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The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

Secret menus remain hidden


What’s better than knowing a secret?

Nothing.  Especially if this secret allows you to order food no one knows about.

Well, mention “secret menu” to any Southern California native and he’ll instantly discuss the deliciousness of an “animal style” burger at In-N-Out. Although the secret menu at In-N-Out is not technically secret, it’s still considered as such due to an assortment of entrees not found on the actual menu in restaurants. Who knew there was such a thing as a 100X100, in which 100 burger patties are stacked to form a massive 3-foot-tall monster?

In-N-Out is not the only restaurant to hold a secret menu. Among those in the list are: Burger King, Chipotle, Dairy Queen, Jamba Juice, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Taco Bell, KFC and Wendy’s. None of these restaurants advertise exclusive items, and many won’t even admit to having a secret menu if you were to go in and blatantly ask.

The purpose of a secret menu is to create an intimate bond between the restaurant and the customer. The restaurant can’t advertise the word of a new menu item—the restaurant depends on the customer to gossip about the new item. The customer feels more valuable, and the restaurant receives preferential treatment.

However, has anyone ever looked at what actually lies behind the menu?

McDonald’s is home to the “McGangBang”: a double cheeseburger with a chicken patty resting in between the two beef patties.

Burger King hosts the “Suicide Burger”: a large burger boasting four meat patties, four slices of cheese, bacon and special sauce.

KFC created the “Poutine”: french fries, fried cheese curds, and gravy layered together.

We’ll give KFC some credit, since Poutine is actually a fast-food dish from Canada. But the “McGangBang”, the “Suicide Burger”? Since when is it okay for restaurants to offer foods with such vulgar names? It’s absolutely disturbing. Not only are the two burgers sickening on the surface, they also hold an extremely high amount of cholesterol, carbohydrates and fat. In total, the burgers boast vulgar names and an unhealthy amount of just about everything. Alright, I’m sold, let’s sell them! But secretly, of course… we don’t want to get in trouble.

Secret menus are just an excuse for restaurants to serve ridiculous food, high in fat, carbohydrate, sodium, cholesterol and caloric content. In a society where restaurant portions are continually decreasing due to health concerns, secret menus contradict such efforts.

As of January 2011, every big restaurant chain in the nation is required to put calorie information on their menus and drive-through signs. This law was enacted under President Obama, in order for Americans to be more conscious of what they eat. Secret menus prohibit this law from becoming 100 percent effective.

Nonetheless, secret menus remain popular because everyone feels they know something the next person doesn’t. Consumer loyalty increases and businesses become more popular as more customers go to a restaurant that produces their own unique dish. Secret menus will continue to be intriguing and also add elements of fun, knowing there is information the restaurant keeps from “ordinary” customers. Despite their devastating health risks, secret menus are actually an amazing marketing strategy; customers will continue to discuss the restaurant long after they leave.

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth O'Loughlin
Elizabeth O'Loughlin, Staff Writer
Elizabeth is from Boston and she loves traveling back to the East Coast. On the weekends she likes to hang out with family, friends and also go shopping. She has a twin sister named Steph and they are inseparable.

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Secret menus remain hidden