Out of the Blue

Professional chefs share restaurant red flags

By FDL on

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Professional chefs share restaurant red flags

A thread asking professional chefs to share red flags when choosing a restaurant has gone viral on reddit.

Chefs responded in their droves and shared some really insightful advice on what is probably a bad sign in a restaurant.

There’s nothing worse than forking out for a meal you didn’t enjoy and if you don’t get out much (parents of young children), then it can be even more disheartening when the meal you’ve been looking forward to leaves you cold and unsatisfied.

The thread asked chefs for some insiders’ tips to know if a restaurant is dodgy or not on Reddit. The thread provided some illuminating answers.

"Chefs, what red flags should people look out for when they go out to eat? “the r/askreddit thread asked.

Watch for the waiter who’s scared of the chef

"If employees try to argue with you about food quality in order to dissuade you from sending something under cooked back, just leave," says one commenter. "It means they have a cook who can't take criticism and your chances at getting a sneezer are greatly increased."

Watch the staff

"I always look for how the staff interact with each other," says a chef of a small Mexican restaurant. "If they all seem to enjoy being there, and coordinate well, more often than not it's because everything is running smoothly and they have a good system, which usually means they know what they're doing and you can expect good food. That's how it always is for the smaller, family run restaurants I frequent anyway, which I believe always have the best food."

Another says: “The biggest thing to keep an eye on though imo is the staff. If there's pissed off people, get out as fast as you can obviously. If everyone is kinda apathetic and not talking to each other much, get out. That's also a shitty environment, everyone is probably really passive aggressive, and that's going to show. If people seem genuinely good with being there even if it's busy or if there's playful ragging going on, that's where you want to be. The better the staff gets along, the better everthing in the place runs.”

Watch the Floor

Carpets in restaurants are a no-no according to the thread. Just what goes through people’s minds when designing a restaurant and they decide to lay wall-to-wall carpet? Nothing says ‘70s steak house’ like a carpeted restaurant, but yet some people can’t seem to leave them behind. CArlets are unhygienic, they collect germs and mites and as inevitably they end up covered in food, out reddit chefs advise us to avoid them. "I clean carpet for a living, and restaurants are often disgusting," reads one comment.

Watch the sound

The sound in a restaurant comes up on the thread with a lot of people saying that the levels in many modern restaurants is unbearable. It may not reflect on the quality of the food, but it can absolutely ruin your evening.

“Sound. Loud restaurants are becoming a major problem, so much so a New York food critic has started including dB readings in his reviews, there is even an app to report loud restaurants.”

That said, one helpful Moroccan offered some sage advice in order to reduce noise in restaurants – carpets on the ceiling.

“heh the solution here is simple - carpets on ceilings. Here in Morocca almost all the restaurants have it, and the innovation is spreading fast through Italy and into france. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and restaurants report close to 50% jump in takings. People just love being cocooned in their own private chat space, even when next to others.”

Watch the Menu

If the menu is a book it’s not a good sign says one poster. Dirty menus are a sign of lax hygiene standards says another, while another says that pictures of food that are not from that restaurant are a sign you should walk away.

Much to chew on in that reddit thread and definitely some good advice when choosing your restaurant. The old tried and tested waring sign for any restaurant still rings true. First check the toilet, if it’s dirty, they run away as fast as you can.


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