There’s something about the existence of “secret menus” at fast food chains—the fact that there are certain off-menu items that the average customer doesn’t know about – that irresistibly tantalizing. For your fast-food dining pleasure, we’ve tracked down secret “hacks” at 12 of the most popular fast-food chains.
What is it about secret menus at fast-food joints that get us so excited? It might be the small thrill we get when we "beat the system," when we share a knowing glance with an employee, when we’re privy to a secret that the other customers aren’t aware of. And just about every fast-food chain has at least one off-menu item that it’ll gladly prepare for you, from a peanut butter and bacon burger to a sandwich with four different types of meat.
The one problem with secret menus is the fact that they’re usually — duh — a secret. Unless you go the Panera route and send out a press release touting your secret menu items (complete with calorie counts), most people will be left to their own devices when it comes to figuring out the hidden menu items. Oftentimes it’s just a matter of ordering something and seeing if you can get away with it, like extra bacon or cheese (or mashed potatoes and gravy on your KFC sandwich), but sometimes there are legitimate off-menu items, complete with nicknames, that you can order (with a knowing wink, if you prefer), and the cashier will hopefully know exactly what you’re talking about.
We’re not claiming that every single outpost of these chains will be able to prepare all of these off-menu items for you, especially during the lunch rush, but if you catch them at the right moment, you really never know just how accommodating these chains can be. There's no harm in trying!