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15 Secrets McDonald's Employees Don't Want You to Know

From undercooked patties to special requests, these McDonald's employees are teeming with secrets.

McDonald's is like a well-oiled machine. Because employees sling burgers, salty fries, and deliver drive-thru orders with such speed, we've become accustomed to only waiting minutes for our hot food to be ready. But it's no accident: These employees keep America's beloved fast food chain running smoothly.

They've also bared the brunt of rude customers, misbehaving kids, and ridiculous orders. But it's not all bad; they also have a peek inside what it's really like to work at such a massive food chain (hint: There are fresh food and some fun secret menu hacks!). Obviously, every McDonald's is different, and since 90 percent are franchises, it's up to how each individual restaurant is managed and ran. Here is what some McDonald's employees were willing to share online based on their experiences working at the popular restaurant.

Small-sized patties can be undercooked.

Courtesy of McDonald's

When asked what the one thing people should never eat at McDonald's is, Reddit user rzeeves said: "The small patties. Yea…the ones that come on your double cheeseburgers and big macs. Those things come off of the grill still red with blood and then we would shove them in the trays where they would stay for hours."

Special requests do take more time.

Courtesy of McDonald's

When asked what menu item most employees hate making, a Reddit user during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) replied: "Anything that has to be 'Custom' we label it as 'Special Request' so they have to literally stop working just to come over and ask what the special request is (wanting something fresh counts towards that too)." — Reddit user McDonaldsIAma

There's something called the Mc10:35.

"The Mc10:35 is an excellent order if you can ever find someone to make it. You get a McDouble and ask for one of the leftover Egg McMuffins and have them put the McMuffin insides between the patties of the McDouble. Only available at menu change." — Reddit user CrazyDaze

You can get a decadent apple pie upgrade.

Courtesy of McDonald's

"When I worked at McDonald's in high school, we had pie a la mode. It was an apple pie in a tray with two swirls of ice cream on either side, two different types of sundae toppings, and peanuts. It wasn't on the menu, but there was a button for it on the cash register. No one knew about it, only employees, and so they were the only ones who ordered it." — Anonymous Reddit user

Egg McMuffin eggs are the real deal.

Courtesy of McDonald's

When asked if the Egg McMuffins are made with real eggs, Reddit user Musicgal02 replied: "They actually are. We have to break the shells and place the eggs in special rings on the grill. We then place a cover over top the rings (our store cooks 8 at once) and put a bit of water into a small funnel at the top. The eggs are steamed and cooked at the same time! It's actually pretty cool, and it takes a while to 'master' the right technique to get the eggs looking perfectly round."

 The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Get it custom.

"Nobody seems to realize how much they really can customize their order. There aren't many things that you can get that aren't on the menu, but you can basically create your own food from what is there. For example, I will never buy a McFlurry. This is because I can just get a fudge sundae, or a plain sundae and add McFlurry topping for WAY cheaper. Also, instead of buying one of the expensive chicken sandwiches, get the southern style and customize it to your liking, substituting the honey wheat bun if you really want it. You can really start saving money by doing that." — Reddit user rzeeves

When in doubt, order cookies.

"The safest thing to get is probably the cookies. Or something that isn't really prepared in the restaurant. But if you are talking about a prepared food item…probably some type of chicken because it is just fried in a fryer" — Reddit user rzeeves

There are easy ways to save a buck.

Courtesy of McDonald's

"You can't get any free food just by asking, but you can download the McDonald's app. There's a lot of promotions and occasionally free items on it. Also, you can sub any sauce on burgers (honey mustard, mac sauce, ranch, BBQ, etc.) and even change the bun (sesame seed buns on a McDouble, for instance). And don't ask for no salt fries, just ask for fresh. We will make them fresh. We know what you're doing." — Reddit user MyNikesAreBlue

Egg McMuffin hacks.

Courtesy of McDonald's

"If you want an Egg McMuffin with no Canadian bacon, ask for an egg and cheese muffin. There is a button for the egg and cheese muffin and it's $1.69 vs $3.49 for an Egg McMuffin." — Reddit user Terribly_Good

Get it on the side.


"Instead of ordering Mac sauce on your sandwich, ask for a side of mac sauce, we don't charge for sauces when they are on the side. This also applies to tartar sauce." — Reddit user Terribly_Good


"You can order a sausage muffin($1.29) and side of round egg($1) cheaper than you can order a sausage egg McMuffin($3.29). $2.29 vs $3.29. This applies to basically all the breakfast sandwiches. Sausage biscuit and a side of folded egg vs Sausage Egg biscuit ($2.19 vs $3.49)" — Reddit user Terribly_Good

Keeping it fresh.

Mcdonalds french fries
Courtesy of McDonald's

"During peak, everything is precooked since we go through so much of it. We usually cook less of the items we don't see as much of (ex. we cook more regular meat over filet), but they're there. The only time it's cooked to order is usually on the overnight for items like Angus and filet. If you're worried about freshness, everything's kept warm in a special cabinet and then thrown away when the expiration timer goes off." — Reddit user AlexaGxo

Temperature checks.

McDonalds Value Meal

When asked what the safest food to order was, Reddit user AlexaGxo replied: "What do you mean by safest? Everything's cooked to standard with temperature checks every so often to make sure the meat is being cooked thoroughly."

Some like it hot.

Mcdonalds drive thru

"Some places do a bad job at keeping track of the fresh timers. I'd personally ask for everything fresh even if you have to wait 3-5 min for it to be ready." — Reddit user McDonaldsIAma

Always ask for a receipt.

Fast food worker taking order

"Basically between 12-2 and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. workers have to be extra careful because that is when gapbusters (mystery shoppers), who are paid, visit McDonald's restaurants and rate their experience. This then goes to the overall store rating and every store manager will do everything to ensure this rating is as positive as possible. It is easy to spot a gapbuster because they always ask for a receipt (so they can get their food costs reimbursed by the company employing them). So, if you ask for a receipt in that time everyone will be immediately alert that you could be a potential gapbuster and they'll make sure to serve you the freshest burger and fries and give you priority over everyone else." — McDonald's UK employee Kamran Adan shared on Quora.

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