Do American Chain restaurants microwave?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TSE, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I almost never eat at the stereotypical American chain restaurant - Applebee's, TGIFs, Red Lobster, etc. because I can usually find a cheaper and better local restaurant around.

    But I have also heard stories where the restaurants microwave their food completely and serve them. Food is shipped frozen into the restaurant, the restaurant microwaves everything and slaps it together and serves it.

    I've also heard stories where the restaurant will cook a certain number of different plates in the morning, refrigerate the meals, and microwave them up when they are ordered.

    Does anyone actually know this? Or has seen this first hand? opinions?
  2. APlotdevice, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Those stories are without a doubt complete BS. Even fast food chains like McDonalds do more than just microwave their food. Grills, ovens (conveyer-style in many operations) , and fryers are ubiquitous.

    Food is often shipped in frozen, even in non-chain restaurants, but that doesn't mean it's fully cooked.
  3. ace198 macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2007
    Yes, a lot of restaurants do. That's why it's called "fast food". A lot of meals can't be made fast enough. I know people that work fast food. Stuff like mashed potatoes, corn, etc are heated in a microwave at a lot of places.
  4. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    Did you read the thread? He's talking about restaurants like Applebee's, not McDonald's.

    @OP. I really don't think so, otherwise I wouldn't have to wait 30 minutes for my food at those restaurants.

    I think that the food at Applebee's is pretty good for their prices.
  5. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    He was also asking if everything was heated in a microwave. Not just certain things. If this really were the case then French fries would always come out soggy! :rolleyes:

    On a vaguely related note... contray to the popular belief, microwaves themselves can do more than just warm food. Their inherent ability to excite water molecules makes them very effective at steam cooking.
  6. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    Beach Cities, CA
    Well, I don't know where Panda Express falls in. It's probably fast food. But, certain dishes are microwaved, like the chicken. And yes, most fast food places use microwaves. As far as restaurants, the usage of microwave varies depending on the dish and the chain. I know Chili's uses it thaw their chicken breast prior to "grilling" it for one of their dishes.
  7. nouveau macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2011
    If you speak Spanish, you could go to the kitchen directly and ask them! :D
  8. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Fast food places may use microwaves for certain things. I don't know of any which heat all their food in one.
  9. MotleyGrrl macrumors 6502


    Jun 15, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    I used to work at one of the restaurants listed above and they most certainly DO microwave things... about 90% I'd say. The only thing I can really think of that's not microwaved is the steak/burgers.
  10. rockman0 macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2011
    At McAlister's, we had a microwave, but we only microwaved cookies when the customer asked us to. The microwave was also in the front of the restaurant for all to see.

    I don't know if restaurants like Applebee's microwave, but if they are, they most be doing something right. I also enjoy eating at Applebee's.

    I remember an episode of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares where the chefs in the restaurant Gordon was remaking would microwave everything. They had ovens but didn't use them. But that wasn't in America. And it wasn't a chain restaurant.
  11. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    I work in a restaurant.. it's not a huge chain like Applebees, etc, but a small local chain. We get just about all our food from distributors like sysco just like the big chains, and the line and prep process is the same as a big chain.

    While they do have a microwave on the line, it's not used that much. All things like chicken, steak, pork chops, burgers are partially cooked earlier in the day, refrigerated, and then cooked up to temp on the grill when an order comes in.

    The things that do get microwaved sometimes are the pre-prepped sides. Things like mashed potatoes, rice, etc.
  12. Quesera-sera macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2017
    To call microwave use by fast food "complete bs"...Its BS in! They absolutely-positively they use micowaves. I go to BK for breakfast and anything with egg (bkfst burritos, croissants, big breakfast and even pancakes gets nuked!
  13. jeyf macrumors 6502a

    Jan 20, 2009
    Immaculate Conception:
    like every restaurant location can offer an 11 page menu with only a 8 x 10 foot kitchen.
  14. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    I used to work at a Burger King here in Colorado as an assistant manager from about 1988-1998. During that time, hamburger patties were cooked though a broiler and then placed in a steamer. During lunch or dinner or other busy periods, that was not a big deal. They had a "10 minute" hold time in the steamer and then they were supposed to be thrown away. When a whopper or burger or any burger ordered with cheese came in, the cheese was placed on the patty and the patty along with the bottom bun were placed in the microwave to melt the cheese. There were two settings, one for burger sized patties and one for the bigger whooper patty.

    Also, the breakfast sandwiches were also microwaved if they were ordered with these for the same reasons above. Anything with cheese was always microwaved. The eggs came in little white cartons already mixed so all they had to be done is poured into a pan, a bit of salt added and then poured onto the pan that was designed to sit inside one of the friers to be scrambled. The heat from the oil is what cooked the eggs.

    As far as McDonalds goes, the pancakes are microwaved to heat them up to serving temp and arrive in the restaurant frozen, remade just like anything else in the restaurant. I don't remember anything else being microwaved during the short summer I worked at one. I do remember the burger buns being immediately placed into the freezer upon delivery and then thawed out at opening. This is why sometimes the buns would have an odd texture to them as frozen bread will often have.
  15. Cogsworth macrumors 6502


    Feb 7, 2015
    I had a co-worker once who refused to go to Olive Garden, because she swore up and down that they "had no stoves or ovens" and just microwaved everything. To me that is patently absurd. As a bachelor who lives off microwaved food I think I can tell the difference LOL.

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