The idea behind this post is an article that appeared in the British tabloid The Sun, where the advice was constrained to McDonald’s restaurants in the UK, but it’s easily applied to any fast food restaurant on this side of the pond:

A McDonald’s employee has shared a hack he claims will ensure you have the freshest meal every time – and all you need to do is ask for a receipt.

Kamran Adan, who claims he worked for a year in a London branch, says staff give priority to those who ask for payment details in case they’re mystery shoppers.

He says there are two periods known as “Gapbuster Times” when covert customers usually visit British McDonald’s.

“Basically between 12-2pm and 5-7pm workers have to be extra careful because that is when gapbusters (mystery shoppers), who are paid, visit McDonald’s restaurants and rate their experience,” he wrote on Quora.

What’s special sauce for the goose, as they say. Having been a “mystery diner” in a previous life, I am here to tell you that there is some validity to this advice. One of the secret shopper’s most urgent tasks is to get a receipt, which is essential to his getting reimbursed by his employer. It takes no stretch of the imagination to see where this simple request might inspire a juicier burger and crisper fries at a fast food restaurant.

Naturally, in a fast food setting you would need to ask for the receipt at the time you place your order since there is little contact with the counter staff beyond that. But try it for yourself as see. If you find that it works, let us know.