Former fast food employees tell us what not to eat and also give hints on how to get free food
As a nation we each spend an average of £25-30 per week on fast food, it’s big business.
But most of us won’t have the experience of working in a fast food chain, meaning most of us won’t see what goes on behind the counter.
We spoke to a number of current and former fast food workers to get their advice on what to eat, what NOT to eat, and even how to get free food.
(These are people’s personal experiences in individual franchises and they have not suggested that the practices were widespread or sanctioned by management).
“It’s easy to get free food”
“If you complain about food then getting replacements is very very easy, even if you have eaten most of it.
“We did have one guy skip the drive-through queue straight to window three and collect the car behind him’s order!
“You could phone up and complain about a drive-through order, and they would write you down for a free meal or however many meals you ordered, no proof necessary. The food costs them so little to make, they don’t need to argue.”
“Don’t take anything that’s been sitting on the hot tray”
“It’s all based on a time card system, the food should stay in the production bin (the hot shelf) for something like 20 mins, but it tends to stay there until it’s sold.
“For most things that’s not a problem but late at night that can be pretty bad.”
Another former fast food worker echoes this sentiment…
“DON’T order anything that they have ready and waiting”
“They do throw out stuff that has been there a while, though it’s usually quite limp and horrid long before that.”
“There are plenty better places offering a barista service than fast food chains”
“The milk sachets for your cups of coffee could have been left out for quite a while, as these are kinda hidden from view, so are often overlooked.”
“Don’t order fries at burger chains – as tasty as they are”
“The main fry-station for fries could be pretty nasty – pretty sure I saw that get cleaned like once a week tops (the station where they scoop the fries out of), and the underside of it is caked in weeks old grime build up.”
“Don’t order pizza between 6pm and 8pm”
“You roll a bit of a dice if you order pizza between 6 and 8, if it’s super busy and someone drops any of the metal pizza trays on the floor, there’s no time for someone to go round back and wash it, so they’ll just stick it through the oven with the pizzas.
“Grit’s not really the most enjoyable of toppings…”
“Don’t order the fish…”
“Fish burgers were cooked and kept hot in the kitchen. The fillets were not very popular so would sometimes stay there for ages. That’s the one thing I would never order.”
1. I worked at one for about a year and a half, but mine closed at 3am due to county regulations.
Since the store closes at 3, drunk couples have the intense desire to purchase sex toys right when the bars close, and on certain nights the store gets popular during the last hour. We also had booths and a theater, which were both very popular for the more promiscuous patrons; usually closeted middle aged men.
For some reason, this was the most popular night I had ever had. Attempting to close up the store, clean it, and do an inventory was an absolute nightmare with everyone inside. Usually we would have 1-2 people… this time I was working alone with at least 30 people in the store; I blame a chemical spill in the water supply.
My supervisor walked in to do the final check and could not believe the amount of customers, and he ended up running the register while I fervently attempted to catch up. We were usually out by 3:15, and we were barely finishing up the inventory at 3:45.
The patrons were gone, and it was time to leave, at about 4am, when one more drunken idiot came in the store. This man was in his late 60s, hispanic, and very frail looking. He had a mustache and reminded me of a Mexican Waluigi!
While counting the money in the register, I hear my supervisor say:
“We’re closed. Sorry”
5 seconds later:
“Estamos cerrados.” (We are closed in Spanish)
5 seconds later:
“What… the fuck”
Diego Waluigi had dropped his pants and revealed the biggest penis I have ever seen on a human. This thing was stolen from a horse. It was a third leg. It probably committed a war crime at some point by simply existing. If it was not fully erect, it probably would have dropped close to his kneecaps. He was staring at my supervisor, dead in the eye, and stroking his penis slowly, caressing it like a sorceress would an unruly dragon. I will never forget his mustache, and his twitching eye. The entire situation was so fucking alien I cannot forget any details.
My supervisor screamed for him to get out, and after a few more hate strokes, he waddled back out of the store, his pants still around his ankles. My supervisor and I looked at each-other, realizing we just saw Satan’s unicorn.
As we left the store and headed to our vehicles, I feared something that I never thought possible; being beaten to death by a giant penis.
3. On a regular night I’d have like maybe a dozen customers at most. Often times the hardest part of the job was staying awake.
One night this guy comes in and is browsing around. He’s wearing sweatpants, a jean jacket, a t-shirt and a trucker hat. He eventually wanders over to the magazines and proceeds to peruse every magazine on the rack. He’s there for about two or three hours. Finally he leaves and gives me a nod on the way out. I look out the window and see him in the parking lot facing traffic (the store was on a main stretch so there was still sporadic traffic even in the middle of the night).
This dude’s got his pants around his ankles, one hand on his hat to keep the wind from blowing it off, one hand feverishly jerking off to oncoming traffic and I assume all the new deposits to the spank bank he just made.
Here’s another one.
This dude bought a stack of magazines, rented a bunch of DVDs, lube, a blow up doll and a pair of fuzzy handcuffs. I’m ringing his stuff through, get to the handcuffs and say “You know, once you blow her up she’s not going anywhere”, the guys face turned bright red. I felt bad. I don’t care what people do I was just joking around.
One time I smashed a robber in the face with a fairly meaty two sided dildo.
Got hit on by all sorts of people.
Got to run into people I knew who didn’t know I worked there a lot. “It’s a joke gift” “It’s for a bachelor party”, heard those a few times. Priceless.
Ultimately quit because I figured being in that environment and never seeing the sun was making me weird.
I was starting to feel like a Chuck Palahniuk character.
4. I worked the graveyard shift of a porn store, and overnights are usually the slow time. Evenings are usually when all the spicy stuff is going down, and all the worst things happen around 11 pm on a Friday, when the drunken pervert crowd mingles with the drunken bachelorette party crowd.
I guess the worst thing was the time a guy tripped and fell, cutting his head and face on a magazine rack, but still wanted to shop. He got blood on everything in the damn store before I could insist that he either go get medical attention or I was calling an ambulance.
5. My shift started at 2am and I got out at 10am. The store was located in a semi-shitty part of town. Anyway, one morning, it’s 8am I’m tired and just trying to make it to the end of my shift so I can get home and sleep. The door swings open, and in walks what was clearly, a transvestite.
She looked like she had applied her lipstick in the “Blackhole Sun” video. She was wearing an awful wig and a tube top just low enough for me to see that her chest hair was growing back. Not sure what to say, I let her speak first.
“Hey…working?” She said. I nodded on agreement. “Ever get horny while at work?” She continued. “I’m really horny…”. “That’s nice.” I replied. She leaned on the counter attempting to be sexy, “I could really suck a cock right now, if you want, it could be yours…”. So there I was dear reader thinking to myself “You know, I never thought I’d turn this down but NOPE!” “Yeah, no thank you.” I replied. “You sure?” She “purred” “I really want to suck a cock! Please!”
I glanced over at the security camera and saw a man walking near the store outside. I turned back to her and said “No thanks, again. But maybe that guy does!” I pointed with excitement. She didn’t go for it. She pleaded for several more minutes before finally giving up and left. Weird.
6. An older couple came through with a shopping full of KY Jelly and a pack of hot dogs. They seriously cleaned out our stock of KY, there had to of been 45, 50 tubes of it. They said they had their RV parked in the lot on their way north through Colorado.
They tossed in a pack of bubblegum, and then my shift at WalMart ended and I went home to study for a geography quiz the next day.
7. My ex worked at an adult video rental store. Often times I would come to the store and hang out with him, because 90% of the time the store was empty. This is not surprising, considering that porn is freely available on the internet, and they did not offer dvds/vhs for purchase, only for rental. Anyway, we mostly just hung out and played old ps2 games on a tiny tv to pass the time.
Occasionally, you would get weirdos in there. Ok, most of the time. Since it was rental porn. You know, it takes a special breed to rent porn. It’s more of a “need” to rent than a “want” to rent. See what I’m getting at here?
Anyway, one day this big fat trucker (had a lot of truckers as customers) comes in complaining he wants his money back. My ex approaches and asks him why he wants his money back. Meanwhile I’m averting my eyes as I’m not really interested in having conversations while in a porn rental store. 90% of customer interactions are 10 words or less. I’m just playing video games.
The thing about rentals is that you don’t really get a guarantee or with it, unless the thing is downright damaged from the get-go. So my ex is asking him “was there something wrong with it? Did it not play correctly?” This guy says it worked just fine. It just wasn’t up to his particular boner-inducing-standards. My ex asks him specifically what was wrong with the DVD.
Trucker says “the chicks didn’t have enough dicks.” I don’t know how one comes to this conclusion, or whether or not this particular porn indeed had enough dicks or not. But whatever amount of dick was on these chicks was not enough for this man. I can’t remember whether or not he got his money back.
8. One time a friend and I went to a local adult store. It was part of a local chain, always clean and not sketchy, as far as adult stores go.
I wanted to pick up a new bowl, and my friend wanted to look at glass dildos. because apparently for women glass dildos are the best thing out there. So I’ve been told.
Anyways, we peruse, I pick a bowl out and the worker gets it out of the case, tells me she’ll have it at the front. I grab my friend and we wait in line. In front of us is this older women, probably around 60 years old. She’ wearing a tan trench coat, looking like she has to meet Humphrey Bogart on a late night rendezvous to stop the Nazis.
She proceeds to the counter, and hands her items to the employee. The employee explains that you can’t return this item, so she has to test it before it leaves the store to make sure it’s working. The old lady replies “I know. Not my first rodeo”. And I’m like hey, good for you old lady. Get you some.
So the employee puts the batteries into this fairly large virbrator. Turns it on and I can hear it humming away on various settings, even though I’m standing 15 ft away. The employee goes to take the batteries out and box the fuck machine up, when the old lady says:
“Oh leave them in. I’ll use it on the way home.”
And at that point I lost my shit. I couldn’t help it. The old lady glared at me and paid for her purchase and left. I was trying so hard to keep it together, and it really wasn’t humorous in any way, but jesus can’t you wait? Don’t you know how dangerous that is? I just couldn’t help it.
9. This was about twenty years ago. We had booths in the back, and a theater attached (basically, just movie seating with a widescreen TV. I would toss in videos from the front to play back there). Here’s the thing, the lunch crowd was always kinkier than the nighttime crowd.
There was the time the two midget prostitutes in the city got in a knife fight in my store. The three cops (two male and one female) who would come in, kick everyone out of the theater and watch a movie with just the three of them for an hour. The time I forgot I had to work, and went in tripping on acid on a day when we got raided. The time a bachelorette party came in, bought a bunch of stuff and then brought me back to their house to “demonstrate” the sex toys. So many good stories.
Since most people have posted funny ones, I’ll leave a gross one. The janitor was gone that day, so I had to deal with fixing broken machines back in the booth area. I knew what went on back there, but I never ventured in. Turns out my instinct was correct. I walked into a booth and discovered something that still makes me a little queasy today.
On the floor, lying next to a pair of panties that were too small for any adult, was a bone. Must have been a foot and a half long. I couldn’t identify what animal it was from. The tip was coated with meat, shit and a great deal of blood. The bone itself had tooth marks on it where it had been gnawed…and those were also coated with shit and blood.
I told myself I would never go back into that booth again.
10. I worked at a 24 hour porn store years ago. My first day, I was introduced to my co workers… a large bat, an enormous mag light, and a hammer. These were in case things got “unruly” during the graveyard shift(which was my shift).
So, on my second night, a ratty looking dude walked in. I’ll call him Ratso Rizzo, because that’s pretty much how he looked(except much, much taller than Dustin Hoffman). He stank of booze. He wandered around the aisles, periodically glancing at me with beady eyes. A group of girls(planning a bachelorette party, I’m guessing) came in. I assisted them, and they eventually left. I kinda forgot about the ratty dude. He walked out shortly after they left.
So now the shop is empty. I go out to have a cigarette. I’m standing out front, when the guy pops out of an alley. He’s breathing heavily. He says, “I saw you checking me out.”
I’m like “Dude, it’s my job to make sure you’re not stealing anything.”
“Wanna go down on me?”
“Fuck no, dude.”
“Can I go down on you?”
“Get the fuck outta here before I call the cops.”
He breathes heavily and looks to the right and left. I began to nope my way towards the door.
I speed walked backwards into the shop. And he left. About an hour later, I put up a sign and left to grab my late night lunch. As I’m heading to the gyros place I planned on eating at, I see a pack of cops. Ratso Rizzo is sitting, looking beat up, in handcuffs. Turns out, he’d started to walk down the street propositioning everyone he ran into for oral sex. Some dude didn’t take it too kindly, and duffed him out.
I gave a statement to the cops, and got named as a victim of his unwarranted advances. And then went back, reopened, and ate my gyro. I told my coworkers my story, and they one-upped me with stories of catching homeless guys buggering in the video booths.
I quickly began looking for another job… I’m pretty desensitized to seediness, but I don’t want my job description to involve chasing narsty perverts.
11. I used to work a 9pm-3am shift at an adult bookstore and while we predominantly sold sex toys, we also sold drug paraphernalia (“this can only be used for tobacco •wink wink”).
Most of my customers coming in for toys were really good people, the solitary men coming in for videos/glory holes were creepy but harmless. The worst were those who came in to buy pipes and whippets (gas for inhalation).
One night around 245 am (I was off in 15), two guys came in to buy a crack pipe and left. At 3, I was to be relieved by the next shift guy who hadn’t arrived yet. At 310, police sirens went off a little too close for comfort. Suddenly, both men burst into the store fighting and knocking shelves over.
Apparently, one guy dropped the crack pipe and blamed the other guy. Needless to say, the police follow in, grab the two men, question me as to what they bought, and leave. My replacement arrives, having been stuck behind the cop cars. That was my last night working there. It can be a fascinating job, but its very taxing.