Genius Fast-Food Chain Menu Hacks
November 7, 2014
You’ll never look at fast food the same way again
Genius Fast-Food Chain Menu Hacks
Some people look at a fast-food menu and see nothing but a list of available options. Others look at it and see a challenge.
Want your burger topped with onion rings and barbecue sauce? Just ask for it; it’s known as the Rodeo Burger. And if you’re looking for a ham and cheese sandwich, they’ll make you one of those as well (it’s actually on the menu at some locations).
There are a handful of off-menu items at Chick-Fil-A. You can replace a char-broiled chicken filet with a fried one on any sandwich, you can get Buffalo sauce on anything, and some locations will even make you a chicken “quesadilla”: a sliced grilled chicken filet inside a whole grain wrap, with cheese.
You’ve most likely heard of the Quesarito by now, but it’s still one of the best fast food hacks around: they take a quesadilla (a secret menu item unto itself: a tortilla filled with cheese and meat, folded in half, and pressed), then opened back up, plied with even more fillings, then rolled up like a burrito). Don’t ask for it during high-volume times because it takes a while to make, but everyone should experience this cheesy behemoth at least once.
At KFC, they’ll put mashed potatoes, gravy, or bacon on just about any menu item. Want your Doublicious sandwich topped with a schmear of mashed potatoes and a ladle of gravy? How about bacon on those Chicken Littles? You got it.
More people have tried to hack the McDonald’s menu over the years than any other chain, and they’ve certainly succeeded. During breakfast there’s chicken and waffles (buy a sausage McGriddle and a Southern Style Chicken biscuit and swap out the sausage for chicken). Want them to blend an apple pie into your milkshake? Just ask. Later in the day, ask for a McKinley Mac (a Big Mac with quarter-pound patties), a grilled cheese, or the most famous off-menu item, a McChicken inside a double cheeseburger, known by a name that cannot be reprinted here.
You can actually have a lot of fun working your way through Shake Shack’s secret menu. You can get a cheese-topped hot dog, chile peppers on cheese fries, a quadruple-patty burger, a Chicago-style burger (as opposed to hot dog), a grilled cheese, ice cream on a potato bun (!), and sport peppers on anything.
Sonic is another one of those chains where they’ll give you extra of just about anything, but there’s one off-menu item that they’ll make or you if you ask nicely: deep-fried pickles.
Starbucks has one of the most fun-to-hack menus of any chain, because there are just so many possibilities. While there’s not much you can do with the pre-packaged food, when it comes to the drinks the possibilities are just about endless. Here are a bunch of ideas to get you started; let your imagination run wild. A tip? Instead of asking for the secret items by name (no guarantees that your barista will know exactly what goes into a Butterbeer Latte), just tell them exactly how you’d like it made.
With so many possible sandwich combinations at Subway, you can ask for whatever you like and if they’re not super slammed, they’ll most likely make it for you. But here’s a tip: If you want a trench dug out of the middle of your bread to make extra room for fillings, just ask for it to be cut “old-style.”
Wendy’s actually has a fairly comprehensive secret menu, complete with named items like the Grand Slam, which is four patties in one burger (also affectionately called the "Meat Cube"). Our favorite? The Barnyard: a burger patty, a spicy chicken fillet, ham, and bacon, with a slice of cheese in between each. Carnivorous perfection.