Things McDonald’s Employees Won’t Tell You


You can pay less for your favorite meal

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Saving big on your favorite Mickey D’s order isn’t rocket science—and we know the best deals. Try ordering a sausage muffin ($1.29) and a side of round egg ($1) to make a cheaper version of the Sausage Egg McMuffin ($3.29). Other menu hacks: A sundae with a McFlurry topping is cheaper than a McFlurry, and ordering any sauce on the side is free of charge. Don’t miss 75 more mind-blowing facts about McDonald’s.

The ice cream machine really does break down

McDonald'sURAIWONS/Shutterstock No, we’re not lying—there is a reason why it seems the ice cream machines are always broken. If the mixes for McFlurries and milkshakes are poured in the wrong sections, the entire machine could be out of commission for the day. You might be better off ordering a soda, instead.

There is no “secret menu”

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If you ask for an off-the-menu item, we might not know how to make it. Just tell us exactly what you want; we will whip up almost anything we have the ingredients for. Looking to shake up your usual order? This McDonald’s has the best menu in the world.

Know your order before you reach the register

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If you’ve been standing in a long line, be ready to order when it’s your turn. Your indecisiveness can be a major inconvenience for us—not to mention the other customers waiting behind you in line.

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Drive-throughs can’t serve you on foot

McDonald'sSeika Chujo/Shutterstock Same goes for customers on bicycles and electric scooters. According to McDonald’s policy, we can only serve people who are driving a motorized vehicle in the drive-thru lane. Trust us, it’s for your own safety. Check out the craziest things drive-through workers have ever seen.

Bring cash

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Craving McDonald’s at 2 a.m.? Make sure you have cash on hand. Because the 24-hour locations must restart their cash register systems every night, there is always a certain time period when we can only accept cash.

You can get creative with the sauce

McDonald's8th.creator/Shutterstock You won’t always love the sauce that comes with your order. But just ask us to substitute another sauce, instead—and don’t worry, we won’t charge you for it. Just make sure you’re not eating at the most expensive McDonald’s in the world.

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We don’t wear gloves—but it’s sanitary

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Rest assured that employees are required to wash their hands at least once an hour. Gloves, on the other hand, can harbor a lot more bacteria than our clean fingertips. You’ll want to be sure you’re not ordering this drink ever, though.

Artisanal sandwiches are the most time-consuming menu items to make

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So be prepared to wait a little longer for your order. (The chicken alone takes an average of eight minutes to prepare!) Same goes for Happy Meals; the toy, drink, and dessert take extra time to track down.

You should always ask for a receipt

receiptStokkete/shutterstock

Certain people are paid to visit McDonald’s restaurants and rate their experiences online, and they are reimbursed for their purchase. So if a customer asks for a receipt, we are more likely to serve that customer first and give them the freshest food.

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It’s tougher to get hired than you think

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Although our jobs might seem easy, a surprising number of applicants are turned down in the hiring process. So before you hand in your resume, make sure you have these soft skills employers are looking for.

We’re not allowed to sit down…

McDonald's8th.creator/Shutterstock Employees who work the drive-through window often remain standing for many hours at a time. All that standing can make our lower backs and feet ache.

…But we get great employee discounts

McDonald'sKen Wolter/Shutterstock

Working for the famous golden arches has its perks. Popular companies like Apple, Via Rail, Hotels.com, and Payless all give us sweet discounts.

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…But the beef is Grade A

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This might surprise you, but our burgers are made of high-quality meat. The only ingredients we add are salt and pepper.

[Sources: Eat This, Business Insider, The Sun]



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Warm Winter Getaways for Families That Won’t Break the Bank


Kaanapali, Maui

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Located on marvelous Maui’s west coast, Kaanapali has it all: Fabulous beaches, exceptional snorkeling, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of kid-friendly places to eat and play (plus flights to Hawaii are cheaper than ever). It’s also where you’ll find a number of full-service vacation rental condominiums, right on the beach that allows you to spread out with the family and make some meals in your own kitchen—a money-and-time saver. For full-service accommodations with a friendly price, the Kaanapali Hotel should be your number one choice. The longest standing hotel in Kaanapali, it has a prime location on the golden Pacific sands and offers complimentary Hawaiian activities for the whole family, including pineapple cutting, print making, and ukulele lessons; plus kids get points and prizes for joining in the fun diversions.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta-Cane-Dominican-republicValentin Valkov/Shutterstock The beaches here—among the best surf for families anywhere—will fulfill all your warm weather dreams with warm turquoise waters, pillowy sand, and miles of uninterrupted coastline. Flanking the beach like a row of starfish are a multitude of family-friendly all-inclusive resorts; the good news about the number of properties is that they provide competition both in amenities and pricing. The bad news is you’ll need to choose one from a large number of options. With young kids, consider the Grand Palladium Bavaro—it has the largest kids club space in the entire Caribbean with programs ranging from tots to teens.

Barbados

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Located in the south-east Caribbean, safely out of the hurricane path that severely damaged nearby destinations, this island offers a mix of great beaches and family adventures, such as exploring caves, pirate ship cruises, and swimming with turtles. And don’t forget it’s one of the places you have to go in 2018, according to travel experts. Take advantage of great rates for air and hotel packages from Jet Blue, which offers nonstop flights from multiple East Coast cities. One property to consider that caters to families is Mango Bay Hotel which has one-bedroom apartments and activities including water-skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, Hobiecat sailing, pedal-boating, and snorkeling for ages 4 and up. If you have teens, check out the Tamarind resort, which offers stand-up paddleboard lessons, teens-only shopping excursions, an island-inspired teen spa day, and even an aerial cinematography class!

South Walton, Florida

Floridadigidreamgrafix/ShutterstockThe sugar white sand beaches of South Walton, Florida offer plenty of kid-friendly activities, plus a healthy dose of adventure, culture, and beach relaxation that adults will love too. South Walton’s 16 beach neighborhoods are so picture perfect that they served as the backdrop for The Truman Show. The whole 26-mile stretch of beaches are magnificent, but Seaside and it’s surrounding beaches of Seagrove, Watercolor, and Grayton Beach are especially family friendly. Families looking for space to spread out can take advantage of more than 300 rentals available throughout the beach towns, including a number of large, multi-bedroom rentals that feature amenities ranging from pools to game rooms to outdoor kitchens.

As an extra draw, South Walton is in the process of developing an artificial reef, with four snorkeling reefs just off the coast of Grayton Beach, and nine scuba reefs further out to sea. The town is opening The Underwater Museum of Art, North America’s first underwater permanent sculpture park in 2018.

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Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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With a pedestrian-friendly downtown with plenty of inexpensive spots to eat, drink, and shop, this tourist-friendly town about an hour south of Cancun is a great fit for families who like to explore outside a resort, but still want to have hotel amenities nearby. For a local day trip, the ruins of Tulum are just 30 minutes away, where you can cool off with a free dip in the warm Caribbean sea below the ancient citadel (always a kid pleaser), and don’t miss the frozen paletas (ice pops) from vendors in flavors from avocado to watermelon, for about a buck.

Anaheim, California

Anaheim-disney-worldJames Kirkikis/Shutterstock M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! Yes, Anaheim is where you’ll find America’s favorite mouse, but the sunny SoCal destination also offers warm weather and a great base to explore the rest of the southern West Coast’s family-friendly activities. And here are 14 ways to save serious money on your trip to the magical kingdom.

US News & World Report just ranked Anaheim #2 in Best Winter Family Vacation Destinations for its access to theme parks and attractions, including Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure, Knott’s Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park, Legoland in Carlsbad and the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, and Universal Studios and much more in Los Angeles.

Hotels here offer affordable hotel packages to get travelers to stay in Anaheim as their Southern California base; for example, the Anaheim Marriott offers a Winter Savings Package that includes a deluxe guest room, Anaheim Resort Transit Day Passes, Kids Eat Free, and complimentary in-room Internet access and self-parking all for starting at $139 per room, per night.

Curaçao

CuracaoGail Johnson/Shutterstock

One of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean, Dutch Curaçao is a favorite respite from the damp and cold of Holland. And since visitors from Europe usually stay for one or two weeks, you’ll find lots of affordable family apartment and condo rentals on the island. The island is a secret favorite veteran travelers. Flights from most major North American hubs (including Miami, New York, and Toronto) are under $500, another selling point. Sunscape Curaçao is an all-inclusive resort with affordable prices for families. If you’re staying in a condo or apartment, the island recently launched an all-inclusive dine-around plan, where travelers have the opportunity to taste signature Curaçaoan dishes and try multiple restaurants for a fixed rate anywhere on the island, making it easy for families working with a budget to plan ahead for meal costs.

Phoenix, Arizona

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With a new aquarium (the largest in the Southwest), spring-training baseball, a zoo, and hotels with pools everywhere you look, “America’s Sunniest Metropolis” is a great family destination. Phoenix offers desert temperatures, rugged mountain scenery, and plenty to keep the whole family busy. It also happens to be one of the 15 healthiest cities in the country. Since it’s America’s sixth largest city, you’ll find plenty of direct flights here from around the country plus a full offering of inexpensive chain properties to stay at (the kind that kids—and parents, too—love for their free breakfasts, playgrounds, and pools). Outdoor adventures include hiking and biking, exploring the desert with Red Jeep Tours, and golf and tennis—just to name a few of the many warm-weather diversions on offer.

 

 

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Belize

BelizeMartina Genis/shutterstock This Central American nation on the blue Caribbean Sea offers incredible adventures (whale shark swimming anyone?), no jet lag, and numerous direct flights. From Belize City, you can be on your way to the deep blue waters off Ambergris Caye or Placencia or a luxury eco-lodge deep in Maya Mountains in under an hour. In fact, with seven or eight nights, you can easily combine the beach and the rainforest jungle in one trip!

Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida

FloridaWilliam Silver/shutterstock

For free activities that kids love, this Florida destination can’t be beat: Dubbed the “shelling capitals of the world,” Sanibel and Captiva Islands have long been known as meccas for shell collectors. Thanks to the destination’s geography and the east-west orientation of the water, the waves catch incoming shells of all shapes, varieties, and colors. They arrive daily by the hundreds of thousands, many of them fully intact. For kids, it’s like trick-or-treat on the beach; for parents, it’s a free and safe activity that comes with built-in complimentary souvenirs. And of course, there’s the warm surf and sea location, and easy to reach location.



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37 Secrets Your Dentist Won’t Tell You


Pain isn’t your biggest problem

Toothache

Some truly educated people think that if nothing in their mouth hurts, they’re fine. High cholesterol doesn’t hurt, either, but it’s a big problem. I honestly think that the general population doesn’t understand that their mouth is part of their body.—Danine Fresch Gray, DDS, general dentist, Arlington, Virginia

The post 37 Secrets Your Dentist Won’t Tell You appeared first on Reader's Digest.



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Najib: We won’t allow Proton to sink


PM-HICOM

MO,3/2/2018, TANJUNG MALIM: Accusations that the Government is not interested in helping carmaker Proton are nothing but lies, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak . The Prime Minister said the Government has always been committed to Proton and has in the past few years extended a lot of help to lift Proton’s fortunes. “If people say that we don’t help Proton, then that is just lies. “We have given loans, capital injection and incentives. We made it a condition though if Proton wants to continue to develop it has no choice but to choose a strategic partner,” Najib said at the launch of the National Automotive Cluster @ Proton City here.

The project developed by DRB-Hicom Bhd will comprise of several components. They are the development of a 1Malaysia Youth City; an Edu City education hub which will be built in the future; a high-tech automotive hub that will encompass green electric car technology, the latest battery technology and artificial intelligence.

The project will also house car assembly facility for global brands and be a centre for production of cars for the export market.

 –TheStar



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13+ Secrets a Food Stylist Won’t Tell You


The food looks delicious, but you’d never want to eat it

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Most everything has been manipulated by the food stylist to appeal to the consumer, but nothing is what it seems. A cappuccino is painstakingly built with piped soap foam “bubbles” that stay round. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, and even milk are prepped the same way. (By the way, here are some secrets fast food workers won’t tell you.)

It takes a lot of rejects before a “hero” emerges

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For this shoot, a food stylist probably had to go through dozens and dozens of buns to find a “hero”—the perfect example. Often, stylists need multiples in case something happens to the hero during the shoot. Those seeds are also “heroes” too, and are meticulously glued on top with tweezers to fill in any flaws.

Cut into a stack of pancakes and you’re likely to hit cardboard

Stacked food like pancakes or burgers often are perked up with cardboard support in between the layers; the griddlecakes can then be sprayed with water-repellent Scotch Guard so the syrup easily glides over the edge. (Don’t miss these surprising things your restaurant server isn’t telling you.)

That glistening bird? It’s raw inside

Whole turkeys are first sprayed—usually with a browning sauce, water, and food coloring—and then blowtorched till they gleam the perfect color. But inside, they’re uncooked, since no mouth is going to go near them after that process. Some are also stuffed with paper towels to plump them up further.

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This ‘melting’ butter? Likely it was shot on cold food

Food styling: Ceci Loebl, Photo Credit: Greg Powers

To get the pat to convincingly “melt,” a food stylist probably used a portable steamer or a heated painter’s spatula, depending on the desired effect. (Speaking of clever marketing tactics, you won’t believe this sneaky way airports get you to spend more money.)

Looks like ice cream? Tastes like lard

Unless you are advertising a particular brand, generic ice cream is typically made from fat and powdered sugar and colored to simulate different flavors. A food stylist might also fake ice cream by combining canned frosting with confectioners sugar: it scoops perfectly and stays camera-ready for hours. (You won’t want to miss these things your grocer won’t ever tell you.)

Yuck: Melted cheese is actually simmered cheese

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Food stylists heat up a little water and gently dip cheese in it for a couple of seconds before laying it on, say, a (probably cold) burger to achieve that dripping, gooey look.

Perfect grill marks are usually manufactured one at a time

Food styling: Ceci Loebl, Photo Credit: Nino Adonis

Some stylists use a paint stripper, while others heat up individual metal skewers so they can place evenly spaced char lines on the food. (If you’ve ever wondered what secret ingredient makes McDonald’s fries so tasty, we finally have an answer.)

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Magically, cut fruit never browns

It’s often put in a cold-water bath with a sprinkle of a product called “Fruit Fresh,” which can be found at most grocery stores. Some food stylists add lemon juice to water for a similar effect. To redden berries, a food stylist might use lipstick to cover any white spots.

Here’s why the bacon looks so good:

Food styling: Ceci Loebl, Photo Credit: Nino Adonis

To get the perfectly curled effect, food stylists weave the strips over and under tubes in the oven or they drape them over squished aluminum foil. Highlights created by spritzing oil on the finished product make it look less dry and more mouthwatering. (By the way, this is exactly how restaurants get you to order more food.)

Sandwiches don’t usually stay together

Food styling: Ceci Loebl, Photo Credit: Greg Powers

They’re built layer by layer, with toothpicks holding each level in place. Larger stacks are held together with skewers.

Water may be cheap, but ice cubes are expensive

Food styling: Ceci Loebl, Photo Credit: Nino Adonis

Because ice would melt under hot lights, a food stylist uses carved plastic blocks that can cost up to $50 each. The drinks are also likely fake, made from granulated gel squeezed into water. Even the condensation on the glass could be a mix of corn syrup and water, sprayed on. (These restaurant secrets the kitchen crew won’t ever tell you are shocking.)

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Many glazes are just simply oil

Food styling: Ceci Loebl, Photo Credit: Nino Adonis

A food stylist will spray oil on the product to get a gorgeous, glistening effect, as shown here on colorful roasted carrots.

For the freshest look, salads get spritzed

Photos courtesy of ALDI, Inc./Brian Kersey

After putting a salad out, a food stylist will keep a spray bottle of water nearby and use it to keep the greens crisp. (You won’t believe these sickening secrets of how processed food is made.)

White plates show off most food best

Then consumers can really see the richness and beauty of the food without distraction.

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