#hackthemenu: Secret menu items create restaurant buzz
Lynda Steele and Sandra Hermiston, CTV Vancouver
Published Wednesday, September 17, 2014 6:00AM PDT
If you’re tired of ordering the same old thing at your favourite fast food restaurant, you may want to consider joining the growing group of people who are bypassing the menu, and ordering up some secrets.
Secret menus are gaining in popularity and creating a buzz on social media. You can find a wide range of suggested “off-menu” items posted on Twitter, Facebook and food blogs.
Consumer reporter Lynda Steele decided to investigate and visit several restaurants in downtown Vancouver to see if she could order up some of these top secret items.
First up, she went to McDonald’s where she ordered a Monster Mac: a Big Mac with eight patties, smothered in cheese and special sauce. It’s available only by request and the employees at the McDonald’s were quick to serve it up.
Next up was Starbucks, where Steele ordered a cotton candy Frappuccino: a vanilla bean Frappuccino with two pumps of raspberry syrup.
“They didn't even seem that surprised. In fact, she said the cotton candy Frappuccino was so 2013," said Steele.
Fast foodies are taking to social media to post photos of their secret menu creations, using the hashtag #hackthemenu.
"When you look online there's so much more that you can order that might appeal to your taste buds or if you're up for a challenge, something really, really crazy," said Diana Chan, who writes the food blog Foodology.
At Burger King, Steele ordered “frings”, a combo of fries and onion rings. While one employee seemed a little confused at first, the supervisor immediately knew what how to make them.
Some fast food chains play coy. Chipotle told CTV News that it really didn’t have a secret menu, yet Steele had no trouble ordering an item dubbed by foodies online as the “queserito”, a burrito inside of a cheese quesadilla.
So if everyone is doing it, is the secret menu idea losing its insider luster?
"Everyone wants to be the first to try this, the first to try that,” said Chan, “With the secret menu, it’s not really promoted, so if you're in the know, then you'll get to try it."
If you're interested in finding out more about the secret menu items at your favourite fast food joint you can visit hackthemenu.com.