39 Fast Food Workers On The Menu Items They’d Never Touch

I used to eat fast food all the time. I would literally have a cheeseburger every day for dinner — granted, it was the only meal I would have (I was going through a weird phase, okay?), but now, after reading all of these, boy, am I glad I stopped eating food from chain restaurants. To be fair though, there are a fair share of awesome stories about working in fast food. I guess you’ll just have to read on to find out… Found on r/AskReddit.
The following entries have been collected from users on Reddit about their respective workplaces… Thought Catalog has not verified the veracity of their claims, but has collected the more interesting points of the conversation happening over on Reddit. Head over to the post for more.


I work at a pretty popular coffee shop, most of our pastries have the caloric content of a decent sized meal.


2. jtherion

McDonald’s salads. Probably just the place I worked at that was a shithole, but I was yelled at once because I threw out a bucket of shredded cheese that had maggots in it. Apparently I should have scraped them off and used the rest.

Reg Natarajan
Reg Natarajan

3. brinyfaceho

I work at a Mexican restaurant that has a happy hour that includes a completely free “nacho bar.” It has pans of queso, ground beef, refried beans, salsa, and chips. Sounds like a dream come true, and it would be, but I will never ever eat off that thing. This isn’t because of anything the restaurant does. The food quality is excellent and fresh and the bar is kept clean, but I have seen customers put their fingers in it, cough all over it, I’ve even seen a grown lady EATING BEEF RIGHT OFF THE LADLE. I’m sure this goes for most places with self-serve buffets, but this experience has just scarred me from anything like that.

4. joeythehamster

I used to work for Cinemark Theatres.


At the end of the day, we would be required to wash them off and let them soak in water to rehydrate them. We would then put them in a container in the freezer. The next day we were required to put them back onto the hot dog warmer.

Hotdogs weren’t thrown out till they started turning green or if the casing had busted.

The popcorn was put into trash bags the night before on thurs & Friday nights in case we got rushed by customers.

The butter pumps were not taken apart just put into a soap bath and pumped till no butter was visible.

The hot dog rotisserie was cleaned with degreaser and/or metal polish and not rinsed off.

Sometimes cups were rinsed out and put back into the rotation especially the collectors cups the ushers would find when cleaning out the theaters after movies.


5. noisyturtle

Do not eat at the Taco Bell on Colfax Ave in Denver. Employees never wash their hands, and like to play a little game of ‘hide the mucus and/or body hair. They have been cited multiple times for health code violations and people getting very sick from the food. Source: a couple of scumbag acquaintances work there and the manager apparently thinks it’s hilarious.

6. HatesSleepApnea

Double pan fried noodles from PF CHANGS. They hold the equivalent amount of calories as 10 large French fries from McDonalds.

7. Mortaris

Filet o Fishes are the biggest scam, you get the same bun as a cheeseburger, tiny amount of dirt cheap sauce, cheap deep fried fish square and you don’t even get a full slice of cheese.

Chris and/or Kevin
Chris and/or Kevin

8. iBuzzKill

Big Macs are a rip off. Same amount of meat as a double cheeseburger, one less slice of cheese than a double cheeseburger. And three times as expensive as a double cheeseburger. And for what? A little lettuce, different sauce and a middle bun? Just ask for a double cheeseburger made like a Mac.


9. john92t

Cold cut combo: literally smells like ass out of the package. Tuna: way too much fuckin mayo. More like cream of tuna soup. Meatballs: if its a slow restaurant, I guarantee those are from yesterday. Subway.

10. mathee-us

I worked at Papa John’s a while back. I would highly advise against the following:

  • spinach alfredo sauce (not popular, kept in an open container in the fridge where it absorbs many other hideous odors, reeks to high heaven)
  • any of the local toppings (not popular, hence odds are they’re less fresh)
  • special garlic sauce (its a tub of trans-fat, this goes without saying)

There was this spicy ham that only went on one particular type of Specialty pizza. Because of this, it was almost never used. I recall pulling it out and finding that it was swimming in the juices of its own rot. This should never happen, but poorly managed restaurants the world over operate like this.

Order popular fare, or better yet, don’t order at all. Corporate chain restaurants are just awful, and the sooner you can give them up, the better your life will be.

Alexis Fam Photography
Alexis Fam Photography

11. denmargia

I worked at Pizza Hut in college and ate it as much as possible. My manager knew we were all poor college students; so would have us make a bunch of pizza 5 minutes before the close of the buffet. “Ooops, looks like you guys will have to take those home, don’t want them to go to waste….”

12. An_Arrogant_Ass

As a general rule for almost any place: don’t get ice in your drink. I’ve worked in multiple restaurants and few cleaned the ice machine as often as they should and it doesn’t take long for stuff to start growing. Plus the drinks come out cold so why waste room in your cup only to water it down?

Marlon Hammes
Marlon Hammes

13. sunny-in-texas

I’ve worked at a lot of bars that don’t realize you must clean the machine out. People think that because it’s cold, nothing bad will grow in there. Wrong! Last bar I worked at, I told the owner we needed to unplug it at least once a month, let everything melt and drain out, then scrub and start over. She was totally shocked! Yes, all that crap on the bottom turns into bacterial hell….

14. Future_Cat_Horder

Perkins – The scrambled eggs. The 5 gallon bucket of mixed egg sits in the hot kitchen all day, then at the end of the day more egg is added to it to fill it back up and it is put away for the next day. The kitchen manager is the only one that can make the call to empty the bucket and clean it. He goes by smell to make the decision.

15. DocSporky510

I work at a pet store and would not eat any of the dog treats.


16. [deleted]

I worked at Panera for a few years. I wouldn’t eat the soup until after lunch rush. Why? They save the soup from the previous day, and put it out to re heat/re use. That’s fine and all, but it’s way better when it’s fresh…from the plastic bag that comes out of the thermo.


17. koma0029

I worked at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Our “special” is a spicy pasta dish called the Vesuvius. The sauce is made by mashing together the unused chicken, pork, and beef from the previous 6-7 days. And the vesuvius sauce is allowed to remain for up to a week without being thrown out.

So theoretically, you could be eating a pasta dish with 14-day-old meat. But hey, at least you get free ice cream.

18. Bangersss

Hungry Jacks in Australia (our version of Burger King), I would never order the fish burger or the veggie burger. Not many people ordered them so if you did there was a good chance that you got a patty that had been sitting there for well over an hour. The patties took quite a while to deep fry so they quite often had one ready to go in the warmer, just in case.

Whilst working there though, I used to love eating them when I could make one fresh for myself.

Edit: I should also add that there was always a massive tub of tartar sauce for the fish burgers but not people ordering them. Did you know tartar sauce goes kinda translucent and yellowish after a while?

Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana's Other Side
Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana’s Other Side

19. somethingboring

TGI Fridays. Always felt bad for customers who ordered the Oreo Madness for dessert. Costs something like $6.50, for literally just one relatively small Klondike Oreo ice cream sandwich, taken out of its individual packaging, and slapped on a plate with some powdered sugar and chocolate sauce.

Just go to Walmart and you can buy a whole box for half the price.

20. Quite_Ridiculous

Worked at CFA, some of the calorie counts are pretty ridiculous.

A large banana pudding milkshake has over 1,000 calories.

21. uncivil_wrath

I made a mistake reading these.

22. suckmydicksicle

Worked at Hardee’s. Wouldn’t eat anything at least at that particular one I was at.

They make their workers put new stickers on old prepped items like onions and tomatoes and what not.

We had mice in the store that would nibble on the buns, manager made us use those buns since customers didn’t notice.

The cheese would get old and cracked and moldy, we were only allowed to throw away the heavily damaged slices and use the rest because no one notices when it gets melted on the bun.

The staff (mainly the manager’s daughter) would use the restroom and then no hand washing followed by making sandwiches with no gloves on. They would also clean the floor and then go straight to making sandwiches.

I should have reported that place but I was new in the country and needed a job and didn’t know any better.

23. Fancy_Pantsu

I worked at one of the concessions stands, and every day when you prepare for opening, one of the steps it to open up all the containers of nacho cheese and scoop out any mold. Some of the containers are weeks old, and have been heated, cooled, and reheated so many times. Even after a container is expired you just scoop out the mold, and heat it back up. I can’t eat nachos anymore :(

Calgary Reviews
Calgary Reviews

24. wutafuta

I managed a local burger king about 6 years ago and was let go because ‘I followed the food safety guidelines too closely’. F me for wanting to make sure everything was cooked/stored properly right? We had fryers in one of the stores that was from the 80’s and had not been properly drained and cleaned for years. Pickle buckets that wouldn’t reseal all the way so hundreds of flies would meet their death and we would get yelled at if we opened a new bucket without using all from the last.

25. Khokhmah

I worked at The Melting Pot for awhile. it’s ridiculously over priced. Like, the salads are a mound of iceberg covered with a layer of greens. The cheese and meat and chocolate are cheap as shit. But I’d still hit it up occasionally for happy hour cheese and chocolate. I’d just never pay full price for that crap.

26. TowerTrash

I worked at a few stores at a mall and the most important thing I learned there was to not eat anything from a mall, ever. Every mall has rats and roaches. They’re all staffed by teenagers who hate their jobs and the customers so they don’t really care if they serve contaminated food or not. I’ve seen rat shit covered packs of paper towels simply shaken off and put out. Same with flatware. I’ve seen roaches scooped out of the ice bins without new ice being loaded. I’ve seen people shove their hands into huge loaves of roast “beef” that looked like huge hot dogs before they were sliced. I new a Jewish guy who wiped his sweaty ass crack with someone’s food after hearing him crack a Jew joke.


27. LBWilliamson

Look up the caloric content on Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp. So many people will eat two orders: one for an app, one for an entree. All in all, it ends up being around a 5000 calorie meal.

28. VacuumBoard

I (currently) work at a Sonic Drive-In. The larger burgers we serve (not Jr. Burgers) will sit on the cooler side of the grill for a good 45 minutes before they’re actually sent out. During that time they’re in a puddle of their own grease.

Shit’s nasty.

29. Nohbudy

I’ve worked at Burger King, and I wouldn’t eat the breakfast sandwiches containing egg. The eggs come frozen, like yellow hockey pucks. They get re-heated in a convection oven. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with them, but they sure did smell nasty coming out of that oven. At McDonalds they use fresh raw liquid egg, they pour into molds on the grill.

The Veggie burger at Burger King is delicious, but they are often cooked on the same section of the grill that meat products are cooked. It’s company policy to split the grill, so non-meat products can be seprated but not everyone follows it, especially during a lunch rush.

30. amp93

Dairy Queen in Sault Ste Marie Ontario would reuse the ice cream that dripped in to the buckets under each machine. They called it “the mix”. To test if it was OK they would tell a supervisor to stick their finger in it to see if it tasted sour. I know all of this because I worked there… They are under new ownership, but the old owner was one of the worst people I have ever met.

31. Dm_black

I’m a cook at Chilis.
Don’t order any soups until 3 or more hours have passed since opening. We reheat soups from the day before.

  • When there’s an inspection one of the cooks is sent back to the walk-in cooler to relabel everything that’s been sitting in there too long.
  • Those are the only two things which are bad decisions from management. Now to have a good cook make your meal is a whole different story. We have a few who just don’t give a shit and they will use old stuff which should have been thrown out hours ago.
  • The good thing is that the Pico de Gallo is made fresh everyday. The ice machine gets cleaned periodically and the fountain drinks nozzles get cleaned every night, also fresh tea every six hours.

32. Think_I_smell_a_rat

If you eat at Burgermaster, DO NOT EAT ANYTHING FROM THE SALAD BAR.

Every single time one of the dressings starts to get low we had to bust out another container of dressing and then mix it in with the old stuff (even the crusty mushy stuff that dried around the edge all day). The salmon would sit out on a metal tray on a bed of ice for a day, then another, then another, then another, and if it wasn’t finally eaten after a few days like that the management would relent to throwing it out.

My manager was always saying “this is a nickel and dime business and we turn a profit by saving every cent we can” whenever he caught one of us trying to throw something that was obviously spoiled/stale away.

33. donut_sodomy

Not a restaurant, but this place I like to call “my house”. The guy who makes this crap is a filthy animal. Every thing there is tasteless and probably fell on the floor.

34. Kaiosama

I don’t work at Wendy’s but I won’t ever order a drink from there again.

Twice I opened the cup (the drink was Fanta) to find dead ants swimming inside.

Not once. Twice.

Never again :S

35. lowenbroo

Any ‘wing night’ ever. I worked at a fairly busy establishment and we would have 12 18L buckets of half cooked wings set out at room temp for 8+hours. Yeah, 2lbs of wings for ten bucks sounds great when you’re drunk at 11pm, but my god, the stench at the end of those buckets is almost enough to make you vomit.

36. lazersquash

I work at a Marco’s Pizza & usually only eat things I make myself, mainly because the owner doesn’t care about expiration dates. I’ve seen a coworker ask the owner about making a sandwich using sliced turkey that had been opened & sitting in a non-sealed container at the bottom of our refrigerated make line for 10+ days. We have a chart that clearly lists when items go bad, and sliced turkey is listed at 3 days after opening. The owner had them still make & serve the sandwich, even though the turkey should’ve been thrown out a week before & my coworker questioned it, telling her it felt slimy. The owner responded, saying that the sandwich cooks at 500 degrees, so it didn’t matter.

Now, I should mention that most items get used up well before they expire, but sliced turkey is never used as a pizza topping; it’s used for a couple of sandwiches only & our sandwiches aren’t very popular.

Also, I had to teach the owner that washing tomatoes & green peppers is NOT optional; they’d just cut & serve them, dirt and all. Their excuse was that pizzas are baked at 500 degrees, so it’d kill any bacteria & it wasn’t a necessary step. Even if that made up for the visible dirt on the produce, I had to explain that we use the same tomatoes & peppers for salads, which are not baked.

The owner of the store I work at spends 50+ hours a week at the store, has a food handlers & food managers certificate, went through weeks of Marco’s training and spent well over $250,000 just to open the restaurant, yet they’d rather save a few dollars than throw out expired ingredients.

37. metroidB612

Never worked there, but I refuse to eat anything from the Kwik-E-Mart. Out of date food sloppily repackaged and sold, hot dogs that have fallen on the floor put back on the spinner, kids drinking straight out of the squishee machine. Absolutely disgusting.

Steve Ganz

38. stenyxx

I worked at McDonald’s and we had those pump ketchups and tiny paper cups instead of the packets. They had us refill them in the back because even if they were out there for only a day, swarms of tiny flies would come out of them when we opened the top, and customers would see. I will only use packets of ketchup now.

39. DoyleF

When I was a teenager I worked at a Western Steer steakhouse. The spigot on one of the 5 gallon tea urns had been running slow for a couple of weeks. One night it slowed down to a trickle and I was asked to take the urn apart and find out why. I found the remains of a rather large Cockroach stuffed in the spigot. (From the interior side) For at least 2 weeks people had been drinking tea strained through that cockroach…



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