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Fast-Food Workers Exasperated by Secret Menu

At the intersection of social media platforms and fast-food trends lives a new entry into the category of viral posts: the secret menu item. Influencers are making videos about food combinations, and the surge of interest is wreaking havoc, causing annoyance for workers across America.

After a TikTok user created a video of her customized Waffle House order—a Texas bacon melt with waffles instead of bread—Waffle Houses across the south were inundated with orders for the improvised delicacy. Managers at one store in Georgia created a sign stating, “Order from the menu. We are not making anything you saw on TikTok!!”

Another TikTok user experienced success after her fast-food hack video got almost two million views. At a friend’s prompting, she ordered a Chipotle quesadilla with steak and veggies inside, and dipped it in a combination of sour cream and vinaigrette. The friend, a Chipotle manager, said it tasted like a Philly cheesesteak.

According to industry analyst Adam Chandler, such makeshift delicacies can bring extra revenue to fast-food chains, but they can gum up the workers at the store if they haven’t prepared for the scrutiny and attention. Chandler said, “It really places a lot of stress on fast-food workers.”

Chandler noted that while social media trends offer the potential for increased revenue, they can cause problems. “Service has slowed down, in part because people have started modifying their orders. So, we’re looking at a context where fast food is becoming less fast.”

The trend sometimes has results that are more positive. One TikTok user initiated a viral video after posting about a favorite snack idea at Momofuku. VP Ryan Healy at Momofuku said, “It’s not the way we set out to do this, but she’s bringing more people into our world. We see [TikTok trends] as a positive thing and hopefully broaden people’s minds — to help change the way people eat and eat more adventurously.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Selfishly demanding that things be done our way is never God’s plan for believers. We should instead be considerate of others who are working hard to do their jobs to serve many people.

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