Unsplash | Erik Mclean

Former McDonald's Workers Are Sharing The Secrets They Discovered

McDonald's is an ever-present company in the lives of many. You can't drive ten minutes in any slightly large city without passing at least one, and it's a popular stop for cheap, yummy food.

But, like any business, there are a number of secrets learned only by those who work there. Someone on Reddit asked to hear some of those secrets, and comments came in by the thousands to spill 'em.

Mind those eggs.

Unsplash | Caroline Attwood

"Sandwiches with round egg use real, cracked eggs. Folded and scrambled come from packaged goods in the freezer or fridge."

Another matter of personal taste, but there's truly nothing like a freshly cooked egg in the morning, so my vote goes to the former.

Very, very sweet tea.

Unsplash | Crystal Huff

"I found out that, when making 5 gallons of sweet tea, an entire 4-pound bag of sugar goes in."

I'll let you have your own opinion on that. I'm a fan of extremely sweet drinks that will likely give me heart problems, so I don't have an issue with this news.

No flipping required.

"Before I worked there, I always thought they used a grill. Turns out it's more of a heated press machine."

That's right! There's no flipping burgers at McDonald's, instead a press is lowered to cook both sides of the patty without them needing to be used. They did use to use a grill, but that changed some time ago.

Secret treats.

"Worked there in high school. 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."

The replies to this one were filled with others sharing their own McDonald's employee recipes, though it's good practice to not ask for any of these convoluted snacks if you're just a regular customer.

Proper ordering etiquette.

"If you're ordering a meal, say the size first (Large Number 1 with a Coke). Everyone knows that ordering the meal is cheaper than getting that same sandwich, fries, and drink individually, but here's the secret: The POS has a button for the large #1 and a different button for the medium #1, then another menu for the drinks. So if you say 'I want a #1 with a Coke,' I can't hit any buttons until I know the sizes of the meal (the size of the fries), and the size of the drink."

No tears.

Unsplash | Lars Blankers

"Dehydrated onions, you put them in a metal thing and just add water. The thing is they still taste great! But I was shocked and happy that I didn't have to go cut onions."

I wish I could buy these for my own home cooking needs, I'm tired of tearing up when chopping onions!

Surprisingly fresh.

"Burgers are kept in a warming area for no more than 15 minutes then thrown out and new ones are made."

For some reason, that number is a lot lower than I expected, but certainly not unwelcome.

Spotless and sparkling.

Unsplash | Pille R. Priske

"[...] it’s probably one of the cleanest restaurants in your city. The standardizations and routine practices leave little room for employees to think for themselves. It was a way cleaner restaurant than the 30-50$ per person place I would work at later."

Keep 'em seperated.

"Specific tools and grill section for cooking chicken vs beef to make sure they don’t cross for those customers who don’t eat beef. The Hindu coworkers were very vocal about this rule if you worked the grill."

This is a lovely layer of detail to have, letting those who don't eat beef know that they're still safe to order other things.

Cookies, anyone?

Unsplash | Mollie Sivaram

Speaking of saving some money, here's an exploit one McDonald's app user discovered. "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."

Not sure if this glitch has since been cleared up, however.

Save a few cents.

For those who order Big Macs, this ex-employee explains how to get the same thing for cheaper. "The big mac is just a double cheese burger with 1000 island dressing, lettuce and an extra piece of bread. [If] you order a double add lettuce and big mac sauce, you get the same thing with less bread and cheaper price."

Freshness check.

Unsplash | FL FLPhotography.li

You can tell how fresh your fries are based on their color. "If the fries are yellow/brown, the oil hasn't been changed in a long time. If they come out white/very pale yellow, they're made in fresh oil."

Speaking of fries...

The trick of asking for fries with no salt to guarantee freshness does work, but you don't need to go to such lengths.

"I always thought it was hilarious how people would think they’d be so smart by ordering fries with no salt when you could literally just ask for fresh fries."

That goes for most things, actually.

Unsplash | Brett Jordan

You have to ability to ask for anything you want made fresh.

"As a former employee, I learned you could ask for anything you wanted fresh. To anyone reading this — when it's late or low-key hours at McDonald's, order your [expletive] fresh. The max cook time is like 5 or 6 minutes for nuggets, 4 minutes for any beef. WORTH IT, TRUST ME."

Okay, I know I said no custom orders, but...

This one seems simple and too good to resist. "You can ask them to throw an apple pie into the McFlurry so you now have a PieMcflurry."

Another comment mentioned to specifically make sure it goes through the McFlurry mixer with the pie inside, as sometimes people will just stick it in at the end.

The ice cream machine being broken? Not their fault.

Unsplash | Dylan Ferreira

"[...] the ice cream machines are just not cleaned properly and display dumb error codes nobody but an authorized dude knows—so blame the machine maker because they provide bad instructions and no troubleshooting help."

Also mentioning the tech, this person added, "The ice cream machine is set up for failure. The damn thing always needed to do this four-hour cleaning cycle. If you messed it up you would have to call this neck beard of a tech to come and fix it."

Sometimes, they're not even broken.

"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."

Beware the breakfast.

"Never get the breakfast menu after 10:30 or 11. We start the lunch menu then, so if you for example, got a sausage egg muffin at noon, the muffin, sausage, and egg will have been sitting in the reheating cabinet for...an hour and a half. We only toss the last breakfast items at 2, when we fully stop serving breakfast items."

The fish, too.

Pexels | Lukas

"If you are a weirdo that goes to McDonald's for Filet of Fish, go at lunchtime. Despite rules to throw that crap away xx minutes after cooking, they regularly would be served late at night..."

Lastly, remember that those who work at McDonald's deserve respect.

One ex-manager spoke specifically about the young people working there. "Don’t knock the kids/people working fast food. Don’t make fun of them, laugh at them or make them feel bad. They are learning valuable skills that will serve them well later in life. They are doing what they can to earn money. They’re serving you the junk food you want while learning how to grow up to be a successful adult. Sure, not everyone fits this description, but more people do than you think."