Former restaurant workers explain why they never order soup

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. For example, most people wouldn’t think twice about ordering soup at a restaurant — but that’s only because they don’t know the truth, at least according to the response to an enigmatic TikTok.

Posted under the hashtag #serverlife, a simple eight-second video shows TikTok user Halle Merck (@hallemerck) staring straight at the camera. The clip’s text overlay reads, “There’s no way you’ve worked in hospitality before if you’re still ordering soup from restaurants.”

Merck doesn’t explain it Why She’s so averse to buying restaurant soup, and she doesn’t say where she used to work, but apparently it’s kind of an “if you know, you know” kind of situation. In the comments, other food industry workers agreed to their personal soup boycott.

Why? Several commenters said many restaurants reuse the same soup container for days. People in the industry claimed they could not rely on the restaurant’s soup being fresh.

@hallemerck stop lying #serving #serverlife #AXERatioChallenge #foryou #fyp #864 #sc #restaurant #foryoupage #servertiktok ♬ boy is a liar Pt. 2 – Pink Pantheress & Ice Cream Spice

“They keep the same ones for up to weeks,” reads one top comment. “I still order soups lol.”

Another wrote, “My boyfriend and I both worked in restaurants, but once a year we crave olive orchard soup,” adding, “I just don’t think about it.” Merck replied, “Olive orchard soup is the only exception.”

Unfortunately, many restaurant employees seem to have had exactly the same experience. While some commenters said their workplaces served fresh soup or kept portions frozen for storage, they were outnumbered by people who agreed with Merck’s warning. Some even chimed in to name other foods that are left out in the kitchen for far too long, like breads, salads or toppings.

This is definitely reminiscent of a series of viral TikToks warning people not to drink sweet tea in restaurants — although the consequences aren’t quite as bad.

While it’s certainly concerning that so many restaurants seem to be leaving the soup sitting around for days, the sweet tea issue is real mold. If you don’t clean teapots thoroughly on a regular basis, mold will quickly form in the liquid, which can make you ill very easily.

The Daily Dot contacted Merck via email.


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*Initial publication: March 6, 2023 1:59 pm CST

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in science fiction films and superheroes, she also appears as a film and television critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she is the co-host of the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw Former restaurant workers explain why they never order soup

Jaclyn Diaz

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