How Fast Food Restaurants Make Their Side Dishes

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. A commission may be earned for us by clicking some links and buying some products.

Majority of the side dishes offered in fast food restaurants are pre-made and pre-cooked. They often are shipped to fast food restaurants ready to go, cold in boxes. They usually only need to be reheated straight from the coolers when they are needed to serve to customers. Here we will see how these side dishes are commonly ‘made’ in fast food restaurants.

These side dishes are delivered to the stores in boxes that are opened early in the morning, before the restaurant officially opens, and stored in commercial refrigerators. Not all of the components of a single side dish are always ready to go straight out of the container. Sometimes the components of the side dish come separately, but most of the time fast food restaurants will avoid making any of their side dishes from scratch.

Usually anything and everything that can come packaged, frozen, and reheated, will be bought from distributors, or made personally outside of the restaurant somewhere else.

Here is a list of many of the side dishes that fast food restaurants use and how they are made most of the time:

  • Baked potatoes
    • Baked potatoes come from a farm, and are prepared at the restaurant by softening them up with heated steam or water. They can be wrapped in aluminum foil, then sliced open once they are heated. Much butter is mixed into the inside, and veggies and bacon bits are sprinkled on the inside afterwards. Restaurants will hot-hold the baked potatoes until they are ready to be sliced and made.
  • Biscuits
    • Biscuits are already premade and frozen as dough in shipped boxes. They are layered in the boxes in rows horizontally. These biscuits are made by taking them out of the boxes and placing them on a metal pan. Afterwards, a brush is dipped into liquid butter, then quickly spread on top of the biscuits before they are cooked in an oven.
  • Biscuits and gravy
    • After the frozen biscuits are covered in butter and cooked, gravy is used to cover the biscuits. The gravy is made made from a gravy mix powder by adding water to the powder and thoroughly mixing it. Sometimes this gravy is used for mashed potatoes as well.
  • Coleslaw
    • Coleslaw usually comes from a farm that already has all the ingredients to the coleslaw (cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, and a varying ‘coleslaw mix’ sauce). Sometimes the sweet sauce mixed in coleslaw comes from another distributor.
    • All of these are kept in a refrigerator, and taken out and mixed together when the time as ready.
  • Chili and Soups
    • Chili and other soups come frozen in plastic sealed bags. They are thawed out and poured into warmers to stay hot and warm all day. Sometimes they are heated up first in the microwave. Utensils are used to dip into the chili/soup and take it out.
  • Cornbread
    • Cornbread comes from a manufacturer already pre-made and frozen in boxes. It only needs to be heated for use, or just thawed, as it is already pre-cooked.
  • Fries
    • Fries come in 35 pound boxes with fry bags that are kept frozen until they are ready to be deep fried. Each box contains arounds 6 bags. The bags are opened and dropped into a deep fryer to cook. They are deep fried at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 3 minutes, then seasoned with salt. The fries are made with real potatoes. This is how all fries are commonly made in restaurants.
  • Mac n cheese
    • Mac n cheese commonly comes in a box pre-made. They are in sealed plastic bags, and are kept frozen before they are thawed and heated in a microwave. After they are heated, the mac n cheese is kept in a warmer to stay hot and ready to serve.
  • Mashed potatoes with gravy
    • Mash potato with gravy is made from an instant mashed potato mix. The mix is mixed with milk or really hot water (usually water), and kept warm in a warmer. The gravy already comes made, frozen in a sealed plastic bag. It is thawed and placed in the microwave to heat it.
  • Nuggets (Chicken)
    • Chicken nuggets come frozen in boxes and ready to cook when the time comes.
  • Onions rings
    • These are made from whole onions that are sliced into rings, then covered in batter and flour. They are then deep fried. Most of the time these are made from scratch as long as the restaurant has a deep fryer.
  • Potato salad
    • This can come pre-made from a company that makes the entire potato salad. It is kept refrigerated in a bucket, then scooped out and placed in a cooler to serve as needed.
  • Salads
  • Tater tots
    • Tater tots are pre-made, and come to the restaurant frozen in boxes. They just simply needed to be cooked before adding it to a dish with ketchup packets.
  • Red beans and rice
    • All of it comes pre-made in a plastic sealed bag. The bag is cut open, and the contents are poured in a container to heat up in the microwave. Afterwards, it is placed in a warmer to keep the red beans and rice hot.
  • Toast
    • Toast is made in restaraunts often by using the same bread that we get at grocery stores. It is just delivered to them in larger quantities.
  • Vegetable side dishes
    • The hot veggie sides, like green beans for example, in fast food restaurants usually comes already pre-made in plastic bags and buckets. Corn on the cob is packed in a box and kept frozen. It is then heated in hot water using a hot box, then taken out when an individual orders it. It is then covered completely in butter, then packaged to serve.

This is the case when it comes to making these sides in most fast food restaurants, but rarely is it different. Any sides not mentioned will usually come in sealed plastic bags that come from other manufacturers. Sometimes the sides are specially made just for that specific fast food chain.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: