Even the biggest fast food fans have to admit that the fast food experience doesn’t always go as planned. Be it due to spilled coffee or a slightly stale burger, even your favorite fast food restaurant might let you down from time to time. That’s why having some borderline genius food hacks up your sleeve is always a good idea. With hacks like these, you’ll be able to avoid common issues, increase efficiency, and maximize your enjoyment of your favorite fast food meals. For your benefit, we’ve put together a list of ten of the most creative and potentially useful food hacks out there. So, buckle up and get ready to learn!
10. The Starbucks Size-Up
How many of your hectic early morning commutes to work have been made even crazier by spilling your five-dollar coffee all over your nicest slacks and blazer ensemble? No one actually has enough time to wait for their coffee to be prepared during the morning rush and trying to make up for lost time by speed walking to the office is made even more stressful when you’re trying to balance a grande soy chai latte that’s full to the brim. The issue is, the faster you walk, the greater the risk of spillage. Sure, you can grab one of Starbucks’ aptly named splash sticks, which are little green sticks that can be used to plug the hole in the lids of their coffee cups for warm beverages, but when you’re in the middle of a high-speed morning hustle, coffee has a tendency to spill not just through the hole in the lid, but out the sides as well. Luckily, the solution to this problem is simple. Order your coffee of choice in your preferred size but ask for it to be placed in a larger cup. For example, if you’re a fan of Starbucks’ staple, the caramel macchiato, and usually order it in a grande, or medium, size, you would ask for a grande caramel macchiato in a venti (or large) cup. And voilà, your risk of spills has virtually been eliminated. Your wardrobe will thank you later.
9. Get More for Less
With this helpful food hack, you can maximize your chicken nugget consumption. Chicken nuggets are a McDonald’s fan favorite, loved by children and adults alike. In the United States, this classic food item is typically sold in servings of four, six, ten, or twenty. Now, young children might find that four chicken nuggets make for a satisfying meal (that’s why that’s the serving size included in the Happy Meal), but, for those of us over the age of six years old, four nuggets aren’t really going to cut it. Older McDonald’s goers tend to gravitate more towards the larger serving sizes, especially when the chicken nuggets are going to be the main part of their meal. McDonald’s chicken nuggets are also a great food to bring to any casual get together, especially among students. In those cases, the twenty-piece servings are the way to go. While chicken nuggets aren’t exactly what you’d call expensive, if you’re going to be ordering them in bulk, the price starts to add up. As it turns out, by ordering them in servings of four pieces, you can actually get more for less! So, if instead of ordering one twenty-piece serving of chicken nuggets, you ask for five orders of four-piece servings of chicken nuggets, you’ll actually be charged less. This information is revolutionary, especially for those of us living on strict budgets.
8. Worth the Wait
One of the biggest complaints about fast food restaurants is that the food is often left to sit out for hours on end after it’s been cooked. This can ruin even the best meals. Freshness is key when it comes to most food items, but it’s especially important for fast food. The quality of many fast food items hinges on their freshness; take hamburgers, for example. A fresh burger is hot and juicy, and any cheese it might be topped with is melted just ever so slightly. A burger that’s been sitting around for any length of time is cold, dry, and chewy in all the wrong ways. One of these foods is a delicacy. The other is a disaster. Some people try to avoid this by specifically asking for their food to be fresh, but many feel uncomfortable being that direct. Luckily, there’s a very simple strategy that allows you to get the freshest fast food possible. All you have to do is stop by the restaurant during rush hour, so around breakfast, lunch, or dinner. During these times, there’s a huge influx of customers, and food sells fast. This means that new food is constantly being cooked, and nothing sits out very long. The downside is the restaurant might be a bit crowded, and you may have to wait in line for longer than if you’d gone during the off-hours, but the pay-off makes it all worthwhile. This really is the best way to guarantee that your fast food order will be freshly made.
7. Cheese, Please
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’re probably all too familiar with the struggle of trying to order at fast food restaurants. At some locations, like McDonald’s, even the French fries aren’t vegetarian! While many restaurants are beginning to come out with Beyond Meat or Veggie burgers, not all establishments are so accommodating to those who choose to avoid animal products. This can make ordering a challenge for the vegans and vegetarians who somehow find themselves in a fast food joint. While this hack doesn’t help out vegans, at the very least it can give vegetarians an idea of what to order at McDonald’s. It turns out that, even though it doesn’t appear on their official menu, it’s perfectly fair game to order a grilled cheese at McDs. The employees don’t mind making this off the menu item because it’s so easy to prepare. All they do is place some cheese between two upside-down hamburger buns and toss it on the grill. Honestly, this is great news even if you’re not a vegetarian. Grilled cheese is one of the best foods out there, and not enough restaurants serve it. While we’re patiently wait for McDonald’s to officially add this item to their menu, this information is good enough for the time being.
6. A Burger Fit for a King
Sure, dropping by a fast food restaurant at rush hour is one way to increase your chances of getting freshly made food. But for some people, these times might not be compatible with their work schedules. This food hack will get you fresh food at any time of day – but only at Burger King. When you go to order your burger, ask for it to be “customized”. A custom burger is one that you design yourself; so instead of ordering off the menu, you get to choose the toppings. Creating your own burger is great for a couple of reasons. First of all, you get to design your perfect burger. It can be hard to find a burger that includes only ingredients you like and isn’t missing any items you would like to see included. A custom burger will never have that problem. Second of all, because your custom burger isn’t on the menu, there’s no way that it could’ve been prepared beforehand. As a result, the Burger King employee will have to make it for you fresh! Your food will literally be prepared for you while you’re in the restaurant and handed to you the second it’s ready. There’s no way that this doesn’t end up being the greatest burger you’ve ever tasted.
5. The French Fry Flip
For whatever reason, eating French fries with ketchup is often a complicated, messy task. This is especially true if you got your meal to go and are attempting to eat in the car. As a driver, you should probably keep your hands on the wheel in the ten and two o’clock positions and avoid chowing down on the McDs until you reach your destination. Passengers, on the other hand, are free to eat as they please (as long as the car owner hasn’t laid down any strict “no eating in the car” rules). However, as soon as condiments get involves, the risk of making a mess increases significantly. This is definitely something you want to avoid, especially if it’s not your car. According to a viral video, eating McDonald’s French fries and the condiment of your choice can be made easy and mess-free with just one simple trick. The flap at the back of the famous red and yellow McDonald’s French fry carton can easily be folded backwards, creating a kind of horizontal platform that’s perfect for holding your ketchup or mayo. Some people claim that this was the reason for the box’s design all along, while others say it’s just a happy accident. Whether or not this was done purposefully, it clearly works, so who are we to question it?
4. Breakfast of Champions
Unless you’re a true connoisseur of McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches, you might not have realized that not all of the eggs used in them are created equal. Regardless of which breakfast sandwich you order from McDs on your morning commute, ask for it to be made with the round eggs used in the McMuffin. Making this swap will transform your breakfast for the better. There are two very good reasons for this. The first is that McDonald’s doesn’t always use fresh eggs when cooking. Usually, the use flash-frozen liquid eggs. While there’s nothing wrong with this, fresh eggs just taste that little bit better. The only McDonald’s food item that includes fresh eggs is the McMuffin. Second of all, not only will asking for the round egg ensure that your egg is fresh instead of warmed up from frozen, it’ll increase the chances that your sandwich will be made fresh. If you order a round egg in a breakfast sandwich that usually includes a folded egg, there’s no way it could’ve been prepared ahead of time, meaning your customized breakfast will have to be made on the spot. With this hack you’re sure to start off your day on the right foot.
3. Crave the Crunch?
Are you a Taco Bell fan? That’s a stupid question. Who isn’t a Taco Bell fan? If your meal of choice at this popular fast food location is a burrito, this is the hack for you. Have you ever thought that your Taco Bell burrito, while it tastes amazing, is a bit lacking in the texture department? Have you ever thought that it could maybe do with a little extra crunch? If that sounds like you, well, we’ve got some good news: that’s a problem that can be easily solved. Even better news, the solution is absolutely free of charge. All you have to do is ask the employee serving you to grill your burrito a second time. This second pass through will make it come out extra crispy, extra warm, and extra tasty. The added crunch really does a lot to elevate this food item. Because this takes a bit longer, it may not be the best hack to pull out during rush hour, but if the restaurant’s not too busy, there should be no problem! You may have to wait a couple minutes longer for your meal, but it’ll be more than worth it. Plus, it doesn’t make much extra work for the employees, so they shouldn’t mind doing it for you. Have this trick up your sleeve for the next time you end up at Taco Bell. Then, when you’re eating your burrito and ask yourself if it could possibly be any better than it already is, the answer will, without a doubt, be “absolutely not!”
2. Full Steam Ahead
Everyone loves a McDonald’s burger. But it’s probably safe to say that the bun isn’t exactly what carries the meal. What if there were a way to elevate the bun, so that it becomes something more than just a convenient tool for holding the fillings together? This is yet another fast food dilemma with a ridiculously easy fix. Next time you order a burger at McDonald’s, ask for a steamed bun. Usually, steamed buns are reserved for the Fillet-O-Fish burger. The Fillet-O-Fish isn’t the most popular item on the McDonald’s menu by any means, but it’s the one dish where the bun actually stands out. Apparently, the steamed hamburger buns are much softer, fluffier and tastier. Plus, they usually end up being fresher than the regular buns. Never again will you have to settle for a tough, chewy, potentially stale hamburger bun. You’d be surprised how much a difference the steamed bun makes for the burger as a whole. It brings the entire meal to another level. This hack comes highly recommended and we encourage you to try it out the next time you’re craving a burger from McDonald’s. Who knows, it might be a life changing experience.
1. Chocolate Therapy
This one’s for all you chocolate addicts out there. Sometimes, it feels like nothing is every chocolatey enough. That’s where this genius food hack comes in. At McDonald’s, the chocolatey McCafé beverages are usually made with a chocolate syrup. That’s typical of most cafés and fast food restaurants. And it works; most of these drinks taste great. However, if your sweet tooth knows no bounds, you may want to consider asking for your mocha or mocha frappe to be made with chocolate fudge instead of syrup. And yes, when we say chocolate fudge, we do in fact mean the stuff they put on their sundaes. It’ll make your mocha so much richer and add another layer of depth to its chocolate flavor. Of all the hacks on this list, this is probably the one we’re the most excited about. If you’re not big on super sweet coffee drinks, you probably won’t be a fan of the chocolate fudge mocha, so this definitely isn’t a hack for everyone. However, there are probably a lot of people who would go crazy over McCafé drinks made with chocolate syrup and if you’re one of them, you should really try this out.