Living off Free Fast Food store Condiments – Making Mulligan Stew


By LawReader Food & Beverage Critic Stan Billingsley                       April 28, 2008


    Recently I ordered a sandwich from a fast food restaurant and when I got home I noticed the burger was accompanied by whole handfuls of condiments that the restaurant worker had scooped into my bag.  This wasn’t the first time this has happened.


My wife used to be a Food Broker and she shakes her head every time she sees a restaurant worker fill the carry out bag with most of their employers profit.  Some of these condiments cost the restaurant up to a nickel a piece. 


Just being curious I counted out 45 separate items of condiments which came free with my burger.


My bag contained:


5 packages of Heinz Mayonnaise ( 394 calories per package) =    1970 calories

13 packages of Heinz Ketchup (100 calories per package)  =        1300 calories

5 packages of Heinz Mustard  (50 calories per package)    =           250 calories

9 packages of salt  (enough to elevate your blood pressure to fight or flee mode)

13 packages of pepper                                                      ____________________
                                                                                           Total calories     3,520


If you buy a small hamburger for $1.00 and you get condiments in the quantity that I did, you are getting your dollar back in condiments alone.  That means the restaurant is giving  $2.00 worth of “goods? for $1.00. No wonder they can only pay minimum wage.


Assuming a hamburger with all the trimmings and four ounces of beef comes to 750 calories, you are actually getting 3.5 times more calories in the condiments than in the sandwich.


Seeing how much nutrition is being given away for free, (many restaurants have their condiments laying out in the open at self-service counters), I understand that the old stories about people who are broke making Mulligan Stew from restaurant condiments is believable.


Mulligan Stew is a pseudonym for the concoction that tramps are said to make.  They go into a restaurant and ask for a free cup of hot water.  They then fill up the cup with free condiments from the counter, stir it up and slurp away a free meal full of two days worth of required calories. 


I may just save these condiments and put them in the refrigerator vegetable drawer and wait for the current food crisis caused by all the corn being used to grow ethanol to get a little worse, and then see what I can get for these tasty provisions on E-Bay.

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