Food & Nutrition

12 Fast-Food Items You Should Never Order, According to Employees

Before you coast up to that drive-through, find out which menu items fast-food employees think you should skip and why.

Gimmicky food

Vegetable salad with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber in clay pot. Top view.annata78/Shutterstock

Within the past decade, fast-food chains made a conscious effort to include lighter fare on their menus, more salads and the option of apple slices or yogurt with kids’ meals instead of fries. More recently they’re touting newer menu items as hand-crafted or even artisanal, but don’t believe the hype. “There might be a few extra toppings on the burgers or sandwiches we call hand-crafted, but they aren’t any better quality than the stuff you’ve been eating for years,” says Tricia, who has worked at two popular fast-food establishments as she attends college.


French Fries, Fast Food French Fries, Prepared Potato.Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Just because the so-called value menu might mean more food for little money doesn’t mean you should order the largest size meal available. “After working in fast-food I’ve realized no one needs that much fried food,” says Nicky, who has worked at McDonald’s for two years. “It’s tempting when you think you’re getting more for less, but you’ll end up feeling disgusting after you eat all of those fries.” Check out the most convenient fast-food restaurants.

The mac and cheese

Portion of macaroni and cheeseAlexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock

Macaroni and cheese is pure comfort food, and sometimes the craving is too strong to resist. But a Panera employee responding to a thread on Reddit recommends skipping their take on the classic dish. “The pasta, it’s all microwaved. This includes the mac and cheese,” says commenter President Pancake. “The best items are the real sandwiches and salads. They use real ingredients and are usually fresh.”

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