Chain restaurants provide that reassuring sense of comfort knowing that no matter where you're at, there is something on the menu you'll know and love. Yet these behind the scenes secrets shared from actual chain restaurant employees will leave you feel anything but comforted.
That Bread Sure Has A Lot Of Iron.
“I worked at Cheesecake factory for many years. The bread is a yard long loaf, frozen, often used as giant fake “d–k swords” by servers on a regular basis. We were also told to hold the bread with our bare hands and cut with a very sharp/long chef knife. Many fingers were lacerated, and I rarely saw a new cutting board.”
That’s Definitely Not Reassuring.
“A survey conducted by the Center for Research and Public Policy for Alchemy Systems found that the majority of food industry workers continue to go to work when they’re sick. 51% of workers reported that they “always” or “frequently” go to work when ill.”
“Steak from Subway. Having to prep it completely ruined it for me. It’s essentially a frozen meat log that you have to break apart with your bare hands.”
You’re Sharing More Than Just Food.
“I work at a Mexican restaurant that has a happy hour that includes a completely free “nacho bar.” Sounds like a dream come true but I will never ever eat off that thing. This isn’t because of anything the restaurant does, but I have seen customers put their fingers in it, cough all over it, I’ve even seen a grown lady EATING BEEF RIGHT OFF THE LADLE. I’m sure this goes for most places with self-serve buffets, but this experience has just scarred me from anything like that.”
Ignorance Is Bliss.
“I worked at Chili’s. We had to make up any excuse to not allow customers to see the nutritional content book that we were required to keep in the back. An Awesome Blossom was 2500+ calories and some people would eat a whole one before their meal.”
Sounds Like A Bucket Of Hell.
“Perkins: the scrambled eggs. The 5 gallon bucket of mixed egg sits in the hot kitchen all day, then at the end of the day more egg is added to it to fill it back up and it is put away for the next day. The kitchen manager is the only one that can make the call to empty the bucket and clean it. He goes by smell to make the decision.”
And They Charge How Much For This?
“I used to work for Cinemark Theatres. DO NOT EAT THE HOT DOGS! At the end of the day we would be required to wash them off and let them soak in water to rehydrate them. We would then put them in a container in the freezer. The next day we were required to put them back onto the hotdog warmer. They weren’t thrown out till they started turning green or if the casing had busted. The hotdog rotisserie was cleaned with degreaser and/or metal polish and not rinsed off. Also, sometimes cups were rinsed out and put back into the rotation especially the collectors cups the ushers would find when cleaning out the theaters.”
That 14 Day Old Meat Is So Tasty Though.
“I worked at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Our “special” is a spicy pasta dish called the Vesuvius. The sauce is made by mashing together the unused chicken, pork, and beef from the previous 6-7 days. And the vesuvius sauce is allowed to remain for up to a week without being thrown out. So theoretically, you could be eating a pasta dish with 14-day-old meat. But hey, at least you get free ice cream.”
But They Make It Look So Pretty.
“TGI Fridays. Always felt bad for customers who ordered the Oreo Madness for dessert. Costs something like $6.50, for literally just one relatively small Klondike Oreo ice cream sandwich, taken out of its individual packaging, and slapped on a plate with some powdered sugar and chocolate sauce. Just go to Walmart and you can buy a whole box for half the price.”
How Do They Make Turkey Ham?
“Cold cut combo: literally smells like ass out of the package. Tuna: way too much f–kin mayo. More like cream of tuna soup. Meatballs: if its a slow restaurant, I guarantee those are from yesterday. Subway.” Also, “fun fact about the cold cut combo: It’s all turkey. The ham? Turkey. Bologna? Turkey. Salami? Also turkey.”
Who Has Time For Fresh Soup?
“Worked at Panera for a few years. I wouldn’t eat the soup until after the lunch rush. Why? They save the soup from the previous day, and put it out to re heat/re use. That’s fine and all, but it’s way better when it’s fresh…from the plastic bag that comes out of the thermo.”
The Cold Will Kill The Bacteria, Right?
“As a general rule for almost any place: don’t get ice in your drink. I’ve worked in multiple restaurants and few cleaned the ice machine as often as they should and it doesn’t take long for stuff to start growing.”
The Secret To The Chili Is Burnt Meat.
“I worked at Wendy’s for a year and a half. All the hamburgers that are on the grill too long get frozen and used to make the chili the next day.”
What Is Other Fish?
“I worked at McDonalds. There were two things I would not be caught dead with: 1. Filet-o-fish, on the box of frozen patties the ingredients say “pollock and/or other fish” I have no idea what “other fish” could be. 2. Any of the juices. On a particularly slow evening I decided to clean the nozzles. They were absolutely covered with mold. Oh and we only got the machine about 6 months before. As far as I know, the one previous was NEVER cleaned.”
That Not Why You Want The Sauce To Be Special.
“I worked at Papa John’s a while back. I would highly advise against the following: 1) spinach Alfredo sauce (not popular, kept in an open container in the fridge where it absorbs many other hideous odors, reeks to high heaven); 2) any of the local toppings (not popular, hence odds are they’re less fresh); 3) special garlic sauce (its a tub of trans-fat, this goes without saying).”
That Isn’t Jalapeños In Your Nachos.
“Nachos at baseball/football/”insert sport here” stadium games. I worked at one of the concessions stands, and every day when you prepare for opening, one of the steps it to open up all the containers of nacho cheese and scoop out any mold. Some of the containers are weeks old, and have been heated, cooled, and reheated so many times. Even after a container is expired you just scoop out the mold, and heat it back up. I can’t eat nachos anymore.”
That Veggie Burger Might Not Be Completely Vegetarian.
“I’ve worked at Burger King, and I wouldn’t eat the breakfast sandwiches containing egg. The eggs come frozen, like yellow hockey pucks. They get re-heated in a convection oven. They sure did smell nasty coming out of that oven. Also, the veggie burger is delicious, but they are often cooked on the same section of the grill that meat products are cooked. It’s company policy to split the grill, so non-meat products can be separated but not everyone follows it, especially during a lunch rush.”
Sugar Makes It Last Forever.
“Used to work in a Starbucks and I’ll eat anything expect a bread/pastry item. The filling is usually pure sugar and artificial flavoring mixed with the cheapest dough around. Also our location used the same muffins and cakes for weeks.”
It’s A Swirl Of Surprises.
“I worked at Dairy Queen for over 2 and a half years. As much as I hate to say it, Blizzards are pretty gnarly. All sorts of crap gets into the candies and other assorted blizzard ingredients, ESPECIALLY THE CHEESECAKE. I’m talking old candy, bare hands, Windex, flying condiments, and anything else that could possibly land into an open container throughout a 12 hour period.”