19 Secrets From The Kitchens Of Fast Food Restaurants

Sarah Kester
Unsplash | Jonathan Borba

It's no secret that fast food restaurants aren't good for you.

It takes all about five minutes of watching Super Size Me to realize that. That, or the instant chest pains that come from scarfing down [insert fav fast food restaurant here]. 

What is secret, however, are the things that fast food workers wouldn't dare say to your face. We're talking about ways to get free food and recipes to your favorite items. There's also some talk about cleanliness that you probably don't want to know…

Subway's toppings

Unsplash | Raphael Nogueira

You might not want to believe Subway's "Eat Fresh" slogan. One Redditor who used to work there said that their manager would change the expiration dates of food so they wouldn't have to be thrown out...

Some examples: they would take lettuce in a pan and put it back into the bag and even keep frozen (unbaked) bread for over a year.

McDonald's "golden moments"

Chowhound | CBS

"McDonalds for 5 years. When you're trained they encourage you to look for 'golden moments,' which are essentially targetting children and making them feel special." -u/genericxname. We can't decide if this is cute or creepy.

Chipotle's zesty beans


If you ever wondered what goes into their famous rice, one Redditor shared that it's a mixture of 50/50 lime juice.

Now, if they could just figure out how to get double meat without being charged, that would be great, thanks!

Tim Horton's "Fresh" foods

Unsplash | Erik Mclean

"I worked at a Tim Horton's all through high school and a bit of university. The "Always Fresh" stuff is kind of [expletive] Everything is frozen, and re-heated when they need to be served. The doughnuts, the eggs in the breakfast sandwich, and any baked good was all frozen, put in the oven and then served." - u/NutmegInTheLibrary

Papa John's cheese pizza

Giphy | HULU

If you love their cheese pizza, this secret's for you! One former Papa John's driver said that a cheese pizza dipped in garlic sauce is the same exact thing as a cheese stick dipped in marinara sauce, only it costs about twice as much.

Save yourself money by ordering cheese sticks with two pizza sauces.

The pizza dough

Zimbio | NBC

"I worked at a Pizza place. One time during an inspection they found our tub of flour had been rolled into the bathroom. The inspector asked me why it was in there. I said 'Well we didn't have a place to put it right now,' still got an A rating." - u/jdashd

Pizza Hut Express's free 'za

Unsplash | Ivan Torres

Looking for a job that gives you free pizza? Consider a Pizza Hut Express. This worker said that they throw out unpurchased pizzas every 20 minutes.

Since he thought this was a waste of food, he would stockpile them on days when his manager wasn't working and take them home.

Burger King's diaper change

Giphy | TLC

"I work at bk (the king), the grossest thing I've ever seen happen in my store is something a customer did. Midway through this lady's meal, she decides her baby's diaper is full. So she changes it. On the [expletive] table. Right next to her food. And as the baby is lying in ketchup she proceeds to shove French fries down her grotesque gullet." - u/SqueekyPajamas

Jimmy John's bugs


Feeling like stopping at Jimmy John's? You should probably read this first. This former worker was slicing a head of lettuce when an instict told them to break it in half to make sure it was fresh.

When he did, he found hundreds of tiny black bugs eating the inside of the lettuce head... Every other lettuce head was the same and they had been serving it to people FOR WEEKS.

Taco Bell's beans


We already knew that Taco Bell gives you, well, the runs. What we didn't know was that the location this girl lived close to was shut down for a few days after the late shift workers all pooped in the beans. WTF?!

Captain D's fish

Giphy | The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

"If you get the 'baked fish' at Captain D's, its actually just a filet of whiting fish, a little butter and seasoned salt, microwaved for a couple of minutes and thrown on a bed of rice. This knowledge was actually very useful in college when all I had access to while the dining hall was closed was a microwave." - u/deleted

McDonald's shakes


You may never want to order a McDonald's shake after reading this. This former worker said that since the machine never gets cleaned, they were always infested with cockroaches who would run and hide the moment workers opened the bucket to add more shake mixture. shudders

Red Robin's burgers

Unsplash | amirali mirhashemian

"Check your burgers to ensure they're cooked! Chicken and beef patties are taken off the grill before they're finished. The hot juices inside will continue to cook the meat but this is borderline during busy hours. It's not uncommon to see burgers get sent back to the kitchen uncooked." - u/deleted

Dairy Queen's hot dogs

Do yourself a favor and skip the hot dogs at Dairy Queen. This Redditor who worked there said that they were told to put the hot dogs on the spinning racks to heat them all day long. Then, at the end of the day, they were told to put the leftovers in the fridge. By the time they started turning green, they were instructed to put the hot dogs in the chili. Yuck.

AMC's free popcorn

zimbio | CBS

"If you're ever at AMC Theatres and you want free popcorn, ask for a cardboard tray filled with it. The trays are free, and there is no limit to how many we can give you. And if you want free soda, same thing goes. Ask for a courtesy cup (or multiple courtesy cups) filled with your drink of choice. They are also free and there's no limit on how many we're allowed to give you. Also: Don't order hot dogs or pizza at AMC. Just don't. Trust me." - u/Raven1965

Cold Stone Creamery's cakes

Unsplash | Unsplash

For the price they charge, you'd expect everything to be super fresh, right? Well, that's sadly not the case, as shared by this former worker. They wrote that the manager would change the dates on expired cakes to avoid throwing them out. Ugh.

IHOP's butter

Unsplash | Megumi Nachev

"They don't serve real butter. They don't even have any available upon request. It's a margarine/butter blend. It's crazy to me that a restaurant that specializes in pancakes serves that crap." - u/pillbilly

Starbucks' drinks

Unsplash | Khadeeja Yasser

It doesn't matter if the barista spells your name right on the cup; you always want to be nice to your barista!

This Redditor shared that customers who aren't will get their orders messed with, such as using decaf coffee instead of regular or sugar-free or non-fat syrups and milk.

H/T: Reddit