When we go out to eat, we trust that the restaurant is completely up to code, using fresh ingredients, and keeping us safe as customers. Well, that’s not always the case, especially if a restaurant is just out to make money. People who have worked in restaurants share what customers should look out for to tell if a restaurant is clean or a good place to eat.
There’s nothing better than getting together with your friends for a big brunch on the weekends, right? Well, one worker shares that brunch is the lowest quality food at restaurants. It’s basically leftover food from the day or night before.
Many people enjoy having a lot of options on a big menu when they go out to eat. Well, chances are that if the menu has so much variety that you’ll be ordering some frozen food. No restaurant can actually make all of that fresh.
Many customers appreciate quick service and getting their food fairly fast. However, when you get your food fast it means that it wasn’t really cooked fresh. It was probably sitting out or frozen waiting to be heated up.
Salt and Pepper Shakers
The first thing you should do when seated at a restaurant is look at the salt and pepper shakers. If the holes are clogged or the salt isn’t coming out right, then nobody ever takes the time to clean them. You can only imagine what else they don’t clean in the restaurant.
It’s important to note that when you see a picture of your food on a menu or in an advertisement that the photo was edited and prepared to look perfect. That is definitely not what your food is going to look like when you order it.
Next time you go out to a restaurant, observe how the wait staff interacts with one another. Are they smiling and joking? If they seem happy, then chances are that the restaurant treats them well and has a good atmosphere.
Artisan coffee is all the rage these days. However, next time you order a latte or cappuccino, check the milk frother on the espresso machine. If it’s white, then that means the baristas don’t wipe it down after each use.
When you walk into a restaurant, you want to smell the delicious food that you’re about to order. If you don’t smell the savory goodness of good food, but a spray scent, then you may want to eat somewhere else because they are definitely trying to hide something.
Variety Isn’t Always Great
When you got a restaurant with all different types of food, you may want to be careful. If you can order sushi with a taco, these chefs definitely aren’t going to give you the best quality food possible.
No Such Thing as a Special Dish
To make more money and to push a certain dish, restaurants will advertise “special dishes” to customers. This just means that a restaurant is trying to get rid of an ingredient before it goes bad.
The Eyes Say It All
The next time you ask a waiter for his opinion on a dish, make sure to look him in the eyes when he answers. You can usually well when someone is lying if you look at them in the eye.
Listen carefully the next time you are at a restaurant. If you hear a ding or a beep that sounds like a microwave, then it means the chef is simply heating up your food rather than baking it. You can definitely tell a difference between nuked and baked food.
When you go out to a fast food restaurant, you probably use a self service fountain soda machine. To check if they are clean or not, wipe a napkin on the inside of the nozzle. If it comes out any color other than the color of the napkin itself, that means nobody cleans those nozzles and you should think twice about taking that drink.
If you’re looking for fresh seafood, don’t eat at a restaurant that is further than 50 miles from the water. Otherwise that fish is definitely not the “catch of the day” because it has been transported for many hours and probably sat in that fridge for quite a while.
Check the Prices
Nobody likes overpaying for food. However, there are some things that you should spend the extra money on in order to make sure it is fresh and cooked properly. If you see a dish at a fancy restaurant for under $10, then something isn’t quite right.
A lot of restaurants now offer gluten-free options to customers with allergies. However, one worker shares that it’s virtually impossible to make an entire meal free of gluten. Most restaurants just put that option because it increases sales.
It seems like a waste of a good vegetable when the chef garnishes your plate. One worker revealed that the chef at her restaurant just reuses garnishes that haven’t been touched on one plate and puts it one another customer’s plate.
Stop Asking for Lemons
Many people enjoy adding a splash of lemon juice to their water. However, the peels of those lemons touch a lot of surfaces and are not washed before being served to you. It’s best that you skip the lemon next time.
When you go out to eat, you probably expect the bathroom to be decently cleaned. If you see a bathroom that is dirty, it should serve as a warning sign not to eat at that restaurant again. If they don’t clean the bathroom, imagine what else they skip out on.
There is no shame in asking to substitute something in a meal. However, let it be a warning sign to you if a restaurant does not allow substitutions. That just means their meals are precooked and they cannot change anything about them.
If you have a diet restriction such as keeping kosher or you’re vegan, then don’t be afraid to be a little assertive with your waiter. Make sure to ask that the chef use a clean pan and not one that has been used with other foods such as chicken and beef.
Buffets Are a Bad Idea
Buffets always sound like a good idea because you get a variety of food and can eat all you want. However, think of all the grimy hands that have touched that food you are about to eat. It’s germ city!
When trying out a new fancy restaurant, take a look around before sitting down and ordering your food. You may be overpaying just for the experience of eating there and not for high quality food.
No Food in Sight
One restaurant employee suggests that if you are in a crowded restaurant and see that not many people have their food, then you should probably leave. It means that there is something bad going on back in the kitchen.
Nobody likes to wait to be seated when they are hungry. However, if you are seated quickly during peak hours, then there may be something wrong with the food or the restaurant if it isn’t busy at that time.
Many restaurants want to create a comfortable atmosphere, so they will dim the lights sometimes. However, some restaurants will dim the lights so you can’t see your food as well. This may be a sign that the quality isn’t as good as you thought.
If you’re eating at a restaurant that is covered in carpet, it’s a bad sign. Carpets are some of the dirtiest things in a building. Just imagine all of the crumbs and germs that get caught in them.
Waiter Who Sell
If you find that your waiter is really pushing you to order a dish or drink, think twice about giving in. It most likely means that the food used in that dish is going to go bad pretty soon and they want to get rid of it.
The next time your waiter comes over to refill your water glass from a pitcher, make sure to notice if they touch the rim of your glass with the pitcher. If so, then that means they are also touching the glasses of other customers and transferring germs to you.
Raw Fish Warning
Sushi is all the rage right now. It’s delicious, healthy, and looks pretty enough to put on your social media. However, if you walk into a sushi restaurant and it smells like fish, you should turn around and walk right out of it. Chances are that the fish is not fresh and may make you sick.
Don’t Order Fish on Sunday
In America, restaurants usually get their fish deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays. So, if you are craving fish on a Sunday, you’re going to be eating some pretty old fish. It’s best to just wait until Monday or Tuesday.
If you notice that your waiter or waitress is a little under the weather, the chance that you will get sick too is much higher. They should stay home until they feel better and not spread their germs to customers.
Usually when you see a typo on a menu it’s an honest mistake. Beware of some typos such as “krab” instead of “crab,” though. It can be argued that since it is spelled differently that the restaurant doesn’t have to sell you the real thing.
If you notice there is dust near your table, you may want to consider eating somewhere else. Dust means that the place hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Do you really want to eat at a restaurant that doesn’t clean often?
It is exhausting being a waiter or waitress, running around with trays of food for hours on end. However, if you notice that the wait staff is being treated poorly or the restaurant is short staffed, you may want to reconsider eating there.
NYC Restaurant Grading
New York City will give restaurants a grade based off of their health codes. If you see a restaurant with a pending grade, you may want to skip over it because that doesn’t sign doesn’t actually exist in the health department. It means that the restaurant put it up because they got a low grade.
More Specials Than Main Dishes
If the restaurant where you are eating has a specials list longer than the actual menu, it means something shady is going on in the kitchen. Most likely, the ingredients “fell off the back of a truck” and need to be used as soon as possible.
One customer recalls going to an IHOP and seeing some ants crawling around. When he told the waitress, her response was, “Again?” That means the restaurant has had a bug problem in the past.