13 Questions You've Always Wondered About Your Favorite Fast Foods, Answered
You might feel as though you know your favorite fast-food restaurants a little too well, but we guarantee there are some things even the most frequent customers don't know. Between former employees who have spilled their secrets in Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything") conversations and company representatives whom POPSUGAR Food has spoken to directly, we've gathered some eye-opening facts about popular fast-food restaurants that you'll be glad you learned. Read on to discover the answers to burning questions you've always had about McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A, and more.
Are Burger King's burgers really flame-grilled?
Yes! It turns out, BK really does practice what it preaches. A former employee cleared up any questions by revealing that Burger King cooks its burgers over a flame grill. "They use a broiler and you load frozen patties onto the tray and then shove them in and [it's] a flame grill inside," the employee said. "If the broiler messes up and one of them doesn't cook, then you have to count the entire load as waste and cook more. Whenever you drive by BK and see all the smoke roll out of the roof, [it's] from the broiler discharging."
How fresh are In-N-Out's ingredients?
In-N-Out Burger prides itself in having a limited number of menu items made with high-quality ingredients. And yes, they really are that fresh. In addition to serving hand-cut fries made from fresh potatoes every day, In-N-Out uses local meat on its burgers, with no additives or preservatives. According to one employee, In-N-Out does not allow its employees to freeze food, so you know it's fresh.
Is the McDonald's McFlurry machine actually always broken?
The burning question most McDonald's customers face as they make their way to the restaurant is, "Will the McFlurry machine be working today?" And one employee addressed the frustration with a perfectly good excuse: the machines are not the best quality, and yes, are often broken. "The reason is mostly because the machines are sh*t. The McFlurry/Milkshake machine is prone to breaking all the time and the amount of time it takes to get it repaired can put it out of commission for a day or two." OK, fair.
However, another McDonald's employee noted what could be happening if your local machine always seems to be broken at the same time of day. "Two things could be going on; one, it is just 'broken' because they don't want to deal with it slowing down their times, or their cleaning timer is set around that time for whatever reason. Option two is they're franchise and the owner is too cheap to get it fixed properly."
What's in Wendy's Chili?
Apparently, Wendy's chili is made of its burger patties . . . but the burnt ones. When addressing his least favorite menu item, one Wendy's employee said, "Personally, I do not prefer the chili because we make it with the leftover burgers that the cook burnt."
Does Chick-Fil-A bread and fry its own chicken?
Yes! Along with the fact that Chick-Fil-A employees are told to say "my pleasure" instead of "you're welcome" as a courtesy to all customers, a former Chick-Fil-A employee cleared up any confusion about how fresh Chick-Fil-A's fried chicken really is. "The chicken is FRESH and hand-breaded then fried on site," the employee said. "We're not lying to you."
Is Panera Bread's mac and cheese made in-house?
A trip to Panera Bread isn't complete without the insanely delicious and creamy macaroni and cheese. It tastes homemade, but is it? According to a former employee, Panera Bread's macaroni and cheese arrives frozen in a bag. "The mac and cheese comes into the store premade and frozen in a bag and it is heated either in boiling water or the microwave if need be."
What's the deal with Five Guys' fries?
Unlike most other fast food restaurants, Five Guys goes extra, extra heavy on the fries by dumping more fries into a paper bag after filling the cup size that you ordered. Are you really getting more than the amount you paid for? Not really — it's just a smart tactic Five Guys practices to make customers feel they're getting the best bargain.
According to a former Five Guys employee, "When you order a small fry (for example, but they do this for all sizes), you are paying for all of the fries that go into the bag. That 'extra' scoop is kind of an illusion; they told us during training that it's to make customers think they're getting a big bargain. And you can ask for the cup with no topper if you want."
Why does Papa John's pizza taste sweet?
This answer is probably more obvious than you thought. Papa John's pizza tastes sweet because the tomato sauce has plenty of sugar in it, which gives the pizza its distinct flavor. A Papa John's former employee bluntly revealed, "It's full of sugar."
Is KFC's chicken frozen?
Good news, KFC fans: the fried chicken you crave is most definitely not frozen and is freshly breaded and fried. When describing how KFC's fried chicken is made, a former employee said, "No chicken is ever frozen. It is delivered fresh and stuck in a fridge where it will remain fresh for a certain amount of time. We take the chicken from the fridge, bread it (original or crispy), and fry it."
Does Shake Shack have a secret menu?
It's no surprise that the ShackBurger is Shake Shack's most popular order, but does the beloved chain have a secret menu? We reached out to a representative, who confirmed, "Yup! The peanut butter burger is a secret fave, as is grilled cheese. Guests make up all sorts of combinations, like the SmokeShack with peanut butter."
What's the best thing to order at Taco Bell?
You probably have a go-to order at Taco Bell, but one employee let people in on the best-kept secret on the menu: the Nacho Cheese Chicken Chalupa. Taco Bell's Chicken Chalupa typically has a generous dollop of sour cream on top, but you can order the Nacho Cheese Chicken Chalupa instead to make it extra cheesy.
How long does Subway keep its sandwich ingredients?
With a tagline of "eat fresh," you'd hope that Subway's ingredients were, well, fresh. But according to one employee, Subway's ingredients can be kept past the expiration date. The employee said, "On our food containers, we are required by state law to label when it was made, what day, what time, and who prepped it . . . We will routinely change these labels to dates that are further ahead than when they were prepped, so we can use them after they 'legally' spoil (which to be fair, is only after like . . . two days . . . but still)." Of course, this is only one employee's perspective and cannot be assumed for all Subway locations.
Can you go to Sonic just for the ice?
Absolutely! One of the best things about Sonic Drive-In is its famous pebble-shaped ice. People come to the fast food restaurant just to buy bags of the ice, and the employees really don't mind. Some locations sell 10-pound bags for under $5.