We ‘Don’t Trust the Quality of Food’: Customers on Why They Cut Down on McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chipotle

McDonald’s had the most individual complaints that drove customers away, including a lack of trustworthiness

Customers cited an excess of artificial ingredients as one of the main reasons they ate less McDonald's than in the past. 

In a new poll conducted by Morgan Stanley, customers identified the primary reasons they were patronizing McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Starbucks less often. For Starbucks, the highest-ranking complaint (at 57 percent) was that they had decided to spend less money on eating out.

At Burger King, customers complained that the food quality had gotten worse (27 percent), as had the quality of service (22 percent). At Domino’s, the food was “boring and not appealing” (27 percent). Meanwhile, Chipotle lost customers who thought that the taste of the food overall had gotten worse (22 percent).

For McDonald’s, the most common reason customers surveyed gave was that they had switched to a healthier diet. Customers also complained that McDonald’s offered “food with too many artificial ingredients” (35 percent) and that they “don’t trust the quality of the food.”

Among the top 12 highest-ranking complaints, McDonald’s had the most individual issues at three, while consumers listed a single chief complaint for other fast-casual restaurants. Though McDonald’s certainly can’t be accused of not trying to win back their disappearing patrons, menu complaints might be low on the list of pressing issues.


Not long ago, employee complaints filed across several states revealed that McDonald’s managers had a history of telling injured staff to treat burns with condiments, and that the company consistently failed to provide proper gear for the safe handling of hot kitchen equipment.