Considering that over 85% of Americans visit McDonald's at least once a year, the fast-food franchise is kind of a big deal. People are constantly ordering anything from their morning coffee to the infamous Big Mac burger from McDonald's. However, with so much popularity, there actually may be more than what meets the eye when it comes to this food empire. McDonald's employees decided to reveal all of their restaurant secrets on Reddit, and there's quite a buzz.We've decided to share 15 of our favorite secrets, and we suspect that before we're through, you'll be lovin' it.
McDonald's Employees Share Restaurant Secrets Online
1. The speaker box hears all.
While it may seem like it takes a few minutes or so for an employee to come to the speaker box to take the food order, they can apparently hear everything the entire time. An anonymous Reddit user dished that, "At the drive-thru, the speaker box hears everything from when you pull up until after you drive off. If you talk crap about us, we hear it. If you are arguing with your other passengers or on the phone, we hear it." That sounds like it could get pretty awkward on a daily basis.
2. Sometimes things get pretty crappy.
If you think for one minute that McDonald's restaurants are exceedingly clean places, think again. We were mortified when Reddit user, MasterInceptor, wrote, "Some freaking kid climbed all the way to the top slide of the PlayPlace, took off his pants, and slid down the slide. Problem was, he [pooped] the whooooole way down. There was a trail of poop spanning the entire second half of the slide. We only found out because some other kid slid down the same slide and came out covered in chunky-liquid crying uncontrollably." If that story didn't traumatize you, we don't know what to say.
3. There are lots of fry burn scars
While most customers would have no idea about this, making McDonald's fries a certain way can be dangerous business. An anonymous Reddit users pleaded for help, saying, "If you order fries with no salt, we hate you. We need to make them fresh, but that's not the problem. The problem is they can't touch the fry receptacle, and we have to pour SCORCHING HOT, BOILING OIL–COVERED FRIES directly into the fry box. I have burn scars. We all have burn scars. And don't get me started on people that order a small. It's PAPER. You're killing us." This goes to show that the task of making fries a certain way is no small fry.
4. They use timers for food prep.
While most people know that fast-food restaurants move quickly, especially because "fast" is in the name, they may be unaware of the demanding McDonald's timers. An anonymous Reddit user wrote, "I worked for McDonald’s for a few years in college, and the biggest takeaway is those damn food timers. Corporate has them set up for each different food to go off at various times when the food has essentially been sitting too long and needs to be remade. When the timers would go off, they would simply restart them without even considering remaking the food. This goes for EVERYTHING — pies, fries, burgers, nuggets, fish, etc." It looks like employees need to be made of magic to meet these intense timer requirements.
5. The Big Mac bun can sometimes be turned into a funnel cake
While funnel cakes have yet to be added to the McDonald's menu, employees have found a tasty loophole. Reddit user abbazabba_3000 explained, "I worked at McDonald's in high school. I found out that if you put the middle of a Mac bun in the fryer and then add soft serve and strawberry topping, it tastes just like a funnel cake. Custom creations were the best part of working there." It may be time to order a Big Mac and make our own bun funnel cake.
6. Employees can play God with the sauces.
Anyone that's ordered chicken nuggets at McDonald's knows that it's all about the sauce. However, sometimes there're too many nuggies and not enough sauce. The fast-food franchise charges extra for sauce, unless a customer receives the right employees favor for a free added sauce. Reddit user, amandag4fe9e4ba0, wrote, "When someone orders extra dipping sauce, you either push the 'extra sauce' button and the sauce they want, or just push the normal sauce button. When I worked the drive-thru, if a customer was polite and wanted extra sauce, I would just enter what sauce they wanted and 'forget' to charge it. If someone was rude, you bet I wouldn't hesitate to charge for extra sauce!" McDonald's employees can give free sauce and they can take free sauce away, so it's probably best to be nice to them.
7. McRibs are always a mess
When McRib season returns to McDonald's, people gather from far and wide to get their grub on. Yet, when they eagerly open their bags to find a messy McRib inside, they may be too quick to complain. It turns out, making them is always kind of a tumultuous. Yoozelezz_AF said, "McRibs are the messiest sandwich we had to make. In addition to cooking it, the McRibs stew in their sauce in the universal heating cabinet (UHC) until used. They required a special pair of tongs because there can't be cross-contamination with the pork and other items. No matter how careful you were, you always made a mess." We don't care much about messy, just as long as the McRib is delicious.
8. The juice machines can be scary.
While nothing beats freshly squeezed juice from a fruit, we'd hope McDonald's juice from the machine would be somewhat on the fresher side. It turns out, for some of their restaurants, that's far from the truth. Reddit user, mrsmunro8887 explained, "When I worked at McDonald's, the orange juice machine was only cleaned when an employee would have some and say, 'This tastes like mold.' I was usually the lucky one." We're pretty sure our McDonald's juice phobia just started.
9. Sometimes employees buy time for the food to be ready.
If you've ever wondered why it seems like the employees at the speaker and the payment window are goofing off while you're waiting for food, this may be your answer. Reddit user, abiwoods101, explained, "When my friend and I are working the speaker and the payment window, we always try to make each other laugh really hard when the other is taking orders so that it takes longer to take the order, and the people making the food have enough time to make it before the customer gets to the window." That's what we call teamwork.
10. You may end up with decaffeinated coffee if you are rude.
This one is small, yet fitting revenge for rude customers that rely on caffeine to survive. An anonymous Reddit user wrote, "Finally: "If you are rude in any way when you order a brewed coffee, you will most likely end up with decaf." McDonald's employees don't play when it comes to ruining coffee dreams.
11. Beware of being served old food.
In an ideal world, when food expires, it would be thrown out as part of sanitation and safety protocols. However, sometimes certain ingredients at McDonald's stick around long past their welcome. An Anonymous Reddit user said,"When the pre-made toppings or grilled beef expired, they would just change the time sticker and leave it sitting there for longer. So you'd sometimes get beef that was, like, two hours old." That may be our new first thought if we feel a rumbly in the tumbly after a trip to Mickey D's.
12. The glorious McDonald's App glitch
There are few things in life that give us more pleasure than free food, and that's what you may be able to score when using the McDonald's app. According to neily777, "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)." Brb, downloading the McDonald's app right now.
13. Apparently, they can make a grilled cheese sandwich
Even though grilled cheese is not on the menu, McDonald's employees apparently have the technology to make them. Reddit user, tardissomethingblue, explained, "You can ask for grilled cheese. We put cheese between two backwards buns and grilled it." We're not sure if it tastes good, but we're just glad to know it's possible.
14. The ice cream machines aren't broken all the time
We know that feeling when every McDonald's you go to claims the ice cream machine is broken and it feels like a strange conspiracy to keep you away from that McFlurry. However, Reddit user, taka_282, explained that's not quite the case, "That the ice cream machines aren't actually broken 99% of the time. They're typically powering up because someone forgot to turn them on at the appointed time. We just say that they're broken because it's short and concise way to express that you're not getting your ice cream for the next few hours." Somehow we're still sad that means no ice cream.
15. Here's a tasty secret
We had to get some of the tasty menu item combos, and a former employee has spoken. An anonymous Reddit user wrote, "If you dip your fries in a side of tartar sauce, they taste like dill pickle potato chips." That's going right on the list of goodies to try next.
Let us know what you think in the comments of these McDonald's employee secrets and if one or all of them were illuminating or horrifying.