This article will cover the reasons why restaurants put toothpicks, sticks, or knives in different types of sandwiches before they deliver the order to their guests. The toothpick or stick actually serves many purposes, as opposed to the knife in the sandwich, which really only serves one.
When I worked at sub sandwich shops, there weren’t any sandwiches made that didn’t have a toothpick stuck into them before it went to the guests. The sub sandwiches that were made at these restaurants weren’t made the same as other sub sandwiches at other restaurants. The bread was often fully sliced into two separate pieces to make a top and a bottom bun.
When sub sandwiches are made, they usually come with not only meat and cheese, but a hefty amount of vegetables. When all of these ingredients were stacked into the sandwich all at once, it made it easy for the sandwiches to fall apart or topple over, before the sandwich had a chance to be served to the customers. Because of this, toothpicks had to be stuck into the sandwiches to keep them together.
So, restaurants and other people that make sandwiches use the sandwich toothpicks to keep their sandwiches, burgers, and sub sandwiches from falling apart. It can be so frustrating to have to make an entire sandwich to only have it fall apart after it is made, so toothpicksare used to keep the sandwich together.
The sandwich toothpicks are usually different than regular toothpicks, and will have one pointy end with the other end having a handle or plastic.
When restaurants put the toothpick, stick, or knife in the sandwich, it stabilizes the sandwich. Even if it is stacked with many ingredients in it, it keeps it from falling apart. Even if some of the ingredients do fall out of the sandwich, it still stays together for the most part.
Basically, if the sandwich were to topple over after it leaves the kitchen, then it would have to be sent back and fixed. The cashier is usually the one that delivers the food to the guests, so they can’t touch the food that they are delivering to the guests to try and adjust or fix the sandwich if it does fall apart.
This is because the cashiers are handling the money at the register, so their hands aren’t clean; and they usually don’t work in the kitchen for that shift for that reason. They will only take the orders, deliver the food, and clean the dining area. This makes them not suitable for touching the food.
With that said, a knife or stick is placed in the sandwich to save time and effort. Even though most of the time the guests don’t notice this, but it is really easy for both small and tall sandwiches to fall over or lose their top if they are made a certain way. The type of bread that the restaurant is using for their sandwich also makes a factor.
Imagine how easy it is for a sandwich made from a sliced baguette with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and extra cucumbers to fall over after everythingis placed in it. This isn’t even counting the meat that would be the main ingredient in the sandwich. People order extras all the time for their sandwiches that are made at restaurants. Some individuals want extra meat, while others want to have every single vegetable on their one sandwich that the restaurant has to offer. The toothpick in the sandwich allows that to happen.
People and restaurants also use these sticks for presentation of their burgers and other sandwiches. Even if the sandwich looks as if it isn’t stacked high enough to the point that it would fall over, the appearance of the food that the restaurant is presenting to their guests is important. There have been many times that a manager or owner of an eatery would not let the cashier give the finished sandwich to the guests, because it was missing a sandwich toothpick.
Restaurants will still stick a knife or a stick in the sandwich just to make sure that it remains as presentable as possible before it reaches their guests. When restaurants make their sandwich, they will often try to stack all the contents in the sandwich orderly and symmetrically. This may seem to be over the top to some individuals, but it means a lot to restaurants to do this.
Presenting balanced sandwiches that don’t have their ingredients or bread on the sandwich sliding to one side of burger, is a restaurants way of showing their care for the food that they present to their guests. To a restaurant, an uneven sandwich placed on the table for the guests is a lack of care for their appreciation of the guests ordering and buying the food. Many of the employees at the restaurant may not see it this way, but the higher ups at the restaurant definitely do.
Also, the toothpicks are usually only used for guests that are dining in, not for guests that are ordering to leave (take out orders). Usually the containers that the sandwiches are placed in when they are ordered to leave can hold the burgers, sub sandwiches, paninis, or any other sandwich pretty well.
The other function of the sandwich toothpick is of course, to be used as a toothpick too. The sandwich of burger can be eaten with the toothpick in it, it taken out before eating the sandwich. The knife is taken out of the sandwich first before the sandwich is eaten. This is the difference between the sandwich toothpicks that is stuck in the sandwich, and the knife that is stuck in the sandwich.