If you don't know the ins and outs of food service, it can be difficult to identify huge problems before they become huge problems in your tummy.
The smallest, most innocuous things--or even things that may seem like they're too good to be true--can really take a toll on your wallet, your stomach, your health, or any number of things later. Diner, beware!
Here were some of those answers.
I Don't Wanna Know What A Sneezer Even IsGiphy
If employees try to argue with you about food quality in order to dissuade you from sending something under cooked back, just leave. It means they have a cook who can't take criticism and your chances at getting a sneezer are greatly increased.
A Pleasant Surprise
I remember my trip to Malacca, Malaysia. We walked up to a stall where an elderly lady was squatting down just in front of the sidewalk with a plastic basin and washing the dishes in it. Stray cats were coming in from the alley and licking at dishes.
My first question was "is this a restaurant?" Upon closer inspection: yes, it is.
My second question was "who on earth would eat here???" Then our guide brought us inside. Looks like: we are.
Food was amazing and delicious and despite fearing the worst, nobody got sick.
Morale Is Important
Pastry chef here. As much as people say avoid specials, I can't speak for everyone but at least in desserts/breakfast pastries, if you see something new it's worth trying. Chances are it's something the chef has been working on for weeks on their own time, there's a lot of love and effort put into it.
Also, the standby if the menu is a book, it's probably not great.
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 sh*tty 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 everything in the place runs.
Can Carpet Just Die
Not a chef but worked in food a lot.
Carpet. Yeah it's quieter and doesn't get slick, but it is one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen. I saw them pull it up when they remodeled (and put in more carpet). Vacuuming only goes so far in a restaurant and I know they never, ever shampooed it.
More Concise, Please
If a restaurant has a one-page menu that's usually a pretty good sign, it means their line cooks have become specialists and can usually nail all the dishes listed.
Conversely, if a restaurant has a giant, multi-page menu that's a gigantic red flag. The longer the menu the better the odds that you're paying to eat a boiled bag frozen meal.
The first thing they told us in culinary school when you're learning the basic rules for food safety standards is if you enter a seafood restaurant and smell fish, leave.
All From Waitstaff
I've worked in restaurants for over a decade. A couple years in the kitchen and the rest as FOH.
If your server's response to "how is the [item]" seems disingenuous, that's a big red flag. We know what goes on in the kitchen, we know the complaints, and we know which items to stress over when we deliver them. Servers who pause or seem uncomfortable with that question generally equates to a menu full of stuff we wouldn't eat even as a free shift meal.
A GOOD sign is when servers hang out and eat at the restaurant post-shift. Generally we are getting a discount but not free food - if we are spending our nightly tips on it, it's worth it.
This Is Why Presentation Counts For 25% On Chopped
Waitress here! if you see any food coming out that's messy and theres sauce all over the rim of the plate, etc, it's likely to mean that the chefs aren't putting much effort into their meals and they therefore will not be very good. All the chefs at my work find it SO important that everything is presented well and I agree, so if they miss something I'll check the plates and point it out which they always appreciate as it reflects well on them.
Yikes On Capitalism
Businesses with a bunch of signs/specials out front. "Lunch special: 4.99$!", "free appetizer from 5-8pm weekdays!", "BOGO main course Wednesdays all day!" That kind of thing. Usually means they're going under and are trying to drum up business. Unless they're a chain.
Regular lunch/dinner restaurants that start to offer brunch. #1 brunch service is the worst, chefs hate it, and are usually disgruntled, #2 brunch is a money maker, companies charge over the top for thin pancakes and orange juice with a splash of 4$ champagne. Sudden brunch means the place is trying to make more money, charging double and using chefs that don't want to be there.
Reviews where the owner is arguing with the reviewer. I saw an argument on yelp where a lady complained her chopstick or something was moldy and gave them 1 star. While it was super unfair to give a 1 star over something they didn't do, the owner got into it with her and they started fighting on Facebook. Owners that are willing to yell at people who are spending their money are likely to treat their staff the same or worse. Meaning their employees are either pissed, or the turnover is high and no one is trained well.
The Final ListGiphy
I've done bartending/waitressing for a few years, here's my list:
- First of all, ignore the bathrooms/kitchen thing, the people in charge of the kitchen generally aren't in charge of the bathrooms, and it's normally the servers job, if the restaurant area is busy we're gonna skip that when we can, but we'll probably give it a quick tidy if we use the toilets.
- Most places opt for paper menus, because they can just be chucked away afterwards, it's cleaner this way, however if the table is sticky (and the restaurant area is quiet) then there's probably a few other sticky areas.
- Check your cutlery, most cutlery barely gets washed, it gets rubbed with soap, sprayed with water and chucked in a dishwasher, it's then meant to be polished with hot water when it's brought to the table set up area, this is where we actually check it for leftover grime. If your cutlery is gross, chances are your wait staff aren't doing their job properly.
- Don't order fish on Sunday's, most places get their fish deliveries on a Monday and on a Thursday, fish goes off fairly quickly and on a Sunday it's really not great.
- If your server has long hair and it's not tied up check for hair in your food, kitchens tend to have really strict rules on their staff and you rarely see them with hair down and makeup on, if there's a hair in your food it's probably from your waitress.
- If your (hot) food is out quickly your chef was probably a microwave
- If your server visibly has a cold and is still working, don't eat there, they're either not paying their staff enough to have days off or they're forcing staff to work in conditions where they shouldn't be handling food, the kitchen staff probably get the same treatment and probably have the same illness
A Greasy Good Time
This is late but I clean kitchen exhaust systems. If you walk in a restaurant and can smell grease walk out. That means the place isn't clean. From the exhaust system to cooking equipment.
We clean some places where grease drips off the hoods onto cooking surfaces.
It's Like A Red Flag Parade
Please god be clever about ordering. If the place is grubby (such as table not cleaned) staff are just sat down in the restaurant, you hear insane shouting from the kitchen etc don't order sh*t like lobster.
I've worked in the industry for 10 years and a year ago went to Spain with my boyfriends family. They all decided on a restaurant they wanted to go to. The restaurant was in a busy area but was quiet (red flag 1) the menus were dirty as were the cutlery already laid out on the table (red flag 2- and yeah I asked for replacement cutlery) the there were more waiters than customers and most were sat down one was drinking at the bar (red flag 3) there was about 50 dishes on the menu (red flag 4) and I saw flies all over (red flag 5) i ordered a vegetarian salad because I didn't trust meat from there at all and told my boyfriend he should do the same. He didn't listen, nor did the rest of his family. They all decided to go for chicken or seafood. They spent the next 2 days vomiting. I enjoyed the next 2 days in the sun.
If there are to many items on the menu. If you have 50 combo choices, man you know half that stuff is frozen, old, canned etc. Nothing is gonna be great like an In-N-Out burger. It's all gonna be 'meh'
A National StandardGiphy
One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet: the amount of ServSafe certificates posted on their wall.
ServSafe is a national food safety training course that all managers have to take and pass to become managers. It is required in all food service establishments and for every ServSafe-certified employee, there should be a certificate visible to customers(similarly to health inspection).
So basically, the more certificates you see, the more employees that work there who truly understand food safety. It's an incredibly tough test and you have to actually understand the material in order to pass.
Check your dishes, cups, cutlery.
Mood of staff.
If it has an open kitchen it's probably half decent.
Cleanliness of place, clutter, etc.
If your plate is hot it doesn't mean your food was microwaved. Every restaurant I've worked in has kept their plates in a warming drawer or oven to keep them hot.
Keeping Yourself Safe
Not a chef but from personal experience: if its a small chinese restaurant and they have a tank holding live seafood -- BUT THEY DONT CLEAN IT -- that place is definitely going to give you a brutal case of food poisoning.
If you insist upon eating at such a place I suggest you tip heavily (if ordering to-go) or heavily flattering the waitstaff and/or asking about what's fresh (if dining in).
With things inching closer and closer back to normal after three years of the global pandemic, people are more eager than ever to go on a vacation.
And the possibilities of where to travel are endless.
Be it a soothing beach vacation in Turks and Caicos, enjoying the romantic hustle and bustle of Paris, or letting one's imagination run wild at an amusement park.
But are there some places one should make a point of avoiding as a vacation destination?
Be it for political unrest, unsafe conditions, or simply because there isn't much to do.
Redditor Blowmansalad was curious to know the answer, resulting in their taking to Reddit to ask:
"Where should you NOT go on vacation?"
"At least not until some form of functioning government actually takes place."
"After the magnicide it's been nothing but a turf war between gangs better armed to than most small countries and everybody that could, aka, the rich, left the country due to the constant threat of getting kidnapped and all the violence that has been taking place."- logiqaltech
Russia, at least for now.
"Americans might wanna put that Russia vacation on hold for a lil bit."- flip_phone_phil
Salem, Massachusetts, in the fall...
"Salem around Halloween."
"I'm a local."
"It's a damn tourist trap."
"Nowhere to park and if you haven't booked all your reservations by February you're SOL."
"The summer is a 10x better time to visit Salem."
"For those asking, I am referring to Salem Massachusetts."- jlm2299Happy Trick Or Treat GIF by DOMCAKEGiphy
The pyramids might be best seen in pictures...
"As an Egyptian I am definitely not looking forward to reading these replies."- d7oom175
"The common folk are warm and welcoming and would give you the food off their table and clothes off their backs."
"But the cops, the scammers, the vendors, phew."
"It is one big tourist trap."- TwistedChopstick
"If you’re a woman, I’ve been told that Egypt is best avoided unless you have male friends or family that can safely escort you about in public."
"Otherwise, any country in an active war."- chibinoi
Unless you never want to leave your hotel.
"I took my wife to Jamaica for our honeymoon."
"We wound up in a resort in Montego bay."
"The resort was nice but began to feel like a prison."
"If you went out people would grab her by the wrist and drag her to some shack they were selling trinkets in."
"The locals that worked in the resort were fantastic."
"Best prison guards you can imagine."- jabsaw2112
"They actively tell people to stay on resort property because they can't protect tourists otherwise."- MrPuzzleMan
Maybe one day.
"No question about it."- DatRobloxKid
If you can't take the heat...
"Phoenix in July."
"It’s a monument to man’s arrogance."- TacoDocRaising Arizona Movie GIFGiphy
Of course, when choosing a vacation spot, one wants somewhere where they can relax, take in the sights, and escape from their current realities for a week or so.
So, traveling to somewhere where you're constantly on alert, your mind is constantly racing, and/or there's nothing to see... might not be the best choice.
Thankfully, be it near or small, there is always somewhere to fall back on.
TV leaves a special impact on the viewer, sometimes more than movies.
It's because we live with these characters.
We take several journeys with them, not just a quick two hour ride.
That's why the finales are so special.
They can complete us or leave us broken for life.
Let's discuss the good.
Redditor KvK_07 wanted to discuss some of the best endings to television shows we love.They asked:
"Which show had a proper satisfying ending?"
My favorite endings for my shows? The list is long. But The Golden Girls & Buffy are up there.
GoodbyeCbs Cheers GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Sorry, we’re closed."
"Ok. So the end itself was good but in the final episode they never once said NORM and it just hurts me a little when I think about it."
"Avatar, The Last Airbender."
"Love how they continued the story in The Search and The Promise comics though. I know there are more Avatar comics but I haven’t gotten around to reading those yet. Plus it was recently announced that Avatar Studios’ first project would be an animated movie about Aang and the others as young adults. We’ll probably be seeing him and Zuko build Republic City."
"The Good Place."
"I came to say the exact same thing - I absolutely adored this show and and while I’m sad it’s over I’m also so glad they ended it when they did instead of letting it go on for too long and ruining the show."
"I was told over and over to 'just watch the show for the ending.' From lots of people. So I hesitantly did so, and was like 'Yeah this is okay, but not mind blowing or anything. It's cool.'
"But holy s**t. That ending is the best ending to a TV show that's ever been made, I think.Everyone was 100% right. It was worth it. It's hard to explain without watching the show. But they did it flawlessly.I think about that show's ending all the time."
A Few Issues
"Star Trek: The Next Generation."
"I liked where they left it with Picard's development - but me and my partner recoiled in horror seeing Q appear. By far our worst part of the series, such an OTT obnoxious character, with lazy storytelling. Loved the series as a whole, but to have Q end it seemed like a punch in the gut. He seemed like growing pains of the first season but just had to come back lol."
Life is OverSix Feet Under Drinking GIF by HBOGiphy
"Six Feet Under is yet to be topped."
"It really was such a great and satisfying ending."
I can't even think about Six Feet Under without tears.
FreshSeason 2 Dancing GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The way the cast said good bye to each other in the empty mansion to how Will turns out the lights at the end of the episode. Just an amazing series."
This War is Over
"M A S H."
"Absolutely. As a young child in the beginning of the 1980s I distinctly recall hearing the theme melody late at night when the TV was airing reruns and sometimes catching a glimpse of the intro.That melancholic tune just touched me in ways I didn’t understand as a 4 yr old."
"When I got a bit older I was flipping through the channels and suddenly there it was: the theme melody that I had moved me when I was so little. I had stumbled upon one of the many reruns that would air for 20-40 yrs.I was a European kid growing up in the 80s and 90s."
"I didn’t know anything about the Korean War. But the show really showed the horrors, depravity and injustice of war no matter who is doing the fighting. And it did so in a way that mixed humor with tragedy without making light of the tragedy.It was brilliant.I must have seen all episodes by now. I have a terrible memory for books, movies and shows but the last episode will stay with me forever."
"The Sopranos. I know what I said."
"I know what they were trying to do there and I agree that it is brilliant once you actually analyze what happened and what led up to it, but that takes hindsight and rewinding the episode and rewatching it once, maybe twice. But on the first, cold viewing, I think it was a teeny bit TOO clever and kind of toyed with the audience."
"Scrubs. Before anyone says it, the '9th season”'(Scrubs: Med School) is 100% a spin-off. I don’t care that they tried to staple it to the original series, that was a stupid move to ride the ratings. It was entirely meant to be and written as a spin-off and you cannot convince me otherwise."
"I still get a lump in my throat when I see JD take that final walk down that hallway, seeing the faces of patients and other loved ones that passed on during his tenure, all of them wishing him well on the next step of his journey. When I retire I always imagine I'll do the same... seeing customers and co-workers I lost over the decades as I take that final walk to the front doors."
Phoebecheers champagne GIF by FleabagGiphy
"Same same. I wished it could have gone on only because I enjoyed it so much, but the final season was beautiful and perfect and I cried so much during the final episode."
All great choices. I love you Fleabag.
Movies. Stories. Tears.
All three are a perfect fit.
Film and entertainment allow us freedom to feel everything.
As Nicole Kidman says in her infamous AMC commercial, "heartbreak feels good in a place like this."
Maybe that's why we're meant to watch in the dark.
Redditor rollneers02 wanted everyone to fess and chat about what works of cinema have left us in tears.They asked:
"What’s a movie that’s genuinely made you cry?"
I love to cry at movies. It makes me feel human.
Gone By...Happy Shawshank Redemption GIFGiphy
"The scene in Shawshank Redemption where the elderly man laments how quickly time passed."
"This movie for me too, my dad is also a tall tale teller and he passed away last year. At his funeral all of his different friends showed and retold some of his crazy stories but just slightly different. Made me realize that some of his stories were true and I was living in a real life big fish movie."
"Fox and the hound when the hound can’t be the foxes friend anymore."
"I can not watch that movie at ALL!!! Right after my mom died I went to her house. That movie was in the VCR. When I hit play the movie as at that song about letting go if you love something. I just LOST IT right there. To this day I will not watch that movie and prob never will."
Oh the Tears...
"Bridge to Terabithia. The guilt of that kid for the rest of his life."
"First time I ever saw my Dad cry. He thought I'd be a great Father-Daughter movie night. I just rewatched it recently and it still makes me cry."
"This book and Stand By Me both made a sizeable impression on me during my youth. I hope to share these experiences with children of my own one day."
The EndDisney Pixar GIF by Disney+Giphy
"Coco, g*ddamn Coco. I was not expecting bawling my eyes out in the last 15 minutes."
I can't with some of these movies. My heart can't take it.
I Hate Beessad macaulay culkin GIFGiphy
"'Where's his glasses? He can't see with his glasses! It's not fair he needs his glasses to see!!'"
"Field of Dreams, when he's playing catch with his dad. Also, the end of The Truman Show hit pretty hard."
"I can't believe I had to scroll this far down to see this one. My dad died about 20 years ago, and I would give almost anything to have a catch with him again. When Ray says in that choked up voice 'hey dad, wanna have a catch?' I just lose it."
"It’s dumb, but the first movie I ever cried for was ‘Click’ with Adam Sandler. That scene where his father dies and he wasn’t there because the use of autopilot, so decided to revisit the last time he had seen him. His dad tells him he loves him and the autopilot version of him doesn’t give a crap, but the real him starts to cry and play the words 'I love you son’' on repeat. THIS. Has me every time."
"The Green Mile."
"I cried so hard watching that movie that I can't bring myself to rewatch it. Once was enough."
"Brilliant and awesome story that was understandable for a 7 year old me to start ugly sobbing for an hour in my aunt's house lol. I think it was the first time I encountered feelings against injustice and the staggering helplessness that you can't do anything to stop what's happening."
"God, it still feels like yesterday and I'm nearing 30. But the ice cream and toys I got was good too. My auntie had to bring me to the mall because I was inconsolable and continued crying on the way there. I only stopped when I had to pick an ice cream flavor lol."
It's Uglylife is beautiful film GIFGiphy
"Life Is Beautiful."
"Came here to say this title. I’ve seen it once, when I was in high school around the time it came out, and I still tear up thinking about certain scenes."
"Hachiko (old and modernised version). Both versions are just as sad. It’s based on a true story. For those who don’t know, it’s about a bond of a dog and an owner. The owner walked to the train station to go to work and always brought his dog with him and the dog would always wait for him at the train station until the owner returned. The owner then died while at work and the dog continued to wait for him at the train station every single day for 9 years until his last breath."
I love movies. They make my tears feel free.
What a quirky group of humans you are.
Maybe we, the world, give y'all a bad rap.
We're dying to know what you share with one another.
One Redditorwanted all the 'Bros' out there to share with us.They asked:
"Men of Reddit, what’s your best bro-tip?"
I've been dying for insight into the animal that is a bro. They're human too...
You're Awesome!Bruno Mars GIFGiphy
"It's okay to compliment another bro."
"Do not leave your home smelling musty."
"Also, tell your friends if their home, car, them etc... smells musty. there's a time and a place of course, but often we don't notice and the note to freshen up is very welcome."
"Check on your bros. They won’t necessarily tell you when they need help."
"Lost a friend via overdose. He was exhibiting unhealthy behavior for years. I saw it, and said nothing. I later relocated and made very little effort to keep in touch. Destroys me to think what might have been different, had I reached out."
"Seriously though, having been the bro who's dealing with depression knowing you have bros to lean on really helps."
"Was in a residency program with a guy who had the worst breath any of us (all other bros) had ever smelt. When I say bad, I mean it smelt worse than if he had eaten human poop. The guy was completely oblivious to it. He’d have girls break up with him and come to us and be like 'I don’t know what happened it was going so well,' stuff like that."
"And we’d all beat around the bush and never tell him that we knew exactly why those bro-ettes dumped him. I’m ashamed to admit, my Reddit bros, that he made it through an entire 3-year residency program without any bros stepping in and hitting him with the cold hard truth. RIP to that bro."
lift me up...Animated GIFGiphy
"Support your bros; don’t tear them down when they are trying to achieve something."
Men really should embrace feelings more.
Find MoreThe One Where Estelle Dies Episode 15 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"Don't fall in love with potential."
"This comment hurt me. Learned that lesson the hard way."
"Always buy more than one stick of deodorant at a time so you’ll have a spare around when you run out. Finding out that you’re at the end right before you have to be somewhere, preferably smelling acceptable, is the worst."
"As soon as I open the last container of any toiletry, it goes on the shopping list to be purchased within a week. I haven't run out once since I started doing that, and I usually buy multipacks so I don't need to shop for those things often."
"As a guy in his mid-50s, my number 1 advice is: When you're disagreeing with someone, no matter the relationship, always validate their point first, empathize with them second, and then, and only then, make your counter-argument. Never respond to an argument with a pushback before you've validated/empathized with them."
"If you're Machiavellian about life, you'll be more likely to get what you want from someone else if they feel respected by you. If you're not Machiavellian, it's just a nice thing to do."
"Have AT LEAST one friend you can have real conversations with about your feelings. Particularly if you're in your late teens or twenties you probably don't talk about that stuff with your mates but it makes the world of difference knowing you have someone to talk to about it, even if you don't have anything to tell them just yet."
MaverickTop Gun Maverick Movie GIF by Top GunGiphy
"Never leave your wing man!"
Thanks Bros. This was all helpful.
Do you have other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.