Do You Know the Cleanest Fast-Food Restaurants in America?

A recent Restaurant Business survey revealed the cleanest fast-foods in the country. Did your favorite make the cut?

It’s not the trendiest topic in the food world, but we can agree that cleanliness is crucial to enjoying a meal out on the town. Lucky for us, Restaurant Business conducted a survey to determine the cleanest restaurants in the U.S.

How the Rankings Work

The survey took into account overall interior cleanliness, including tabletops and floors, as well as serveware like trays and silverware. They also polled consumers about the perceived cleanliness of the kitchen and food prep areas—presumably, if the condiment station is a sticky mess, the kitchen may be in a similar state. Lastly, they checked for restroom cleanliness (yep, they went there!).

Restaurant owners wish you knew these secrets.

Ready for the Results?

Drum roll, please…

First Place

Chick-fil-A won a blue ribbon for being the cleanest fast-food restaurant in America. While the chain came neck-in-neck with the second-place restaurant for interior cleanness (at 68.6%), it jumped ahead thanks to higher marks for food prep and kitchen sparkle (66.5%). Good news for everyone who loves a good crispy chicken sandwich.

The win is perhaps unsurprising, given that Chick-fil-A has been America’s favorite restaurant for three years in a row. On top of being squeaky-clean, Chick-fil-A wins points for using fresh, never frozen, chicken, and for their amazing secret menu. (Psst: It’s not so secret anymore!)

Second Place

If your fast food cravings veer toward the sweet end of the spectrum, we’ve got good news: Culver’s scored a very near second place, scoring 67.1% overall. The beloved custard and butter burger slingers scored big on overall interior cleanliness, plus super-clean bathrooms.

We tried eight fast food burgers. Guess which one was our favorite!

Honorable Mentions

In third place came Firehouse Subs, with a 65.8% rating. Newk’s Eatery and its amazing condiments got a respectable fourth place (64.9%), and Papa Murphy’s Pizza came in fifth (63%).

Love fast food? You can make your favorite dishes right at home.

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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.