Worker brings Wendy’s Chili to company potluck, passes it off as ‘from scratch’

@kevinwalsh539/TikTok JHVEPhoto/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘They still ask me for recipes to this day’: Worker brings Wendy’s Chili to company potluck, passes it off as ‘from scratch’

'Somebody submitted Wendy’s chili in a church chili cook off and won…in the 1980’s.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Nov 20, 2023   Updated on Nov 20, 2023, 4:22 pm CST

When it comes to company potlucks or other shared meals at work composed of dishes made by employees, sometimes making an item at home just is not worth it. Whether because of the exorbitant time investment, the level of skill required for some recipes, or even simply because they have a small kitchen, store-bought prepared food is a godsend to many.

To meet the needs of unwilling chefs, over the years restaurants have grown to offer large dishes of their most popular items, with the intent of feeding swaths of hungry folks at events year-round. And sometimes, store-bought is more of a crowd pleaser than homemade ever could be. One Wendy’s customer says he has been able to pass off the fast food chain’s chili as his own recipe at work potlucks.

In a video that has been viewed more than 3.2 million times, TikTok user @kevinwalsh539 shows himself emptying five containers of the chili into a casserole dish. The video is paired with an audio of a man saying, “Nobody’s going to know? They’re going to know. Nobody’s going to know.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @kevinwalsh539 via email regarding the video.

Several viewers shared that they and loved ones have done the exact same thing for years at varying levels of success, with coworkers asking for their culinary secrets or winning chili cook-offs with it.

“I did this and added extra ground beef and some seasoned black beans.,” one commenter wrote. “They still ask me for recipes to this day.”

@kevinwalsh539 Made it from scratch #potluckidea #friendsgivingrecipes #kitchen ♬ how would they know bad girls club – Sara Speax

“My friend did this but added some extra beef, beans, corn and spices and he won a chili cook off,” another commenter wrote.

“My grandpa once entered a chili contest but got drunk the night before and forgot about it,” a commenter wrote. “He got Wendy’s chili & did this…he won the contest.”

Others wrote that they were considering doing the exact same thing with staple items from other restaurants such as KFC and Popeye’s to get them through potluck season and Thanksgiving.

“Me with kfc mashed potatoes on thanksgiving,” one commenter wrote.

“I literally thought about doing this but with Popeyes Mac and cheese,” another commenter wrote.

“I did this once with paneras Mac and cheese,” a commenter wrote. “added green onions and bacon.”

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*First Published: Nov 20, 2023, 2:00 pm CST