18 Chain Restaurants That Aren’t Worth the Money

By Aaron Stone

Most folks eat out at chain restaurants in one of two camps. Some people love chain restaurants and appreciate the uniformity of the dining experience. You can go to any of these places in America and know exactly what you’ll get: Affordable food that will fill you up. Other folks are totally against the idea of chains, insisting that the food is bland, many dishes are deep-fried when they could be baked, and the only thing that matters to management is the money you’re spending there. For people in this camp, certain chains are always exempt from the hate. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, the quality of the food — or a combination of both.


Cheap and casual, Applebee’s used to be a go-to for dinner in high school when there was no better option; however, as people grow older, they realize that isn’t the case. While they still offer a great dining atmosphere, complete with fun and inviting staff, most need to learn how the company receives this response. Applebee’s food is based around small and large plates with a strong home-style, homemade take. However, only some people know that Applebee’s dining experience differs from what they thought it was. Many have become dissatisfied with the lackluster, unappetizing food they often obtain at an absurd price. 

TGI Fridays

Another favorite spot of many college students is TGI Fridays. This is a fun place to go and very lively. Some say, however, that the food, though abundant in quantity, lacks freshness and taste. Some say the food tastes like it was reheated in the microwave. The food is mass-produced, almost like school cafeteria food. So you are paying more or less for the same thing you could get at the lunchroom. All in all, TGI Fridays is a fun place to go, but it’s better to go somewhere else when it comes to food.

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday claims to have improved its menu and changed its image, but customers still complain of poor quality food and the price of their food compared to other restaurants. Ruby Tuesday’s menu was also too broad for most of its customers. Many customers complain that Ruby Tuesday’s food is not, in fact, casual dining.


Another restaurant that is affordable but needs better-quality food is Chili’s. Chili’s provides a significant assortment of alternatives. However, their food is something other than what you want. Many people say the food isn’t fresh, making them unhappy and like a fool.

Red Robin

Generally speaking, Red Robin offers new gourmet hamburgers that fail to meet people’s flavor/quality or value expectations. The main contributors include lower-quality, different, non-premium-priced beef or higher-cost burgers that fail to impress.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings is a bar known primarily for being themed around sports. However, it has been reviewed as having extremely overpriced food with poor quality. Several customers who eat there have complained about the mediocre food dishes. Customers who have eaten there often say the dishes could be more impressive. People usually state that the dishes are “expensive” but lack quality.

Outback Steakhouse

Despite the Australian-historic condition and component decoration, Outback Steakhouse has seen considerable analysis for meat supply, which subverts the steakhouse practice. Numerous visitors maintain solidifying as inedible, underappreciated meat from the kitchen area.


Denny’s fails to satisfy a customer’s taste buds as often as not. There’s always a consumer who would say the food tastes bland. It also doesn’t explain the wide variety of the menu but still produces unpleasant dishes that often leave an unhappy consumer.


Although Sbarro is a chain located in very convenient areas, such as malls and airports, its pizza is often criticized for needing more authentic flavor. Many people say the pizza from there is exceptionally greasy and not very fresh, making a not-so-good meal.

P.F. Chang’s

P.F. Chang’s is frequently the target of criticism for its Chinese food, which some have called inauthentic and bland. Hopes are consistently dashed as diners find the prices exorbitant, and the portion sizes are suitable for consumption by rodents—but composed of totally healthy stuff, though!

Olive Garden

Contrary to Olive Garden’s advertising, Italian food could be more authentic. It is mediocre. In general, Olive Garden and Domino’s have similar ratings on average.

Cici’s Pizza

Although Cici’s Pizza offers all-you-can-eat pizza for a low price, many people say the quality of its pizza is well below par. Numerous people have complained that the pizza crust is much too soggy, the toppings are less than desirable, and the taste does nothing for your taste buds. You get what you pay for.

Longhorn Steakhouse

While it is called Longhorn STEAKhouse, and they should be experts in preparing the great American steak, the restaurant hasn’t been able to escape criticism from frequenters who claim they don’t live up to that expectation. Many patrons complain of receiving overcooked or inadequate quality cuts of meat that fail to leave them with the satisfaction the establishment is advertising, along with over-charging them.

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel offers a warm, home-style atmosphere and good Southern charm, but the food can often be very hit or miss. Many customers have found the food quite greasy and overcooked, ultimately devaluing their experience.


With previous but no longer current regularity of customers, Bennigan’s has fallen from its position in the family restaurant segment—frequent names partner Bennigan’s near casually with hospital either with casual Look-and-Feel. Food quality has been miserable.

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse, known for its lively ambiance and Texan décor, often disappoints restaurantgoers with less than succulent steaks. Many complain that the quality of the meat doesn’t match the high expectations of the atmosphere and the overall dining experience. So, while the atmosphere in the restaurant may please your senses, the food may not. 


Although Friendly’s has become famous for its ice cream products, many customers could find better food elsewhere. The claims have been made that Friendly’s food is often very overpriced, not that delicious, and does not provide a satisfying dinner. So make your decision wisely.

Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe’s Crab Shack is primarily known as a seafood restaurant; however, it serves meals that are far from fresh and lacking flavor. Joe’s Crab Shack customers will often leave feeling disappointed with the service they were given and the quality of the food due to the high prices.