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Fast food work allows you to come into close contact with a lot of people. Sometimes you see the secrets of the trade as you go. My first job was at a McDonald's more years ago than I'd like to think about. Our biggest secret was that the 15-minute timers for the hamburgers to be fresh were constantly reset.


Management put heavy pressure on us to reduce food waste and our supervisor would get peeved if we actually followed food safety and threw the old meat out. It's not all, but many locations that follow the same.

Redditor Yung_Mulann365 asked:

Employees of Mcdonalds, what secrets did you discover while working there?"

The internet was full of weirdly relatable answers.

FOUR pounds of sugar!?

Animated GIF Giphy

Former employee here. I found out that, when making 5 gallons of sweet tea, an entire 4-pound bag of sugar goes in. Sandwiches with round egg use real, cracked eggs. Folded and scrambled come from packaged goods in the freezer or fridge."

“I also had a manager that insisted more people purchase Filet O Fish when it's raining out because they subconsciously associate the watery weather with fish. Anyway, he did some research by poring through sales of Filet O Fish for months and months and comparing it to weather data for each day."

"Turns out he found something like a 3% increase on rainy days and was very pleased with himself."

"Edit: Wow, I will answer some of your questions up here so people can see. The manager voiced his theory one day, and the crews all argued with him about it. This went on for a while."

"He was committed to proving us wrong, so he secretly pulled the sales numbers at work and did the rest on his own time, never breathing a word until he brought his printed report in to shut us all up. He did separate Fridays during Lent and compared those days to each other in anticipation of having holes poked in his research."

"We still did that anyway, of course. As pointless and imperfect as the research was, it was impressive to see his commitment to giving us the middle finger!"~ AmbivalentWaffle

Mmmm spicy...milkshakes?

​“Not really a secret? More of a story. One time someone replaced the chocolate syrup in the shake machine with barbecue sauce on accident because the bottles are similar. They're labelled differently but it still happened.”

“We found out because a few people complained that the chocolate shakes were sour. We remade them for a couple people and they moved on but one lady just wouldn't let it go. My manager tasted the shake and was like wtf then looked and we saw the culprit.”

“Had to clean the line after that so we didn't have chocolate shakes for a minute.”~what-why-ok

“premature splatulation...”

season 3 no GIF by Portlandia Giphy

Sauces for sandwiches have the craziest dispensers. Ketchup and mustard are in these really rudimentary plastic funnel things that have a paddle in the handle, when you squeeze it gravity pushes just the right amount of sauce through holes. Doesn't seem like it'd work well but it does if you apply the proper amount of jigglin."

The Mac sauce, mayo, and tartar though, they're in basically caulk tubes that get loaded into basically caulk guns. You pull the trigger on the handle and a reeeeaally satisfying ratchety clanking delivers a powerfully saucy surprise for the awaiting buns."

"Problem is, it takes a bit of finesse because if you hit that trigger too hard you'll blow the bun and the wad of creme right through the condiment station and onto the wall 8 feet away. No joke, the first couple tarter splurts of a fresh tube came out so hot I'd fire a shot or two in the trash to avoid premature splatulation during the lunch rush."

"The first salvo, properly elevated and adjusted for wind, could clear the whole kitchen and take out the McInfantry on the cash register...If you're ever anywhere near a McDonald's when a sauce gun begins to fall, you have (doing math - https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/free-fall?c=USD&v=g:32.17405!fps2!l,v_0:0!ftps,h:4!ft ) exactly 0.4986 seconds to make peace with your God before Tartarmageddon."~thomsomc

Ok, but who else has a mom that still does this?

“A couple of Mormon missionary guys came in one time and ordered their food, and also ordered French fries with NO SALT. So the fries had to be fried specially, with no salt. They told me it was their tactic to get HOT FRIES.”~TakeMetoLallybrock

​“the parking lot is basically a meet-up...”

“Depending on which one you work at, the parking lot is basically a meet-up for druggies/drug dealers and (at least where I was in New Mexico) people to meet up and have sex in their cars. As long as they kept their business to the middle of the night and didn't cause any serious problems, we were told not to call the cops or make a fuss, mostly because they'd come in and buy food after their shenanigans."

“Soda and mini pies were really popular with addicts. What I later found out is that management was actually told to let it slide by corporate, since everyone higher up was aware of how much money the "night crowd" brought in. I got to see many, many drug deals. I'm convinced I saw at least one arms deal, but I of course have no way of verifying that."~Weird-Church-Noises

App hacks!

“There is a glitch with the McDonalds app. There is a 'deals' section and it usually has a coupon for a free cookie or free apple pie with any order. Add it to your order and you get the free cookie.”

“Then, the next time you order from the app, just reorder your last meal (you can add/subtract whatever you want) but the free cookie will still be there. The glitch is that you can add another free cookie from the deals section, and now you have two free cookies.”

“Evidently there is no cap to this. I now get 5 free cookies with each order. (I stopped at 5 because I felt that any more than that would be overkill)”~neilly777

But why do they turn bright pink if you use water that’s too hot?

“Dehydrated onions, you put them in a metal thing and just add water. The thing is they still taste great! But I was shocked and happy that I didn't have to go cut onions.”~HawkTheHawker

​“Mismanagement is suprisingly common...”

All drinks come in as a syrup and are carbonated on the spot, hence why it can taste flat sometimes. There used to be a way to get a discount code for every second that the timer was running on a coupon, but they patched that in 2017.”

“The ice cream machine at my place usually broke down because people mixed up the milkshake bags with blue caps and the ice cream bags with red caps while filling the machine. Mismanagement is suprisingly common and corporate doesn't give a single sh*t as long as there is sufficient profit coming in.”~Wooshmeister55

Headsets have two buttons...

My time wasn't bad. We kept it clean, and no one I know ever tampered with the food. But there was a lot of funny things that happened, so I have a lot of stories."

“Example: one day, we had 10 minutes to close. It was myself off at close, the grill closer, the service closer, and the manager. Grill closer had on a head set, as he was praying no one else came in as he was very low on a few things and didn't want to make more right before closing."

“This guy prided himself on having things done and being out the door within 10 minutes of closing (bosses loved him because other closers took up to an hour, and that meant paying them for up to an hour)."

"One thing to know: our headsets had two buttons."

"One talked to the other headset only, the other talked to the outside speaker. He had been playing a game where he was trying to make the service worker laugh while she was taking the orders. You probably see where this is going."

"So a driver pulls up to the speaker. He orders a 20 piece nugget. Closer is pissed, and pushed the "talk to other headset" button and goes "man, f*ck that stupid f*cking order. F*ck!"

"Except, of course, he hit the wrong button. Needless to say, someone got a free 20 piece, and another free meal in the future, and grill members were banned from wearing headsets for a while after that."~redpurplegreen22

Despite opinions, fast-food workers work hard and deal with a lot. Remember to show kindness to those working with the public.

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