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Food Industry Experts Reveal The Biggest Menu Ripoffs To Avoid

We've all had it. That nagging thought, popping up in the back of our brains, as we're looking down at the menu, at the side order of french fries that costs $8. We all think, "I could just bake my own at home! Why am I here?" Well, as it turns out, you're not the only one having those doubts about the food industry and what you should avoid on the menu. Reddit user, u/Sanscosmic, wanted to know what specifically when they asked:

People who work in the food industry, what food item is a complete rip-off yet people still buy?

Drink Up. It's Your Money.

The profit margins on drinks is usually ludicrously high no matter where you go.

PM--

The Massive Popcorn Conglomerate

The margin on popcorn is ridiculous.

Uhohflaksmd

Where The Real Movie Theater Money Is

If you're specifically referencing movie theaters, all of it is. 5.49 for a small soda, at least half of which is frozen water? But it's where they actually make their money, not much meat on the bone if any from box office sales.

illogictc

I once heard a movie theater owner say he was not in the movie business, he was in the snack business. The movie was just to get and keep customers around for a couple of hours.

DenyNowBragLater

For Our Friends Overseas

Really irks me when a fish and chip shop charges $2 for tomato sauce put in a container.

Make an effort to avoid those places.

thelinearcurve

Just Do The Math

Soda.

In order to get your money's worth of a McDonald's medium soda, you would have to fill your cup up 16 times.

golden_blaze

We All Know It, But We Still Do It

Bottles of water.

I deliver pizzas where water is 100% fine to drink out of taps, yet people still buy them.

They are ridiculously overpriced as well.

i_like_lurking8

600% Markup

i used to work at a chicken restaurant. biggest rip off was the green beans.

theyre just the jumbo sized canned green beans with onion seasoning, microwaved. it was almost $3 for a pint. you can buy a can of green beans for like 50 cents.

Lowcalcalzone_z0n3

But It's SO Good

Garlic Bread.

In most restaurants the Gbread is just yesterdays bread slathered in garlic butter and passed through a toaster. Costs maybe 50c a serve but we'll sell it for $5. If the restaurant doesn't sell or provide fresh bread, it's yesterdays bread from the bakery down the road.

It IS really good though, toasts better if you use day old bread.

alittleb-tcheeky

Ice. It's Ice. You're Paying For Ice.

A medium flavored coolatta (slushee drink) is 5 dollars.

Five dollars for 3 squirts of flavoring then mixed with shaved ice.

Chillhardy

Just Don't Add Sweet n' Low

Tea.

You can buy 100 teabags for the same price as a cup of tea. Also boiling water is free at most coffee shops if you ask.

fullpowrtothemoon

A Good Set Of Guidelines To Follow

General rules at a sit-down restaurant:

Soda costs them 8c, including washing the glass, but costs you $2 to $3. Alcohol is always highly marked up. Sides and apps are marked up much more than entrees.

PastorWithQuestions

It's All The Same

Long time since I worked in the food industry so I don't know if this still holds true, but around 2005 every uk supermarket (except Morrisons) had their salmon encroute produced by the same company on the same line by the same people. One of my jobs was literally stopping the line and changing the sleeve to a different supermarkets one. Same fish, same sauce, same pastry, same lattice, even the same plastic tray just a different sleeve.

Naturally this never stops people insisting the Tesco one was sh-te and the M&S one was just better somehow because it was double the price.

This extended to 90% of non fresh fish products but brand loyalty still reigned supreme.

Jonny2284

Flying Too Close To The Sun

...Chicken Wings are costly as a raw material, need refrigeration/freezing to store and preparing them properly requires trained manpower (which is costly as hell nowadays)

Compare that with a Coke or say Lemon soda: Hardly any preparation, no special skills needed by the person making it plus the Raw material is cheap af.

Restaurants don't fleece you on food...they fleece you on the drinks.

Source: I'm a restaurant owner :P

vikvcvc

But, Again, It's All Soo Good

Most cereal has no nutritional value and its unclear whether 'fortifying' them with vitamins has any actual benefits. Yet hugely expensive and well liked although I think as a market it's slowly fading.

benners9

A High Price For Mediocre Cheese

Extra cheese on pizza.

fordprecept

Name vs. Value

Used to work in a chip factory when we ran plain chips all the same chips went into the "name brand" on one line then right next to it would be the "value chips" with 2/$1 stickers on them

BlackWizard69YourMom

Listen To The Bread Experts

A lot of things are like this.

Generic sliced bread is basically the same as the name brand, made in the same place, with a different package. For example in Shop Rite stores in PA the shop rite brand white bread is actually Stroehmann bread. The generic is $1 and the name brand is $3.99.

seymour1

Fruit Comes To Overthrow

In Austria; I find fresh fruits and veggies quite highly marked up. Just the other day I spent 6€ for one kilo of cherries. In the middle of the season! Strawberries - around 2,5€ per half of kilogram - also in the season now.

Not even "organic" ones. Plain market prices.

Don't let me even start on other, more exotic produce.

oh-my

strawberries grow great in 1/4 day direct light, and medium dry soil of any kind(esp higher altitudes!). we planted 4 strawberry plants 2 years ago(5'x5' bed on the shaded east side of our house), and now we literally cant pick and eat them as fast as they grow.(colorado high plains, similar latitude and altitude as austria, but we're a bit drier.)

it looks like the movie 'The Ruins' out there now only strawberry plants..

THey'll also outcompete most pest plants, so you can plant strawberries to kill off bindweed, thistle and dandelion(they outcompete swiftly if you trim the weeds back) before long strawberries becomes the weeds in your lawn and paths.

the only real 'downside' is the birds, squirrels, and slugs they attract.

notHooptieJ

KNEW We Couldn't Trust

When I worked for popular pizza restaurant we would charge something like $5 dollars for a box of breadsticks. My boss told me one day how much of a rip off it was since the dough, cost of labor, and even the box they came in only totaled around $1.25.

gil_beard

The Hidden Secret

...When you buy food/drinks at a restaurant, you aren't simply paying for the food. You are paying for the experience. That restaurant pays for building rent, utilities, supplies, and employees to actually make the food/serve the food/clean the place.

Of course they aren't going to sell at value. Sure, some items are blatantly overpriced even considering, but selling you a coffee for $3 instead of 15 cents so you can hang out in the cafe on your laptop for four hours isn't exactly capitalistic greed.

Aliasis

"Homecooked" = Store Bought

Not me, but my dad. He goes to Starbucks and orders a pastry or something I don't remember the name of. He starts asking the lady behind the counter what it was and all that jazz and then she mentions that he could get an entire box of them for like, $20 across the street at Costco while he was here paying $5 for a single one.

Reminder that everything "gourmet" and "homecooked" is probably still mass produced in a factory.

The2ndGen

H/T: Reddit

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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