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Waiters Really Don't Want You to Order Dessert

Waiters Really Don't Want You to Order Dessert

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The dessert menu doesn't really benefit restaurants

Restaurants can't charge you as much as they want for dessert.

When your waiter asks if you'd like coffee or dessert, he's hoping for a yes, right? Perhaps not. It turns out that many restaurants are better off, from a financial perspective, if you get out of there and make room for the next customer, the Washington Post reports. "Dessert needs good ingredients to taste good, but you can't psychologically convince people to pay even $20 for dessert," says an economist. "You can't really go cheap on it, but you really can't charge extra, either."

What's more, people may stick around for an extra half hour if they have dessert, during which time they're shelling out on far less than they did during dinner; they're not, for instance, ordering drinks, which are key to a restaurant's profits. One other thing to note: While the restaurant might not benefit from your dessert order, you yourself might, especially if you're on a first date. Researchers at Purdue University found that subjects felt better about potential relationships while eating sweet, as opposed to bland or salty, foods, Self reports. (On the other hand, it's best not to overdose on the sugar.)

Don’t ask your waiter what to order – and other ways to be a perfect diner

I had my first waitressing job in Chancery Lane, a very lawyer-heavy corner of London, in 1991. I had been hired specifically to flog dessert wine at the end of the meal, and I learned the following: if people want dessert wine, they ask for it. Getting a person who doesn’t already want it to drink tokay is like getting a baby to take an antibiotic – you would basically have to squirt it into their mouths with a syringe. I also learned every single way in which a lawyer can be rude to a waiter: the cross-examination (“Why on earth would I want dessert wine?”) the stonewall the sneering grandeur (“We’re actually in the middle of a conversation”). What is wrong with these people, I always thought. They can surely see that I’m not doing this on my own account.

After that, I had a couple of waiting jobs that were OK – corporate events in museums, where everyone was wild with excitement because they were going to snog someone from HR, and you couldn’t put a foot wrong – but realised quite quickly that if you wanted to be treated like an equal, you had to work in a pub. Indeed, drinkers treat you like an equal at the beginning of the night, and by the end, they are treating you like some kind of angel. Diners, gone bad, are the opposite: you’re staff at the beginning and a serf at the end.

This is at the kernel of most significant crimes against waiting staff: treating them as irritating accessories to the dining experience, like wasps. In my wide-ranging focus group (Twitter) on what waiters hate now, nearly 30 years later, it’s all in this category: clicking your fingers saying you’ve decided and then making someone stand next to you like a lemon while you actually decide not making eye contact, especially when you pass back the payment machine (the message of which is especially chilling: this transaction is over, ergo you, waiting person, have ceased to exist). Lots of people said they do a Fawlty Towers when someone’s fingers click – look under the table and say: “Is there a dog under there?”

There are strategies galore for dealing with rudeness, which mostly end with a waiter spitting in your food, but the main reason you should behave properly as a diner is that you are human and so are they. You have to do more than not be rude yourself, incidentally you have to be a good ally and police rudeness on your table. I would never eat with anyone who made waiters wait for the sake of it.

It may shock and appal you to learn that there are behaviours you think are harmless that waiters hate: folding crisp packets (this is more gastropub behaviour) into tiny squares and wedging them into crevices, bottle necks and suchlike ripping up napkins into tiny pieces and sprinkling them about (I have some sympathy for this – it’s the kind of thing you might do on a terrible date instead of sticking a fork into your own eye – however, don’t do it). Some of these are ways you think you’re “helping”, such as piling an extra plate on to an existing pile, or handing something to someone when they are already laden. “I’m actually trained at this,” one waiter told me. “I know exactly how many plates I can get on to each arm and in what formation.” Chuck a rogue knife into that, and you’re essentially saying: “I have no conception of the amount of skill involved in your work.”

It’s annoying, however, when you overdo your respect, such as asking the waitress what she would order. There are restaurants where the staff have tasted everything, a mark of mutual respect and honour between employer and employee, but there are heaps of places where the waiters are just given a bowl of pasta at the end of a shift, and they don’t bloody know what you should order, between the chicken parfait and the asparagus. Then they have to go: “The parfait is very popular,” and you’re in this opinion no-man’s-land – does that mean it’s good or that other people are stupid? – and you cannot either take the recommendation or politely reject it.

Good diner behaviour is when you treat the staff as you would a member of your family who was bringing you some food: say please and thank you say thank you like you mean it move your phone when the food arrives, and anything else that is in the way wait until they are free before you stage a fresh request apologise when you spill if you are making a complaint, unless it’s one specifically about the service, frame it as constructive bitching about a mutual acquaintance rather than an accusation.

At my first waiter interaction – “Can I bring you some water?” – I always say: “Nah, I’m all right.” It establishes the following: I am not a demanding person feel free to try and flog me some dessert wine later, if you like I intend to enjoy this occasion, by which I mean, really go for it. Of course it helps that I don’t like water.

This brownie is just as chocolate-y and gooey as you want from a decadent dessert, but it won’t mess with your blood sugar levels. The secret is using coconut flour in place of regular flour (for extra fiber) and coconut sugar instead of the refined stuff. The recipe also calls for raw cacao, which is high in antioxidants. Plus, it’s ready to eat in less than five minutes.

Photo: Meghan Telpner

They'll never look too busy


"No matter how busy I was, I always tried to make myself seem not busy," says Quora user Zoie Shook, who once worked at Olive Garden. She always wanted her tables to feel like they had her full attention. "Whether that's by bringing them another glass of water or pop before they're done with their current one, or taking the time to talk to them a little bit, the tables that I took my time on, always appreciated it and showed it generously in their tips."

4. Cookies 'n' Cream Fudge

Three ingredients and you'll make such a unique fudge, everyone in the house will eat them in seconds. All you need is white chocolate, condensed milk, and sandwich cookies. After you melt the combined chocolate and condensed milk in the microwave, you add the crumbled cookies and fold them in. Pour the mixture into a baking tin, chill, then EAT.

15 Waiters Reveal the Worst First Dates They've Ever Witnessed

Think of the worst date you've ever had. These are probably worse.

On most first dates, there&aposs a third, innocent party who is roped into the ordeal, just by virtue of being there. For restaurant servers, witnessing romances blossom or crash is a regular part of the job. Sometimes, it&aposs a little excruciating.

Current and former waiters took to Reddit to share their stories of the cringiest, messiest, most awkward worst dates they&aposve had the great misfortune of witnessing, and it may make you want to stay home and order takeout for the rest of your life.

1. "I guess these kids probably met on Tinder or something because after the guy started going off about his political views, the girl was SUPER not into it. She asked me to close her out while he was in the bathroom so she could slink out. Not sure what they were talking about, but the date lasted about 15 minutes."

2. "I was waiting tables at a fairly high-end place. My recently divorced brother&aposs ex-wife came in with her new &aposrich lawyer boyfriend she knew I worked there. At the end of the date, the guy&aposs credit card was declined, and she had to pick up the tab."

3. "There was a whole week that a man came in and got a table for two then waited hours before getting up and leaving. By about day five she finally showed up, ordered a shake and left."

4. "This kid, maybe 17 or 18, took a girl to a Waffle House and nonstop talked about cars the entire time. The boredom on her face was palpable."

5. "Once this guy was complaining that his date had taken too long to get ready. She had clearly put a lot of effort into her appearance. He asked me, &aposLike, how long do you think a person should take to get ready? How long do YOU take to get ready?&apos It was so awkward. I don&apost even think I was their server he&aposd just roped me in."

6. "Dinner arrives, and she takes one bite and starts screaming at him about how shitty this date was and how she doesn&apost even like Mexican food. To top this off, she takes a bite of her meal, SPITS IT OUT AT HIM and then storms out of the restaurant. The place went silent literally everyone was watching this."

7. "The man seems initially delighted with her. I take their order and she orders the fettuccine alfredo. I bring their orders out, and as is custom at our restaurant, I ask the lady if she would like some fresh-grated Parmesan on her pasta. She goes, &aposOh yeah. I looooove cheese! Your arm is going to get tired, I&aposm warning you!&apos Her date smiles at her, clearly thinking she&aposs adorable. Now I&aposve heard this and dealt with this before. I have grated a lot of cheese in my serving career. It&aposs never been a problem, and I almost never judge someones cheese preference, being a dairy lover myself.

I will never forget this lady. I have never grated that much cheese before or since. It starts off normal, and her date is still smiling at her. The pile begins to grow and he chuckles, clearly thinking this is some cute quirk. But she doesn&apost tell me to stop. You can no longer see any pasta on this dish, and our dinner pasta portions are very large. I can see on his face that his initial delight with her is slowly morphing into surprise. The smile is growing smaller and tighter and the eyebrows are going higher.

And still she doesn&apost tell me to stop. She&aposs clearly thrilled and obviously wants MORE cheese grated on this thing. For the first time my arms and wrists start to hurt. Now there is no where left for the cheese to go but UP. A small humped mountain of Parmesan is growing on this woman&aposs plate. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, she says, &aposOK! That looks great!&apos

I had to get a fresh block because it was worn to the nub. My wrists hurt like hell. A first for cheese grating in eight years. This dish looks absolutely gross. I look over at the guy&aposs face, and it has now morphed again from surprise to pure disgust and embarrassment."

8. "The girl got very, very red in the face and then just stood straight up and coughed. A big chunk of meat flew out of her mouth and landed on the guys forehead. I mean, you couldn’t get it more square above the eyes. Then she passed out and fell to the floor. They called 911 and the fire department came and made sure she was alright. While the FD guys were talking to her, the guy got mad and left her there. He just jetted."

9. "When I was a waitress years ago, I waited on a table that was a very obvious, awkward first date. They barely spoke the entire time, and I got called over because the guy accidentally knocked over his water glass and spilled it all over the table and all over his date&aposs lap. When I gave them the bill, he gave me his credit card, which got declined so she had to pay. Felt so bad for the kid."

10. "I once saw a regular meet his first ever same-sex date. This guy was in his 40s and had recently come out, but we all were rooting for him. It turns out, the guy he&aposd asked out was the only other gay guy he remembered from high school. Cute that he looked the guy up, right? Well, it turns out the other guy was only so memorable because he had spent the last 20 or so years in prison for murdering his high school bully. The date seemed to go well, actually."

11. "They walked into the Country Buffet that I worked at in high school on a Tuesday night. He was trying to pull off the classic &apos80s bad boy thing. Leather jacket, smoking (you could still smoke in most resturants back then), and insisting on making her do everything he wanted. Told her want to eat, what not to eat becuase it would give her gas. Wouldn&apost let her talk. Wouldn&apost let her get up from the table without him. If he left, he had her come too. Except for when he went to the restroom. She handed the waiter a five and asked if she could use the phone to call for a ride. She went across the street and waited while the guy pitched a fit."

12. "In summary, the guy tried to book fifteen more dates (literally, he wanted every Saturday until her booked vacation) and the girl said, &aposWe&aposll see.&apos My understanding of &aposwe&aposll see&apos is a no in this case, but who knows. He proceed to interrogate the girl in the most awkward way, like he wanted to get to the bottom of it."

13. "He put a five dollar tip in one hand and a twenty in the other and, though I first resisted, he insisted that I choose a hand for my tip. It was uncomfortable for me and the girl. When I got the 5, I really expected him to say that he was kidding and give me the 20 . but he didn&apost. It was so rude."

14. "I was working at an Applebees, and this guy was waiting for his date and kept asking for ice. The date never came."

15. "The couple I was waiting on was arguing quite a bit, and I was avoiding their table as much as possible. The woman gets up to go to the bathroom, and I decide to take the opportunity to go check on their drinks. While I’m refilling the man’s water he goes, &aposWhen the food is ready, will you put mine in a to-go box and bring me my check?&apos When their food was finally ready, I did exactly what he asked and awkwardly brought him his boxed up food, his check and her plated food. She just looked at my hands, looked at him and said, &aposAre you serious?&apos I couldn’t run away any faster.

20 Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You

What would two dozen servers from across the country tell you if they could get away with it? Well, for starters, when to go out, what not to order, what really happens behind the kitchen’s swinging doors, and what they think of you and your tips. Here, from a group that clears a median $8.01 an hour in wages and tips, a few revelations that aren’t on any menu.

What we lie about
1. We’re not allowed to tell our customers we don’t like a dish. So if you ask your server how something is and she says, “It’s one of our most popular dishes,” chances are she doesn’t like it.
—Waitress at a well-known pizza chain

2. On Christmas Day, when people ask why I’m there, I might say, “My sister’s been in the hospital,” or, “My brother’s off to war, so we’re celebrating when he gets back.” Then I rake in the tips.
—Chris, a New York City waiter and the founder of

3. If you’re looking for your waiter and another waiter tells you he’s getting something out of the stockroom, you can bet he’s out back having a quick smoke.
—Charlie Kondek, former waiter at a Denny’s in Central Michigan

4. If someone orders a frozen drink that’s annoying to make, I’ll say, “Oh, we’re out. Sorry!” when really I just don’t want to make it. But if you order water instead of another drink, suddenly we do have what you originally wanted because I don’t want to lose your drink on the bill.
—Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

What you don’t want to know
5. When I was at one bakery restaurant, they used to make this really yummy peach cobbler in a big tray. A lot of times, servers don’t have time to eat. So we all kept a fork in our aprons, and as we cruised through the kitchen, we’d stick our fork in the cobbler and take a bite. We’d use the same fork each time.

6. If you make a big fuss about sending your soup back because it’s not hot enough, we like to take your spoon and run it under really hot water, so when you put the hot spoon in your mouth, you’re going to get the impression — often the very painful impression — that your soup is indeed hot.

7. I’ve seen some horrible things done to people’s food: steaks dropped on the floor, butter dipped in the dishwater.
—Waiter at a casual restaurant in the Chicago area

What you’re really swallowing
8. If your dessert says “homemade,” it probably is. But it might be homemade at a bakery three miles away.
—Charity Ohlund

9. I knew one guy — he was a real jerk — he’d go to Costco and buy this gigantic carrot cake for $10 and tell us to say it’s homemade. Then he sold it for $10 a slice.
—Steve Dublanica, veteran New York waiter and author of “Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip — Confessions of a Cynical Waiter”

What drives us crazy
10. Oh, you needed more water so badly, you had to snap or tap or whistle? I’ll be right back … in ten minutes.
—Charity Ohlund

11. We want you to enjoy yourself while you’re there eating, but when it’s over, you should go. Do you stay in the movie theater after the credits? No.
—Waiter at a casual restaurant in the Chicago area

12. My biggest pet peeve? When I walk up to a table of six or seven people and one person decides everyone needs water. I’m making a trip to deliver seven waters, and four or five of them never get touched.
—Judi Santana, a server for ten years

What we want you to know
13. Sometimes, if you’ve been especially nice to me, I’ll tell the bartender, “Give me a frozen margarita, and don’t put it in.” That totally gyps the company, but it helps me because you’ll give it back to me in tips, and the management won’t know the difference.
—Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

14. If you’re having a disagreement over dinner and all of a sudden other servers come by to refill your water or clear your plates, or you notice a server slowly refilling the salt and pepper shakers at the table next to yours, assume that we’re listening.
—Charity Ohlund

What tells us you’re trouble
15. I get this call all the time: “Is the chef there? This is so-and-so. I’m a good friend of his.” If you’re his good friend, you’d have his cell.

16. The strangest thing I’ve seen lately? A man with a prosthetic arm asked me to coat check it because the table was a little bit crowded. He just removed his arm and handed it to me: “Can you take this?”
—Christopher Fehlinger

17. We always check the reservation book, scan the names, and hope for someone recognizable. I’m happy if the notes say something like “Previous number of reservations: 92.” If they say something like “First-time guest, celebrating Grandma’s 80th birthday, need two high chairs, split checks, gluten allergy,” then I start rummaging through my pockets for a crisp bill for the hostess and I make sure to tell her how much I love her hair fixed like that.
—Charity Ohlund

How to be a good customer
18. Use your waiter’s name. When I say, “Hi, my name is JR, and I’ll be taking care of you,” it’s great when you say, “Hi, JR. How are you doing tonight?” Then, the next time you go in, ask for that waiter. He may not remember you, but if you requested him, he’s going to give you really special service.
—JR, waiter at a fine-dining restaurant and author of the blog

19. Trust your waitress. Say something like “Hey, it’s our first time in. We want you to create an experience for us. Here’s our budget.” Your server will go crazy for you.
— Charity Ohlund

What you need to know about tipping
20. If you walk out with the slip you wrote the tip on and leave behind the blank one, the server gets nothing. It happens all the time, especially with people who’ve had a few bottles of wine.
—Judi Santana

Waiters Really Don't Want You to Order Dessert - Recipes

I have never been a fan of suggestive selling because quite honestly I don’t care if someone orders coffee or not. I know, I know, suggestive selling is supposed to up the checks and therefore increase my tip, but for some reason I can’t get into it. I am equally apathetic about up-selling. For those of you unfamiliar with these waiter tactics, let me explain:

Customer: Can I get some more water and the check, please?

Waiter: Of course, would you like bottled water or just plain tap? And can I get you a cup of coffee and dessert first?

Customer: Well, I guess coffee would be nice…

Waiter: Okay, great. One coffee. And can I put some Bailey’s in it for you and also bring you a piece of our delicious and decadent brownie bottom death by chocolate hot fudge brownie pie ala mode as well?

Customer: Oh, no dessert thank you. Just the coffee.

Waiter: Well, we also have a lighter dessert of mango and papaya sorbet with fresh seasonal berries. And can I bring you an aperitif possibly? Or maybe some brandy?

Customer: Just coffee.

Waiter: May I suggest another chicken parmagiana then? Or a bottle of wine? Or maybe you would like to start your dinner over again. Would you like soup or salad?

Customer: Just bring me the fucking check.

I hate when waiters do that to me, so I don’t do it to my tables. I feel like if they want dessert they will ask me for it. They don’t need me to suggest it. And if someone asks for water, I will assume they meant tap water. If I order water and the waiter brings me some overpriced bullshit bottle of natural spring water, I will not be pleased. I like tap. I am cheap. The two go hand in hand. Or what about those places that sticks a dessert menu in your hand without even asking you if you want one? Or when they roll out a dessert cart to entice you with a tray of goodies that have been covered in varnish and shellac?

So do I suggestively sell? Nope. Unless there is a manager breathing over my shoulder, and then maybe I will ask if they want coffee. But ordinarily, no way. Most of the time, I just want them out of my station and if I suggest a hot tea they might say yes and then I’ll have to go fucking make it.

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12 thoughts on &ldquo Dessert Connoisseur or Hungry? &rdquo

The man you are describing is insecure and pretentious, never a flattering combination. Nevertheless I too am somewhat picky about dessert because of how quickly it turns to flab when I enjoy it. So I don’t enjoy it very often, and when I do I want my taste buds to do back flips. So I hardly ever order dessert because honestly I just can’t exercise enough to keep up if I do. Still, I’m honest about it… I don’t do dessert because it makes me fat(ter). Taste is the secondary consideration.

So you really didn’t have to go down and look at the box, you knew where it came from all along.

Just because someone suspects something of being from a bakery/grocery store/your mom’s asshole doesn’t mean we know for certain. So, we may check, but honestly, you’re at a 50/50 bet on whiter or not we do that. And, honestly it doesn’t matter where it comes from either you’ll like it or you won’t.

Whether**. My apologies, autocorrect is a pain

oh my gosh i died at this. i can’t believe someone would actually refer to themselves that way. hilarious!

Okay, bitchy and bitchy fans, maybe you can answer a question I’ve always wanted to ask:

Isn’t Red Velvet cake just white cake dyed with red food coloring and iced with plain butter cream?

I’ve never understood what is the big deal or popularity with it.

No, red velvet gets it’s colour from the mixing of the cocoa and the buttermilk.

I’m assuming the 4 Tablespoons of Red Food Coloring in that recipe has something to do with it as well =P

But yes, Red Velvet Cake is basically a chocolate cake dyed red, then frosted with cream cheese, buttercream, or butter roux icing.

While red velvet cake does contain a little bit of cocoa, most recipes only use enough for color and not flavor, leaving you with something that basically tastes like white cake. If you are lucky, it has cream cheese frosting so at least some portion of the cake has a flavor.

Many red velvet recipes are just white cake died red, but the actual red velvet recipes also contain vinegar.

Red velvet is usually more

in flavor, but honestly it doesn’t matter because all anyone is ever looking for is the tell tale color

oh sweet mother of pearl, ANOTHER dickhead trying to impress. who gives a shit if he is also the local “tube steak gourmand”? pretentious twaddle!

Waiter, Don’t Take My Plate Away

Back in the old days of my blog, I used to write Thursday Night Dinner Songs. Those files went missing, I got older and more self-conscious, and the days of food related songs on my blog were over. But tonight I Tweeted that I wanted to write a country song called: “Waiter, Don’t Take My Plate Away” (because so many servers take our plates away before we’re finished) and was surprised to see it get ReTweeted many, many times. So then I thought: “What if I actually write it?” I sat down at the piano, took out a notepad, and created the song you can hear up above. A few notes: (1) sorry that you can see up my nostrils (2) sorry that I turn blue every few seconds (3) yes, it sounds like Dolly Parton’s “Why’d You Come In Here Looking Like That?” and (4) I know I’m not a great singer, which is why I’d love for you to record your own version of the song….

I’ll paste the lyrics below and if you’re musically inclined, feel free to make your own YouTube version and send it my way and if it’s good I’ll be sure to post it on the blog.

Now I just have to shake this country accent.

Waiter, Don’t Take My Plate Away
Music and lyrics by Adam Roberts and possibly Dolly Parton

Waiter don’t take my plate away
I know you’re turning tables but that’s not ok
I wasn’t really finished with my chicken Satay
Waiter don’t take my plate away.

There I was, in the middle of dinner
Talking to my best friend Sue
She was telling a tale about raising chickens
While chewing on her Frogmore stew
I was so engrossed in hearing her story
About breaking up chicken fights
That I didn’t notice my plate went missing
And I’d only had seven bites!

Waiter don’t take my plate away
I haven’t even sampled the goat cheese parfait
Or sipped from my glass of Boujelais
Waiter don’t take my plate away.

When I asked for the check there were endless charges
For things I didn’t get to eat
Like a side of sweet potato salad
And a coleslaw made out of meat.
The waiter took away so many courses
Both Sue and I were aghast
I said, “Hell I don’t think we’ve eaten dinner
We may as well be on a cleansing fast!”

Waiter don’t take my plate away
You know I want to sample the kiwi sorbet
And see how it pairs with the almond soufflé
Waiter don’t take my plate away.

Waiter don’t take my plate away
I know you’re turning tables, but that’s not ok
I’m a loyal patron of your dingy café
Waiter don’t take my plate away!

Fast Food Workers Reveal What You Should Never Order At Their Restaurants

There's no denying that, at times, fast food can be pretty gross. But some of it is definitely more gross than the norm. And now, thanks to some fast food workers posting on Reddit, the not-so-nice insider secrets have been revealed. We sifted through several threads to see which menu items are the worst culprits. And it's not just a case of funny food fails or horror stories like employees using utensils to style their hair in the kitchen&mdashsome of these tips are really practical. Like, if you're in a big rush, chicken might not be your best bet.

Keep in mind that many of these restaurants are franchises. And not every franchise has the same rules or standards, although some would argue "don't order tuna" at a fast food restaurant is a hard-and-fast rule regardless of where you go.

"I worked at Steak n Shake for a while. Pretty much the only thing I'd never order is a BLT. You're paying like $6 for two pieces of toast and two strips of bacon. The problem is that the BLT is supposed to be made with 4 strips of bacon (8 pieces when broken in half) but nobody does this, usually due to managers trying to invisibly cut costs." &mdash AdronScyther

"Chili is a no-no, they never ever cycle their grease, they never clean the shake station, and never ever have enough employees to run the place properly so nothing ever gets done." &mdash Commission1888

"Any of the soups. Soups were frozen in a bag and shipped. They were thawed using a "re-thermalizer," a sink full of heating elements that boiled water. Yeah well, that sink wasn't cleaned out all the time, sometimes bags burst. Soup that survived was cut open with a pair of scissors, usually a pair from the managers office or from the prep line, they weren't too picky during dinner rush. Then it was poured into a pitcher. Then transferred to soup line. Problem: the pitcher was hardly ever cleaned, if poorly rinsed out could be considered cleaning." &mdash Demonic_Toaster

"I work at Panera and refuse to drink the lemonade unless I know I was the one who cleaned it the night before. I've witnessed my coworkers running water through it and setting it right back without using any sanitizer. All of the lemon pulp is still caked on the side and they call it good." &mdash MarkToasty

"Don&rsquot EVER get the breadsticks at Little Caesar&rsquos. Literally tons of day old butter are painted on to the bread. I&rsquove seen co workers pick up breadsticks off the ground and put them back in the bag just because they are in a rush." &mdash Nico6001

"The soups are frozen (and have found maggots in them before), the sandwiches are alright but it's iffy most of the time. I suggest sticking to the bagels and butter/cream cheese. Those aren't made in store but it's better than pretty much anything else. (I'm not a fan of timmies coffee/drinks but that would be the next best thing)." &mdash octopus_salad

"I worked at Jersey Mike's subs. The only thing I wouldn't eat is the chicken parmesan. It's a frozen pre breaded chicken patty that we just microwaved for a few mins that just turns to mush in the sandwich. It was gross, stick to the cold cut subs or cheesesteaks." &mdash Dr_Schalke

"No employee would ever touch the chicken parm or the meatball sub. The meatballs were frozen Tyson Beef that are boiled and thrown in spaghetti sauce." &mdash ravioliguy12

"I would never, ever, ever, in a bazillion years, eat any fast food place's chili after working there. The "chili" is just the past few day's unsold, sat in the heater too long to sell as a hamburger, meat that gets chopped up and thrown in some chili seasoning and beans. The batch of chili was never thrown out, just always sat there getting replenished with new chili sauce and meat, so some of the chili in there was months old at least." &mdash DuctTapeChainsaw

"I work at Panda Express and you should never order orange chicken. Yeah it might be the most popular item, but sometimes when it isn't busy, and the food get dried up, we put uncooked sauce on it to make it more moisturized. Even my manager says its ok, as long as I do not do it in front of the customers. Panda Express is disgusting. " &mdash Sup3rh3r0_31

"Most of the food at Panda Express is kept in a more sanitary environment than you would expect but I wouldn&rsquot get the mixed veggies, fairly often we would get shipments of carrots that were clearly bad, like gooey and moldy but I was told to cut around the gross parts and then the carrots still got used." &mdash ShorforAlec

"At Dominos, don't order the Philly steak or American cheese, it's only used on the sandwiches and one specialty pizza so it usually goes bad and we have to throw it out often." &mdash whyamiupattwoam

"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." &mdash shmandameyes

"The fish sandwich. It's a rectangular piece of fried fish and breading.Absolutely disgusting. They also keep some surplus so they don't have to make it new each time someone orders it, so you may be getting old fish." &mdash thesituation531

"Don't order grilled foods if you're gluten-free. While technically gluten free &mdash 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." &mdash SwagSorcerer

"Only thing i would be iffy on is the chicken salad sandwich. We cool some of the chicken once its hold time is up and de-bread it and use it in the chicken salad. but other than that not anything really bad or gross." &mdash deleted user

If you're trying to get in and out quickly next time you're at Taco Bell, forget about ordering a quesadilla. "It has to be steamed and grilled. It's the only item that I can think of that needs both besides the AM Crunchwrap. " &mdash Shamm-Wow

And if you're vegetarian, vegan or have an allergy, it might be best to skip breakfast. "The meat products are kept on one side of the hot line, and the veggies on the other side of the cold line. No contact. Exception is bacon, in the mornings, is placed on the veggie side. " &mdash donkeypunch9000

"During the afternoon and evening, it's best to skip ordering from the breakfast menu at A&W. "It is kinda stressful for expediting the flow of normal orders because it takes so much longer . W e can't do over hard eggs or sausage links and it'll be a 4-8 minute wait ." &mdash mkins

"Gravy at the Canadian A&W. One of the ingredients is literally a ladle of used fryer oil from the chicken fryer. It's really quite gross." &mdash ExarchApophis

"Love Wendy's chili? Turns out the meat in it may be overcooked burgers from a few days prior. "If you have someone who cant seem to stop overcooking the beef you may end up with chili meat to last for three days. Chili meat is good for 7 days if I recall correctly. Occasionally, depending on how popular the chili sells on a given day, it is possible to have chili with meat cooked the same day. " &mdash zenkaifts

"My brother's girlfriend used to work at Wendy's and a saying there was (about fries): 'They aren't old until they're sold.'" &mdash Wrinklestiltskin

"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 ounces of old lettuce, cabbage, carrots and even older grilled chicken." &mdash obeyyourbrain

"If you go into DQ for anything other than a Blizzard or a burger, you are at fault." &mdash 37214

"The burgers suck, too, unless you're into flaccid, 6-hour-old bacon held at room temp." &mdash obeyyourbrain

"Don't get the chili. It comes in a bag, gets warmed up in a metal tub and then sits for 10 hours until we run out and replace it, it's also just not very good to begin with. If you're allergic to any kinds of foods be weary, onions are in the same dressing station as the rest of the condiments and cross contamination is not our problem. The same goes for peanuts with the shakes. " &mdash AntProtein

"Don't eat the ice cream from Sonic. I can't say this applies to every Sonic, but it was a big problem at the one I worked at. The ice cream comes in a bag and you pour it into a bucket in the bottom of the machine. Not too hard, right? Nah, people would spill it all the time and the lid to the bucket wasn't secure. Then they would leave it until it grew mold (sometimes even inside the bucket,) then we would have to take the entire machine apart and sanitize EVERYTHING." &mdash MissApocalypse

"At our Subway, the 'oven roasted' chicken was actually boiled in a microwave." &mdash Hotpotabo

"Tuna sandwiches. 80% mayonnaise." &mdash karma_virus

"Subway, tuna is literal poison in a container. It is always several days older than expiration. I used to walk on shift and throw it out by look alone." &mdash Reaverx218

"I used to work at McDonald's. There have been some 'McDonald's Life Hacks' going around the Internet for a few years now. Please don't do any of them because then one or both of the following will happen: 1) Your order will take forever. Yes, I get that you want fresh fries. Are you really willing to wait the four minutes for that? And if you are, do you promise not to complain about the wait? 2) You will be up-charged for certain ingredients. Like the "Poor Man's Big Mac" (A McDouble with Mac Sauce and shredded lettuce). We will up-charge you .30 for the Mac Sauce, and .20-.30 for the shredded lettuce." &mdash ajd011394

"When I worked there in Canada, McDonald's grilled chicken could sit there for a long time. So can the filet o fish. Usually they're on top of it, but s--- happens. . I've done a 4 hour shift and just forgot to throw out the old grilled chicken and make new ones because nobody ordered it, and it had already went past the timer when I got on so there was no beeping to remind me. It sounds stupid and it was. We're all human and humans are dumb, though." &mdash CaseyTwist

"Don't order something from the 'secret menu.' We sure as s--- don't know what a Snickerdoodle frappuccino is, as it is not a menu item. Employees would be more than happy to make you a drink if you just explain the recipe rather than the name of it." &mdash justine7179

"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." &mdash likeabaker

"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." &mdash KourageWolf

"I'm gonna say any of the taquitos or hotdogs from around midnight up through about 4 or 5am. Around midnight you can be assured that these are now high-mileage. That hotdog might have more miles than your car. " &mdash novelty_bone

If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, don't order off the hot drinks menu&mdashthe cold beverages usually get more liquid in them. "The iced drinks do have more from what I can tell. Hot drinks have 4 sizes (small, medium, large, XL) and cold is just 3 (small medium and large). Large for iced I think is around the same size as an XL hot." &mdash mCahill389

"Here's what I can tell you about the hot/cold sizes: Hot: small - 10oz, medium - 16oz, large - 20oz, xlarge - 24oz. Iced: small - 16oz, medium - 24oz, large - 32oz." &mdash CoolcatMcGee666

You also might want to steer clear of the hot chocolate. "There are thickening agents in the mix, including Cellulose Gum and Xanthan Gum. I think it's in there to make it seem creamier/milkier. Without it, it would probably be a watery product similar to any cheap hot chocolate mix you'd buy for home and mix with hot water. " &mdash coffeenut617

"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. " &mdash lolutah

"Don't get the tea at night. The opening manager brews the tea at 5am and it sits all the way until we close at 10pm. It has a hold time of 8 hours, but we never brew more than one a day unless we run out (which is rare). By the time we dump it at night, it has a thick, syrupy consistency and spells absolutely horrible." &mdash MadClaw1138

"We serve roast beef so if you order fried chicken in the drive through, you're going to be directed to pull forward into the wait slot of the parking lot and you will sit there for like eight minutes," &mdash bigmitts

"When we receive the roast beef, it's not actually solid. It's a bag of meat paste that solidifies after 3 hours in the oven. Still tastes good though.If you order the roast beef in the first few hours of the place opening, you are getting yesterday's left over roast beef. It's just been held in the holding oven over night." &mdash Lodgik

"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." &mdash HunterOfTheSky

"I use to work at Del Taco. Just don't order anything from us. Jesus . I can still hear their screams when I close my eyes." &mdash FATBIRD333

"I worked in a movie theatre and found out only two of the inside metal trays of the popcorn machine were cleaned weekly. I took it upon myself to dismantle it and clean the rest of the machine. It was lined in the corners with mold probably dating back to when the machine was originally purchased. Not every machine out there is fully cleaned as places just clean the most used pieces." &mdashNautilus23

"I used to work at Pizza Hut too and I really can't think of anything I wouldn't eat. The only things that were sometimes iffy were salads, just because they weren't ordered super often and lettuce doesn't stay good for long. As well as the traditional wings because they almost always ended up raw unless we double fried them for like 20 minutes. I don't know why." &mdash RebeccaRegicide

"The most upsetting things were the yellow butter-like liquid we slathered on the breadsticks, the spray can of stuff for the crust, the fact that my store put three times as much cheese as needed on pizzas, and the smell that the store caused the whole dining area to have, which one can only describe as metallic pizza." &mdash soft_nibba_hours

"I stopped working there after arguing with my manager about food safety and restaurant cleanliness. I know most locations aren't like the one I was at, but every restaurant has their bad ones. Some points to my argument: Patties shouldn't sit out for three hours after prep." &mdash abcdefg1234t67

"Hhhh I worked at a Five Guys and it uh. was actually the dirtiest place I've worked and nothing really got cleaned properly. That's actually why I left." &mdash aspiringenjolras

"KFC gravy. Unless it's changed since the '90s, it's the bottom of the deep fryer with seasoning in it." &mdash Happy8Day

"At KFC, we were supposed to change the fryer oil every couple days. Our penny-pinching manager had us change it every couple weeks. We'd just skim off the 'floaters' and cover it at night." &mdash JoeB_302

"KFC: Zinger is not really that popular hence during off peak hours could be dry/stale. To know, it is a reddish dark brown color. Fresh ones are colored bright orange." &mdash eyeshadowgunk

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