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You know what it's like - you're new in town, you're hungry and you're in search of a bite to eat. Do you naively take pot luck and jump into the nearest half decent looking restaurant or do you get all detective Clouseau following your nose and gut instinct?
Usually there are some basic giveaway signs that should set alarm bell ringing well before you get yourself seated in a restaurant. From massive menus to an empty parking lot and more, there are several clues that can hint at the quality of dining experience you might be about to encounter.
So, save yourself an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and instead heed some of this advice from the chef community at Reddit who were asked: What red flags do you look for when you go out to eat?
Here are 12 of their suggestions. Let us know yours over on our facebook page.
Massive menus. A good restaurant, specifically finer dining, will not crutch on a large menu
restaurant that jumps from cuisine to cuisine. Like you have some Mexican, some Indian, some Italian, oh, and burgers.
Bathrooms. If dirty or missing paper. GTFO. Same with dirty menus.
If the servers take 10+ min to greet the table when the restaurant isn't full, it has always been a poor experience overall. It tells me nobody is managing the entire restaurant correctly. And that carries over to food.
Food coming out cold or dry you know they kept those until someone ordered it
I will not tolerate bad smells. If the restaurant smells bad, I bail
Number 1 red flag is the spouts on the soda fountain. Those things are one of the easiest things to clean in the entire place, so if they're mildewy that kills my interest in eating there.
Empty Parking Lot at Peak Times
having a menu that has too many options makes me question what goes into making those meals and how fresh they are.
if you can hear the chefs yelling in the kitchen, get out. If they’re fighting they’re messing up the food.
anything that mention's a chef's name in the menu (Pete's Chicken Special) #
employees gathering in groups to gossip in view of customers, rather than do their duties, or at least look busy
I am pretty critical on the quality of the utensils. If there are food residue or if it feels sticky, i'm going to have a chat with the owner of the restaurant
I walk out of any restaurant if the soap dispenser in the bathroom is empty.