It’s hard to ignore the many disturbing myths
and urban legends you’ve heard about fast
The fact that these restaurants serve full
meals within seconds of taking orders understandably
leave people wondering what’s really going
on behind the scenes, but luckily, some of
the worst rumors have been proven completely
Snopes has done some deep-digging over the
years and debunked a bunch of fast food myths
— here are some of the most outrageous.
A whole series of reputable news outlets claimed
that Wendy’s was rolling out self-service
kiosks where customers could place their orders
and pay without dealing with human employees.
So basically, robots would replace employees
in the face of rising minimum wage requirements,
which is a pretty dire look into our future.
But you don’t have to worry about the rise
of the machines just yet.
In 2016, they did add self-service kiosks
to about 30 restaurants, but considering there
are more than 6,500 locations in the US alone,
that’s a tiny percentage.
Their official statement was that they weren’t
replacing workers at all, they were just shifting
the balance of their duties elsewhere.
You go to Dairy Queen for ice cream, right?
Well, not exactly, and the fact they technically
call it “soft serve” has led to the rumors
their products are dairy-free.
This is a potentially horrible thing for someone
to tell a friend who’s lactose-intolerant
or allergic to dairy, because it’s not true.
DQ calls their delicious frozen treats “soft
serve” because their recipes don’t meet the
FDA guidelines for what can be called “ice
Their soft serve falls short of earning the
title because it doesn’t have enough butterfat.
Still, the first ingredients in the soft serve
are milkfat and nonfat milk, so while DQ’s
signature dessert might technically be low-fat,
it’s definitely not dairy-free.
Coffee, donuts, pot
There was a story going around that Tim Hortons
was breaking into the marijuana market with
the spreading legalization of the drug — and
many customers were excited about the early
morning one-stop-shopping possibilities, including
Canadian stand-up Mark Critch …
“You’re already buying your weed in the parking
lot, I’m just saying go inside where it’s
But it turns out, the original story came
from a site called The Global Sun, which is
a spoof news site like The Onion.
Tim Hortons hasn’t made any official statements
about becoming a coffee-and-donuts-and-marijuana
shop … though the move would probably give
their donut sales a huge boost.
No meals for the homeless
McDonald’s was painted as the bad guy when
a rumor started circulating that they banned
customers and employees alike from buying
meals for local homeless people — but no,
it’s not true.
The rumor started on a site called True Activist,
and a couple incidents in England helped fuel
the rumor mill.
In one, a man was reportedly denied service
because employees thought he was homeless,
and in another, a local teen claimed she hadn’t
been allowed to buy a meal for an elderly
In both cases, McDonald’s not only apologized
but stressed they had no such policy in place.
It’s also worth giving a special shout-out
to McDonald’s in East Asia, as many of their
24-hour locations open their doors to those
in need of a dry, warm place to sleep.
Mother’s Day lunch
It’s not entirely unthinkable that Chick-fil-A
would offer moms a free Mother’s Day lunch.
So when images and advertising appeared on
social media in 2017, people believed it — but
it wasn’t true.
Apparently, the ads were nothing more than
some old-fashioned social media trolling,
done just to cause some uncomfortable moments
for families and Chick-fil-A employees alike.
After all, who’s going to get the blame when
a family goes out for Mom’s free meal and
the doors are closed?
Also, Mother’s Day is on the second Sunday
in May in the US, and Chick-fil-A is closed
on Sundays, meaning, moms who show up are
out of luck.
Free food for life
It’s usually easy enough to enter one of those
“free food for life” giveaways: just send
in your email, share a post, and you’re entered
to win a few free-food passes being given
away to celebrate an anniversary.
Sounds like something they’d do, right?
It’s been linked to nearly all the major fast
food chains — and no, it’s not real.
Clicking on any links takes you to a Facebook
clone site, then asks you for information
many people might not think twice about entering
— especially when there’s free food involved.
But they’re all scams, so don’t be fooled.
Pig fat shakes
You’re probably familiar with the unusual
texture of McDonald’s shakes.
It’s different than other fast food shakes,
and that’s led to a whole series of rumors
about them — including one particularly
nasty claim that they use pig fat.
It’s just not true, and McDonald’s says not
only is there no pig fat in their shakes,
but there are no meat-based products of any
kind, and they’re safe for vegetarians.
In 2013, McDonald’s Australia shut down the
pig fat question, too, claiming that the thick,
distinctive texture comes courtesy of the
blending and cooling process the shake goes
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