Schlotzsky’s ranks high in Consumer Reports latest survey

Taste champs for burgers, chicken, and more

We asked subscribers this direct question: On a scale of  1 to 10, from least delicious to most delicious you’ve ever eaten, how would you rate the taste? We heard about 53,745 burger chains’ burgers, chicken chains’ fried or roasted chicken, Mexican chains’ burritos, and sandwich chains’ sub—or heroes, hoagies, grinders, or wedges, depending on where you call home. (Click on the image above to see an expanded view of the the taste tables.)

The tables reveal that some signature dishes came close to our readers’ benchmarks for excellence. But many of the biggest names earned significantly lower scores for the foods that made them famous, notably McDonald’s. The chain, which serves flash-frozen patties made with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef, touts them as free from  “preservatives, fillers, extenders, and so-called pink slime.” Such a pledge might be comforting, but it’s hardly a rousing endorsement. McDonald’s own customers ranked its burgers significantly worse than those of 20 competitors, including Hardee’s, White Castle, and Carl’s Jr. No other house specialty scored as low.

Taco Bell’s burritos were also voted least luscious. And the subs from Subway, the world’s largest restaurant chain with more than 40,000 units in 106 countries, are near the bottom of the list.

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Fast-food alternatives: Readers’ choices for fast-casual restaurants

Fast-casual restaurants are a step up from fast food (Chipotle describes its fare as “farm to face”). They usually serve higher-quality fare, charge higher menu prices, and focus more on a dine-in rather than drive-through experience. And they’re big on breakfast. The ones listed were among the most praiseworthy. McAlister’s Deli gets the award for most improved. The chain’s score increased significantly since our 2011 report.

Here are the restaurants at the top of the list.

• Chipotle Mexican Grill

• Firehouse Subs

• Five Guys Burgers and Fries

• Jason’s Deli

• Jersey Mike’s Subs

• Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

• McAlister’s Deli

• Panera Bread

• Schlotzsky’s

Source: Consumer Reports

Schlotzsky’s partners with the United States Fallen Heroes Foundation; Flag campaign to begin May 28th

ARLINGTON, TX (May 25, 2010) – SCHLOTZSKY’S has partnered with the United States Fallen Heroes Foundation (USFHF) in a regional effort to support America’s fallen soldiers and spread awareness of the foundation.  Nineteen participating Schlotzsky’s locations in Texas will begin  a 5-week long “Flag Campaign” just before Memorial Day Weekend, lasting from May 28th through July 4th. The Flag Campaign is similar to the “Shamrocks for Muscular Dystrophy” campaign, in which donors to the campaign will be able to write their names on the image of a 3-pointed flag that will be displayed at each of the participating franchises.

In addition to the Flag Campaign, the participating Schlotzsky’s restaurants will also host “Schlotzsky’s Fundraising Day” on Flag Day, June 14th , in which each of the 19 participating locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to the USFHF. To further show their support, Schlotzsky’s will match donations up to $1000. Amanda LaPlante of the USFHF explains that “the United States Fallen Heroes Foundation is grateful for the support shown by Schlotzsky’s. Their kind support and active participation is invaluable to the foundation.”

The United States Fallen Heroes Foundation is a non-profit organization, whose primary goal is to honor America’s Fallen Soldiers by constructing a national monument. The monument, supported only by America’s patriotic people and businesses, will commemorate those soldiers KIA in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Desert Shield/Storm.  “Everyone at Schlotzsky’s is honored to partner with the US Fallen Heroes Foundation, and this is a great opportunity for us to raise money for a very deserving cause while also bringing awareness to the support our fallen soldiers,” explains Lori Nauert, Director of Field Marketing.

Posters and table tents offering more information about Schlotzsky’s and the United States Fallen Heroes Foundation will also be on display at each of the participating locations. “While Memorial Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July are the perfect times to remember those who have given their lives in the service of our country,” says Nauert, “we hope our efforts remind people to support both current servicemen and women and our fallen heroes each day of the year.”

“On Memorial Day, especially, we hope that people will take the time to really think about the sacrifices made for our freedoms,” LaPlante pleads. “We are so thankful for the support of Schlotzsky’s. We hope that others will come forward and show their support, too.”

Contributions to the completion of the Fallen Heroes Memorial can be mailed to: United States Fallen Heroes Foundation, 4424 Shady Elm Drive, Mansfield, TX 76063 or donations can be made online at www.USFHF.org. For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Amanda LaPlante at 314.583.6749 or  amanda@liveimagegroup.com.