This Employee's Attempt To Expose Panera Was An Utter Fail

A TikTok trend has emerged where workers at various restaurant chains give viewers a peek behind the scenes. Sometimes, the videos are lighthearted and silly, centering around worker camaraderie and having a little fun when things are slow. Other times, though, viewers unfamiliar with restaurant life may learn a little more than they wanted to know about the unglamorous reality behind their favorite menu items. As one commenter in a Reddit thread about "exposing" fast food pointed out, these videos are popular and "shocking" because some people may never have thought about how their food is made, especially because companies goes out of their way to make their food look highly appealing in advertisements.

However, as the Reddit thread notes, most of these attempts to "expose" restaurants are underwhelming or misleading. For example, one viral TikTok tried to expose how Wendy's chili is made, but it only showed unappetizing clips of beef instead of the actual cooking process. The uninformative video caused one user to reply, "okay? was i supposed to expect you grew it on a chili tree??" Nevertheless, these exposé videos by workers pulling back the curtain on beloved chains are becoming more and more common — and it seems no restaurant is safe. Now capturing TikTok's attention is Panera.

Panera makes tea by diluting a concentrate

The now-deleted TikTok in question was posted by @faith_celineee, who presumably works at Panera. The video shows someone pouring a jug of greenish liquid into a large plastic tub, which is sitting in the sink while water from the tap fills it up. The video is captioned, "y'all paying $5 for sink water." (The Panera website lists the large size of its Passion Papaya Green Tea as $3.19.)

Some commenters were disgusted to see the tea being made with tap water and a bucket in the sink, but not everyone was shocked. Other Reddit users were quick to point out that the sinks in many restaurant kitchens have filtered tap water, including one who said, "Commercial restaurants use big water filters built into the system for all the water lines that go to food prep." Another added, "do you realize all soda fountains are tap water too??" 

Other commenters who claimed to work at other fast-food chains, such as Wendy's, Dutch Bros, and Chipotle, said that this method is how they make some of the drinks at their jobs, too. Based on the comments, mixing a concentrated syrup with water in a large container is a fairly standard way for restaurants to prepare large-batch drinks. Here's yet another TikTok that was hardly an exposé.