Food Service Workers Share The Biggest Restaurant Red Flags To Look For When Dining Out

Voting Rules
Food service workers: vote up the red flags that should have people canceling their dinner plans.

Who doesn't love trying out a new restaurant every once in a while? Getting a good meal with friends and family can be a great experience, but it can also be a nightmare if you ignore these restaurant red flags. Who knows restaurants better than food service workers? Nobody. So read on and learn what to look out for at restaurants, according to the people who work in food service. 

  • 1
    87 VOTES

    The Waiters Are Sick

    From Redditor u/thick_andy:

    Sick waitstaff. If restaurant owners encourage their waitstaff to work while sick (or don't help to find a replacement), you can count on getting sick too.

    87 votes
  • 2
    79 VOTES

    They Have 'Grade Pending' Displayed In The Window

    From Redditor u/ImSuperSick:

    “Grade Pending” doesn’t mean that the restaurant is awaiting judgment on their health inspection. It means that they failed and are given a grace period to fix their wrongs.

    79 votes
  • 3
    69 VOTES

    The Food Has Dry Spots

    From Redditor u/spoonedkittens:

    If your meat or pasta... has dry spots as if it was left out to dry for a good time, the kitchen is not properly covering/storing their prep correctly. The walk-in is most likely not taken care of.

    69 votes
  • 4
    62 VOTES

    The Dining Room Is Dirty

    From Redditor u/BringMeTwo:

    I was employed by a national pest control service, and the salespeople told me if the dining room is dirty or gross - do yourself a favor and walk out 'cause their kitchen is gonna be much dirtier.

    There are also roaches at expensive restaurants, the same as there are at cheaper places. It's the restaurants that don't clean kitchens properly that attract pests and have continual problems.

    62 votes
  • 5
    66 VOTES

    The Staff Is Visibly Unhappy

    From Redditor u/ohno:

    I'm an ex-restaurant manager. How happy is the staff? Do they seem like they like their jobs? If the staff are miserable, you're not going to get quality food or service. It's worth seeking out restaurants that treat their staff well. If they're treated well, they'll treat you well.

    66 votes
  • 6
    78 VOTES

    The Soda Machine Doesn't Pass The Napkin Test

    From Redditor u/StumbleKitty:

    Former health inspector here.

    If there's a self-serve soda machine, go ahead and take a napkin around the inside of the Sprite/clear-soda-available nozzle. If your napkin comes out pink, brown, or orange, SKIP THE SODA.

    A Sprite nozzle should come out clean. If it's pink or orange, then it's slime mold (it's actually a bacteria, but that's what we called it). If it's brown, it's likely cola. But if the cola nozzle was put on the Sprite dispenser and is still brown, you know the nozzles aren't being cleaned properly.

    Also, go ahead and look closely at the ice chute. I see green algae in those a lot.

    78 votes