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Thursday
Jun302011

Which Fast Food Chain Ranks Highest?

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to fast food eateries, just which of the nation's most popular restaurants reign supreme?

In its first-ever ranking of the major American fast food chains, Consumer Reports says Irvine, California-based In-N-Out Burger is tops -- ranking it higher than Wendy’s, Burger King, and even McDonald’s when it comes to the traditional, all-American choice of hamburgers and fries.

The biggest losers in Consumer Reports’ overall ranking included, perhaps surprisingly, some of the most popular names in the industry.

“That includes Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s and Taco Bell,” Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks tells ABC News Radio.

“They had uninspiring food, according to our readers,” Marks said. “And their service...was kind of so-so.”

The rankings were based on feedback collected by Consumer Reports on the topics of food, service, value, and speed.

Other chains to earn top spots in their respective categories include Chick-fil-A for chicken and Chipotle for Mexican food.

“They earned very high marks -- the highest possible marks, in fact, for food, for value, for quality of help, and very high marks for speed of service,” Marks said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May052011

Fortune 500 Had Great Year, Still Aren't Hiring

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…" The famous opening to Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities would have been an apt headline for this year's Fortune 500.

"It's the best of times for American big business. Profits were up over 80 percent for America's 500 largest companies," said Andy Serwer, Fortune's managing editor. The Fortune 500 ranks the top U.S. public companies as measured by gross revenue. That's the third-biggest jump since the magazine started keeping track. "Business is picking up again, and they're minting money right now."

How? That was the "worst of times" part.

"Big business is making a lot of money right now by making employees work that much harder," said Serwer.

To put it in economic terms, employees' productivity has grown. It had to when more work fell to fewer workers: unemployment remains high, at 8.8 percent.

The top of the list was studded with oil companies. After number-one Wal-Mart, the next three were ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, whose profit was up 133 percent over the previous year.

"Oil companies make a lot of money...selling gasoline to Americans, and we can't get enough of it," said Serwer.

Given the current spike in oil prices, reflected in $4-per-gallon prices at the gas pump, oil companies could do even better on next year's list, Serwer said.

Apple, whose iPhone and iPad grew ever more popular last year, was up 21 places, to 35. Its profits were up 145 percent.

Homebuilders, after being shut out of last year's list due to the mortgage crisis, have crept back on, with two companies on the list.

General Motors was number eight, and AIG was 17. Both were huge beneficiaries of U.S. taxpayer bailouts. Even if many Americans are feeling like characters in another Dickens work, "Oliver Twist," asking for "more" work, at least they can say they made the Fortune 500.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio