Two TikTok influencers — Keith Lee, a popular digital content creator with 12 million followers, and Alexis Frost, an influencer with 2.5 million followers — inspired a Chipotle menu change earlier this year.

Previously, Chipotle didn’t have the option of making quesadillas with fajita veggies in them. Then, according to Insider, Frost ordered and reviewed a steak quesadilla with fajita peppers in it. Lee went to Chipotle and tried it while dipping it in a mixture of honey vinaigrette dressing with sour cream.

These videos went viral on TikTok and as I previously reported for the Deseret News, Chipotle added two quesadillas to their menu as a result — the Keithadilla and Fajita Quesadilla Hack.

Adding fajitas to its menu turned out to be a successful move for Chipotle. Insider said CEO Brian Niccol said, “During the launch, we nearly doubled our Quesadilla business and had two of our top digital sales days of all time.”

It’s not the first time social media has inspired fast-food and fast-casual restaurants to adapt their menus, especially via secret menus.

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What are secret menus?

Secret menus are modifications or custom orders at different restaurants which allow customers to order something that’s not on the menu. The items are said to be on the secret menu since they aren’t on the restaurant’s official menu. Sometimes they’re also called menu hacks.

Secret menus can spread via word of out or on social media. Toast said, “Once you know which items are super profitable and super popular, and which ones need a few changes before getting to star status, you can decide to create a profitable menu item to keep secret — adding allure and encouraging guests to share about it on social media.”

Since secret menus aren’t the restaurant’s actual menu, there may be times where individual restaurants can’t make the items requested. Typically, secret menus are at nationwide fast-casual or fast-food chains.

Why does Gen Z love secret menus?

Generation Z has more of a penchant for secret menus compared to other generations, especially when it comes to customization.

In an article about Gen Z ordering trends, Insider listed customization as one of the core habits of Gen Zers when it comes to food. The article used Starbucks as an example: “A core part of Starbucks’ strategy is customers’ ability to personalize their drinks, and TikTok has created demand for lattes and Frappuccinos with long lists of modifications.”

Gen Z isn’t shy about asking for these customizations, but it has created some discourse about whether or not they should try to order from the secret menu.

After a secret menu item hack of a waffle sandwich at Waffle House went viral, The Washington Post reported one restaurant in Georgia became frustrated with the modifications. “According to videos on TikTok, Waffle House posted handwritten signs pleading with customers to stop ordering a special combo they had seen on social media: ‘Order from the menu,’ one sign read. ‘We are not making anything you saw on TikTok!!’”

Secret menus do create complications for restaurants, especially when they might not be prepared for an onslaught of orders with lots of modifications. It’s also possible that secret menus could go the way Starbucks, Chipotle and In-N-Out have — eventually adding the items to the menu in some way.

What are Gen Z’s favorite restaurants?

Gen Z’s favorite restaurants tend to be fast-food or fast-casual restaurants. CNBC reported the top five favorites among Gen Z are: Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Chipotle, McDonald’s and Olive Garden. The survey which led to these results had 14,500 participants.

Starbucks’ secret menu

One of the most famous examples of the secret menu is Starbucks.

Starbucks’ secret menu items percolated around social media and some of them even made it onto the permanent menu. Delish said the Pink Dress — coconut milk replacing the water in the strawberry acai refresher — became a permanent menu item after the menu hack went viral and social media influencers gave instructions on how to order it.

Chipotle’s secret menu

Besides the quesadillas, Chipotle also has other secret menu items — one of the most famous is nachos.

Chipotle doesn’t offer a traditional nacho dish. Spoon University gave instructions on how to order them: “To order the nachos, ask for a bowl with chips as the base. Then, add any protein and toppings you want. If you want to simplify the ordering process (and ease that ordering food anxiety), you can order chips on the side, order your bowl as usual, then mix it all together.”

In-N-Out’s secret menu

In-N-Out had a secret menu, too. Arguably, the most famous item on the secret menu is the chain’s animal fries. Animal fries are french fries with grilled onions, the secret sauce and cheese on them. They became an open secret for In-N-Out fans and have been around since the 1960s, according to Mashed.

The chain now has what is called a “Not So Secret Menu,” which includes animal style fries, a grilled cheese and other modifications that had become popular amongst fans.