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. For those who have committed themselves to finding the most ingenious ways to use fast-food menus to their fullest potential, this list of the best ways to hack the menus of 10 of the biggest fast-food chains is for you.
In many ways, fast-food menus are meant to be toyed with a little bit. You won’t find any chain actively advising against customizing the menu to your liking (within reason), largely because they know it’s in our nature to do so, and because it’s great for publicity when a newly discovered hack finds its way onto social media. Some chains, like Panera Bread and In-N-Out, even promote their own “secret menus,” though that defeats the purpose a bit.
With chains that don't spill their secrets, customers are left to their own devices in figuring out hidden menu items. Oftentimes it’s just a matter of ordering something like extra bacon and seeing if you can get away with it, but for many chains there are legitimate off-menu items, with nicknames and everything; when you order these (with a knowing wink, if you prefer), the cashier will know exactly what you’re talking about.
Now, we’re not claiming that every single outpost of these chains will be able to prepare every single one 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 they can be. So there's no harm in trying!
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.