Chain Restaurant Workers Reveal Which Meals We Should Avoid At All Costs

Bigger doesn't always mean better, and restaurants are certainly no exception. Be careful what you order in chains, employees say.

etphonetrome asked, Chain restaurant workers of Reddit, which meal should we avoid at all costs?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

This actually blew my mind a little.

Big Macs, if you don't care about the middle bun, order a McDouble, sub mac sauce and add shredded lettuce, its half the price and you dont pay extra for lettuce or substitutions, and you get pretty much the same amount of food.

Microwaved or not, their chicken wings are amazing.

Not a real big contribution but when I worked at Applebee's the microwaved Mac and cheese bugged me. Along with pretty much any desserts.

Today, in unsurprising news...

Hi, I used to work for Smoothie King. This isn't really anything specific but do NOT go there because you think it's healthy. All of the smoothies are actually pretty unhealthy for you.

EDIT: here's one of the main reasons why. It's most definitely the sugar. Everything that makes the smoothie taste good most likely has sugar in it. The strawberries are surrounded with a sugary syrup. So are the raspberries, blueberries, and peaches. The juices that we add are a thick syrup idkk why they call it juice because you definitely can't drink it down by itself. Then you add the marketed "raw cane sugar". Just because it has raw in the front doesn't make it NOT sugar. The worst smoothie I see people get is the hulk. I've seen so many people get the hulk for their children but whenever I try to tell them it's like they refuse to believe anything there could possibly be bad for you. LITTLE JIMMY DOES NOT NEED TO BE DRINKING THAT FAT SLUDGE MAM I DONT WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS HEART EXPLODING. I have every smoothie basically memorized so if any of y'all have specific questions just ask.

But they're so. Good.

I worked at a Pizza Hut for a while. Most of it is fine, although I wouldn't order wings on a Wednesday unless you are able to deal with a long wait. Their wing street menu gets slammed on that day due to the wing special, and most Pizza Huts don't have enough fryer space to keep up with Wednesday business.

The regular breadsticks are the most likely thing to not be made freshly, because they are ordered in packs of five sticks, but prepped and cooked in pans of ten sticks. Not a big deal during peak hours because we sold so many breadsticks that it didn't matter, but in slower hours it sometimes meant that if there was a 20-minute gap between one order of breadsticks and the next, the second customer got breadsticks that were significantly less tasty. They weren't rock hard or anything, but their fresh breadsticks are great and their 20 minute old breadsticks aren't great.

Deep fried cheese, covered in cheese, masquerading as a sandwich. Two please.

I worked at Denny's for longer than I'd like to admit. I don't know if they still serve it, but never ever ever eat the Fried Cheese Melt. It actually topped the list on a local news network as the worst thing in America that you can put in your body.

For the uninitiated, it's 4 mozzarella cheese sticks with cheese on top and bottom between two pieces of bread. Disgusting.

That other thing? A breakfast sandwich with donuts as buns. 'Murica.

There is a place called Crave Burger here, I'm not sure how much of a chain it is, but they have whats called the "fatty melt," which is a cheeseburger but instead of normal buns, there is a grilled cheese on top and bottom.

I went there once and they had a pizza burger. Without reading the description I had ordered it - it was literally a personal pan pizza on either side as buns, a hamburger patty in the middle, mozzarella, pepperoni, and a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping.

They also have this f_cking thing.

Your cheesestick sandwhich doesn't seem so bad now.

Don't care, it's unlimited.

Olive Garden: The only ingredients not frozen are herbs, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Even the pasta and bread is shipped frozen. I realize this is standard procedure for most chain restaurants, but Olive Garden advertises itself as being authentic upscale Italian cuisine. It's a lie

Sounds about right.

I work at Subway and one day my ex-manager was getting out a few platters of sandwiches for a customer, but the platters hadn't been closed/secured correctly so they busted open, spilling sandwiches onto the floor in the back. He said "f_ck it" picked them up without gloves on, put them back on the platter, and gave them to the customer. I died a little inside that day.

Well, I think we have a lunch plan today.

Former McD worker here, I got nothing you shouldn't have, but as a consolation, what you SHOULD do, is order a 'Double cheeseburger, sub artisan, sub cheddar'

You will not regret it. Also quarter pounder instead of double cheeseburger works.

An expert... ordering rolls... ok then

I worked at a Japanese casual fast food restaurant that had two locations, but this applies to other places. We had this thing called a Volcano roll and it cost $7.25. A California roll there cost $3.75. The Volcano roll was a Cali roll cut into the shape of a triangle and topped with spicy mayo that has been heated up with about $.10 worth of fish, literally just a few bits. You are much better off ordering a Cali roll and paying $.50 extra for spicy mayo on the side and asking them to heat it up.

I had one really smug guy come in with his date and ordered a couple of rolls like he was a sushi expert, one of which was a volcano roll. When the Volcano roll was served in the restaurant, we would usually put it on top so it looked nice, like a Volcano. When I brought it over he was like, "Oh, I didn't know you guys put the sauce on, I've only gotten it for pick up and the sauce is always on the side. I don't really like it, could you bring me one without it?" I tried not to laugh and said sure. I went back and the sushi chef asked what was wrong. I told him that he didn't like the sauce and want one without it. He laughed and said alright, so he took a Cali roll, cut it up, and put it on the plate. I brought it back to the guy and he was super pumped. Basically, this guy paid $7.25 for a roll that would have cost him $3.75 and me and the sushi chef got to split a free volcano roll. Normally I would have told him about it, but dude was being so arrogant by trying to impress his date with his "sushi knowledge" that I decided not.

So really, you should be careful, look at the ingredients of the rolls that you have, because some of them could be glorified and overpriced California roll

Microwaving a wrap? Gross.

Red Robin - the chicken in both the BBQ and Caesar wraps are pre-cooked and they are microwaved. Substitute it for crispy chicken.

Are veggie patties food? Asking for a friend.

A&W here in Canada. Everything is okay to order actually since we all cook it fresh especially during a rush but if they have a veggie burger ready and it's not a busy location or its during slow times, stay away or ask them to make another one for you fresh (they're obligated to make you one and is usually not a hassle for them). 9/10 times that veggie patty has been sitting there for hours.

Of course it's all fried, that's the point of going.

Idk how Long John Silver's hasn't been mentioned yet. I worked at 3 different locations during high school. Pretty much everything is fried, we all know that, but the oil is only switched out like once a month and that's only if your manager gives a sh*. So the fries are cooked in the same oil as the fish, chicken, shrimp, hush puppies, and so on. The fish and chicken are scooped up out of the oil and thrown on a rack above the fryers. That rack is just covered in grease and hardly ever cleaned, and even if it is cleaned, it's never good enough; grease gets in the cracks of everything. The floors are absolutely disgusting, and everyone had to buy non-slip shoes seemingly every month. The oil would just eat away at them. The corn on the cob sits in a literal heated sink until someone buys it... you might be getting corn from last week depending on how busy it was. My clothes always smelled terrible after a shift, and my girlfriend hated it if I came over after as well. It would make my hair smell like cat vomit, she said. A shower after a shift was an absolute must.

Just all in all the absolutely messiest, most gross "kitchen" area I've seen in my entire life.

I worked there for maybe a year, and after the first day, I vowed to never eat anything from there. I'm 30 years old and haven't since.

See below why Chipotle is amazing... the chips.

There's nothing really disgusting or poisonous at chipotle, but depending on how busy the store you go to is and what time of day it is, maybe or maybe don't get the steak. It's cooked to be medium rare but after more than 15 minutes on the line, you end up with basically dog food.

The Barbacoa and Carnitas usually for lined periods of time because no one really eats them, and the chips are made with an obscene amount of salt and oil.

That's twice the recommended daily limit of sodium. No wonder it's so good.

Chili's. The Buffalo Ranch sandwich has the sodium content of 17 McDonald's medium fries.

"Hospice clean meat." What...

I work at Jimmy Johns and there's a very high standard of cleanliness. Every store gets inspected every few weeks and the motto is to keep the store "hospice clean". That being said, it's really gross that we leave the meat sitting out all day on the prep tables.

Shut up Subway's tuna is amazing BECAUSE it's all mayo.

Use to work at Subway. What we did was empty bags of tuna into a big bowl. The tuna came in chunks so we broke it up into fine crumbs with gloved hands. Then we dump a bag of mayo and mix it together, again with gloved hands. Then we put it into three containers and cover them with lids. One would go up front if we needed it, the rest would go into the fridge. We also put the date and time it was made on the containers. The only thing I can think of that was kinda gross was that the mayo was kept outside of the fridge so the mayo is always room temperature.

Sweet, sweet chai.

I work at Starbucks so idk if this counts but pretty much everything has more sugar than you think it does. Especially our lightly sweetened chai, the chai syrup comes with less sugar but we end up pumping liquid cane sugar into it anyways.

Mmmmm. Hot chicken water.

I work at Dairy Queen and I wouldn't recommend eating anything with the grilled chicken. We microwave it and put it in hot steaming water. Everything else is pretty standard and I would eat it myself.

There is no wrong way to order Domino's.

I seriously doubt anyone will see this, but do NOT order the bread twists at Domino's. They're made using one half of a pan pizza dough, and drizzled with garlic oil and parmesan dust, and will cost about $5.99. Instead, you should order the parmesan bread bites. Those are made from one half of a pan pizza dough and drizzled with garlic oil and parmesan dust, but only cost $2.99

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!