These 15 secrets and scams that will put you off restaurants

Of course, the vast majority of restaurateurs are honest and take their jobs seriously. However, a few and fast food outlets don’t have so many scruples. The proof with these fifteen anecdotes!

#1 price scam v.1

I worked at an upscale country club. A slice of “homemade” cheesecake cost $7 each on the menu. One of the sous chefs would stop by a local grocery store every day to buy the same whole cake for $5 before selling the individual slices.

#2 the ice cream machine is filthy

Ice machines are rarely (understand never) cleaned. Insects, dirt, particles, dust, food… everything stays there. My managers felt they had better things to do than clean the machine. I felt uncomfortable having to offer customers such a service. With the bartender, we were “forced to accidentally drop/unplug” the unit so it broke down to get it cleaned.

#3 Price Scam v.2

Most of our desserts are purchased direct from the supermarket around the corner and then marked up 500%. We just drizzled them with a little chocolate or raspberry sauce so they didn’t look like the ones from the dispenser. Also, we were a restaurant specializing in barbecue meat. Having a barbecue outside that is burning is not a sign that the meat will be fresh. Ours were frozen all the time.

#4 knowing how to circumvent health rules

In my experience, casual restaurants are usually the dirtiest/unsanitary. In fast food restaurants, supervision and rules are strict, so they are cleaner, but in gastronomy, the kitchen staff are so proud of their work and know how to get around the sanitary rules. They know how to handle raw meats, contaminants and allergens. They don’t follow all the rules but know what they are doing. And in general, what they do is quite dirty because they suffer from laziness in their work.

#5 What is vegetarian never is

The steaks of the vegetarian and vegan burgers are cooked on the same grill as the meats. They therefore have the same fats as them and therefore no longer meet safety standards for those with food intolerances or complications.


Some of the bottles of wine that we buy and resell by the glass are €7 bottles, and we resell them for €37.


Some ideas for recycling products are more than hazardous. where I worked, cooked burgers that weren’t sold were put in a jar, then in the fridge, and ended up in the chili the next day. Crispy chicken not sold? Fridge and used as additives to salads the next day. Same for the burger buns that became the garlic bread for the next day’s salads. And I don’t want to tell you what happened to the chili that was left the next day… Of course, none of this violates health regulations.


When I was in charge of fries at a fast food restaurant, some clever customers asked us for “salt-free fries” to make sure they were fresh. Impossible thing. The only solution was to take their fries, re-fry them to get rid of the salt and then give them back.

#9 starburcks respects the health rules?

Starbucks has a lot of blackness too. To begin with, no product is fresh, everything is frozen. The syrups are all milk/honey based, so absolutely not vegan, be a problem for those paying extra for it. Cleanliness depends on the individual location of the restaurant, but sanitizing is something of a rarity. Disgruntled or impolite customers were given decaffeinated shots so that they could go elsewhere or had syrup added to a “light” drink. The carafe temperatures are never checked, the milk stays outside at room temperature for hours (baristas use it every 30 seconds at peak times) so with a high risk of bacterial growth inside. I believe our ice machine has never been cleaned for 2 years. Iced coffees and iced teas are automatically sweetened using “simple syrups”. The cleaner for foaming nozzles is very unpleasant and reacts badly with milk, giving products taste.

#10 health inspection is ineffective

The “Cleanliness Inspections” are a disgrace. The people who take care of it do it by sector, so as soon as an inspector arrives in a place, all the owners of establishments call to notify each other. That’s usually when we hire extras to do a huge cleanup. Throughout the year, every time we hosed down under the fryer or on the prep lines, we were drowning hundreds of cockroaches. But with this system, we got the best marks during the health examinations.

#11 are the tomatoes fresh?

The only thing that is fresh, healthy and not pre-made, in a bag and/or frozen in fast food restaurants, is tomatoes.

#12 recycling option spit in the soup

In the soup restaurant where I work, all the soups are frozen. And if there are any unused customer leftovers, they are refrozen and reused for another day.

#13 the cold chain does not exist

The taco restaurant chain where I worked had horrible meat suppliers. In the middle of summer, heat wave, it arrives in large bags, little or not frozen, with the writing on it “suitable for human consumption”. It smells horrible until you season it.

#14 fryer oil is dirty

At the KFC where I worked, we were supposed to change the oil in the fryers every other day. Our stingy manager made us change them every two weeks. We just remove the floats and leave them covered for the night.

#15 your cutlery is never clean

A sink isn’t as economical as a washing machine, but at least you’ll be sure your plates will be clean. The machines in the restaurants I’ve worked in only washed one in three plates properly, with the rest simply wiped of their grime with a tea towel.. The same tea towel for all the plates. The same dishcloth for the whole night, even the whole week or until someone thinks of changing it.

Have you worked in a restaurant? Tell us the worst secrets you no longer want to keep to yourself, and we’ll prepare a sequel to this article ! If it interested you, then maybe you are a fan of the show Cauchemar en Cuisine. If so, you would absolutely want to see these 20 restaurants you would NEVER want to eat at.

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