While your dietician will probably tell you that eating fast-food is a mistake, we’re not here to be a Debbie Downer: you should make every extra calorie count. We’re all so stuck in our ways, and there’s a good chance that those ways are keeping us from the best experience we can have. So, let’s all put our fast food egos aside and check out these 10 Huge Mistakes Everyone Makes When Eating Fast Food.
10. Asking For Fries Without Salt
You might have heard about this hack a few years back, and even today, people will still tell you that the best way to guarantee some hot and fresh fries at a fast-food joint is to ask them without salt. Since most fast-food places salt their fries directly in the bin, it would make sense that by ordering some without any salt, they would need to make a new batch, just for you, right? Technically, it’s true. And we aren’t saying it doesn’t work. But as it turns out, there is a much more effective way to get fresh, salted fries. This is going to sound crazy, but… Just ask for them to make you a fresh batch! One McDonald’s fry cook said online that there’s a 90% chance that people read some ‘life hack’ on Reddit that says to get fresh fries, just ask for no salt. All you need to do is just ASK for ‘fresh,” and they’re more likely to give them to you. It’s that easy. Again, asking for no salt could also work but, another employee explained that the fry person will need to wipe down the station, the fry scoop, and clear the area to keep salt from contaminating the new batch… The fry person might not even fill up your container as full due to this fuss. Continuing to say that if any fries fall out of the bag or container, they won’t put more in because the rest of the fries may have already been salted. So, the moral of the story? Just ask for fresh fries; you’ll thank us later!
9. Buying One Instead Of Multiple Smaller Items
This one sounds obvious now, but sometimes, it’s not so obvious when you are in the midst of ordering off the sparse displayed menus at most fast-food restaurants. Prices in fast-food joints usually vary depending on the location of the restaurant, but a lot of people have been pointing out on social media that ordering multiple smaller items could be more cost-effective than getting a larger one. Let’s take McDonald’s McNuggets, for example. Instead of getting an order of a 10-piece McNugget, check out the price of a six-piece. You may just realize that purchasing two 6-piece boxes ends up being cheaper than the price of that one box of 10. And even better than that, you would be getting two more McNuggets. By saving money. Crazy, right? And if the math doesn’t work there, you can always try with three boxes of 4-pieces. You get 2 again, and you save money. Again. Yes, it involves doing a wee bit of math – and let’s face it, when we’re hungry, math is the last thing we feel like doing – but it does sound like a pretty sweet deal to save money and get exactly what you want – and sometimes even more. It’s just something to think about next time you’re contemplating your next meal options!
8. Eating The Food As It Is
You go to a fast-food restaurant, you order your food and eat it. That’s pretty much how we all do it. And we aren’t telling you that doing it that way is wrong. But, if that’s the only way you ever do it, let us tell you that you are missing out on some really delicious possibilities. A Krispy Kreme donut is great on its own. But have you ever tried cutting it in half like a bagel and using those halves to make a sandwich? Sure, it might sound crazy, but trust us on this one. Or at least trust Chef Cassi Faust, who once said, in an interview that for the best-grilled cheese sandwich of your life, slice a doughnut in half and fill it with deli ham or bacon and cheese with the sliced sides [of the doughnut halves] facing down. Butter a skillet, grill your sandwich on both sides, and enjoy! Next, you can take a bowl of Wendy’s chili and mix it with some homemade mac & cheese, for what chef Lewis Donald calls a “yummy chili-mac dish.” These days you can get a Big Mac with Bacon, but before the chain added it to their menu (or if they ever take it away), frying up your own bacon to add to the burger is also a great option – providing you don’t eat everything you order on the drive home – which, let’s be honest, is really a 50/50 proposition to begin with.
7. Getting A Chipotle Burrito or Taco
Like most of the list, this particular faux-pas isn’t a mistake because it’s bad, per se. Anyone who’s ever had a Chipotle burrito or taco knows how amazing they are. There’s no arguing that. However, if you don’t mind doing just a little assembly work on your own, there is a way to get way more of the delicious stuff. All you have to do is order a bowl! And yes, you might think, “why would I order a bowl unless I’m on some kind of eat-less-bread diet?” Well, because when you order a bowl, you get more food. Easy like that. Employees are able to scoop more Chipotle goodness into the bowls then into the tacos or burritos. But then you have to forsake the burrito, right? Wrong! Here’s the amazing part. When you order a bowl at Chipotle, you are also allowed to ask for a taco shell or a tortilla – FOR FREE! Now, all you have to do is assemble your own Mexican sandwich. Sure, that means a little more work to do after you sit down at the table, but it seems well worth it to us. And you’ll also have extra food on the side of your burrito – something you don’t get when you have the folks behind the counter makes it for you.
6. Ordering Soup At Panera Bread
We know that few things go together as well as soup and a sandwich. Even on its own, soup is often a great meal option. That is unless you happen to be at Panera Bread. We don’t want to throw total shade at the chain, because we do enjoy many of their food offerings and hear good things about most of the menu as well. Except for the soup. An ex-employee even confessed how the soups are actually made and how overhyped they are. The employee explained how all the soups were frozen in a bag before being shipped to the restaurant. They would thaw them out using a “re-thermalizer,” which is basically a sink full of heating elements to boil water. Apparently, that sink wasn’t cleaned regularly – if ever – and bags of soups were often opened with office scissors, which is not the most hygienic. Another problem? The pitcher in which the soup is poured into. Not really on the “clean often” side. The only good news is, it sounds like the problem doesn’t come from the soup itself, but more from the way it’s served to you. So, if this kind of gross you out but you’re still a fan of the soup, you can always purchase the pre-packaged “Panera at Home” soups – which you can probably find at your local grocery store. That way, you won’t have to say goodbye to your precious, beloved soup.
5. Only Ordering From One Restaurant
Quick, think fast: which fast-food restaurant has the best fries? Which one makes the best coffee? Which one has your favorite hamburger? What’s the chain with the best chicken burgers? And who makes the best salads? Unless your answer to each of those questions was the same, then you’ve probably never experienced a true, perfect fast-food meal you can have. Let’s say you love a Whopper, but acknowledge that McDonald’s makes the best fries. And who doesn’t love a side order of KFC popcorn chicken? Now, doesn’t that sound like one amazing fast food meal? We agree. So, next time you have a craving for fast food, why not make your way to multiple restaurants to create your perfect meal. And yes, this may involve a little extra time and travel around, but probably not that much. In most cities, you can find multiple fast-food joints in close proximity to each other, and with the various food delivery services, it’s even easier! Each item will be brought to you, and you won’t even need to leave your couch. Even if it isn’t something you would do all the time, the perfect fast-food combo meal is something everyone needs to try at least once – and if you do it once, we are pretty sure you will do it again. It’s almost guaranteed.
4. Getting Your Drink With Ice
Unless the drink is cheap Whisky or a below-average quality Rum, you shouldn’t be getting it with ice. So, when it comes to the drink portion of your fast food meal, make sure to always request it without ice. The most obvious reason for this is that the amount of space the ice takes up in the cup means less room for the soda – which means you aren’t getting all that you paid for. But that’s just one reason not to get your fast food drink on the rocks. You don’t have to have the mind of Sheldon Cooper to know what happens to ice when it melts. And where does all that melted ice water go? Right into the cup, further diluting your drink. If you’ve ever wondered why your Coke on ice doesn’t taste as good at the end of the meal, it is likely because, by the end, you are drinking coke flavored melted ice water. And yet another reason not to have ice in your drink because, for most of us, if there’s ice in the cup, we are going to end up chewing on pieces. And while chewing on ice is fun and does bring with it some odd satisfaction, it is also very bad for your teeth. So, if you keep the ice out of your cup, it is much easier to keep it out of your mouth as well. The good news is that these days many fast-food restaurants have self-service drink stations, and they just provide the cup. This means you don’t even have to remember to ask the worker serving you to not put any ice in it, and you can take care of it all by yourself.
3. Ordering From The “Secret Menu”
In Swingers, we learned that the coolest clubs are the ones that have entrances hidden in alleys and not the ones with the big bright signs and the doorman on the sidewalk. But while secret entrances are the way to go when it comes to finding the best bar, secret menu items should generally be avoided when it comes to fast-food restaurants. The first reason is that they often don’t actually exist. Yes, there are some fast food places that have specific items they will make that aren’t listed on the menu. However, most restaurants don’t offer such items, and asking about them, and especially insisting on them, won’t do anything but piss off the people serving you – as well as the other people waiting in line behind you. Also, while it might make you feel cool knowing about some special meal no one else knows about, there is a good chance that not every employee at the restaurant knows about it either. Which means they haven’t really been trained in preparing it, and that usually doesn’t bode well for the quality of the item in question. So, in general, it is recommended that you just stick to what is actually on the menu or simply to tell the employee the exact recipe you want, without calling it by its “secret menu name.” That way, you get what you want without confusing the workers.
2. Checking Your Order At The Drive-Thru
We’ve all had the experience of ordering fast food via the drive-thru, grabbing the bag, and driving off. Only to find out, when you are already home, that there is something missing from your order. At that point, most of us are too hungry and lazy to bother driving all the way back. So, we, of course, understand the desire and need to check one’s order before driving away from the restaurant. However, for the sake of the employees that work there, please check your order in the parking lot and not while sitting at the drive-thru window. As one former fast-food restaurant employee pointed out on Reddit, commenting that a lot of people DON’T realize that there are timers installed in the drive-thru, and once those times get up to about 60 seconds, the boss starts flipping out on the crew because they aren’t working fast or hard enough. The timing standards were confirmed by multiple other ex-employees and even managers. Working at a fast-food joint is already hard enough; let’s all do what we can to not screw them over by messing with their time numbers when we don’t have to.
1. Forgetting To Ask For It Fresh
This one is so simple, and that’s what makes it so awesome. There are so many different fast food hacks out there, with people suggesting all kinds of ways to play the system in order to get your food as fresh as possible. From timing your order to certain times of the day to pick restaurants that are busier – with the idea being that they are constantly making fresh food to keep up with all the orders. Then there are those people who will tell you to order your fries with no salt or ask for “no pickles” when you order any sandwich that normally comes with pickles. Some of these may work, and some may not. But the only real way to guarantee your food is fresh each and every time is to just ask for it. According to a former Wendy’s employee, the Wendy’s that they worked at would always give fresh anything if it was requested. And this was backed up by a McDonald’s employee who said that at their location, whenever people ask for fresh food, they honor the request. It may mean you have to pull up and wait extra time for your food, but it doesn’t matter much to the staff. So if you’re willing to wait a little longer, just be honest and ask for fresh.