There are certain items that you should probably avoid purchasing at different food establishments, especially once you find out where these restaurants source some of their food!
*Content Has Been Edited For Clarity
Walmart Is The Supplier
“At the restaurant that I work at, most of our desserts are purchased from the Wal-Mart directly across the street then marked up 500%. For the price of a couple of pieces of cheesecake, you could just go across the street to Walmart after your meal and buy a whole one.
We just drizzle a bit of chocolate or raspberry sauce on it so that it doesn’t look exactly like the one from Wal-Mart.
Also, a smoker outside the building doesn’t mean your barbecue is fresh. Most of it is frozen. Sometimes we just throw logs on there so it looks and smells like we’re barbecuing. Homie, we made that stuff two days ago. That’s just wood you’re smelling. The smell of the fire and the view of the smoke is a common trick though. You assume it was hot off the grill when it might’ve been microwaved.”
“My husband used to work in a gastro-pub in a well-to-do area where it was the only option.
The baked Camembert. It was literally the Camembert from Aldi. £1 each. Baked and sold for £15 to share.
Everyone was convinced it was some really posh continental fine cheese with a special Camembert oven. Nope, they could do the exact same thing at home for a pittance of the price.”
Different Types Of Similar Sushi
“I worked at a Japanese place for a while and we had this thing called a Volcano roll. It cost $7.25. A California roll there cost $3.75. The Volcano roll was a Cali roll cut into the shape of a triangle and topped with spicy mayo that has been heated up with about $.10 worth of fish, literally just a few bits. You are much better off ordering a Cali roll and paying $.50 extra for spicy mayo on the side and asking them to heat it up.
I had one guy come in with a girl and he ordered a couple of regular rolls like spicy tuna and yellowtail, along with a Volcano roll. When served in the restaurant, unless they ask us, we would put the sauce on top so it looked nice, like a Volcano. When I brought that roll over he was like: ‘Oh, I didn’t know you guys put the sauce on, I’ve only gotten it for pick up and the sauce is always on the side. I don’t really like it, could you bring me one without it?’ I tried not to laugh and said sure. I went back and the sushi chef asked what was wrong. I told him that he didn’t like the sauce and wanted one without it. He laughed and said alright, so he took a Cali roll, cut it up, and put it on the plate. I brought it back to the guy and he was super pumped.
Basically, this guy paid $7.25 for a roll that would have cost him $3.75 and I and the sushi chef got to split a free volcano roll. Normally I would have just told him about it, but the dude was being pretty arrogant the entire time, I’m guessing to act like he was a sushi expert to impress the girl he was with.”
Beware For Small-Sized Pizzas
“Small size pizzas from most chain pizza places are a terrible thing to buy. Most chain pizza places have no deals for small pizzas because they want you to buy as much pizza as possible, and more often than not they don’t have any other major item seller that is made out of the small pizza dough.
The other main factor why smalls are bad is because you can fit more pieces of the dough into a tray, so a tray of small will be pulled out and sitting there all day. Dough that has been sitting out for a long time almost always equals bad tasting/shaped pizza.
Its just usually safer quality wise as well as getting more bang for your buck to go with larger sized pizzas, and remember pizza is a great leftover food you don’t have to eat all of it. I’ve literally had people force me to give them a small pizza even though I could give them a large for a dollar less.”
Smoothie King Secrets
“Current Smoothie King employee, been working there for over a year. Nothing there is really healthy, the only ‘real’ fruit is the bananas which are really gross sometimes, nobody uses gloves to peel them and sometimes they are way too ripe (sometimes basically a juice and the peel’s covered in mold).
The strawberries and pineapples are just covered in a sugar syrup to preserve them; every other fruit is a syrup ‘concentrated’ juice blend. The peanut butter often sits in a container outside for days and a lot of other fruits/veggies fall into it. The carrot and kale are not very popular so most of it is all gooey by the time it is replaced. I would only recommend smoothies with just powders or sorbets, absolutely no fruits.
Not as healthy as you think and they do add way too much sugar on some that taste the same without the sugar. Also the ‘yeast’ and ‘vanilla’ literally NEVER gets replaced, I have never seen it replaced in over the year that I’ve worked there. However the management at my SK really does suck, the boss is never there so you usually just have a bunch of teenagers who don’t care running the place.
I recommend either going to a corporate-owned smoothie king where they really take cleanliness seriously or just making your own fruit smoothies at home. Also, they are making a MAJOR profit off of you, it only costs them about $1 to make each smoothie and they sell that for $5 for a small!”
McDonald’s Speed Can Also Be Its Downfall
“I work at McDonald’s Australia. I work amongst three stores owned by one franchise.
We are taught to fill fry boxes while squeezing the yellow M. If you get it and squeeze the sides of the fry box, you’ll often find that they are often only half filled. I’ve literally seen people make the small bigger than the large because the small go in little bags that can’t be squeezed.
Also, If you want fries made fresh, ask for fresh fries. You are not being clever by asking for fries without salt. Fresh fries take 3 minutes and we likely already have some in the vat that we will just use for you if you ask. Fries without salt are a pain in the butt because we have to clean the scoop, the surrounding area etc., then delay everyone else’s fries while we get yours (a huge pain during a rush), or one of us will just risk serious burns on our hands and arms in order to get them directly into a box for you without touching anything else. If you actually want fries without salt, we hate you, but fine.
A lot of staff at my store help themselves to nuggets throughout their shift. They do not use gloves to take them and do not wash their hands.
If you want extra sauce, our kitchen guys will likely drown your burger in that sauce.
Whether or not the coffee machine has been cleaned at all in days or possibly all week, depends entirely on who the managers have been lately and if they care/remember/get around to it.
Asking for a McCafe coffee through the drive-thru during the morning rush periods mean that there’s a good chance that you will either be waiting up to ten-fifteen minutes if it’s busy enough or that you will be getting as sub-standard coffee, as we are rushing so much. Your chances are higher of a great product if you come in to order it and stand near enough to watch us make it.
Drive-thru times are all our managers care about sometimes. Often corners are cut to produce orders faster for DT orders. Front counter orders will be made to wait longer as DT orders are prioritized.
Vienna coffee at McDonald’s is not done the Italian way. We make a shot of coffee, add hot water as if it were a long black, then add whipped cream to the very top with chocolate powder. My advice, don’t order it, it sucks.
We will not ‘know you are joking’ if you ask for ten sugars in your drink. Trust me, people order it like that on purpose. If I have to remake your drink because I should have ‘known’ you were kidding, know that I’m seriously considering throwing the cup at your face when I hand it back.
There’s no secret menu. You can, however, pretty much invent burgers with whatever products we have, although it tends to get expensive.
Different stores, different prices.
We have an ongoing pest problem at my store. A rat lives in the waste hole under the frappé machine, and there are ants all over the soft drink fountains in the summer. That said, it means we are constantly trying to keep clean to minimise these issues. We get mice and cockroaches and crickets occasionally. There is a rule with my franchise that means we don’t have to do anything about it unless it is reported twice in one week to the store manager. We have mouse traps set up, though, and don’t keep any stock on the floor. Anything that touches the floor has to be thrown away.
Hands are supposed to be washed after coughing or sneezing, when dirty, between switching stations, and at least once per hour. This does not always occur, especially when busy. Sticking your hands into a cloth bucket (which are often filthy) counts as washing your hands.”
Bars Constantly Overcharging
“We used to sell a house-made drink with a ton of stuff we could make behind the bar for basically nothing. The cost to us, per pour, was $1.89. We sold it for $12.
Granted, that kind of thing allows us to sell expensive things for far less than other places, which actually pissed off the guys up the street from us who were selling the same products for a good deal more. So usually when you’re getting ripped off via a particular item, it’s letting you get something good for less. Take salad, for example. Nothing about mixed green should cost $11, but when everyone and their mother eats one, we can sell that ahi tuna steak for $24 instead of $28.
I love doing this with drinks. Yes, Peroni on draft is going to cost you $6, even though our pour cost is about $1.25. But that means I can put up that log of Alesmith Speedway Stout and it will also cost you 6 bucks instead of $8 or $9. Basically – the cheap stuff should cost a ton so the expensive stuff isn’t so bad.”
Applebee’s Food Quality
“I work at Applebee’s.
Don’t eat our steaks. We’re a corporate chain and they’ve gone through everything in the kitchen to reduce prices, and that means buying the bad food. Yes, even our steaks.
That oriental Chicken salad is just a trick to let you think you’re being healthy. It’s actually one of the most high-calorie items on the menu. 1400 calories if I remember correctly.
Your ribs are going to be dry and tough.
Your fries will probably have sat for at least 10 minutes in a huge fry bowl that hasn’t been washed all day.
Don’t ask what the riblets are. No one knows.
If you come in past 10 pm, order appetizers. They’re half off, it’s what our kitchen is stocked for at that hour, and if you order anything else you’re going to be waiting 20+ minutes for your food.
We advertise 2-4-1 drink specials. What it really is, is drinks that aren’t 2-4-1 are just double priced. You really think a single Bud Light draft is going to cost $5.49?”
Whole Foods Hot Bar
“I worked at whole foods… DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE HOT BAR unless you really don’t give a care or are lucky and are at a store with an actual chef.
Food at the hot bar tends to weigh a lot and is extremely overpriced for what it is. The meat is not the same as behind their meat counter/seafood (unless they have too much of something, then they’ll usually make a special). Food is prepared on Mondays and reheated throughout the week. It is not fresh or of high quality.
The salad bar is generally a decent deal so long as you don’t get carried away.”
Pork Chop Prices
“Pork chops. This is generally true for any restaurant that sells pork chops, too.
Pork is a fairly cheap meat, and pork chops are a fairly cheap cut. For a 10oz chop, it costs us about $3.50. We sell it for $24. Selling two orders pays for the whole order of chops as well as everything else that comes with it (sauce, mash, vegetable, etc.). If you want to support a restaurant, buy the pork chops.”
Where Insomnia Cookies Are Actually From
“Insomnia Cookies – Boycott altogether.
The cookies are all ordered from a company called David’s cookies which is the same place Subway orders their cookies. You can order them yourself from David’s I believe or just go to the store and buy a package of Nestle or Pillsbury to the same effect. Insomnia marks every item on its menu up by several hundred times their value. If their scam value wasn’t high enough, they also run the company very poorly by always attacking the bottom line rather than trying anything new to solve most problems and take advantage of their employees to the point where I expect they’ll get sued. Given that the product is cheap, overpriced, horrible for you, and addictive, while they muscle their employees to sell to primarily college students, one could easily say it’s simply a syndicate.”
The Pre-Made Eggs
“I worked in the meat/egg grill at Mcdonalds.
The only thing that I personally wouldn’t eat are the eggs. The folded eggs come premade in a bag and we will sometimes microwave them if we’re busy, which is a violation. The rest come in a carton labeled ‘liquid egg product,’ the round egg is the only real egg we cook.
The main reason I won’t eat eggs is that they usually sit in the queuing oven for far too long because our managers will have us reset the expiration timer until the eggs look unedible. They also do this for pretty much anything in the query because they care more about profits than the quality of food and they will threaten to make you pay for the food if you have too much waste, which is why we try not to throw food out even if its old. Also if we’re busy and you order something fresh, there’s a chance that they will just stick an older meat back in the fryer for a short while so it seems fresh. It’s a violation but I’ve seen managers do this a few times.”
“I went to a highly praised Italian restaurant in my area and got a pistachio cannoli. But it was actually peanuts with green dye. Screw them for insulting my eyes, intelligence, and taste buds.”
A Classic At Panera
“I worked at Panera Bread.
The soups come in frozen bags in boxes that say ‘Institution food’ on the side of the box. We would throw them in a hot water cooker that would bring them up to a temperature, from freezing blocks to near boiling hot bags. Run in the back and fill up the empty pots from the food line. Sometimes we didn’t get to fully thaw out the soup in time and put some cold ones out there often enough. I didn’t mind the soups there so much but this would ruin the illusion for some customers if they knew.”
Movie Theater Popcorn
‘I worked for a movie theater and yes, pretty much everything is a huge markup, soda, and popcorn especially.
But here’s a crazier one: bags and cups. When I worked for a theater, we were told we had to inventory every item so we could never give away a cup or bag; it had to be bought. Well, we would have people that wanted to buy our empty bags and cups to use them for a gift (to hold a gift card or other movie-related item) and they had to buy them at FULL PRICE. People did it.
$6 for an empty bag is a heck of a rip-off.”
TGI Friday Drink Scams
“The industry standard for drinks is to sell the glass at the price you bought the bottle.
The idea being that the taste will degrade once the bottle has been opened, so it won’t be sellable if you only sell one glass.
This holds true for higher-end restaurants when they sell high-quality beverages, but it’s a rip-off for places like TGI Friday’s that sell you a glass of Dark Horse for $12.50 when Kroger sells the bottles for $13.”
Cheesecake Factory Desserts
“I work at Cheesecake Factory.
We sell slices for $8 a slice and they cost us $ 1 – You’re getting ripped off. Our apple crisp is frozen and microwaved. If you get a cheesecake to-go like a slice there’s an 80% chance it’s broken and we know you won’t say anything.
Also, if there is a large amount of whip cream with your cheesecake it’s probably there to cover a screw-up.”