‘Hacking’ the system; Restaurants hidden menu items draws in crowd

Greer Strine, Reporter

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All restaurants have a set menu that a person can choose from. However, some restaurants have secret menus or hacks that consumers don’t always know about. Fast food places are notorious for having these secret hacks hidden from the public, that usually only employees or a loyal customer knows about. 

     Fast food is generally affordable and is designed to be a short waiting time for food. Since they aren’t making gourmet food, they are able to have these deals and hacks at their restaurant to lure hungry consumers into eating at one specific place. By making these deals, customers are more likely to choose somewhere that they know they can get the most amount of food to cure their hunger, for the cheapest price. 

     Dollar menus, and combo meals are ways McDonald’s attracts new customers and bring back loyal consumers. These sorts of deals occur at McDonald’s, as well as some unknown hacks that people don’t usually know about. 

     As an employee at McDonald’s, junior Emmett Campbell stated that the company had announced a secret hack on their Instagram, which shows that you can combine their Buttermilk Crispy Tenders with McGriddles, putting a spin on their original menu items. What McDonald’s announces is not the only secret, within the menu. According to Campbell, “You can ask for all of the stuff that comes on a Big Mac, on a Double Cheeseburger, and it will be half of the price of a regular Big Mac.”

    Sophomore Grace Herron is employed at IHOP. There are also some not-so-hidden secrets about the menu, that simple customers don’t usually know about. According to Herron, “You can substitute a lot of your sides for flavored pancakes, like a cinnamon or strawberry banana short stack. There are also holiday menus with themed foods.” She added that the substitutions are listed on the menu, but it’s not a very common substitution and they are no extra charge. 

     Places like Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks are rumored to have menus that have hidden secrets to them or hacks to help reduce the price. However, the most popular restaurants are not always the ones with the best hacks. Some local places in Harford County also have these confidential items on their set menu.

     At Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, what takes place in Mr. Ladew’s former horse stables, is now a café that is home to a secret menu. According to sophomore Jackie Bultman, “Really only long-time members know about this menu. It consists of Mr. Harvey Ladew, the original owner of the property’s favorite foods.” This menu is not advertised and is very private and a hidden secret of the café. She added, “I’ve only been asked once in the time I had worked for an item on that menu.”