McDonald's employees reveal their 20 favorite menu items — and one bonus secret menu item everyone should try
- McDonald's' menu has tons of options for fast-food fans.
- And McDonald's crew members themselves have their own favorites.
- Business Insider spoke with a number of current and former McDonald's employees about their go-to menu orders.
The McDonald's menu offers a pretty extensive overview of what the fast-food giant has to offer.
But, if you really want to know what's good and what's worth skipping, you can turn to McDonald's crew members for their insight. They make the food, after all.
And, according to Quora users who previously worked at the chain, many crew members choose to use their employee discounts — which vary from restaurant to restaurant — to buy McDonald's food during their meal breaks.
So what orders do crew members gravitate toward, whether they're on their lunch break or off-duty?
Business Insider spoke with several current and former crew members to find out. A number of McDonald's employees have also shared their favorite orders on Reddit and Quora.
Some crew members favored classic menu items, while others got more avant garde with signature-crafted selections.
Here's a look at some of McDonald's employees' favorite orders:
The chicken nuggets and tenders are quite popular ...
When asked about their favorite order, a former McDonald's crew member told Business Insider that they went for the chicken McNuggets and fries. Chicken McNuggets were first introduced in a limited capacity in 1981.
"They're the best," the ex-crew member added.
A Minnesota-based McDonald's crew member told Business Insider that they frequently eat at the restaurant, as they can order meals at a "discounted price."
"The best thing to get is by far the tenders, but we do run out every now and again, so the next best thing is either nuggets or a cheeseburger," the crew member said.
Another crew member from Georgia told Business Insider they enjoyed the chicken tenders, as well.
... As are the chicken sandwiches.
In a 2018 Reddit thread, a current McDonald's crew member said they favored the chain's buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich.
"A chicken sandwich meal is my go to," a former crew member from Virginia told Business Insider.
Meanwhile, a crew member who participated in a 2018 Reddit thread wrote that the McChicken was "the best fast food sandwich."
A number of crew members love the breakfast options ...
Breakfast is popular wth some crew members.
One crew member wrote in a 2018 Reddit AMA that they craved the sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle.
... But some gravitate toward the desserts.
Big J Reviews/Youtube
McDonald's has a number of options for customers — and employees — with a sweet tooth.
One former crew member wrote in a 2013 about some of their favorite menu items, including the strawberry and cream pie, the caramel apple sundae, and the Reese's McFlurry.
Chain staples are in-demand ...
"My favorite feast is two McDoubles, fries, and chicken McNuggets," one crew member wrote in a 2017 Reddit thread. "I put fries and two nuggets on each McDouble. It's the best! Costs around $10 if you get a drink, too."
Another crew member wrote in a 2018 thread that the French fries were their favorite food at the restaurant.
A crew member from Georgia told Business Insider that they enjoyed the chain's quarter pounder sandwich, and a different crew member posted in a 2018 Reddit thread that they liked the double quarter pound sandwich best.
... As are fancy signature sandwiches.
Peep THIS Out!/Youtube
Some employees prefer to go with more out-of-the-box orders.
A Reddit poster who works at McDonald's posted in 2018 that their favorite order was the chain's garlic white cheddar burger. The sandwich is one of the brand's signature crafted selections.
"I really like the signature sriracha burger," another employee wrote in the same 2018 thread. "I have to have them leave off the onions, which is a shame because they look delicious, but 'severe intestinal distress' doesn't even begin to describe my reaction to onions."
In a 2017 Reddit thread, a different former employee wrote that they ate at McDonald's every day for a summer without gaining any weight.
"My go-to meal was a guacamole crispy chicken on an artisan roll with a buttermilk chicken sandwich," the ex-employee wrote.
International crew members go for items that aren't available in the US.
Greg's Kitchen / Youtube
McDonald's menus vary around the world to better suit local tastes. So that means international crew members might have favorites that US employees don't even recognize.
"I don't get McDonalds very often, but when I do I always get the same thing: A BBQ chicken legend, large fries, and a strawberry milkshake," former McDonald's crew member wrote on Quora.
The chicken legend is a chicken breast fillet with mayo in a toasted roll, and it's available in the UK.
Meanwhile, for Australia-based McDonald's crew member and Quora poster Grace Bridget, McBites and gravy-loaded fries are the order of the day.
Others look to McDonald's so-called secret menu.
McDonald's so-called secret menu is a bit controversial among employees.
A former McDonald's crew member from Virginia told Business Insider that "there is no such thing as a secret menu."
That being said, one McDonald's crew member wrote in a 2017 Reddit Post that their favorite creation from the restaurant was a McGangbang — widely considered a jewel of the secret menu. This order is composed of a McDouble sandwich and a McChicken sandwich mashed together.
At the end of the day, over 375,000 people work at the fast-food chain around the world. Their tastes are going to vary quite a bit, just like those of McDonald's customers.
Are you a current or former McDonald's employee with a story to share? Email email@example.com.