8 Things You Never Knew About Taco Bell, Straight From a Former Employee

If you've always wondered what it's like behind the scenes of Taco Bell, you've come to the right place. We've compiled a former Taco Bell employee's secrets from a Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything") conversation in which he described what he learned throughout his year of working at the fast-food restaurant. Ahead, discover little-known facts about Taco Bell's iconic cheese sauce, how to save money on your order, and more.

If you're rude, you might not get the extra cheese you ordered.

A concerned customer asked, "When I pay more for extra cheese on my soft tacos, it looks like the same amount. Is 'extra cheese' even a real thing?" And the employee revealed that sometimes the "extra" requests are ignored. "I will admit there are times when I do just put the same amount when people would be assh*les, but there's also times people were nice and we'd put like five times extra. The true amount that extra is is just double, but the thing is it doesn't come with that much to begin with. It's supposed to be a 'one finger pinch' of cheese."

The cheese doesn't expire for a REALLY long time.

When someone asked which Taco Bell foods are "real," the employee responded, "Well, everything comes in bags. We don't actually make any of it there, we just heat it up, so I don't know exactly what cuts of meat we use but I did once hear a manager who had worked at Taco Bell for 15 years on and off tell me that the beef is all USDA choice. As far as cheese, it's real but it also doesn't expire for a very, very, very long time (like almost a year) so it's got to be full of preservatives (it gets used quickly so it's not that old, that's just the expiration date relative to when we get it)."

Don't forget about the free additions and swaps.

If you want to customize your order, there are a few swaps you can make for free. "You can swap [refried] beans for black beans for free and red sauce for green sauce for free and [iceberg] lettuce for romaine lettuce for free and add onions/red sauce/green sauce for free to anything." Vegetarians can also substitute meat for beans and rice at no extra charge. Also, "The burritos on the dollar menu are about the same size as the other regular burritos but like 30 cents cheaper."

You can order a side of beef and a taco shell to make a cheaper taco.

Many people often order tacos without lettuce, cheese, or both, and if that sounds like you, you'd be better off ordering a side of beef and a taco shell instead. "It's cheaper to order a side of beef and a side of a taco shell (or tortilla for a soft taco) and put them together. You could also ask them to just make it like a taco and most people would be perfectly willing to."

The best-kept secret is 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. Someone wanted to know if that was a common order, and the employee said, "People order that all the time but we always ask if they still want the sour cream because 50 percent do and 50 percent don't."

The best thing on the menu is . . .

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch. "If it's a fresh one it's flavor heaven," the employee said. A Cheesy Gordita Crunch is a hard taco wrapped in a soft flour tortilla and stuffed with beef, spicy ranch, cheese, and lettuce.

Employees get a 50 percent discount.

If you love Taco Bell, working there might be awesome for you. Employees get a 50 percent discount for up to $5, as long as they've worked at least two hours of their shift.

The taco meat has caramel coloring.

Someone wanted to know what was in the "taco juice," aka what makes Taco Bell's meat so juicy. The employee wasn't entirely sure, but responded with, "You mean what's in the meat? Mostly it's smoke flavoring and caramel coloring."