People who’ve worked in fast food, what are some secrets you’ve discovered?

People who’ve worked in fast food, what are some secrets you’ve discovered?

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  1. Chick Fila is generally pretty good for freshness and quality. That said, the chicken fridges were horrible for the workers. Chicken came in frozen, and you loaded the frozen bags in metal pans and put in the fridge to thaw. As it thawed, chicken blood/juices/whatever would spill out and collect at the bottom of the fridge. Has to clean up like an inch of sticky gunk at the bottom. Sometimes it would then dry up hard. We’d clean it every day, but damn, chiseling dried chicken blood is really not fun. This was like 20 years ago. I hope it’s different now.

  2. Back when I was a fry cook, some customers thought they were being slick and would order unsalted fries to make sure they got fresh ones. Us cooks would just put already salted fries back into the fryer to wash the salt off.

  3. Maybe not a “secret secret” but just not something people realized.

    At Wendy’s, the cooked burgers that don’t get sold, those go into a pot in a refrigerator, and they get made into TOMORROW’s chili.

    The crispy chicken that doesn’t get sold today? Those go into a pot in the fridge and those get made into TOMORROW’s crispy chicken salads.

    Back when Wendy’s had a salad bar … the burger buns that are going stale at the end of a day? Those got made into tomorrow’s garlic bread on the salad bar.

    None of this is unsafe, all of this is approved by the department of health, and none of this is a trade secret … but I bet you didn’t realize that.

  4. If the cooks replace all the oil in the fryers with fresh oil the food tastes like shit for a day or two.

    The trick is to replace about 75% of the oil with fresh oil. You have to leave 25% of the old stuff in so that the “flavor” that people expect is there.

    Also, only the oldest guys are usually the ones that change the oil because it’s heavy, hot/dangerous, and back breaking work.

    Therefore if that guy isn’t on schedule for a while the oil isn’t getting changed.

    So even though it’s supposed to get changed weekly it can go a month without being changed easy.

  5. Jimmy John’s is ha pretty good meat. Good bread with no persevatives. The exploits the fucking shit out of their employees though. Good food, bad company.

  6. All the places I worked, people really did take care to provide clean properly cooked food and I’m glad to know this is at least the majority of food service.

  7. People will make a mistake and then get mad at you because they didn’t read something. My coworker cried today because a woman yelled at her for paying for the first of 2 orders with her card even though she handed my coworker her card first. Obviously we go order 1 first and order 2 second. Also, do not order from the passenger seat. Please.

  8. We didn’t break our ice cream machines on purpose at McDonald’s. They’re designed to break down often so that the company who makes them can charge McDonald’s franchise owners a ton to fix them. I think it’s 25% of the ice cream machine company’s revenue comes from service on the machines. They’ve even added software updates to the machine to make the machine worse and give more error codes.

  9. People have such tight schedules and so much to produce in the kitchens on busy branches, that if they drop something on the floor, they’ll often still just put it out to be served.

    Also, if it’s super busy, you can cook double but only put through half. Some food can only sit for 30 minutes before being discarded. But if you cook 100, tell the computer you’ve done 50, and then put the other 50 through 30 minutes later, it halves your impossible workload. But then that food that’s supposed to sit for a maximum of 30 minutes sits for an hour

  10. I worked at a fried chicken joint during my teenage years. The owner refused to let us throw away chicken pieces that have gone bad to where you’d gagged if you smell them.

    We battered them up, fried em and served them to unsuspecting customers.

  11. If you dump out a plastic coffee creamer cup then throw it in the fryer it will melt into a little plastic disk and you can pick it out with tongs and keep your souvenir. Also if you throw a handful of ice into a fryer it will sink to the bottom then take about 20 seconds then melt and boil. Don’t do too much or it will overflow the fryer.

  12. I worked at McDonald’s for like two months and when someone dropped fries on the floor they didn’t care and put it in the box anyway

  13. Story from a family friend who used to work at Dairy Queen:

    When she worked there they mixed the soft served ice cream in cooler like containers. It wasn’t uncommon for bugs to fall in.

    Before you ask she worked there in the 70’s

  14. Don’t eat the mayo!

    Ask for it fresh!

    A hair in your food is probably not from the head!

    The hand washing signs displayed are to make the public feel safe, the workers don’t actually wash their hands as much as they should.

    If something other than the original ingredients falls into the food 99% will not notice, no reason to waste food ($) because somebody “Might” complain. A complaint only leads to half of the food wasted.

    I still eat fast food. 🙃

  15. There’s really no reason for peoples orders to go out wrong. Like 5% of the time its an honest mistake or mental slip up but the other 95% is lazy and/or incompetent people that work there. Its not hard.

  16. Even the ones that you think are clean, are not. I worked at one that most would consider to be a top-tier fast food establishment, and for years we battled cockroaches, found fried mice inside the fryers about once a year, experienced several grease fires, never cleaned beyond what was plainly visible until the second the health inspector was walking through the door, and bypassed safe food practices occasionally for the sake of time. And this was all while receiving passing scores from health department, who knew about the cockroaches. But the health standards were that as long as you were on a pest control treatment plan to eliminate them, it didn’t count against you. Even if at every visit for years, they found cockroaches.

  17. dont work in it but have alot of family/friends who have: the mcdonalds ice cream machine is never broken. they just dont wanna clean it. they’re supposed to do a simple clean daily, some sort of deeper clean weekly, and basically take the bitch apart and powerwash it monthly. i think most people would say they dont get paid enough for that.

    also! high ranking general managers do get free meals. my aunt got them all the time. my cousins would walk in and order with me, and usually say some code word like “numbers” or something and they usually got it. if the cashier didn’t understand they’d namedrop their mom (or in some cases were asked to) and we got our food for free

  18. Worked at Taco Bell. The general manager actually cared about quality and doing things the right way. We would time stamp food that was put on the line and was meant to be discarded after a certain time. The GM would have us actually rid the food if it went past the use by time but surprisingly it was the assistant manager and shift leaders that would just put a new stamp over the old one and continue using it

    Cinnamon twists start out as noodles. Throw them in the deep fryer they expand

    Management got bonuses based on how fast drive thru orders were taken and handed out the window. During lunch rush we had to get the food out in less than 25 seconds. If the GM wasn’t there we’d sometimes cheat the system by asking the car at the window to slightly pull up (just off the censor) and while the timer was paused we would make all the orders behind them so we could hand them out quickly. We would offer free cinnamon twists or nachos to cars we had pull up

    The soda machine fountain never really got cleaned. I learned after working at in n out you’re supposed to pop off the tips where soda comes out and clean those. We did that nightly at in n out but I never saw anyone do that at Taco Bell

  19. The meat in the chili at Wendy’s is old hamburgers that stayed on the grill too long.

    Edit-it’s been posted a bunch of times. I didn’t mind making the chili at Wendy’s and I still ate it.

    Ahhh my first job. 25 years ago. I used to love making myself a fresh spicy chicken sandwich topped with bacon I lightly crisped up fryer and a baked potato with cheese and chili like every fucking day haha. Mmm cheese and bacon baked potato was good too.

    wrap a piece of bacon around nugget and deep fry for a second…pair with a pickle from the sandwich station. Good stuff. I got yelled a lot for eating on the line. 16-17 yo me gave less than 0 fucks if I got fired from that job so I just did whatever.

    I met the girl I lost my virginity too at that job. Good times

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