Some people may enjoy fast food, but there’s a certain mystery about how the food is prepared that is really only known to the people preparing it. What we do know is that the food is cooked in a very fast manner and then served for you to devour. What happens between the time the order is placed and put in your bag is unknown — until now. Former fast food service workers have come forward to discuss the secrets behind making your favorite fast food, and some of these truths are a little hard to digest. Even if you have a solid stomach.
There’s a Holding Cabinet for Food
Bet you didn’t know that there’s a holding cabinet for your food. Sometimes, your fast food isn’t cooked and then immediately put into your bag. Instead, food stays in a cabinet. When the timer goes off, the food is supposed to be tossed out because it isn’t fresh, but instead, employees reheat the food and give it to you anyway.
Fresh Food Depends on the Timing
It’s all about timing! It may be a shock to hear, but your fast food might not be so fresh after all! If you want the freshest food, one former fast food worker says to come in between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. These are the hours that the food will be freshly made. Otherwise, it’s up to chance.
The Grill Marks are an Illusion
You know in those fast food commercials it shows your burger being grilled to perfection complete with grill marks? Well, as it turns out, those grill marks that you see on the burger aren’t made by the grill. According to a former employee, those grill marks are etched on by a factory before the burgers are shipped out.
Your Chicken Breast Isn’t Healthy
Some customers may feel proud of themselves for escaping binging out on burgers and fries by ordering the seemingly “healthier” option — chicken. As it turns out, that chicken breast you thought was healthier is actually slathered in fat butter when the grilling process is done, in order to avoid it sticking to the grill. Not only that, but the chickens that many fast food companies use are genetically modified, and do not look like real chickens to begin with.
The Fries have One Hidden Ingredient
No matter what fast food chain you go to, odds are you love the fries. Well, you may not gorge yourself on fries after you hear this. According to one employee, the fries have chemical residue in them because the chemicals linger on the cooking appliances after they’re sprayed down. Gross!
Build your Perfect Big Mac for Cheap
Wish your burger was listed at a cheaper price? As it turns out, you can haggle the price if you’re smart. One former employee says that it’s possible to rebuild a Big Mac. Just get a $1 McDouble, without mustard, ketchup, and then add lettuce and mac sauce, and you’ve recreated your choice item for a lesser price.
Want Something Fresh? Just Ask.
According to a former fast food employee, while there are peak hours for fresh food, most of the employees will cook your food fresh if you ask them nicely. That said, if you want to ensure that you get your french fries fresh, one former employee says to order them without salt, which forces the workers to cook a whole new batch.
Avoid Extra Charges
If you want to avoid extra charges there’s a simple solution. Just don’t ask for anything “extra.” It’s said that when someone asks for something extra, whether it’s extra cheese or extra sauce, they are forced to put it into the register and charge for the items asked.
The Chili is Made Out of What?!
When we think of chili, we might think of fresh ground beef or turkey, but in the case of some fast food chains it isn’t exactly fresh. According to one former employee, they make the chili out of old burgers. If that’s not enough to ward you off, then we don’t know what will.
The Salads Aren’t Healthy
Think you’re avoiding using your calories by ordering a salad? You’re not. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but it might be to some people. The salads are not at all healthy. That said, here’s the real surprise: it’s said that big macs are just as “healthy” as the salads, because they’re relatively the same in calories.
Get the Best Service From your Car
This should actually be a no-brainer, but apparently it isn’t. If you want the fastest service, then it’s going to be in your car, at the drive through. Waiting on the lines inside takes forever, and people usually move a bit faster while driving in their cars. If that’s not enough to convince you, it’s said that employees are told to prioritize people on the drive through line first.
Don’t Anger the Employees
Sometimes we come across a story about an employee getting even with a customer by messing with their food. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s not a hoax. According to one employee, a co-worker was so mad at a disgruntled customer that they spit in their food. Said employee was suspended for a total of three days before returning to the job.
You Can Check for Mold
If you’re worried about the cleanliness of your food or drink, you can always check for mold. One former employee gives a tip to paranoid customers and says that they should check the drink dispenser chute by bending down and looking up. If you see mold or anything else “growing” it means you might be in danger!
There’s a Reason Why your Food Never Looks Like the Commercials
So you see an ad on TV for your favorite fast food chain, and your mouth waters just looking at the appetizing food. Then you order it and you realize that it looks nothing like what you saw on TV. As it turns out, there’s a reason for that. To recreate the food in these commercials, this food is usually “touched up” using airbrushing, fiberglass, as well as other particles.
People Lie to get Free Food
Some people lie to get free food. According to one former employee, sometimes customers would lie and say he/she messed up the order so they can get free food. One fast food worker divulged, “There was one guy who found a pebble in our parking lot, put it in his food after he ate most of it, and then asked for a replacement.”
The 10-Second Rule Exists
Remember when you were growing up and dropped a piece of food on the floor, but that was okay, because as long as you picked it up before 10 seconds, it was still safe to eat? Well, one former employee says that this is the rule of thumb in the kitchen at some fast food chains, too. Yikes!
Uneaten Leftovers Don’t go to the Homeless
Some would like to think that at the end of the day, all of that food that’s left over or thrown out is then given to the homeless. Well, as it turns out, fast food chains throw out a ton of untouched food items, and they never get donated to anyone in need.
It Really is a Secret
Love that crispy fried chicken? How about that delicious burger? Want to know how the employees make specific items? Well, so do the employees! According to one former employee, all of the recipes are proprietary, so none of the workers know what ingredients are in any given item. They just know how to arrange the ingredients, which also sounds like they’re not as fresh as you may think.
The Managers Aren’t Daddy Warbucks
Do you think the managers at your favorite fast food chain are sitting on thrones? Do you think they’re the next Daddy Warbucks? Think again! It’s said that even the managers of these fast food chains aren’t making bank. In fact, most of them aren’t making more than minimum wage like the staff below them. Ouch!
Employees Don’t Always Wash their Hands
You know that sign that you see at fast food chains and restaurants? The one that states employees must wash their hands before returning to work? As it turns out, not all of them do. According to one former employee, “Most of us don’t wash our hands as much as we should. Even though there are signs everywhere reminding us it’s the law.”
Sometimes Gross Things Sneak Their Way Into Your Food
In 2013, a student in Colchester, Essex made a rather horrific discovery in his KFC meal. Ibrahim Langoo,19, was shocked to find what appeared to be a fried chicken brain in the bucket. He made the discovery after picking the chicken apart with his fingers before eating it. KFC apologized for the incident, but the company’s corporate office thinks it was actually a chicken kidney, not a brain.