The secret is revealed … and on your plate!
Have you ever done a double take when you hear the person standing in front of you asking for Pizza Sub at Subway or a Quesarito at Chipotle?
Many of these “secret” menu items started out as items cooked up by restaurant employees or patrons. Others are old abandoned menu items that are still available to connoisseurs.
Restaurants sell these off-menu items and use them as marketing tools that make customers who feel like insiders want to share the information with their friends.
But in a contradictory move, many of these companies are presenting these secret menus on their own websites. Mama Fu’s “Black Market Menu” is one example. (The company’s Ma La Stir Fry is shown here.)
The trend is driven by restaurants wanting to speed up the process of fulfilling complicated orders and meet dietary preferences.
Click ahead to see some of the most interesting secret menu items we’ve been able to find.
–By CNBC’s Katie Little and Sarah Whitten
Updated March 4, 2016
Posted on April 8, 2013
Red Lobster ‘Bey’ Breeze
Price: $ 12.49, plus taxes
If you’re ever in New York City, stop by the Red Lobster in Times Square for a “Bey” Breeze.
The play on a Bay Breeze may not be on the menu, but the staff will know exactly what you’re talking about. The new drink was renamed in honor of R&B singer Beyonce, who mentioned the lobster restaurant in her song “Formation”.
The mention increased Red Lobster sales by 33% over Super Bowl 50 weekend, company officials said, and triggered that secret menu item.
Subway Pizza Sub
Price: $ 6.25, plus taxes
It’s the union of two fast food heavyweights: pizza and sandwiches.
Although Subway’s Pizza Sub was once available on its official menu, customers can still order the sandwich with spicy pepperoni, cheese, and marinara sauce. They just have to ask.
Mama Fu’s Sesame Crusted Tuna Appetizer
Price: $ 8.55 plus taxes
Twice a year, Mama Fu’s publishes a new seasonal black market menu to test ideas. Some of these dishes could be found on the permanent menu.
Items this season include the Seared Sesame Seed Coated Tuna Dish pictured here.
Price: approximately $ 12, plus taxes
What could be better than a burrito? A quesarito, a cheese quesadilla wrapped around a burrito, for the same price.
While not all Chipotle fans on Twitter have reported successfully ordering the item, those who did have walked away happy.
User JParksTFm wrote: “Chipotle has a secret menu option, and it’s the best thing EVER. Game changer. #Quesarito “
4×4 entry and exit
Price: about $ 6, plus taxes
The not-so-secret menu was first launched on a large scale by a fast food chain Inside and outside. Carl Van Fleet, vice president of planning and development, said the company does not see itself as having a secret menu but rather as a willingness to fill orders as the customer wishes.
Several items from his not-so-secret menu, including the 4×4, a cheeseburger with four beef patties and four slices of cheese, have inspired a devout audience.
“Over the years many of these variations have been given names, usually by customers who frequently order their burger this way,” Van Fleet said. “We never set out to create or launch a ‘secret menu’. Some of the names of these variants have stuck. ”
Starbucks Twix Frappuccino
Price: $ 6.69 for a Venti, plus taxes
For the price of about six Twix bars, you can order a Frappuccino version of chocolate candy at Starbucks, which is a caramel Frappuccino with a pump of caramel and hazelnut syrup, java chips and caramel fillets and of mocha. Because the company allows customers to completely customize their Frappuccinos, the possibilities are endless, but you’ll have to dictate the recipe to your barista.
Other favorite flavors of Frappuccino include cake batter, cookies, and cream.