Fast Food Workers Share The Things They Would Never Order (Plus Other Tips)

While fast food isn’t going to always provide the highest quality and the healthiest options, it’s still a convenient part of our busy lives. Even though I try to be healthy, there are occasions when I still crave a good order of fries.

That being said, have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes at these restaurants? Well, if you really want to know the skinny, all you need to do is ask the workers.

Reddit thread posed this question “Fast food workers – What should we never order from you?” And boy did they respond.  As of today, there are over 15,000 comments on the thread.

Reddit comments are anonymous and cannot be verified, nor are we endorsing any of the user’s feedback. That said, we found some of the comments very interesting.  There were obvious comments about most things being frozen or sitting out for a while, but there were also some interesting tidbits of knowledge shared.

1.  Chipotle

chipotle taco photo
Photo by Vegan Feast Catering

“I used to work at chipotle, and never ever ever order the Tacos. You get less than half the regular portions. Instead, order a bowl with whatever you want in it, then ask for the taco shells, hard or soft, on the side.  When I was there, the shells were free to get on the side,” says Reddit user KourageWolf.

2. Jimmy Johns

jimmy johns photo
Photo by stevendepolo

“If you’re trying to order a healthy option, don’t order the Gourmet Veggie Club. It’s the second most caloric sandwich behind something called the “Gargantuan.” 8 slices of provolone cheese will do that,” says Reddit user lolutah.

Reddit user nambro18 goes on to add that, “Everything is fresh at Jimmy John’s. Minus their bread and cookies (sorta). The bread comes frozen and there’s quite a process to bake it (but it’s and all made [that] day..anything leftover is sold for 50 cent a piece the next day). The cookies are frozen and just thawed. But everything else is fresh.”

3. Starbucks

starbucks food photo
Photo by Gustavo Devito

“All Starbucks food is reheated frozen food. Ridiculous how little people realize that. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good, it’s just not fresh at all and incredibly overpriced,” says Reddit user likeabaker.

Reddit user, miss0tique, adds, “DONT order anything off of the ‘Secret Starbucks Menu’ like Butter beer frappe. We don’t know how to make them! That’s pure made up stuff that customers have figured out taste like a special something. And don’t get mad at us when we don’t know, it’s not on the menu.”

3. Subway

subway meatballs photo
Photo by inazakira

“At our subway, The ‘oven roasted’ chicken was actually boiled in a microwave,” says Reddit user Hotpotabo.

4. Dairy Queen

dairy queen photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

“Salads from DQ are a rip off. They just recently down-sized them while changing the bowl to make it look like the same amount. Over $5 for 3 oz. of old lettuce, cabbage, carrots and even older grilled chicken,” says Reddit user, obeyyourbrain

5. Burger King

burger king grilled chicken photo
Photo by Matt Phillips

Reddit user shmandameyes says, “If you’re really short on time, don’t count on chicken tenders or grilled chicken sandwiches or salads being made quickly at Burger King. I remember that the tenders took forever to cook and we didn’t really make them that often, so most times they were made to order. Same for the grilled chicken.”

6. Buffalo Wild Wings

buffalo wild wings photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

“I work at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Don’t get anything other than the wings. That’s the only quality thing there. Everything else is frozen,” says Reddit user, HunterOfTheSky.

7. Aunt Annie’s

“The only thing I can say is that sometimes the pretzel dogs (hotdogs) can be icky when you don’t order one fresh. When they sit in the warmer, they shrivel up and get all chewy,” says Reddit user, blamethecranes.

8. Carl’s Jr / Hardees

carls jr photo
Photo by Keenan Pepper

“Worked at Carls Jr (or Hardee’s for you east coast peeps). Chicken Tenders. We were supposed to throw them out after 20 minutes. We were told not to do that. We would sometimes serve 1-2 hour old tenders. You can always ask to make them fresh but expect to wait 5-10 minutes,” says Reddit user,  i_Ryan.

9. Boston Market

boston market photo
Photo by theotherway

Reddit user, haibanegatsu, says, “I used to work at Boston Market. They’re pretty good. The only thing I can think of is that any chicken that isn’t on the bone (sandwich, pot pie, etc) is day old, or more, leftover chicken.”

10. Tim Hortons

tim hortons photo
Photo by Calgary Reviews

“Worked at Tim Hortons… The food quality is pretty bad. Everything you eat as been prebaked and prepared somewhere (probably a food processing plant) and shipped frozen to every Tims. We put the stuff in the oven to unfreeze it,”  says Reddit user, zombie-yellow11.

11. Sonic

sonic fries photo
Photo by trekkyandy

AntProtein says, “Ex Sonic Employee here: Don’t order Steak or Grilled Chicken… EVER. Don’t get the new Ultimate Chicken sandwiches, they’re insanely overpriced and the normal crispy chicken sandwiches taste better anyway. The best time to get fresh food is when the place is busy as they’re less likely to give you something that’s been in the hold for an hour, or their hold will continually be fresh.”

“Never order the largest size of fries. The reason being is the next largest would already be prepared and the fry cook would place the next size down into the largest fry container as it would look just as full.” says Reddit user rentalpep

Another Reddit user adds, “combo meals take high priority. During a rush, dont go through the drive through. Ice cream takes FOREVER to make. If we give you the wrong item or make a mistake, keep your reciept and well give you a free replacement meal.

12. Dominos

dominos pizza photo
Photo by Seluryar

“Not sure if it counts, but I work at a dominos and I have some advice, ” says Reddit user KessyTRel.

She adds:

“Very rarely do we take notice of ‘no garlic’, ‘light/extra buffalo sauce’, or ‘well/lightly done’ So if you order with any of those things, keep in mind that drivers usually prepare the food and box it out of the oven. Unless specifically told, it’s difficult to spot the instructions given by a customer.”

“Personally I would never eat the brownies, as they are all premade and (despite being sinfully delicious) are not worth it. The wings are delicious, but usually fall under the same buffalo sauce dilemma. I recommend ordering mild wings instead of hot, as the only difference is the volume of sauce. Premium chicken is a scam. The garlic cups are not the same as what goes on the crust (Which is delicious, I would drink a whole bottle if I were ready to die.) and Gluten Free pizzas are cut with the same pizza cutter unless specified otherwise.”

13. Chick-Fil-A

chick-fil-a photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

“Chick-Fil-A. Don’t order grilled foods if you’re gluten free. While technically gluten free – a lot of cross contamination can occur. Be specific to be safe. Oh, and don’t order a standard salad at night, it was probably made that morning. Request something else on it and it’ll be fresh,” says Reddit user, SwagSorcerer.

14. Panera

panera photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

“Anything that has caramelized onions. We only have one bag on the thaw chart because it’s a waste to put more on. It sits there for about a week,” says Reddit user, TheTallOne93.

15. KFC


A Reddit user says, “Former KFC cook here, I recommend that you don’t consume the KFC gravy. It is primarily made of the filthy oil that stores up at the bottom of the cookers over the day and is then served to customers the next day. Also, the “potato” in potato and gravy is literally just flour, there is no potato at all whatsoever.”

Another Reddit user adds, “Worked at KFC a year or two ago in the Midwest. Don’t order the mac n cheese or green beans. They dump the small & large pre-made containers back into the containers for the next night.”