We all know fast food isn't really good food. It's more like fried something on top of fried something else with a touch of oil, butter, and salt for taste.
But what we don't see is the behind the scenes stuff. We don't see where those patties come from, or how those chicken nuggets are cooked. We don't get to see what the employees see. But they are trying to warn us about the perils of eating their products. We best listen.
Here were some of those cautionary answers.
We're Sorry, Your Order Is ExtinctGiphy
Current Wendy's employee here.
Don't be the *ss that orders a T-Rex Burger (a 9, 4 oz patty burger). First of all, they are basically a one way ticket to the emergency room. Second, we can barely wrap that thing without it falling over since it's so tall. Lastly, go spend the $20 that the sandwich costs on food that's actually worth a damn.
Still amazes me when people order that sh*t.
Fresh As Fast Food Can Be
I work at Zaxbys and you shouldn't order anything with a fried filet instead of the fried fingers. The filets are way less popular so they sit in the pan for a long time. The fingers are much more popular and are getting made constantly so they are always more fresh.
This Ain't In-N-Out, Kids
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.
Clean Restaurant Or Clean Food?
I worked the night shift at McDonald's.
During the day, the restaurant is busy and the food is fine. At night, the poor guy left alone on the line is not only tasked with making all the food, but also cleaning up the huge mess from day shift. We're talking grease splatters on the sides of garbage cans, scraping semi-dried mayonnaise out of the dispensers, etc.
It's really annoying to be cleaning and have a random customer show up at the drive-up window and have to stop everything, wash your hands, change your gloves, make their food, then go back to cleaning. I've seen so many nasty-*ss people make your sandwich with literal trash grease or mop-wringer water on their gloves because they got annoyed that you interrupted them. I NEVER eat at a McD between 11pm and 5am.
Just Turn On The Faucet
Bdubs (Buffalo Wild Wings)- everything is frozen. Stay away from the burgers especially. I've seen so much raw chicken go out, so disgusting. If you come in at a non-peak hour your wings have probably been sitting in the warmer for an hour.
It's unbelievable to me that so many food workers don't wash their hands!!!
I've been a bartender for half a decade and I'm CONSTANTLY washing my hands- mostly for my own benefit. I don't want nasty customer germs on my hands anymore than they want my germs!!
Not Fresh But Yet Not Frozen
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.
Read The Room
Used to work at Dairy Queen Grill and Chill aka ice cream and food. Not sure if it's all locations, but I followed the book in terms of throwing older food out and making it fresh as we go. So if it's a slow day I'm not going to give you a patty that's been sitting in the warmer for an hour. I'm throwing a frozen patty on the grill and you'll get it fresh. If you ask for fries with no salt because of dietary restrictions or if it's slow. I won't have a problem doing so. If it's busy and you do it AND then ask for salt on the side. You can wait for your fries.
The chili comes in a big can, nothing special.
The fruits for the ice cream aren't fresh. We did chop all our vegetables fresh though. Ice cream comes in big ol' (not old) boxes that are stored in the cooler and run through pipes to the machines out front.
The only thing that's really fresh and not frozen are the buns, veggies, and cheeses. It's also been over 5 years since I've worked there so things might have changed.
Beware The Teriyaki
Panda Express cook here Depending on the management, the kitchen and back are very well kept and clean. We prep veggies and meats everyday, but most of the sauces are prepackaged. Some stores will burn the sh*t out of the teriyaki chicken, because they don't scrape the grill after making a batch. But working there hasn't killed my love of panda Express so take that as you will.
Only The Coffee, Nothing Else
This isn't a fast food restaurant, but i work at 7-Eleven.
Do's: 1.drink our coffee. we change it every 4 hours so it's pretty much always fresh.
- Drink our tea. Some stores are okay because they have a liner in the tea pot to make sure it stays clean, but old run down 7-Elevens don't. When i go to a store and remake the tea without a liner it smells like sewer water.
- Eat our "Tornados or Roller Dogs." We only clean the "grill" once a night. they have caked on grease and old food from way way back.
- Eat our "Bakery" anything. This includes our muffins, sausage rolls, or donuts. Workers come at night to restock the bakery items so they're only fresh at around 11:30pm. They will sit there until the next night. I've also seen a worker completely drop several trays of donuts and then just put them right into the display case. Customers also never use gloves or the papers to grab them. disgusting when they can't even use the bathrooms correctly.
Used to work in like 4 different Subways. Not a single one heated, stored, or reheated meatballs correctly or safely. They are only good for like 6 hours once heated. No one follows that. If you come in before lunch and order meatballs, those meatballs have been heated in the microwave twice (once the day before and again in the morning).
Seriously, you are better off buying your own bag of frozen meatballs, a can of spaghetti sauce, and a bag of hoagie buns.
Also the cold cut combo? It is literally just bologna. It comes prepackaged and smells like farts when you open the bag.
Not The Drink You're Looking For
Former Starbucks Barista
A caramel macchiato is just an upside down vanilla latte with a caramel drizzle on top. I promise you you cannot taste the difference. Save the money and calories. There is no caramel flavor in that macchiato. That drizzle just clumps to your cup and adds nothing to the drink.
Used to work at a Sonic several years ago back in high school. Although it won't make you sick or taste noticeably different, the soft serve and milkshake machines are actually fairly gross. They're a major pain in the ass to clean, and it takes upwards of an hour even if you're good at it, so most stores don't do it as often as they should, and you end up with hoses, fittings, and milk buckets gunked up with chunky solids.
No Scrub, No NugsGiphy
Worked at a Hardee's. You're probably better off not ordering chicken. Like at all. Health code states you're supposed to thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling any raw product, especially chicken. A lot of employees, especially during rushes or when they're by themselves, won't wash at all or will run their hands under some hot water for a few seconds. And yeah they usually wear gloves but not always and if you start touching things with chicken juice on your hands, you've basically contaminated the entire line. So probably just don't get anything.
Wendy's is pretty good overall, but we say we're gluten free. We are in a sense that we will give you lettuce instead of a bun but, if you're a celiac you're going to have a reaction from our food. Bread crumbs fall into the sauces, fries are cooked with breaded nuggets, the utensils and gloves touch the bread all day and then your burger. There's so much cross contamination it will make your stomach turn just thinking about it. If you're a celiac I advise not going to Wendy's.
Pizza Hut Two Three Four
Worked at Pizza Hut. Don't order a large cheese or pepperoni pizza before 6/7 on a Friday or Saturday. Often the first duty of the 4-10 shift those nights was to premake 10-20 of each of those to save time during the dinner rush. Same thing for big lunch orders that are placed in advance, those pizzas were probably made around closing the night before.
They really aren't gross for any sanitation reasons or whatever, but they're just not as good.
What Rots And What Doesn't Rot
Former McDonald's employee here. It's all so gross. I get that it tastes good, but that thing about how the meat, bread and fries don't rot is 100% true. I've seen burgers and fries left in some corner somewhere for months. Real food would stink bad enough that you would have to find it and clean it up. Also know this from experience. The McFood just gets hard as a rock, but looks basically the same. This you can't avoid at any McDonald's.
On the other side of the spectrum the milk products do rot. The shake and ice cream machine never works because no one cleans it properly. Same deal with the McCafe machine.
They would train one or two people how to do a thorough cleaning on these machines when we first got them. That training knowledge left with them when they quit. This may have been the franchise owner I worked for, but this woman gave absolutely z e r o fucks about health code regulations... or labor laws for that matter.
The only things I will still get from there are the regular coffee bottled water and oatmeal. The rest I don't trust to be conforming with health standards.