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20 ex-employees share secrets that big corporations don’t want you to know

All businesses have their own trade secrets and some ex-employees who are aware of them open up on what they don't want you to know.

20 ex-employees share secrets that big corporations don’t want you to know
SAN FRANCISCO - FEBRUARY 09: A sign stands outside of a McDonald's restaurant February 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Every business has its own share of secrets that can transform a customer experience. But more often than not, it's just some of the employees who are in on it. It can be anything, ranging from a secret recipe, ingredient or a marketing tactic to cost-cutting measures. People on Reddit are sharing alleged secrets from their own businesses after one user asked, "What 'insider' secrets does the company you work for NOT want its customers to find out?" reported Bored Panda. Some of the answers can benefit you immensely, some will make you feel cheated, and some can gross you out. Nevertheless, here are some of the top answers we came across:

1. Textbook companies woo professors

This is true of academia in general but you have no idea how much money textbook companies spend on wooing professors. Just to give a couple of examples: the last time I went to the big conference in my field, which was held in Atlanta that year, Bedford-St. Martin rented out the Atlanta Braves stadium, bused everyone at the conference there (about two thousand people), gave us a free buffet that stretched through three rooms (we were up in the box seats) with an open bar and they opened up all the games in the back hallways for us to play. Pearson's party was far more modest: they rented out the Coke museum, gave us all free tours and their free buffet only stretched through one freaking room (but with much classier food) but still had an open bar. Just in case you were wondering why those textbooks of yours are so expensive. u/schnit123



2.  Best Pillow award: From me to me 

The USA famous brand MyPillow and its "official pillow of the national sleep foundation" means nothing since the owner created the group. u/Reddit

3. Gym maze to keep you out

The major gym chain that I worked for actively tries to discourage members from becoming frequent members. How do they do this? They would start by putting treadmills and elliptical out of order, or preventative maintenance. And would keep them out of commission until attendance got to manageable levels where the gym did not feel so crowded and thus easier to sell memberships. And getting out of membership was damn near impossible. u/IKantBelieveIt

4. 90% of donations at Goodwill thrown out

I take donations at Goodwill. We throw away a good 90% of what we get. u/jibsand 

DENVER - NOVEMBER 26: Shoppers search bins for toys at a Goodwill thrift store on Black Friday, November 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. People packed the thrift store on the busiest shopping day of the year, buying toys and clothes in bulk for as cheap as 59 cents a pound. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


5.  If you're being foreclosed, fight it

I work for a mortgage company. Two things:
1) If you're being foreclosed upon and can afford an attorney, fight it. The number of foreclosures that could have been invalidated if the borrower did something (as opposed to not showing up at all, which is what most do) is higher than one would think.
2) If you refinance, sell your house, or pay off your mortgage, get a copy of your lien release (preferably the recorded one). I can't tell you how many phone calls I get where a sale is being held up because a lien release was never prepared. u/throwin_it_away821

6. Store brand and private label are the same

I work at a VERY large farming company that grows and packages a certain vegetable (Hint: Bugs Bunny). The store brand and the private label brand right next to it are from the same field and there is no difference between the product in it. u/Clumsymax

7. Fingers crossed on your tax return

I used to work for a Tax service. I don't want to get in trouble, so let's call them Tiberty Lax Service. The people that they hire to do your taxes have AT MOST two weeks of training. When I was there, I knew people who didn't even have that- usually only a week. They will charge you 99$ PER FORM for your taxes by the way. Oh, and the return. Yeah, cross your fingers on getting it. And if you do get it, let's hope you're not audited. u/Black_Hipster

Working with tax return form - stock photo/Getty Images



8. Garlic butter is not actually butter

The "garlic butter" we put on our pizza crust is, in fact, garlic margarine. There's no dairy in it at all. I'll get customers calling in every once in a while who ask for soy cheese and no garlic butter, and if I'm feeling nice I'll let them in on the secret you they can enjoy that garlic-y goodness without worrying. "Garlic butter" just sounds more appetizing than the truth. I know butter is healthier and that margarine isn't vegan, I don't care. u/the_xxvii

9. Taste anything at Trader Joe's

If you are walking through the store and see anything on the shelf, want to know what it tastes like, find a crew member and they will open it up for you. And you can try it. We were able to give away flowers at any time. So if someone came in saying, oh, they had a bad day, or it was their birthday or something special was happening, we could go pick up flowers and give it to them -TikTok/@ley_brat. One current employee did however comment that the pandemic made it impossible to continue with the tasting. "We can’t do the tastings anymore because of COVID so we can’t let people try stuff in the store. And the free flowers." So maybe give it a shot after the pandemic is over. 

10. Meat kept on sale for up to 7 days

I worked at Subway, which is franchised, so I doubt this is the same for every Subway you visit, BUT: When the meat is defrosted to be used, we had like 3 days to sell it. After that we'd have to throw it away. The franchise owner and area manager would often intimidate staff into keeping the meat on sale for up to 7 days to cut costs.
I reported them to corporate of course. u/A_Sad_Frog


11. Illusion of demand

I work at a big store in The Netherlands and at the end of every advertisement week we have to make sure the shelves are almost empty so it will look like almost everything sold out and the products we sell are popular. In reality, we still have a lot in the stockroom but this way people will buy it faster because 1) it's on sale 2) it's almost sold out 3) it's a popular product 4) they think the company as a whole is doing a great job. It isn't really a big secret but I thought it's quite funny. u/imjohnk

12. Cheap medicine is around the corner

I work for a pharmaceutical company. Don't just buy some expensive s**t, you can buy the same medicine for so much cheaper elsewhere. u/SweetyxD

13. Domino's secrets

First off, if you don't tip the drivers, they memorize your address and they don't want to take your orders. If you do tip, they'll give you extra toppings, sauces, and all that. If you get [bad] food it's because the pizza is put on a scale and you're only allowed to put a certain amount of cheese and toppings on it. If a manager or the owner sees that you're overtopping, you will get talked to. Their marinara sauce is just a concentrate mixed with water and you just stir it in a big tub. The vegetables and meats all come in bags, some are fresh and some come canned. They don't always wear gloves when they're putting your vegetables in tubs. They have this thing called the food pit of toppings that fall below the pizza. They make workers pick that pit and put those toppings back in their container. That's why there's cross-contamination and you'll find random [things] in your pizza. The thin crust comes in plastic. TikTok/@zachse



14. Soy sauce is the secret recipe

Former sandwich shop employee. They put soy sauce in the tuba salad. There, that's the secret recipe. Manager made me sign an NDA about it. Spy sauce. Shhh. u/Reddit

15. Cardboard isn't always recycled

Our Chinese manufacturers will be more than willing to supply us with a certificate assuring us and our clients that the cardboard and paper packaging for our new line of electronics is 100% recycled and eco-friendly. 1000% bs. u/jpegjockey

16. Wolves of Wallstreet

I work for a Fortune 100 financial office. I wouldn't trust 95% of the people with a cent of my money. There are a few decent people, but the rest don't give a s**t, they want the commission and the policy count. And a ton of them has either been sued, given strikes on their records, investigated for fraud, and/or are not allowed to use wording due to their past behavior. u/chevyfried

17. Larger straw at McDonald's

Do you know your straw at McDonald's is larger. Do you know why it's larger? Because it lets more carbonation hit your tongue and makes the soda taste better. That's why it's better at McDonald's. That's why 7-Eleven little s**tty straws suck. Their grilled chicken is injected with a saltwater mixture to keep it moist, but also flavorful. McDonald's actually commissioned Coke for their own recipe of syrup. That's why their Coke has a little bit more sugar and a lot more flavor. Their ice cream machine is made from whole whipping cream, and it's cleaned once a week. Did you know that Tyson actually makes the chicken nuggets? They're actually not that processed, and they're made by Tyson, and they're privately labeled. TikTok/@evilglitterqueen

18.  Poo Maintenance

Used to work at a waterpark. Nine times out of ten when the pool is shut down for "maintenance" or "low chlorine levels", it means that someone sh*t in the pool. u/insane_pigmask

19. Fake the survey

So I used to work for Whataburger. And if you haven't noticed, sometimes you get a really long receipt and at the bottom it says, if you complete the survey, you get a free burger with a purchase of a medium fry and a medium drink. We don't actually have a way of checking whether you did the survey or not. So you could literally just write down numbers, like six numbers and use a coupon. And this is how I know that we can't even deny it, whether we find out that you didn't do it or not. There used to be this old man who would literally come in to ask for a pen and write six numbers down right in front of us and use the coupon. And we were not allowed to be like 'Sir, I just saw you. I can't take this.' TikTok/@littlewhiskey



20. Get a cheaper deal at Target

So Target actually price matches all of their competitors' prices, including Walmart, including Amazon, so you can basically just go to guest services, show them on your phone the price for like, a different website or a different company, and they would just go bloop-bloop-bloop-bloop up at the guest service, change the price up for you, and this works best with, you know how when Target sells like the Apple Watches or the iPhones, and they have like the extra one hundred dollars gift card or $50 gift card? Yeah, you can get a better price and you can get the gift card on top of that. So that's what I'll be doing at Target. It saves me hella money. TikTok/@LizzymWong

ALEXANDRIA, VA - FEBRUARY 20: Shoppers leave a Target store February 20, 2003 in Alexandria, Virginia. Target announced a modest four percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter of 2002. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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