If there’s one thing restaurant chains should prepare for in the new year, it’s a potential influx of customers with hyper-specific customized orders. Why? Because menu hacking has seemingly reached an all-time high.
On Jan. 10, TikTok user @shantellxoxo posted a menu hack that went viral, garnering 6 million views in a little over a week. In the 26-second clip, the TikToker shares an over-the-top Waffle House order that mashes up two popular menu items into one mega-meal.
“OK. Be for real. Be … for real,” she says in awe while showing off a sandwich with meat and cheese tucked between two waffles. “Like … you never had nothin’ like this.”
The user, whose first name is Shantell, seems very excited to chow down on this order, and her use of the hashtag #pregnancycravings may clue in on why.
Folks in the comments — pregnant or not — lauded the TikTok-born Waffle House hack for how delicious it looked and asked Shantell to share how exactly she was able to score this from her local Waffle House. In a subsequent video, she shares what’s in the sandwich she originally ordered.
“Texas Toast Bacon Cheesesteak,” reads the on-screen text on Shantell’s video, starting a description of her order. She writes that she replaced the Texas toast in her Waffle House Texas Cheesesteak Melt with two waffles: one on top and one on bottom and adds that, yes, these changes will cost extra.
The order also boasts extra steak, added onions and cheese along with the bacon that is included to complete an item Scooby Doo and Shaggy could only dream about.
“TIP YOUR COOK AND SERVER !!!!” Shantell adds, implying that this customized sandwich requires extra work for Waffle House workers.
Neither Waffle House nor Shantell returned TODAY.com’s request for comment.
Menu hacks have taken over the queues of restaurants like Starbucks and more recently Chipotle, with mixed success for customers.
A viral Chipotle Philly cheesesteak quesadilla hack that took over TikTok incentivized the chain to announce it would be adding it as an official menu item in March. This came after many workers complained about how the cheesesteak hack interfered with their ability to do their jobs.
Similarly, backlash to this sandwich hack from Waffle House employees has been swift. A tweet from Twitter user @MYESHA_nuffSAiD shows a sign posted in a Waffle House location forbidding the hacking of its menu.
“Waffle House sick of y’all,” reads the tweet which includes an image of a sign taped inside the window of a Waffle House that says, “READ ME! Order from the Menu! We’re not Making NOTHING you’ve seen on TikTok,” then specifies in parentheses, “No waffle sandwiches!”
And that’s not the only Waffle House that has put the kibosh on menu hacking, either. A TikTok posted by @officialgodbodycash captioned “They said no haha” shows another sign that asks users to keep any social media ideas to themselves.
“ORDER FROM THE MENU,” reads a sign taped to a Waffle House register in the video. The sign also says that workers will not be making anything customers may have “seen on TikTok.”
“TikTok taking over everything except Waffle House,” reads the on-screen text of the video, which has garnered over a million views.
Even when people succeed in ordering the sandwich hack and don’t receive a flat out no from Waffle House staff, it’s a coin toss as to whether or not a customer will get the same result as Shantell. A TikTok posted by @theprettiestj1 showed the sad results of her attempt at scoring the meaty waffle sandwich.
“This what my Waffle House gave me after I showed them the VIDEO,” reads an on-screen caption along with an order that is not exactly the same as Shantell’s. Instead of shredded meat spread to the edges of this TikToker’s Waffle House sandwich, there appears to be a small, single burger patty along with bacon and cheese that sit lonesomely in the center of her waffles.
Waffle House employees on TikTok are also trying to warn customers that the ordering the super-sized sandwich may cost them a pretty penny.
A Waffle House worker, @toroitich on TikTok, gets straight to the point in a Stitch she posted that’s garnered over 5 million views.
In response to a TikTok of a Waffle House worker’s own take on the viral sandwich, @toroitich says, “Yeah, that sandwich gonna cost y’all about $20. So stick to a Texas Bacon Cheesesteak Melt or Texas Sausage Egg & Cheese Melt.”
Another worker on TikTok says much of the same, albeit with a side of exasperation.
“Guess where I work at? The Waffle House. Guess what I’ve been making all day? These! These! These,” the worker says, showing a waffle sandwich in her prep station.
“Look wtf someone done started,” reads the caption, adding that because the sandwich is not on the menu, customers should be prepared to pay a premium price for the hack.
“Be prepared to spend about $30 on this meal if you get it to go,” she says. “Now, if you sit your a– down and eat it you gonna spend $20, OK?”
Waffle House staff’s response to this viral hack can be summed up by one tweet:
“Me: can i get the sandwich from tik tok,” reads the tweet, which shows Waffle House employees’ response as an image of a clenched fist between two slices of bread.
“TikTok might have pressured Chipotle into making a viral ‘hack’ an actual menu item,” tweeted someone else. “But that will not be working at Waffle House.”