Only 2 Restaurants Are Among the World’s Most Admired Companies

These companies are known for being innovative and socially responsible.

People know Burger King for the Whopper, Wendy’s for the Frosty, and IHOP for their pancakes. Although each restaurant has its own specialty food fan base, some companies themselves have more admiration than others—beyond their menu.

The 2020 Fortune list of the most admired companies ranks the best organizations from ten different industries, including food services. The highest-ranking restaurant companies are Starbucks at number six and McDonald’s at number 41. The ranking looks at factors such as innovation, people management, social responsibility, and global competitiveness. Fortune looks at these restaurants from more of a business perspective, with industry executives, directors, and analysts voting in the ranking. Here are 12 fast-food items you should never order, according to employees.

Just because these companies are praised for their corporate reputation doesn’t mean they necessarily fair well with customers, as customer reputation and satisfaction are another story. Chick-fil-A, for example, was America’s favorite fast-food chain for the third year in a row. Their high ranking could be thanks to a few things: they never freeze their famous chicken, they have a huge secret menu, and there are locations in almost every U.S. state. In fact, Chick-fil-A also beat out Whole Foods, Disney, and Microsoft when it comes to reputation, too. These are 15 of the oldest chain restaurants in the country.

The highest-ranking companies are outside of the food industry realm entirely. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Walt Disney, and Berkshire Hathaway take the the top five spots on the 2020 list, until Starbucks comes swooping in at number six. Only one other food distributor, Costco Wholesale, breaks the top ten. Other food-related companies include Coca-Cola, locking in 12th on the list, Walmart 18th, Target 22nd, and Nestlé 39th. After Starbucks and McDonald’s fall in at 6th and 41st respectively, the only other restaurants to appear on the list are Chipotle Mexican Grill at 102nd  and Domino’s Pizza at 128th.

Don’t worry—just because your favorite chain isn’t on the most admired, most loved, or most reputable lists don’t mean they’re bad. So keep on ordering your favorite meals from your favorite restaurants. Next, check out the 33 things your fast food worker isn’t telling you.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest who previously wrote for INSIDER, the Food Network, POPSUGAR, Well + Good, Westchester Magazine, and more. There's also a 90 percent chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she's not writing away about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.