14 Fast Food and Restaurant Employees Confess the One Item You Should Never Order


The following question was posed on Reddit:

“Fast food workers of Reddit, what should we NOT order at your restaurant? Why not?”

While it’s important to know that none of these claims have been verified, we do recommend bookmarking this thread. Just in case. Tons of answers were submitted, we picked the most curious below.


Anything McCafé at McDonald’s

“I work for Mcdonald’s and make sure everyone that matters to me never orders anything that comes out of the ‘McCafe’ machine as these are routinely neglected, in practically all the McDonalds. Not only are staff not properly trained in its cleaning and maintenance, at almost every McDonalds I’ve had experience with, the managers in charge of training them don’t know fuck all either…All McCafe beverages run through a horrifically dirty machine – we’re talking 5+ inches of uncleaned, liquid bullshit making up its inside parts”


Do. Not. Order. Hot Dogs. At. Baseball. Games. Period.

“I used to work in a baseball park concession stand. The short answer is not to order anything, but if you absolutely have to buy something, don’t buy the hotdogs.

Do not. Buy. The Hot Dogs.

They made it out of the package okay, and might even have been edible after we finished grilling them – and then they went into the water. We kept three pans of water at the back of the grill that held the hot dogs. Any hot dogs left at the end of the day went back into the fridge, and came out again the next day. Me and the other cook put our feet down on throwing out the water and old hotdogs after two full days, but the management didn’t want to let us.”


On steak and beans at Taco Bell

“I worked at taco bell a little bit ago and I warn everyone to stay away from both the beans, and the steak. The beans start out looking like cat food, and the directions are, ‘Add water and stir until you can’t see white anymore.’ The steak was just the worst on dish duty. If it would sit too long it would become like hair gel. It was the worst.”


On Wendy’s chili

“I used to work at Wendy’s. The meat used in the chili, yeah that comes from the meat on the grill top that expires and dries up that’s put in to a warming drawer until you have enough for a batch of chili, which we first freeze and then thaw the next day. Also if the chili sitting in the warmer doesn’t sell fast enough we just added hot water to it to mix it up.”


For the love of God, don’t order anything off the Starbucks “Secret Menu”

starbucks butterbeer

“Former starbucks worker here. Please don’t order anything off the ‘Secret Menu’. It doesn’t exist. If you want a snickerdoodle, nuttella, or captain crunch frappuchino (or whatever other overly sugery thing someone has since come out with), know the base drink and the modifications, and order that. If you just say the name, it’s up to the barista to come up with what’s in the drink, and it may not be what the last barista you ordered from put in there.”


On movie theatre popcorn

“I worked at a theater, don’t get popcorn for the first showing- that’s all just last night’s popcorn put into giant garbage bags and then reheated in the warmers in the morning.

Oh yeah and remember that sticky floor in the aisle of the theater? Well what do you think would happen if you had that at your house. YES THAT’S HOW YOU GET ANTS… and cockroaches, and everything else. Plus it’s in the dark most of the time. It’s like a bug buffet once the lights go out and the movie starts.”


Skip the pasta at Panera, stick to the sandwiches

“Panera- pasta; it’s all microwaved, this includes Mac and cheese. Smoothies/frozen drinks- nasty base crap that smells and it’s sticky. Cupcakes/coffee cakes- all come frozen. Best items are the real sandwhich/ salads. Real ingredients and usually fresh.”


Always ask for “fresh” chicken nuggets at McDonald’s

“I used to work at McDonalds. If you order, especially chicken nuggets, just ask for them fresh. Otherwise they’ve been just sitting in their container in the heat. They have a timer, but 9/10 times when that timer goes off, people just reset the timer instead of making new ones. This could go on until all the nuggets are sold.”


Steer clear of beans at Taco Johns

“Taco Johns reporting for all you midwesterners. I would steer clear of the beans, at least outside of peak hours, because they sit on the hot table for a long long time and when they dry out, just add water. Everything else is pretty solid though. Worked there a couple years back in 2007-2009 and still love going back to get my fix.”


BBQ Sandwiches at KFC

“Worked at KFC for ~4 years. The BBQ sandwich is actually made from chicken too old and stale to give to the homeless shelters, so they soak it in BBQ sauce until it can be pulled and then they keep it on the heater for a month.

I still order it through”


The quesarito at Chipotle. Mostly because everyone will hate you.

“It backs up the line like no other. If it’s not busy, you’re fine but PLEASE do not order a quesorito during our peak hours. Employees will hate you. The people behind you in line will hate you. Everyone will hate you. There’s nothing wrong with it health/sanitation wise, but too few people order it for our damned managers to rearrange and optimize our food line for quesorito production.”


The eggs at Einstein’s

“I worked at Einstein’s bagel place which is basically fast food. Don’t order anything with eggs, they aren’t real eggs and if business is slow they could have been sitting in a container for hours after they are microwaved.”


On gas station Slurpees

“Gas station slurpee’s. The amount of mold in those machines would crush your childhood to a pulp.”


The doughnuts at Dunkin (Warning: this will break your heart)

“Currently employed at Dunkin doughnuts and it’s sad but true all the doughnuts and baked goods there come to us frozen.”


By Charisma Madarang

Charisma has an undying love for gritty literature and drinks coffee like water. She also hails from Toronto, Canada and is a die-hard Maple Leafs fan, sigh.

173 replies on “14 Fast Food and Restaurant Employees Confess the One Item You Should Never Order”

I worked for KFC for 7 yrs, half of that in mgmt. The KFC example is a lie. At the end of the night, whatever chicken is unsold is deboned and shredded by hand, then bagged in 1lb portions which are labeled and put in the cooler w/ a max self life of 48 hrs.

That deboned chicken is used in both bbq and pot pies. Leftover(cooked) pot pies are scrapped at the end of the night, while left over bbq can be reheated only ONCE. The BBQ is typically made in small batches and is never under heat for a month.

When I worked at kfc we had to cook the blue chicken, it was old and no one in their right minds would cook it at home. that was because of a specific manager though, a lot of this varies and is dependent on whether it is solely corporate or franchise

That is a matter of an dumb manager cooking chicken too far past it’s kill date. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a corporate or franchise store.

I suppose that is true, you can always have a dumb manager, but I notice at certain franchise chains, like sonic, there is a massive difference in ingredient and prep quality from store to store, sometimes in the same town, haven’t seen that as much at non franchise chains, so I assume that there is probably a little less oversight and quality control at a franchise

I worked for the largest KFC franchisee in Ohio and we took quality as seriously as corporate stores. In fact, franchise KFC’s are subject to audits to ensure this.

Biggest problem with KFC is that even if the food “quality” is up to Colnel Sander’s standards, it’s still unhealthy crap. Eat it on a regular basis and you cut years off your lifespan.

Yeah, I might point that out if people were fretting about the unsanitary condition of ciggarette manufacturing plants.

There is no oversight over franchise chains. Little to none. As an exterminator, the franchise chains were as filthy as the owners who didn’t give a shit. The corporate chains were more spotless than you could imagine. From KFC to MCD .

Still wouldn’t eat the ammonia induced food though

Current manager… Everything that Sam states is fact… these other guys must work at some mediocre chicken place haha

Yeah, okay, KFC put me in the fucking hospital with serious food poisoning for 3 days. Sooooo hygienic and above board, obviously. And I live in Australia, where the food regulations are much stricter than the US, so what must US KFC places be like?! Shudder to think. KFC IS a mediocre chicken place.

About 25 years ago–I forget where this KFC was, but they were nailed because somehow a rat made its way into the fryer.

Evidently the food regs in Australia aren’t stricter than ours and of course KFC is a mediocre chicken place. We don’t think of it as fine cuisine here either.

Did you work at the KFC written about in the above list?

Sure, MANY KFC franchises, maybe even most, play it by the book. Not all do, and as a customer there is no way to know if the KFC you’re at is run by an honest, responsible manager, or by some slob.

I worked for Dunkin for over a year, and yes, our sandwich items came to us frozen, but our doughnuts came fresh from the bakery. Guess it depends on the Dunkin and the region.

I also worked at Dunkin Donuts and the doughnuts were never frozen; they were baked fresh on the premises. The only things that were frozen was the bagel dough – it was preformed in the bagel shapes and then baked in the oven – and other random bakery items like danishes. Possibly the muffin dough. But doughnuts were ALWAYS fresh.

The last time I had Dunkin, the donuts looked too uniform to have been hand cut. Hand cut are not totally round. Many years ago Dunkin fit that model. Now they are too perfectly shaped. Maybe they have a machine like Krispy Kreme does.

Most grocery stores now get donuts that are frozen. Just pop in a warm oven, then decorate.

The Dunkin near me uses a giant rolling pin with donut cutters on it for yeast donuts & a donut cutter(like a cookie cutter only slightly bigger & more durable) for the cake donuts. They’ve got to be the same size to fry evenly, and to be fair on price. Most Dunkin managers will let you peek into the back- they work hard in the bakery & if they’re proud there should be no problem showing it off! They also get to choose “managers special” donuts so if you’re wanting something unusual- say a cake donut with frosting & jimmies- they would prolly make it for you the next time possible.

if you cut the donuts correctly, they are perfectly round. also if you’re doing more than 5 donuts, you are on some sort of machine. have you worked in a grocery store bakery to confirm this? i’m not talking walmart here, an actual grocery store.

Have to disagree. The donut cutter can catch on the dough, and make a not perfect round donut when the baker lifts their hand or twists their wrist. Then they need to be transferred to the flat rack that gets lowered into the fryer. Hard to keep perfect symmetrical dough rings.

And yes, I have seen it. I have worked for Super Target. Back in 1995 when Super Targets used to make their own donuts. 35-gallon kettle Hobart mixer, commercial donut fryer. Most of the time they kept their shape, but not always. A friend worked for Albertson’s. He confirmed my view on this.

What is your experience?

The busiest stores bake their own bagels and have doughnuts delivered every day. The backwater stores have them shipped in frozen, and defrosted overnight. The bagels are rock hard and dry.

I managed the concession stand at a Muvico – ALL popcorn is bagged and tossed / given away and machines are cleaned out at the end of the night. If your manager is allowing the popcorn to be reused, you need to report that shit.

Our theater actually threw away the first batch every morning to make sure residual chemicals from cleaning the night before weren’t in the popcorn.

Yes, at the theatre I work at we clean the shit out of our pappers at night, and throw away all the extra popcorn. I do think some theatres out there will reuse popcorn but not all. And about the nasty spills, if the ushers did their job right, they wouldnt have those sticky gross spills which attract bugs.

It depends. When I was a kid, all the DDs had their own bakery that would bake their donuts fresh. However a lot of them now have their donuts trucked in every morning from a central bakery (which is the only reason I can assume for why the texture of their donuts has changed into this mushy Krispy Kreme consistency).

Corporate made that decision, so that franchise owners would be forced to “buy” the doughnuts from them. Just plain greed to get more money out of the franchise owners.

I’m assuming that Taco Bell beans are made with lard or shortening (cause that’s how refried beans are generally made) which turns into white streaks when cold. So yeah, if you heat them until the “white streaks go away”, that would mean that you warm them up until the lard/shortening melts and redistributes. Which makes complete sense.

Having been a manager at several Taco Bells, the beans are a dehydrated product. Real beans that were cooked, then ground and dehydrated. So, they DO kinda look like kible, when they come out, Don’t know where the “stir until no white” comes from. They do add a scoop (about 1/4 cup) of shortening (same stuff used in their fryers), but as they use boiling water to reheat, it melts swiftly. As I now eat TONS of REAL Mexican food, I will say that TACO Bell serves NOTHING I would consider authentic Mexican, but their refried beans come out close to real.

I don’t understand anybody thinking a fast food place is going to be ‘authentic’. Your local chinese buffet doesn’t have anything made in a Chinese-American home , a burger joint can’t touch anything off my backyard grill, and KFC’s not anywhere close to my Mississippi Grandma’s Sunday Dinner. What are people expecting?

This is America. There is nothing “authentic” about any of the food in this country.

Take your Chinese food example: how often do you actually see Chinese people in a Chinese restaurant, except for the people who work there?

In our area, we have ONE Chinese restaurant that serves “real, back-home” Cantonese food, stuff you would never find in your average Americanized Chinese place. The Asian community in our area go THERE to eat, not the places we’re used to. In fact anytime I go in there for lunch, 99.9% of the time I’m the ONLY American in the entire joint, including the customers.

I worked at Taco Bell for 5 years way back in the 80’s. We started food prep at 6am to open at 11. Our beans were actual beans put in a pressure cooker. After they were done we DRILLED them (that thing was heavy) and put them in bus pans. Then into the cooler. The next day they were dumped in the huge pans and raked (too a long time) and that was our refried beans. Our ground beef came in 10 pound blocks and that was opened and dumped into those huge pans and raked as well, then seasonings added,etc. Our shells were made IN HOUSE We wrapped corn tortilla’s around molds and deep fried them. We also cut up corn tortillas and fried for the nacho’s. We cut up flour ones and fried for the cinnamon sugar desert thingy. Our tomato’s, Lettuce, Onions AND olives were hand chopped/cut – there was no machine to just place a tomato in and press a button and you have instant perfect tomato dices. Taco Bell is NOT a Mexican restaurant and never has been. It’s American Tex Mex. But, for the sake of “time’ everything is freeze dried and mixes now. I wish people today could taste a burrito supreme made with true fresh ingredients. Oh yeah, and we were still expected to have fast production. The key to that successful store would be the morning food prep.

Yes, fast food actually used to be good food, fast. Long ago, like you, I worked a number of food service jobs. Morning prep is what made the difference. Are people really so stupid these days that they can’t dice an onion or tomato? How f*ing hard is it chop up some fresh produce and stick it into bins? Food prep, or God forbid, cooking, is not rocket science. Any idiot can do it. It is absolutely beyond me why these “restauarants” feel the need to order everything pre-chopped, par baked, par fried, half done or worse. Couple that with automated order systems, dish prep posters (seriously?) and lax standards, and why do we even bother hiring humans anymore? Seems like any kindergartner could do these things. Humans and their brains are no longer required…..

Taco bell beans are just dehydrated beans, the white streaks in it is the same as if you soaked dry beans. I worked at taco bell for about three months, there is nothing wrong with the beans or the steak, true the steak liquid does turn gelatinous after sitting out for an hour or so but so does most meat liquid.

But… nearly EVERYTHING at Taco Bell has beans 🙁

And the quesarito at Chipotle is a secret menu item, from what I understand. And if “too few people” are ordering it, then what are you bitching about?

Apparently, a quesarito is, simply, a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla.


Methinks the employee who answered that question has an aversion to making them, LOL

Every restaurant has some item that takes forever to make. In pizzerias, it’s works pies that need 6 different toppings, in sandwich shops it’s Italian subs that take 5 different meats.

I know, I’ve worked in restaurants. There was one particular antipasto salad in an Italian place I worked at that was a BITCH to put together, we all hated it. So I perfectly understand those certain menu items that make the workers cringe. Taco Bell, for example, is tons of different items with tons of different toppings. That’s one job I would NOT want and it’s no wonder Taco Bell orders are frequently wrong.

But sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do and there’s no sense in hating the customer just for ordering something you don’t want to make.

ya but as a customer you should tip well or expect to be hated for ordering something that is a pain in the ass during a rush.

I tip well in sit-down restaurants and sometimes even add on a couple of bucks to Chinese take-out orders, but I don’t tip going through a fast food line. I don’t know anybody that does.

As a former Wendy’s employee, to say the grill meat ‘expires’ sounds ominous, but that’s actually a matter of minutes not hours or days. Yes burgers from the grill were used for the chili, but a the point was to make sure you didn’t have too many going on the grill that weren’t going out. All of these places sound like worthless managers and employees rather than standard practices. Quesaritoes ‘made everyone hate you’?? That’s a bad employee who hates her job, and I don’t even have a Chipotle in my area to know what is so complicated in a quesarito.

Being beyond the hour that it is fresh enough for burgers doesn ‘t make it EXPIRED MEAT. I agree Dammon, and have used the rest of a large package of meat the next day or the next for a casserole or soup or chili. I agree also that those who hate their job probably don’t take time to ask why they do something a certain way; they’d rather grumble and spread nasty rumors about one of the better fast food companies we have. Never once got sick from Wendy’s, however I did get food poisoning from a chicken salad at a high class hotel restaurant once. If she felt it was not proper food handling, she should have clarified it with her manager or trainer, if she was new. Lovin’ my Wendy’s for more than 20 years now.

Food sickness is almost always caused by cold food. Nothing hot can ever hurt you (microwave those gas station dogs just to be safe). Salads, cold sammiches, and more than anything soft serve ice cream are what will kill you.

Really???!! Nothing hot can hurt you???? Hmmmm, I don’t get your ‘logic’. Restaurant – ordered chicken wings – only thing eaten (they were hot when served and could see them being cooked), ended up with food poisoning. Care to explain that dwinkle?? Sheesh ‘Nothing hot can ever hurt you’

“Nothing hot can ever hurt you” is completely false. Many bacteria produce toxins that remain in the food even after heating. The heating may kill the bacteria(which is not even guaranteed), but in those particular bacteria, it is the toxins causing the diarrhea and vomiting. Please do not spread misinformation.

Yeah, even things that are heated can make you sick. There are many, many microbes out there that can withstand high temperatures. And even if it’s heated, someone can still touch that with hands they didn’t wash after using the bathroom.

some things are just a pain in the ass to make, and yes the cooks will hate you for ordering it, I’ve been a cook in many different places for 11 years or so now. for example if you order a sampler platter during a rush you will be hated by the cooks.

At most restaurants I’ve been to, a sampler platter is just some chicken strips, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings… not a time consuming preparation.
Over the years, I’ve worked with plenty of employees who get mad at customers for simply ordering what they wanted. Those are the kind of employees no business wants to have working for them.

The fact you address yourself as a ‘cook’ not a ‘chef’ means theres nothing ‘complicated’ about any order you worked on, except dumping it out of the bag into the fryer at the right time, or flipping when the buzzer goes off. Get into another line of work, you’re gonna kill somebody.

lol. thats cute. just got off work like 30 min ago have been with ______ company 8 years. 12 different stores. and in short it is all about profit. if the meat is burnt you just put water on it and press it again to get the black off. after the lobby is closed the meat is pre cooked and grills are off and cleaned. you want to be cute and ask for fresh fries you just pull you up and drop the same fries again to get the salt off wait 3 min and bring it out to you. want well done meat bamb in the deep fryer. as employees no we don’t want it to be like this but when you have 3 people running 7 possessions and want them to have everyone clocked out 30 min after close its either do it or get fired. yes when corporate office is there its fine (once a year for 30 min). when a company makes its employees sign a form saying they cant speak about anything at work on social media sites about it you will get terminated. and as far as people being rude. yes you can say what ever you want to us and we can do nothing just remember these people are making your food and there is no telling what may or may not happen to your food. bout the only thing haven’t seen is treble hooks and razor blades. lets just say if you hit a drive threw and kill some one in your car 5 min later there are fast food workers that might go to jail for murder because there dna will be at the seen of the crime.


brown button

butterfly kisses

french fries (must be shaven)

stirred not shaken

that taint chicken

don’t get fast food people wrong we are not monsters. i have had every thing from food and drink thrown at me to literately spit in my face. sexual harassment (customers not coworkers) to the point to point they now have locks on public restrooms too being vulgarly offered sodomy. but sense it customers and not co workers they (company) will do nothing about it since they are legally in the clear and have no worry for suit. as well as abuse when some one tells you oh well you can go f*** your self and the only thing you can say back is would like that small medium or large. im not saying you kiss arss with plz sir and mam just dont be a prick. and we are wearing head phones if we cant hear you its because you are not speaking clearly not that your not loud anuff. also the speaker is always on we dont want to hear about who your sleeping with drug deals ext. just because you cant hear us does not mean we cant hear you. we just want to get you off our timer asap. last thing it is not cute to let your 3 yo order for you there are 12 people behind you on lunch break and in a hurry. if it takes you longer than 120 second to order at the speaker and drive off from the window we get in trouble.

and now to cover said arss.

i do not work in food service i never have. nor seen such acts. this is a work of fiction.

but it sure is funny how they only have cameras over the registers and not the people huh???

I once worked at a well known baseball stadium for two years and NEVER ONCE did we have hots dogs in any kind of water except while they were still in the package to defrost quicker. Once they were defrosted, they went straight to the grill and once they were cooked, they were put in hot dog buns and then wrapped and then put into the steam drawers to be kept soft and warm until they were sold THAT GAME. Who makes up this crap????

Hey I’m definitely one for smashing fast food places, but I worked at Dunkin Donuts for a few years in High School 6 years ago, and their donuts were made fresh right down the street. I remember when the dunkins truck would come with the fresh donuts in the morning, and that was the best time ever to get a great fresh donut. But on that note, there is a second shipment at 4:00 P.M. but sometimes the doughnuts have been sitting there for a while, and people still buy them. Just use your discretion or ask the worker, they’ll be glad to warn you against buying them, or even sometimes give you a deal if it’s late. Maybe that was just me though 🙂

Most Dunkin Donuts do not make the doughnuts anymore. They are shipped to the store frozen, thanks to corporate greed forcing franchise owners to spend more money buying the frozen doughnuts from them.

I worked at a Regal, and I can assure you that the example for movies is not the case there. Regal bags and gives/throws away the popcorn at the end of the night, and hires a professional night crew to come clean at the end of the last showings. It’s goddamn amazing what that crew could do, holy shit. Us part-timers would leave with the place looking like a butter covered 10th circle of hell. We’d come in to the entire building looking brand new.

working at mcdonalds, i dont agree with the mccafe one. i work night shift and we clean the mccafe machine EVERY NIGHT. for the smoothie machine, we clean it once a week because its almost never dirty or clogged up inside. even then, there is no mold or dirt whatsoever, and thats with busy rushes and huge orders.

Oh yes because the main stream media always tells the truth. You can get good and bad information off the internet. These are answers to questions, quoted from an employee. Everyone media outlet, even the regular news, will spin stories geared for a twisted view. No one says it Must be true. However I guarantee, you use Wikipedia as a trusted source. That’s the internet.

Untrue. My wife worked for the corporate office in 2011, when they changed policies. Doughnuts at Dunkin are now pre-made at regional production centers, and sent into each store, frozen.

Some stores still do a small amount of in-store production, but they’re few and far between. The way to tell is by looking at the color of the paper under the donuts: Pink paper means pre-produced. White means fresh.

Well, this isn’t entirely accurate. Some Dunkins receive frozen *dough* which is not the same as receiving frozen donuts. The dough is thawed, made into donuts and baked fresh in the store. If someone tried to serve you a glazed donut that had been frozen and thawed, you’d definitely know it.

pink means from the morning, in my area. and considering i was frying and mixing the donut mix for my 3 Dunkin Donut stores last night, you’ve got a lot of nerve, buddy. i also have an ex-roommate who baked for a single dunkin store.

Most stores have no baking equipment at all. Think about it, there’s no where for it to even be. Now that they are more fast food restaurant than coffee shop, freshness is irrelevant.

I don’t for ONE minute believe that is common practice at Wendy’s… maybe the person who posted this is the ONE who does this. Totally rumor-mill crap.

Well it is true, sorry to burst your bubble. Even better? It sits in the back sink in a strainer with cold water running on it for minutes to rinse the burger patties.

Chantelle, sorry to burst your bubble, but it is rinsed to get all the grease off it. So what? do you want that grease in your chili? What do you have against water, anyway? As for the rest of it, it’s called FOOD SAFETY. Meat in chili needs to be well done. so when the meat on the grill is too well done to sell as burgers they use it for chili. Only the idiot that wrote that piece thinks the meat is ‘expired.’ And it is NOT frozen, it is refrigerated. So what exactly do you have against refrigeration?

I actually am not in the food industry, haven’t been for years (You know that job you get when you just turn 16?) Go ahead and call your local Wendy’s and see what they tell you.

I was a Wendy’s manager for 4 years, Chantelle. I don’t need to call and ask. So I know a little bit more about it than you do. If your store froze the meat, they are either morons or should be fired. That’s not how it’s supposed to be done. Maybe you should have paid a little more attention during training.

And I still don’t understand what you have against water.

That wasn’t in reply to your comment, it was in reply to Arletta. And no I didn’t have proper training on grill, I was a front cashier. And Thanks but I love water, did I ever say anything bad about water? Move on.

No it is true, I was a manager at Wendy’s for a year and worked at Wendy’s for 2 years and any hamburger meat that goes past the time to be used becomes chili meat and after a certain amount of time, you count it and storage into the freezer and throughout the day always cooking a new batch of chili meat for the next day

Sure, that’s the whole point of the chili. There are always burgers on the grill, but if they never get ordered, they get sent to the drawer. When it comes time to make chili, you use a certain weight of burgers (most actually end up in the trash), a bag of dry chili mix, and water. Cook for 5 hours, and you’re good. It’s perfectly healthy, and in my opinion, delicious chili.

I used to work for Wendy’s (my first and only fast food job) and it’s absolutely true. I was always mortified that the chili was made from all the unused, then dried out patties. not just sometimes, either. It’s the actual recipe.

If you knew anything about making chili, or food in general, you wouldn’t be mortified by using well-done meat that can’t be sold as burgers to make your chili. Ignorance is bliss.

Wendy’s was my first job many, many years ago. I’ve always thought (at least the location I worked at) that they ran a pretty clean operation. Produce was prepped fresh daily, burgers cooked to order and fresh. Counters, grill, floor, sinks where cleaned nightly and shortening changed regularly. The chili thing did bother me though. As a grill cook, you were required to keep meat on the grill at all times. How many patties was best-guess work based upon time of day and business anticipation. If a patty ended up staying too long on the grill, it became no longer serviceable as a burger and was tossed into the warmer for Chili meat.

Now…. 20 + years ago, this “Warmer” was basically a tray recessed into the counter to one side of the grill. Depending upon how good the grill cook was with his guess work, this tray could take hours… or most of the day to fill up. After the tray of meat sat that for a while, it would look like it had frosting on it. (grease solidifying) The grill cooks were supposed to keep the tray covered with plastic wrap, but I saw it uncovered more often than not.

On hot summer days, with the drive-thru window being continually open, flies became problematic… and take a guess where they usually congregated? Maybe the practices have changed since I worked there so long ago… but to this day, I’ve got no problem eating anything at Wendy’s except the Chili, I won’t touch that.

That’s not even legal. It’s supposed to either be in heated drawer over 160 degrees, or refrigerated. It goes in the same drawers the chicken sits in.

worked for Dunkin Donuts… Donuts come from a Dunkin Donuts bakery (inside the actual resturant) depending on the size of the resturant) and those McCafe machines sanitize their mixing cups set on a certain speed after every use.

I used to work at a Noah’s Bagels, which is the same company as Einstein’s, and the thing about eggs wasn’t true. The eggs are real, a mixture of egg and milk. And we never pre-cooked the eggs, we always made it to the customer’s order. And if for some reason we accidentally made an extra one, if it wasn’t ordered immediately in the next couple minutes, it ended up in the trash.

The comment about Wendy’s chili comes from a moron. When you make chili, ANY chili, you need the meat to be well done, or it gets very greasy. So Wendy’s takes the meat that is too well done to serve and uses as burgers and puts it in chili. So what? How is that bad? Also, they don’t freeze it. It’s refrigerated so it doesn’t go bad. This is basic food safety that only stupid people don’t understand.

“And if the chili in the warmer doesn’t sell, we just add water to it to mix it up.” what the hell does that even mean? Add water to mix it up? Please don’t let the idiot who wrote this ever serve me food.

I used to work at McDonalds and Lowes Fods’ Bakery. The worst thing I can say about McD’s is that I burned my arm on the fries the first week there and they didn’t have any burn cream. Also, if you want fresh fries, ask for “no salt;” 3 min. is a long time for fries to sit.
As for Lowe’s, everything was frozen except the frosting. The cornbread came in frozen batter that we’d bake. Everything still tasted good.
But really, if you’re eating from a chain, you can’t expect the company to keep up the workload by making everything fresh every day. They have their own standards and everything’s exactly the same. If you want fresh, go local.

Most McDonalds have no salt fries in a basket because so many people do this. Wendy’s actually bakes bacon in a pan, and one employee pulled one out of the oven, emptied it, and put it where I was washing dishes. Burned my soft, wet hands instantly and no, they never have burn cream for some reason.

I work at mcdonald’s and there’s no such thing as no salt fries in a basket?? If someone asks for no salt fries we drop a basket and the customer either parks or waits in the lobby. but if you DO want fresh fries, please DO NOT ask for no salt. just ask for the fries fresh. i’ve burned myself several times by trying to put no salt fries in a container, because that’s what we have to do. we can’t put them in the fry holder or use the fry scoop because they’re full of salt. unless you actually don’t want salt on your fries, don’t ask for them like that, please!

As a former manager of a few Panera outlets, there is a lot of things to worn you about, but the boil-in-bag pastas aren’t one of them. Yes, they are frozen and heated in the bag. Welcome to the world of fast food. The only time it isn’t good is when you order at non-peak hours. The pouches may have been sitting for a while and the texture will be compromised.

Yes, the bakery items are made with frozen dough. Do you actually think that everything you eat everywhere was not frozen at one point? The pastries are made and baked on the premises. The bread is made from fresh dough and is the best thing they have to offer.

If you are desperately looking for something to be scared of, stay away from the soup which line employees leave uncovered all the time, even though they aren’t supposed to. Also the meat is left in open refrigerated sandwich stations, so there is a possibility of contamination there. Do you think it’s different at Subway? Quiznos?

Don’t get me wrong it was a truly horrible place to work and the greatest day of my life was throwing my Panera shirt in the trash, but as far as food safety concerns go, there really is nothing to scare people with. The pre-sliced, pre-cooked chicken tastes like aluminum foil, the new (as of a few years ago) roast beef is dry and sinewy, but this anonymous fear-mongering piece is pathetic. Real food safety issues exist out there, and I’ve seen them first hand, try to find them.

This whole thing wreaks of hearsay and gossip, and only serves to damage companies that probably don’t deserve it. Especially when there’s lots of places that probably do deserve this kind of bad press for actual negligible things they’ve done.

Plus, the Leafs fan thing….

I’ve worked for dozens of small, family owned restaurants, and most of them did horrible things these places would never do. I worked at a pizzeria where the owners wife would change her baby inside empty pizza boxes because they were the only clean surface in the building. I hate Domino’s, but I doubt that ever happens there.

I may be out of the loop nowadays, but I can remember the Dunkin Donuts near my work always made their own donuts…and I was friends with one of their bakers those days. (actually, nights as it was 3rd shift) Matter of fact there was a second D/D near my work and I always saw them making donuts.
It may be different today, I don’t know…I have not been to one in many years.

Most, if not all, do not make the doughnuts anymore. Corporate forces franchise owners to “buy” the frozen doughnuts from them. It is just greed on corporate’s part.

Ah, yeah totally not believable about the Wendy’s chili! It will not soften-up after it’s become crispy on the grill and there is simply not enough volume of it generated to make chili. Someone is being played for a fool, and it ain’t me!
Most of this stuff has been generated in the mind of a twelve-yr old boy.

It’s perfectly true, and each Wendy’s generates about 10 pounds of over cooked meat a day, most of which is trashed. A burger is only good for about ten minutes once cooked, and during slow times you can go half an hour without a single customer. And yes, once stewed, the meat turns back into it’s regular self. The meat never chars, it just gets dry.

I don’t really see any problem with that even if it is true. I mean, it’s what people do at home when they make chili all the time. It’s not like it’s unhealthy to chilify dry meat. It’s already been cooked; the germs have been fried out of it. I’d say it’s a great way to cut down on waste and keep prices low.

Anyone who doesn’t know that Dunkin McDonuts sells month old factory food obviously doesn’t care. They sell stale bagels at 6:00 am. Wendy’s chili is perfectly healthy and sanitary, I have no idea what you’re claiming. I don’t know about McDonalds, but at Wendy’s they spend 2 hours a night cleaning the frosty machine, and that’s not even a dairy product.

My KFC actually went further than Sam Vance’s. Of course this was 20 years ago and I don’t recall whether we had any BBQ items, but anything that didn’t get sold, the employees could take home or it was thrown out. (Southwest Ohio, early 90’s when I was in college)

This is an unbelievable, utterly irresponsible BS story masquerading as a legitimate blog post and the author should be ashamed of herself. I have no doubt that certain KFC/McD’s/Wendys/etc. locations have problems, but to generalize these problems chain-wide is just completely idiotic.

To think these mega profit mongers do any LESS is idiotic. And most of this is sanitation issues, not the corporate ingrained industrial produced SLOP they are foisting on us all.

Fast Food (and rapidly ANYTHING in your grocery store) is fast becoming our version of the Roman lead line aqueducts. Our downfall.

Many chain restaurants are owned by franchisees. Do you think McD’s really owns and operates all of their restaurants?

But hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of a good rant, right?

(Wait. Actually, it wasn’t a good rant, it was a dumb rant.)

The McDonalds I worked at had cockroaches in the Frappe machine. It was like something out of the Dead Space game. I would be making someones custom drink and cha Cha CHA a cockroach scrambles across the inside of the machine’s screen. I had to hide the look of mortification on my face.

I believe it! Some of this may be exaggerated, hell all of it may be exaggerated but there are some corners being cut and maybe not to this extreme but the bottom line in these big businesses is MONEY and if the got to put out day old meat to save or make money, I wouldnt put it past them. You shouldnt either

as much as i hate big business, it’s not them trying to save money, it’s shitty employees ( mainly dumb ass teens) who make close to minimum wage and don’t care about what they serve people.

I can vouch for the McDonalds nugget thing. I worked there for 2 years, 1.5 as manager and thats exactly what people did every shift. Put down a shit ton of nuggets, only use about 10 of them within the freshness timeline, and shove the rest in the heater drawers, only to reset the timers repeatedly until there were no more or a fresh batch got dropped.

I think most of these are anecdotal stories of bad management, not common practice, yet good enough reason to be wary in general of fast food (any maybe any restaurant). If the place looks dirty, the food might be too.

I like Wendy’s chili. It’s very low fat and pretty good. Better and healthier than canned chili or the refrigerated bricks of lard at the grocery store meat counter.

Most of these examples, minus the Chipotle and Starbucks ones, are store specific issues. All of these examples are probably true for one or more stores, but not the entire chain. It all boils down to managers and employees following or not following the rules and health code. There are regulations through the companies and laws put into place to prevent such things from happening but, let’s face it, this is going to happen when a manager or an employee (or both) is trying to cut corners, save money, and do the least amount of work that they can get away with. The flipside of this is that there are plenty of stores that do have respectable managers and employees that take pride in their work and actually follow the rules to put out a quality (as far as fast food goes) product.

well said, I started at 5 guys a month ago and they are really good about food safety and even reward their employees with bonuses for doing everything by their standards, which goes beyond normal serve save standards.

Okay I worked at a drive-in theater for a summer and I don’t know if policies changed but at the end of the night we bundled up the popcorn and one of the employees took it home.

Just don’t eat fast food. It’s that simple. None of it is really good for you. None at all. And in fact when you buy food, buy whole foods and cook them yourselves!! That is the only way to truly know what you are eating and to be healthy about it. Most of our food is so processed and frozen and injected with chemicals that it’s all crap anyway. Gotta be smart if you want to take care of your body (p.s. you only get one!)

As a rule of thumb I don’t order anything from McDonald’s. Their chicken sandwiches are acceptable (when I have to) but I won’t touch their burgers unless I’m desperate. Breakfast is OK but I don’t eat it too often anyway. BK LOUNGE ROCKS!

Hi, I’ve been a cook at a lot of different places and i wanna let you in on a secret, when things like re-fried beans, chilli’s, or soups start to dry out you put the water back in them. it isn’t gross, it isn’t cheating, its common sense.

Must admit that when i worked at a theater in the early 2000’s we used to bag the popcorn and put it back in the warmer in the morning. Then we would make 1 fresh batch so it smelled fresh.

Last week my daughter and I ate pizza from pizza pizza… resulting in food poisoning…..
We believe that it was cross contamination.
I will not eat any fast foods again…

All these have to be made up. These businesses would never pass yearly health inspections. And I used to work at a movie theatre amd we always threw out the popcorn at the end of the day.

The Starbucks review is stupid.
So is the disgruntled employee from chipotle. Whatever editor let that slide HAD to do it because it was that stupid.


Also, food doesn’t attract roaches. I’m a ten year , entomologically trained pest management professional. Roaches come out of people’s belongings and need very little food. They cannibalize if needed and can still massively produce.

The sticky floors are to prevent injury lawsuits. If you clean that shit and someone slips, the theatre closes and over 300 people lose their jobs.

For all you saying Chipotle employees are just stupid and hate their job, you’re completely wrong. A quesarito is a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla instead of a regular tortilla. Not only does a quesadilla take up to five minutes to make, then you have to let it cool enough to make a burrito out of it. It is not us “hating our job”, it is us not wanting to be slowed down by customers who see something off the internet and want to try it KNOWING it’ll take forever.

I can tell you right now, the left over popcorn at the movie theater isn’t true at least not for any movie theater ran by Carmike Cinemas. I worked at a Carmike owned movie theater for several years as a teenager/young adult and we absolutely NEVER kept the popcorn to serve the next day. Anything left in the popper at the end of the night was thrown out. Fresh popcorn was made right before every set (including the first set of the day) and often times during the sets because it was so busy. If you’re at a Carmike theater, you are never eating popcorn from the day before.

Having worked at McDonalds as a cook, I can attest to the “Fresh Chicken” Fact. We have timers, and when its up its supposed to be “Thrown” but if its still kinda warm we leave it. Only one of my managers actually had us throw it out in time. Not even most of the other cooks did.

As for the McCafe… I never paid enough attention to it it was cleaned. I know the outside was but i usually left before the Night was over (Which i assume is when they would clean it.)

That is true regarding Dunkin Donuts. When I first worked there, the doughnuts were made every morning on site by the baker. The owner was informed by corporate to lay off the baker and start buying the frozen doughnuts. I discovered that it was a way for corporate to make more money off the franchise owner. The biggest problem we ran across was that the employees would turn off the freezer when stocking the freezer. They would forget to turn the freezer back on and everything would thaw out. The manager would just turn the freezer back on and freeze it again. Thus the doughnuts were never any good. That store lost a lot of business.

Ok as a current taco bell employee I can say for a fact that our beans are 100% real dehydrated pinto beans, any dehydrated food has the same instructions and all looks not to dissimilar to “cat food”. As for the steak any product that is greasy or leaves grease residue will gain the consistency of hair gel if left at room temp for to long, all it is is the fat congee Ling.

Just to add on to this BS Article, i was a Mcdonalds Employee for 6 years i know the McCafe system very well and when it was brought in the managers received the training on cleaning the machine and so did certain members of the crew who worked full-time… the McCafe Machine gets a General Cleaning Every day, and a through detailed cleaning every week.

If you are driving through to get it….it probably is not healthy. Taco bell shells alone …just read the ingredients and look them up and what they are. Seriously? Are we talking about HEALTHY or just the condition of crappy food when we are too lazy or wiling to compromise our nutritional daily requirements. This is a joke. To begin with it is ALL JUNK! . Popcorn is no more healthier on day one or day 2 because it’s got GMO’s. Look that up, it’s not any different than a bag of chips on day two. Still just as unhealthy as day one, just stale. (It is not stale nutrients, it’s STALE GMO POPCORN W/ absolutely no nutritional value) Eat the cardboard box it came in and we probably will have the same nutritional experience without the superior flavor. ;P

I know this is not what you want to hear but I work at McDonalds for 7 years and there french fries are made from moldy egg mcmuffun bread cut into rectangles deep fried a dip in a bucket of salt

I’ve worked at a movie theater and dunkin and we use to take the old popcorn put it in bags and heat it up the next morning. At dunkin each night we would place a donut order and the donuts would come in fresh the next morning

I work at Wendy’s and there’s nothing particularly gross about our chili. The chili is dried up but that’s the same thing that’d happen if you fry it. It also makes it a great sponge for the broth of the chili that we make every single day and doesn’t come frozen like all other places (including Skyline and GoldStar). It’s the same as pre-cooking meat and putting it in the freezer and thawing it out for use the next day. There’s nothing actually wrong with the meat. It gets dried up but sitting on a grill and in a hot box will do that. You rehydrate it later and it’s the same. Do you pitch a fit about beef jerky?

I worked at Subways about a decade ago when I was in college. A guy who worked nights told everyone “I’m not right,” and boy was he right. He told off customers so he was always in the back of the store, stocking or cleaning up. While alone in back, he would do unspeakable things to the chicken salad – imagine which bodily fluid blends into that mess. We regularly found quantities of pubic hair in the dough, which led to speculation that he was boinkin’ the dough. Nobody ever caught him in the act, but I told everyone I could never to eat there. Needless to say, all of the tainted food was served.

The point being, you take your chances eating at any food joint, and especially fast food chains that pay workers minimum wage and treat them like crap. It builds up resentment and some workers take it out on the customers by mixing food with their bodily functions.

If you must eat at a fast food place, always order cooked food so any bodily fluids in it will be rendered less contagious. And remember, even if the food isn’t spiked with some guy’s juice, it’s still horrible for your health.

A couple minor corrections to make here. Dunkin Donuts has as business model where they have one regional store that makes the donuts for all the locations. So if you are lucky enough to visit the regional store (usually a larger store), you might actually get a fresh donut. However, most other locations are frozen and rewarmed on location. Not a huge secret. Anyone who’s eaten a donut at DD and has 1/2 a brain can tell that shit at fresh. On the KFC BBQ sandwich, they person reporting it is being a little dramatic. The chicken used in the BBQ chicken sandwich is chicken that was cooked at the end of the night and didnt sell. The chicken is refrigerated and pulled the next morning and dousted with BBQ sauce. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the chicken what-so-ever. I agree with everything they said on Taco Bell. Everything comes to them pre-cut, prepared, bagged and warmed souveed. Nasty stuff!! and what about McDonalds??? Absolute worst place ever. Any business that is run by a bunch of 16 year olds and disgruntled 40-somethings is bound to churn out the worst food. Mission accomplished McDonalds!!

I worked at long john silvers and when the timer went off for any of the food they just reset the timer and put the newly made stuff in the back and gave people the older stuff that would set for an hour or two

On the wendy’s chili thing. That’s true minus a few important details. They don’t use meat that has had cheese added to it, they get discarded, also items from incorrect orders typically don’t get added either. When the meat is thawed its then boiled for quite a long time before anything else happens, if they follow procedures it’s all dated, and what company doesn’t add water to dehydrated soup chili etc. not a big surprise there. Also the hamburger meat comes in a fresh never frozen meat, so when it’s frozen for use in chili it’s being frozen for the first and only time.

Interesting. I worked at a Taco Bell as a teen. We cleaned everything and the food was carefully handled and delivered. I worked at Skipper’s after that. Again, everything was fresh, hand produced and sanitary. WE cleaned all the equipment, floors, trays and pots, etc.
All these people are really complaining about is their own standard… except for the hot dog guy. Tip of the hat to him… and the SBUX guy… definitely not a sell-out there, just good advice.
All the others who complained how dirty it was…. didn’t YOU leave it that way?

I have had a number of minimum wage jobs in my life–factory work, cleaning hospital, hotel rooms and offices. I’ve worked as a stock person in a home improvement chain as well. I tried to avoid working in fast food–ever! I thought, “If I had any inkling as to what the employees did with the food, I would never eat out again!” Up until the economy when bust, most people employed in fast food were kids working summer or after school jobs or seniors trying to supplement their income so I could over look some of the stuff that went on with the food.. Now it’s people with bachelors or masters degrees who should be a lot smarter!

im not sure how true any of these may be as they may have come from disgruntled former employees looking to put a bad name on their former employer. that said i used to work for united artists movie theaters when i was in high school and at the end of the day we discarded all the older popcorn and made new fresh at the beginning of the day.

also don’t order at mexican chicken places like Pollo Campero if you’re white, they will give you undercooked chicken so you get food poisoning and never return. I’m 100% serious and confident on that statement.

My reaction to a lot of these was “So what?”. Seriously who cares if the food looks gross before it’s prepared, doesn’t this apply to most meals? It’s also funny how much people complain about how America wastes so much food and yet this articles is all about criticizing restaurants that reuse/reheat/freeze food instead of throwing it out.

There was a new MacDonald s opening in Benzonia Mi. some years back and the camera caught a employee urinating in a 5 gallon pail of sliced pickles
Many years ago I worked at a Real Drive In whee there was car service such a Sonic now. A cook was coming from the basement with a fresh load of hamburger patty’s in the winter. When he entered the car hops area on the way to the kitchen he slipped and dropped the entire try into the slush. He was told to rinse them off and cook them, the heat will kill any problems with them.
On the other hand a co-worker of mine a few years ago had a Daughter who worked at Burger King and she came out of the walk in refrigerator with 2 25 lb. bag’s of sliced cheese. This comes in 5, 5 lb. plastic bags placed inside another larger plastic bag. She set one bag down to close the refrigerator door and the Manager told her to take that 25 Lb’s of cheese and throw it out in the dumpster. She argued it was inside a bag and the cheese was again inside of another bag. He did not care, THROW IT IN THE DUMPSTER! She took it out and on the way to the dumpster was her trunk. The 5 lb. bag he gave me was good cheese.
I was at a Big Boy once and was in the rest room when a cook did his business, went back to the kitchen with out washing his hands.
Auctually it all depends on the owner/manager not so much as the name of the resturant. However I would imagine the family restaurants with sit down service are on the average cleaner than fast food places.

When talking fast food; I’m surprised at reactions toward pre-made items, warming lamps, preservative filled dried side dishes and mixes (just as hot water!). You went to a fast food restaurant you’re paying for speed not quality! Want mashed potatoes from scratch? Save about 15 extra dollars and go somewhere worth eating out at. Believe it or not..majority restaurants will reuse ingredients that didn’t sell or use them in another dish the next day, to not loose the cost, is nothing new. But restaurants have the knowledge to do it right and start with/have fresher ingredients. Do you throw away your food like that? Forget your chain restaurants, take the time to know your town. Locally owned restaurants with hardworking experienced servers,and chefs that get the chance to create new flavors and not stick to a nationwide menu. To keep a consistant nationwide menu.. food is bound to come pre or partially made. Working in kitchens I’ve seen and heard a lot. Most things I can understand for the most part. although, one I could not was that red lobster uses microwaves to COOK seafood, that the line consists of around 10 microwaves. Seafood is the fastest and easiest to cook it’s hard to imagine someone thinking this is a great idea

Dunkin’s comment is incorrect, I know a franchise owner in our area that provides for all of his 4 stores out of one larger store with a full bakery. Maybe your donuts suck but the ones around me are awesome HAHA.

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