We’re going to be taking a look at the top five most popular answers on the thread. Additionally, we wanted to add a bit of backstory on what makes these “restaurants” so gnarly in the first place.

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Panera Bread

Any fan of Panera’s Cheddar Broccoli Soup can testify to the massive drop in quality over the last few years. It’s almost hard to believe that Panera was once regarded as both affordable and delicious.

The top comment on the popular thread actually outshone the thread itself, garnering more than 18,000 upvotes. The post itself has just over 10,000. According to /u/ooooooooooooolivia:

“Panera bread and I don’t think it’s close at all,” the user said. “They charge ten dollars and nineteen cents plus tax for a mac and cheese. It’s good but I know how to make my own.” Many users agreed, going so far as to say that Panera doesn’t even taste good anymore.

“Panera WAS good,” wrote /u/davewtameloncamp. “I worked right by a Panera, and it was a treat to go there for lunch a few times a month. I remember getting their sandwiches, like early 2010’s and those things were great. Bacon turkey bravo was my jam. Cheddar broccoli soup was BOMB.

“Then, something happened around 2017-2018,” they continued. “They started skimping, quality took a dive, service went to shit. The subway on the other side of the plaza was actually better quality and value.”

The user was compelled to give Panera one more chance, but the damage had been done. “Recently I went back, and got a sandwich, and it was total garbage. Honestly a joke of a sandwich. I also got a bagel for later and that was trash too. Even the cream cheese was shit. Wal mart has better bagels by the dozen.”

One user, /u/empirebuilder1, says Panera is now owned by JAB Holdings Group, a private equity group. JAB acquired Panera in 2017, right around the time when the previous user noticed a drop in quality. The company acquired Panera for $7.5 billion. According to former customers, it’s been running it into the ground ever since.

Panera isn’t the only one, says /u/Explorer335. “There’s a common theme of food companies being acquired, and the new management forcing the use of cheaper ingredients that turn the food into utter crap,” they wrote.

The funniest part? There are mentions of Panera Bread multiple times throughout the thread.

Tim Horton’s

The popular Canadian alternative to Dunkin’ Donuts seems to be a staple of the Great White North. However, longtime customers will tell you this is far from the case. Instead, Tim Horton’s has endeared itself to Canadians through aggressive marketing. In reality, their offerings are bottom-of-the-barrel bad.

“Nothing is made in house, and simple basics, like toasting bagels – something that’s been an issue for fifteen years – remains unaddressed. They’re still somehow always cold AND burnt,” writes /u/NeoPossum. Apparently, the issues go way beyond food quality. “Not to even touch on their abuse of temporary foreign workers, abysmal pay, and awful work culture,” the user continues.

The user then sums it up by writing, “Easiest boycott you’ll ever make.” Tim Horton’s is, like Panera Bread, also a public company now. Simply put, shareholders want to make as much as they can and their first strategy usually involves cutting costs on ingredients.

In response to another commenter reminiscing on when Timmy H was actually a place to go, /u/NeoPossum agrees. “I remember when they were freshly made!” they wrote. “But right now they’re a masterclass on how to run a brand into the ground.”


KFC is another inductee in the fast food Hall of Shame. What was once a great institution now suffers a reputation of disregard for its employees and the food they make. One commenter points out how the Colonel himself would drop in on various locations and weep for the bastardization of his 11 herbs and spices.

/u/Mcfozzle puts it best, writing, “You see it on TV and are like, ‘fuck I haven’t had kfc in ages.’ You order it, it takes an age to make, and you eat it. The feeling afterwards of self loathing and disgust is the reason you haven’t had KFC in ages.”

However, a former KFC shift supervisor drops in on the thread to offer an employee’s perspective on things. Unsurprisingly, upper management is responsible for the long wait times and complete lack of quality control.

“They are the only fast food place I’ve ever seen or worked at, other than sandwich shops, where the cashier is expected to make the food as it’s ordered,” writes /u/lordofmetroids. “Because you know that’s a system that isn’t going to break at the massive amount of TWO customers.”

“They are understocked with equipment too, I multiple times had to buy dish soap or tongs with MY OWN MONEY for the shop,” they add. “They are also paid less than many other fast food places, and usually do more work. Bottom line KFC is a lotus eater machine that deserves every bad piece of press it gets.”


We could sit here and write down all the ways Subway has disappointed us over the years. What was once a celebrated chain of sandwich shops has devolved into something much, much worse. However, nobody has put it better than /u/aetrion:

“You enter a Subway store, and it’s deserted, slightly too cool to be comfortable, slightly too damp to feel clean, and slightly too bright to be inviting. There is one lonely employee, who sheepishly pockets their tiny electronic escape window as the sound of the door drags them back to reality. They do their best not to look at you for those awkward 10 seconds while you walk to the counter before you’re close enough to order. They give their greeting, ask you what you want, you begin scanning their workspace.

“The bins of raw ingredients are sitting askew, separated by steel walls, yet careless hands have dropped some of each on all the others. The preparation area is littered with crumbs and bits of lettuce, maybe the odd olive or onion piece here or there that has wedged itself into the crack between the food trays and the cutting board. This could have been cleaned up while nobody was here, but minimum wage buys minimum effort. For one second you wonder how it got messy in the first place given the lack of customers. Maybe it’s staged, like those first few pennies in a homeless person’s hat.

“Do you want it toasted? You do, so you spend a minute in silence with the stranger you disturbed, waiting for the bread to be sanitized. You feign interest in the cookies while the infrasound hum of some overworked piece of machinery builds to an unscratchable itch just behind your forehead. The toaster mercifully releases its hostage, and it is splayed open before you while you call out soggy vegetables to abuse it with.

“You observe as the employee assembles your sandwich, making sure to painstakingly put each ingredient on only one half of the sub. You ask for sauce and they squeeze it out of a disgusting rubber nipple, then toss the bottle back into its bin like they don’t want to touch it either. It weezingly inhales the kitchen scraps and windex aroma that permeates the store. Are they wearing those gloves to keep the food clean, or their hands? You pay, the sandwich heavily sags into a flimsy garbage bag it doesn’t really seem to fit in and is handed to you.

“You walk into the light of the sun. The colors suddenly seem real again and you become aware of your breathing because the air outside feels rich and life giving somehow. The distant memory of tasty subs that brought you here lingers just beyond the edge of clear recollection, like an old acquaintance whose face you can’t picture anymore. You carry your catch to the car that your bank owns.

“When did it get this bad?”

All of them…

Instead of splitting hairs, one user took some time to point out the obvious: all fast food restaurants suck now. Every single one. Fast food joints used to be a place to get a quick bite for a good price. Now that every chain seems to be raising its prices while simultaneously letting standards slip, what’s the point?

As /u/FilledwithTegridy points out, “The prices have gone up so much its not worth it. The fast food empire is built upon being cheap and fast. They really are not either these days.” They’re absolutely correct. Long wait times are now a standard at most drive-thrus. Disappointing food has become the norm.

Additionally, another user, /u/DCBronzeAge, threw in their two cents, writing, “My wife and I were traveling over the holiday and got Wendy’s off the highway and spent exactly the same amount that we would have paid at either a sit down or a local fast casual with much better food.”

Many users in the thread agreed, including /u/jawshoeaw, who wrote, “That’s the real take away here. Burger King is charging $8 for a whopper bitch please. They were never that good but for $2 I’d get one. For $8 I can make 10 whoppers at home.”