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Fast Food Employees Of Reddit Tell You What Never To Order At Your Favorite Fast Food Restaurants

Some brilliant Reddit user posed the question: “Fast food workers of Reddit, what should we NOT order at your restaurant? Why not?” Not surprising in the least, a decent segment of Reddit users just happen to be fast food workers, so prepare to have your favorite cheap eats ruined for you!

But before we jump into the fray — quick story time. One summer in college I worked at a prominent east coast chain grocery store in the deli/seafood department, and the horrors I uncovered there were endless. We were not allowed to throw anything away. In addition to having to go to the ER twice in three months due to horrendously unsafe working conditions and having to call 911 when two customers got into a fist fight over who was first in line, I experienced the following:

  • If cheese went moldy, we were ordered to cut off the moldy parts and sell it to customers. If deli meat spoiled, we had to sell it anyway.
  • When packaged salads (potato, macaroni, etc.) on the shelves expired, we had to empty them into containers in the deli case and sell them by weight.
  • One weekend we advertised a big promotion on live lobsters. The shipment came and they were all dead. (You can’t cook dead shellfish.) I was ordered to sell the dead lobsters to customers, but after enough livid customers complained we stopped. Three days later they cooked them, wrapped them in cellophane and put them out on the shelves.
  • Unsold rotisserie chickens would go back into one of the refrigerator rooms where they would accumulate for a few weeks until someone (usually me) would have to pick the meat off of the rancid birds. It would then be used to make chicken salad and sold by weight in the deli case.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. Moral of the story is don’t buy anything pre-made from a grocery store. Ever. Anyway, here we go:

 Starbucks:

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 sugary 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.

As a rule of thumb, you probably shouldn’t ever order a “Captain Crunch Frappuchino” anyway.

Panera Bread:

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 sandwich/ salads. Real ingredients and usually fresh.

Former panera worker.. Can confirm. Mac & cheese is nasty. Everything else is decent, I’d say you’re being charged too much for the salads for the quality. Soups are premade and frozen. Paninis and sandwiches and bread are good though. Whatever you do, don’t order the steak & blue cheese salad or the lobster sandwich.

I just shuddered uncontrollably at the mystery of why you shouldn’t order a lobster sandwich from Panera Bread.

Little Caesar’s:

Former Little Caesars manager here. Some franchises are different, but I wouldn’t order any Crazy Bread, Jalapeno Bread, or Italian Bread. The shit they dress it with out the oven is NOT butter; it’s some nasty imitation that comes in a huge bottle and does not need to be refrigerated. Also, Hot-N-Readys and Chicken Wings have been known to sit in the warmer for hours at a time until sold.

No mystery here. My husband likes this crap even though it’s fairly obvious that Hot-N-Ready = PIZZA SITTING UNDER A HEAT LAMP.

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.

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.

There is a compartment that catches the coffee/espresso grounds and when you take it out there is a hole that gives you access to the inside of the machine. Very dark, can’t be taken apart without someone specialized in servicing it coming it, and normally needs special brushes to be cleaned – I’ve been to a couple different McDonalds and have never seen anyone have the proper ones. A couple of times I stuck my hand in the machine to pull out a literal fist-full of black soot to show to the managers that it’s not in proper condition, and nothing has come of it. The insides are caked with it, the lines where the product comes out as well. Also, I’m not sure about all places but the McDonalds I’m at now also has us cleaning the smoothie machine with fucking glass cleaner. I work nights so unless I really hate the person coming in, I try to play it off like these machines are in their “automatic cleaning cycles” and can’t be used but really I can’t morally justify serving people this (dangerously) sh*tty stuff.

TL;DR: All McCafe beverages run through a horrifically dirty machine – we’re talking 5+ inches of uncleaned, liquid bullshit making up its inside parts, and the smoothies have glass cleaner in them.

McCafe! Ooh la la!

Jack in the Box:

Milkshakes at jack in the box if you’re allergic to fruit.
We do not clean the mixer very well, and it’s used for smoothies and milkshakes. Like, we’re TOLD to just half ass it. In the training video. It’s f*cking ridiculous.

I’m going to award a Lena Dunham-unphotoshopped photo bounty for anyone who can produce this video to me.

Ballpark Hot Dogs:

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.

Oh, and our freezer broke so all the meet [sic] got stored in the ice bin. And our management always told us when the surprise health inspections were gonna show up, usually a week or so in advance.

Huh. I always thought trays of water were a hot dog’s natural habitat, like turtles or frogs.

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.

Does chicken get stale? I thought it just went rancid. Anyway 100% believe this.

Olive Garden:

Complementary salad. It’s the only thing in our restaurant that comes 95% premade, with the exception being the tomatoes, which are cut at 8:30am-9am and are expected to last all day. Everything is technically “refrigerated” but the fridge is always left open, since we go through salad so fast.

Chicken anything. We go through chicken really fast, so if a particular kind isn’t thawing fast enough in the walk-in, we leave a whole tray of it sitting underneath an oven (raised oven; it’s not on the floor), sometimes up to 3 hours.

Fried anything. I don’t know how often the frying oil is changed, but judging by the color… ugh. I know it smells rancid.

I don’t know which dishes this comes with, but the potato and pepper mixture, which is fried, will often have pieces of pepper in it that have started to rot. Not growing-mold rotten, but definitely soft-discolored rotten. I don’t do this, but I know every other prep cook at my location does.

Mmm. Unlimited soup, salad, breadsticks and botulism!

Subway:

From my experiences, the tuna and egg salad at Subway is just bagged tuna/eggs and a shit-ton of mayo to make it soft.

I worked at Subway. The roast beef is so full of preservatives its iridescent (super shiny and rainbow). The cold cuts are in a nasty syrup that smells like ass, and the black forest ham has little piggy hairs on them if you look close enough.

I don’t think you actually need to work at Subway to ascertain any of this information.

Pizza Hut:

Pizza Hut manager: Our dough are processed, frozen discs that we handle WITHOUT gloves. (When I say handle without gloves, I mean handle without washing hands.) It’s a little obvious gloves aren’t magical germ repellents.. our policy is to wash your hands as hot as you can handle for 20 seconds, and then put on food handling gloves. Our policy also makes you wash hands/switch out gloves when starting a new task (going from panning/proofing the pizza to topping pizzas, etc.) Unfortunately this is a Pizza Hut chain that has a bunch of 17-20 year olds working in it and will not obey the rules.

Anyway, we also spray them with non-stick spray and oil the hell out of them. After that, we proof them and top them, again, with our bare hands. (Probably dirty) Sometimes the dough will be really old, 4-5 days at the max where it gets all shrively and sinks down into the pan.

Oh, and our breadstick and pizza sauce are pretty much tomato paste in a plastic bag that we mixed with water.

Fact: Your deep dish is only about two degrees away from a teenage boy’s penis.

Miscellaneous:

I’ve worked at 4 restaurants in my life and lemons and ice are by far the most disgusting things you can get.

Usually because no restaurant ever has cleaned out the ice machine. It also depends on what they use to scoop the ice out of the machines. If you got people with dirty hands with a scoop scooping out ice you can imagine all the nasty particles that rub off on the ice etc. Do that 4-5 times a day and you see the potential for nasty to accumulate.

On the plus side, workers from Sonic, In-N-Out, Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, and a Nova Scotia McDonald’s (aww, Canada) all came forward to say that their establishments are run legit sanitary, so that’s good to know next time I want to get my Diet Cherry Limeade on. As for the rest, you’d probably be better off with canned dog food (the fancy kind) or Hungry Man dinners, which are basically fancy dog food with different packaging.

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