People Reveal 20 Restaurant Red Flags That We Should Avoid Before It’s Too Late

Running a food business requires strictly following a long listing rules and regulations, especially since it concerns people’s health. But sometimes you don’t really know what’s going on behind their closed kitchen doors. And, as paying customers, we deserve to get our money’s worth by eating good, clean food.

Luckily, several people have enlightened us by sharing some of the warning signs we need to watch out for in restaurants, and The bright side compiled 20 of their best tips. We’ve also added bonus points describing what some of the green flags are.

  • I’m not a chef, but I’ve worked a lot in the food industry. The carpet is a red flag. Yeah, it’s quieter and it doesn’t get slick, but it’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a restaurant rip it off when they remodeled (and put more carpet). Vacuuming only goes so far, and I know they’ve never, ever shampooed it. eyebrow shampoo / Reddit
  • When my boss (the owner) used to host and people would complain to her about the hour wait on a Saturday night at 7pm and then threaten to leave, she would always tell them, ” If the restaurant you choose doesn’t have an expectation on a Saturday night, you may not want to eat there.” newgrl/Reddit
  • If your server’s response to the question “How is the [item]?” sounds dishonest, that’s a big red flag. We know what’s going on in the kitchen, we know the complaints, and we know what items to insist on when we deliver them. Servers who stop or look bad comfortable with this question usually mean a menu full of things we wouldn’t eat even as a free meal.
    A GOOD sign is when servers hang out and eat at the restaurant after the shift. We usually get a discount, but no free food – if we spend our nightly tips, it’s worth it. kjimbro/Reddit
  • The first thing they told us in culinary school when we were learning the basics of food safety standards was – If you walk into a seafood restaurant and smell fishy, ​​leave. XxcontaminatexX/Reddit
  • If employees try to use “food quality” as an excuse to dissuade you from sending something undercooked to the kitchen, leave. This means they have a cook who can’t stand criticism and your chances of sneezing are greatly increased. A_pencil_artist/Reddit
  • If it’s a small restaurant and they have a tank that has live seafood – but they don’t clean it – this place is definitely going to give you a brutal case of food poisoning. Unknown User / Reddit
  • Ask where your oysters come from. If they don’t know, you don’t want them. It works for most seafood dishes. heroes for sale / Reddit
  • I always watch how the staff interact with each other. If they all seem to enjoy being there and coordinate well, it’s usually because everything is going well and they have a good system – which means they know what they’re doing and that you can expect good food. It’s always like that for the small family restaurants I frequent anyway, which I believe always have the best food. ruizpancho / Reddit
  • When menus are super dirty and never cleaned, that means everything is super dirty and never cleaned. SoMuchB *Here/Reddit
  • I have a family member who has worked in several different restaurants, and they always advise me never to have drinks with ice because too many places don’t keep their ice machines clean. It is so often overlooked compared to other kitchen equipment. AllyMarie93/Reddit
  • I clean kitchen exhaust systems. If you walk into a restaurant and you smell greasy, get out. It means the place is not clean. From exhaust system to cooking equipment. We are cleaning some areas where grease drips from hoods onto cooking surfaces. Unknown User / Reddit
  • Waitress here! If you see messy food and there’s sauce all over the edge of the plate, chances are the chefs aren’t putting much effort into their meals and they won’t turn out very good. All the bosses in my work find it SO important that everything is presented well, and I agree. oliviab****y/Reddit
  • Check your cutlery as most of them are barely washed. It is rubbed with soap, sprayed with water and thrown into a dishwasher. It is then meant to be polished with hot water when it is set up on the table, and this is where we check for dirt. If your cutlery is disgusting, chances are the staff aren’t doing their job properly. Unknown User / Reddit
  • I cook in a chic and relaxed gourmet restaurant. If your food comes out incredibly fast, that’s probably something to be concerned about. I’m talking about ordering a starter, and it’s gone in 10 minutes. This usually means it has already been cooked and just needs to be reheated. CrossFox42/Reddit
  • I was a cook for 4 years. Honestly, if you’re ever curious, go hang out by the back door or the trash cans.
    If it’s a good restaurant, it will look like an ordinary trash can. If it’s a place you shouldn’t eat, it will look like a disaster area.
    Cooks who can’t keep up in the kitchen can’t keep up with breaking boxes and taking out trash, so they just throw things out and deal with them later.
    A messy outdoor space is a reflection of a poorly managed kitchen indoors. liberty285code6 / Reddit
  • If there are different cuisines on the same menu, it usually means it won’t be good. I don’t believe people can make Japanese and Italian in the same kitchen. Emmsw/Reddit
  • If you frequent a buffet-style restaurant, keep an eye out for how staff replace NEAR EMPTY trays. Once food has been placed under heat lamps or on a steam table, it has been exposed to a temperature range that allows bacteria to grow. There is a period of time where food is allowed to be in this temperature range before things get out of control.
    AND, once it has been taken out and displayed, it cannot be allowed to mix with a new, freshly prepared tray of food. This causes cross contamination and this is how people get sick.
    So if you see staff coming out with new trays that COMPLETELY replace the current tray and get rid of the old ones, you’re good to go. BUT, if you see staff replacing the tray and then emptying or mixing the contents of the previous tray, STAY AWAY. If a city health inspector witnessed it, it would be a major point deduction. 2008JeepDad/Reddit
  • Reviews where the owner argues with the reviewer. I saw a dispute on Yelp where a lady complained that her baguette was moldy and gave them 1 star. Although it’s very unfair to only give one star to something they haven’t done, the owner got in on it with her and they started fighting on Facebook. Owners who are willing to yell at customers who spend their money with them will likely treat their staff the same or worse. This means employees are either pissed off, or turnover is high, and no one is properly trained. Tickle_b****m/Reddit

BONUS: Here are some restaurant green flags to look for

  • Former pizza maker here. If the kitchen has large windows that you can see or if it has an open kitchen, it usually means that everyone takes pride in being exposed to the public and not microwaving every meal. motomouth3/Reddit
  • A restaurant that discourages tipping and pays its staff a living wage. If you want crap service, go to a place that has 2 servers for 20 tables and a cook. If you go to a place that is well staffed and well paid, you will have a great time. Sam_Paige25/Reddit
  • It’s a green flag if you walk in and immediately smell the freshly prepared food. Many restaurants don’t even smell because some of the food they serve is frozen. _Lismoon_/Reddit
  • Personally, the best and most authentic restaurants tend to be family run or have personal touches that reflect the culture. Really generic places are usually not as good. Unknown User / Reddit

What details or quirks do you look for when trying a restaurant for the first time? Do you have any other red or green flags we can add to this list?

2022-09-12 04:57:17

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