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).
Don't be alarmed: There are some terrible corporations out there (looking at you, Nestle) but there are also some great brands that are selling decent products.
I know, surprising, right? Maybe we've all just gotten used to brands selling things of questionable quality that when we stumble across something worthwhile it stuns us.
Hold on tight when you find a brand deserving of your loyalty!
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor spwf asked the online community,
"What brand(s) do you swear by and why?"
"Their cast iron pans..."
"Lodge. Their cast iron pans are super durable and can last a lifetime."
Not just a lifetime. Your Lodge cast iron will outlive you, if (and even if you don’t) take care of it. Even if they get rusty they can be resurfaced. And damn is it satisfying to resurface a forgotten cast iron pan.
Asics, specifically the Gel-Nimbus series. I've suffered from joint pain and unbearable plantar fasciitis from a relatively young age... These shoes are life savers. Very pricey and I don't love the look of tennis shoes of any type but nevertheless I will praise these shoes to the end of days. Hopefully, I will always be able to afford them once a year.
Glad to hear you've found some much-needed relief!
"Warranty and service..."
"Victorinox. Excellent pocket knives, multi tools and their kitchen knives are probably the best ones you can get under 100 USD. Warranty and service is top notch."
Anyone who cooks, but can't afford or doesn't want to invest in a professional-grade chef's knife should get a Victorinox. They aren't nearly as good as a top tier professional chef's knife, but they are night and day compared with everything else in their price range.
"This one brand..."
"This one brand of granola bars called Sunbelt Bakery. Every other granola bar brand is so dry I can't eat them anymore."
Yes, these are so good! An excellent choice.
"Dickies. High quality pants. They're meant to be work pants so they're pretty durable and breathe well. Very comfortable."
"High quality" is right. Those pants last forever.
"It helps clean..."
"Dawn dishsoap. It helps clean dishes and it's great when one of my kids has an accident and I have to wash their clothes. Sometimes leaves a small stain but no smell. It has saved so many outfits."
Fantastic – it sounds like you should be their salesperson.
"They don't use..."
"New Balance. They don't use slave labor to make shoes."
They are comfortable and fit well.
I personally still don't like the aesthetics of many of their shoes, but still recommend them to people who want a good shoe.
"They are a retailer..."
"REI. Stand behind everything in their store. They are a retailer but you can beat something up they sell and they give you a full refund."
Many people use them for shoes, for camping gear... all kinds of stuff. They're very reliable.
"I wear my Timberland boots..."
"I wear my Timberland boots almost every day, I’ve had them for almost ten years, and they’re still just about as sturdy as they were the day I bought them."
These shoes tend to last forever. "Durable" is the perfect word.
"One large bottle..."
"Dr. Bronner's Castile soap. One large bottle lasts me about a year and I use it for everything. No toxic BS in them like pretty much every other soap and they smell fantastic."
"Also when I say everything I really mean it. All purpose cleaner, dish soap, body wash, shampoo, carpet extractor wash, dog shampoo, it’s called 18 in 1 for a reason."
If you're interested in the story behind the company, the documentary Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox might be right up your alley.
See? Not all brands are terrible. After reading about some of these, it might be time to change of your buying habits.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
You know what would be great?
If society could just stop with arbitrary dress codes. If you're not working with the public, why should you have to dress up so much? If you're a police officer, then it makes sense that you'd wear a uniform that identifies you as a police officer. If you're Ted from IT who sits in the backroom all day, I really don't see why you have to come in every day in a suit and tie.
Let's just toss them out, shall we?
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor Levels2ThisBrush asked the online community,
"What should be socially acceptable but isn't?"
"Leaving the office..."
"Leaving the office whenever you've finished your tasks for the day."
This is why I'm so glad remote work is the new office.
"And yet, I get it!"
"Taking off sick from work, WITHOUT giving an invasive reason. I supervise a small team and so I see all the OOO emails, and for gods sake I want people to PLEASE not feel the need to explain in detail what kind of diarrhea is afflicting them, or how bad their period cramps are, or how much bad sushi they ate the night before. Just say “I’m under the weather, I won’t be online today.”"
"And yet, I get it! I do it too! I feel guilty or like I’ll be looked at with suspicion if my reason for taking off isn’t sufficiently debilitating enough!"
"But… we need to stop this. As a manager I don’t care, I don’t THINK the people above me who are also on these emails care… let’s just all agree to take sick days without any details from now on!"
I do not miss my retail days where I had to organise someone to cover me and beg on bended knee.
"Cashiers or workers who don’t need to be standing all day not having a stool or chair."
Another thing I do not miss from my retail days. Having to stand for hours and hours only to come home with my feet killing me was not fun.
"Prices on apartments..."
"Prices on apartments and their respectable reasons for such price directly on their websites or advertising without the need for a tour or any secrecy."
I always assume if I have to ask the price I probably can’t afford it.
"Being quiet/not wanting to engage in conversation all the time."
In Finland, if somebody tries to talk to you, they are probably a tourist.
"Choosing not to..."
"Choosing not to have toxic family members in your life."
It feels very liberating once you accept that you don't have to put up with it.
"Employees calling customers out in public for being a**holes."
Absolutely. Many customers get away with treating employees horribly because they know they can do it without any pushback... most of the time.
"The fact that I sometimes..."
"The fact that I sometimes need to take my insulin in public. No, Karen, I am not doing drugs, I need to live."
You’re getting that sweet sweet insulin high… the high of being not-dead.
"Afternoon naps. I’m on team nap. Give me 25 minutes to charge up and I’ll give you back 3 hours of high quality work. Everyone wins. Plus I go home with extra energy instead of dead tired."
Short naps don't work for me. I can't do a 25 min recharge. When I take a nap it needs to be like a solid 2 hours
"Salary transparency. For some reason, in the US, there’s a taboo or stigma around discussing one’s salary. This should be done openly and freely, with zero embarrassment or judgment. The only winners from avoiding these conversations are the corporations that are able to pay people differently for the same roles. Speak up!"
The "for some reason" you're referring to is simply propaganda on behalf of corporations.
It's evident that something's got to change around here, and we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
As much as many of us don't like to disrupt the status quo, there is only so much time a person can tolerate a miserable situation before things become so unbearable that they ultimately have to peace out.
For some people, it takes a while for them to reach a breaking point. Eventually, there comes a time when they realize their self-worth is more important than continuing to please others who don't appreciate them for the sake of keeping up with appearances.
Curious to hear from people whose patience ran thin and made a strong decision, Reddit Prestigious-Order-62 asked:
"What made you say 'f'k this sh*t im out?'"
The unwarranted reprimanding was something that was never mentioned in the initial job description.
"In the late 90’s."
"One time I got pulled into the Security office at a Department store I worked at. They accused me of constantly using the sales day coupons for people that didn’t present one (we always kept an extra copy at each register). I had watched my own department boss do it many times so I assumed it was okay. We didn’t even collect the coupons to be counted for the cash office, we just chucked them after use."
"They claimed I lost the store hundreds of dollars and had been watching me 'for months' do this awful, unforgivable crime for people spending 90 bucks on already bloated price designer jeans. I’m sure the occasional 10% discount was just devastating. 🙄""I got this huge lecture of how I was LITERALLY stealing from the store and they COULD call the police but would give me a chance to work off the damage. I couldn’t believe how criminal I was made to feel over it. The best part when they called my boss in who pretended to have never done it before to save her own a**."
"I asked if they were firing me. They said 'Yes and No. You will be let go, but you can choose to work off the damages so we don’t take you to court.' I told them I will just quit and asked for my last check. They said they will deduct what I owe from my last check. And I said 'Well then you need to show me all the footage and prove that I was stealing.' They wouldn’t produce footage, finally called the cops, and when the cops arrived, they were just as confused and called it an internal problem and advised them that this was overblown. I think they felt sorry for me. So finally upper management came in and just said 'just issue the last check, I will sign it here.' So much drama over so stupid a thing."
"It was sad because that actual day my Mom and daughter had come to the mall to meet me for lunch and I had to explain I just was forced to quit that job and was never allowed in that store again like I was some awful jerk."
"It was nice a few short years later, the entire chain bankrupted."
"A coworker waited until we were in front of a large group of people to start 'disciplining' me for something 'wrong' I did (I took my lunch 15 mins late to help another coworker) when she wasn’t even my supervisor. Applied for a job transfer the next day and couldn’t be happier where I am now."
"I had a piece of sh*t of a boss. He'd praise you in private but berate you in public. In front of coworkers and customers. Always about stuff that didn't matter."
"He'd also happily break company policy to side with customers after you spent an hour telling a customer you can't give them stuff for free, for example. Any time he was around, everything was miserable."
"My only regret is that I wasn't there to see him marched out by corporate when he got fired, because I had gone on to a better job by then."
Human Punching Bag
"I used to work in a Kitchen at a pub, it was grim work, but I had freinds there and had worked there for 3 years, So it wasn't too bad."
"One Christmas season we were being absolutely pumped, full out functions and busy services. My boss at the time was very stressed and fair enough, We were busy, We were all working overtime and full out. He used any excuse to completely blow up and absolutely scream at me for little to no reason, essentially him yelling at me was his stress relief. But fine, whatever, kitchens are rough places, no appolagies or anything, move on."
"I then go away for 3 weeks over the Christmas holidays and spend the time road tripping around the country having an amazing time."
"First shift back, not pleased being back, he makes a snarky comment."
"F'k this, Im out."
Even though these employees weren't chewed out in front of co-workers, the low salary without room for negotiation made them not wanting to stick around for much longer.
You Only Get One Job
"They cut my hours so I had to get a second job. 3 days before I was supposed to start said second job, my manager at the main job told me that I couldn't get this second job because I had main job first and I needed to make it my priority. That's when I said f'k you and left. I didn't even give a notice, I literally just sent an email saying I wouldn't be coming in the next day, grabbed my sh*t and went home."
"I used to work Retail and after 7 years at the company, I found out I was only making 50 cents more an hour than someone who just started yesterday. I understood if they couldn't pay me more and asked for a good schedule. 7-3 or 8-4 every day and the same two days off every week. I didn't even ask for weekends off."
"I was told that they couldn't give me a good schedule so I quit."
Situations weren't much different outside the work place. Social dilemmas prompted these Redditors to say, "nope."
"Went to a pub because a friend kept asking. When I got there, he was with a group of people I didn't know, so I introduced myself and got the next round. As I come back with the tray, I hear them saying something along the lines of 'why is that b*tch still here? I thought she was just supposed to drop off a bicycle?' 'Ya, we don't want her to come to <this other town with more pubs> and now she is drinking with us?' 'She's so dumb' *proceeds to imitate and ridicule me as I was actively listening and nodding when I was having a conversation with my friend."
"Gave the beer to random people and walked right out after saying good evening to my friend and briefly explaining I did not appreciate being tricked into being a bicycle taxi for people who hate me directly after meeting me."
A Shocking Incident
"I was on my boat fishing for bass. I casted out my line and watched the lure hit the water but the line just floated in the air. Lightning and thunder crashed and the line fell to the water. F'k this sh*t, I'm out."
"She lined my bed with broken glass put the blankets over it and I dove on in lol."
"Edit: She was violent/crazy and on drugs, was like the 20th attack I took and that made me really think lol."– MyLifeForAuir1
Ally For The Ex
"I found nudes of his ex (from ten years ago) that I’d previously asked him twice to get rid of tucked in a pair of MY socks. Our couples counselor asked why he’d kept them and he said, 'You know. In case I ever needed to blackmail her.' He said it like it was a perfectly normal and reasonable thing to plan to do. The therapist and I locked eyes and I noped the f'k out of there and moved out."
Most of these Redditors realized leaving their situation was better than dealing with the consequences of sticking around.
The latter is never a good option. Why remain in a scenario you know is already going to consume your soul?
The lesson for today is–Don't be miserable. Your sanity is worth saving.Besides, you would never know that something better awaits if you just don't get the F out.
As we enter into the summer months, people now have to decide whether or not they want their morning coffee to be hot or iced.
Lucky for them, it's delicious either way.
One could make an argument that foods that are equally delicious hot or cold are perhaps the best, or at least the most reliable.
And this can include foods which are not customarily sold both hot and cold (cold pizza anyone?).
Redditor NectarineOther4989 was curious to hear which foods people enjoy either hot or cold, leading them to ask:
"What is something that tastes good both hot and cold?"
Fresh out of the oven, or the next day!
Chocolate withstands all temperatrues
"Chocolate."Chocolate Satisfying GIF by HuffPostGiphy
Can't go wrong with fruit and pastry
"Apple pie."- Hak_Saw5000
This doesn't only apply to food
"Revenge."- pushthestartbuttonkarine vanasse revenge GIF by HULUGiphy
Let the flavor develop
"2 totally different flavors depending on warm vs cold from fridge."- nonkowledge
So many to choose from!
A matter of textural preference
"Cheese, ya fools."- eat_dontpray_loveCloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Eating GIFGiphy
Under a hot greek sun, or during a cold winter's eve.
While there's no better smell than a batch of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, those eating them the next day likely aren't missing out either.