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Restaurant Red Flags To Look Out For

Reddit user FlintTheDad asked: 'What’s an immediate red flag at a restaurant?'

Group of people dining out at a restaurant
Dan Gold on Unsplash

When we think of the term "red flags," we're quick to think of red flags that might appear in a problematic or abusive relationship.

But red flags can appear in any place in our life, especially the workplace or places that consumers frequent, like big box stores and restaurants.

When it comes to restaurant red flags, these are important to note, as they could have a negative impact on a consumer's health.

Redditor FlintTheDad asked:

"What's an immediate red flag at a restaurant?"

Fair Enough

"When you see the owner breaking apart frozen chicken on the curb outback."

- Mourning-Poo

High Humidity

"High humidity inside."

- Presitigious_Gold_585

"Yes! The small that causes is unmistakable."

- TemperatureTop246

Sticky Furniture

"All of the furniture and menus are weirdly sticky..."

- Silver_Sunshine360

"I know what *some* of that is. Some furniture and cleaning solutions aren't compatible. The cleaning spray reacts with the finish on the table tops, and softens, it, which makes it feel a bit sticky, and dulls it super fast... but it's the sanitizer cleaner they use for *everything*, and they don't want to have to deal with a separate cleaner for certain surfaces."

"I used to sell commercial office furniture, and we'd run into this issue sometimes. The worst was when a company asked us to source some tables they found from a local craftsman (since we were already an approved vendor in their system, they often had us buy and deliver stuff for them). Beautiful, hand-made stuff."

"So we bought them and arranged for the delivery and placement. When we got to the site and saw where they wanted them, I cringed... I knew the tables were finished in shellac, and they were having us put them in their lounge area, where I knew they often had events with drinks."

"Shellac dissolves in alcohol. Spilling a drink on it can ruin the finish. Before we left, I left a note on the tables about being careful and emailed the client some care tips. The NEXT DAY they sent us pictures of the ruined finish, asking, 'What is wrong with our tables?!'"

- NecroJoe

Sounds Fishy

"A seafood restaurant should NOT smell fishy."

- turtyurt

"And conversely, a seafood MARKET that does not smell fishy is indeed fishy."

- FourMeterRabbit

A Specific Smell

"That *smell.*"

"You know the one. floors feel a little slippery/slimy underfoot and it smells like they've been mopping the place with the same dirty mop and bucket water for weeks."

"This isn't something you're likely to see in a nice place but I've encountered it in more fast-casual dining places than I care to remember."

- y2knole

"THAT smell. It always reminds me of yeast rolls. I guess it's bacteria in the mop water that has been setting in that bucket for three days."

- SpeelingChamp

Restroom Cleanliness

"Dirty restrooms."

- carboncanyondesign

"This is a dead giveaway. If they can't keep part of the restaurant that the public DOES see clean, you can imagine how the non-public facing parts look."

- OkaySureBye

"Health inspector here. The key is to look for build-up that looks like it's been there more than a day. Most places don't have bathroom attendants and it's unrealistic to expect public bathrooms to be spotless every minute of the day."

- Vives_solo_una_vez

The Right Audience

"Whenever I have friends come to visit me in Osaka and they're dying to try some authentic ramen. My goto line is:"

"'Look for the most run-down looking, back ally shack you can, the more run-down looking; the better. Guaranteed It'll be the best ramen you'll ever have!'"

"And to anyone who happens to read this, no, Ichiran is NOT the best reman joint. It's nice don't get me wrong but please ask around, research ramen in the area you're visiting, I guarantee you there's SO much better out there!"

- kevo998

"I look for people of that ethnicity eating there. Mexican restaurant with only white people? It might be good. Mexican restaurant with Mexicans wearing high-vis shirts? S**t's going be fire. Bonus points if there’s a grocery store attached."

"The same thing goes for Asian restaurants sans the high-vis shirts."

- PsychoticMessiah

Too Many Variables

"A huge menu."

- dnb_4eva

"A huge VARIED menu."

"Places like Chinese, Mexican, and Indian restaurants generally have large menus, but most items use the same base ingredients."

"It's the places that try to incorporate lots of wildly different dishes that you want to avoid."

- MagnusPI

Unexpected Restaurant Guests

"A raccoon falling through the ceiling tiles. 1:00 AM, drunk as h**l, looking for something to eat, and I found a dive that was still open. I ordered my food, and while waiting for my order, a raccoon fell from the ceiling."

"The waitress ran to the back screaming. The cook came out armed with a cleaver and chased it into the kitchen. The look on his face was like it had happened before. Other people eating there were in shock and got up and left."

"Mystery meat: the new special. Get me the f**k out of there."

- alwaystired707

That Wait Time

"I immediately look to see if there is anyone actually eating. If there are a half dozen tables with no food on them, and people looking anxiously to the kitchen, I'm out."

- scotttr3b

Cleaning Response Time

"Multiple dirty tables that haven’t been cleared. If the restaurant isn’t crowded, staff should have time to clean them. If it is crowded, staff should be trying to turn tables over quickly."

"Dirty tables mean they are either severely understaffed or the staff just doesn’t care. Either way, you will be waiting a long time."

- 787la57la47al

Inappropriate Smells

"Once went into a restaurant that boasted the biggest Cinnamon Rolls in the city/state... Only for there to be a pervasive smell of absolutely raw stagnate sewage throughout the dining room. Needless to say, did not return."

- nekroves

Construction Said It Best

"A green flag for a restaurant is when you see a lot of construction workers going there for lunch. You'll know it's cheap and good, hearty food."

"In my old city, there was this tiny little family-owned Chinese restaurant with delicious and cheap lunch specials. Every construction worker downtown sat at the counter at the front for lunch."

"Meanwhile, the waiters would be in this little back room watching TV and the chef must have been at least 70 years old. The food was genuinely so delicious and filling. Probably not good for your cholesterol but so tasty!"

- okaymoose

Atmosphere Matters

"Not a red flag about the food but if a place has their music up so loud I can’t hear the person I’m with, then I won’t eat there."

- Adro87

"Conversely, if it's TOO quiet; as in, not only is the sound system way too low, but if the customers are also weirdly quiet (barely having conversations, just sort of sitting there) and the atmosphere seems almost stifling."

"A couple of years ago we walked into a gastropub in Scotland just like this - very low music, the room was half full (and this was at peak lunch time), and everyone who was there were just sitting, looking sullen, barely speaking, waiting for their food. Just really... odd... vibes."

"After five minutes of sitting at the bar trying to get the attention of staff (who were all standing around looking at their phones), we left and went to a definitely *not fancy* cafe down the block that was the absolutely opposite: people just seemed happy to be there, staff were attentive, and the vibe was really welcoming."

- Good_Difference_2837

The Ultimate Red Flag

"Gordon Ramsey walking in with a camera crew."

- Tint-kicker

"One of the local restaurants we like was recently closed for a bit due to filming for 'Kitchen Nightmares.'"

"My husband still likes to get their food, but I'm waiting until the episode airs!"

- Lington

No restaurant is going to be perfect 100 percent of the time. They're going to have a slow night or poor response time or get some orders wrong from time to time.

But there are far more problematic behaviors and characteristics to find in a restaurant that are perfectly good reasons to never go back there again, no matter how good they may have been in the past.

Indigenous Americans Share Their Tribe's Best Ghost Stories And Legends

Reddit user A_KULT_KILLAH asked: 'Native Americans of Reddit, what are your or your tribes ghost stories, legends, or supernatural occurrences?'

Sasquatch
Jon Sailer on Unsplash

People the world over develop their own specific folklore, heavily influenced by the natural world around them and their own culture.

The North American continent was no different.

Reddit user A_KULT_KILLAH wanted to know about the myths and legends of the Indigenous peoples of North America.

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Every now and again, when talking to a friend or family member, a rather shocking piece of information might casually slip out.

Information one imagines they wanted to keep secret for as long as they possibly could.

In some cases, it's something embarrassing, that everyone will be able to laugh about with the passage of time.

In other cases, however, it's information that stuns us silent.

Learning something we wish we hadn't.

Redditor DarthAbhinav11 was curious to hear the most disturbing information people have ever been casually told or overheard, leading them to ask:

"What is the most disturbing thing you've heard said casually?"

An Acquired Taste

"I work in a deli and some lady asked me to cut her ham extremely thin to the point of seeing through it."

"I heard her justify it as 'so you can get rid of the ham taste'."

"I still think about this one."- Alternative_Net8931

Utterly Horrid

"When I was walking to my front door."

"My neighbor had their window open and was scolding their 3 year old adopted child."

"She was howling crying."

"'Do you want mommy to send you back?'"- BoredBSEE

It Arrives Sooner Than You Think...

At Macy's, two teen girls: 'Women over 30 have the ugliest elbows'."

"'OMG. I know'."

"'Very disturbing'."

"'I always ask my mom to wear long sleeves when we go out to eat'."- CapitalPhilosophy513

Never Too Late

"I when younger I worked at a pool and had to lifeguard senior aerobics classes."

"Most participants where 65+."

“'Where’s so and so'.”

“'Oh he won’t be here, his wife was put into hospice'.”

“'Well I feel bad for him, but we do need some more single men around here'."

"'He’s not bad looking, has a retirement too'.”- CuriousOne9320

Round And Round It Goes...

"'If the Earth is spinning, then why my front door is always facing east?'"- SuvenPan

"Something I once heard a passing stranger say for which I have no context: 'He wears a scarf around his neck so you can't see where he's decaying'."

"I've been curious for years and it annoys me that I'll never know."- xyanon36

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

"An ex after I ended things 'I don’t understand, if I want to be in a relationship with you but you don’t want to be in a relationship with me why do you get to win?'"- TinyFurryHorseBeak

Not His Decision To Make

"Was at an end of season event for my kid's baseball team when he was little."

"The coaches brought Italian ice for everyone."

"Mom has just served her kids and husband and comes back with her own."

"As she's sitting down to eat, I hear her husband loud whisper behind her something like 'absolutely not'."

"'You don't need any more calories'."

"I just watched her face fall."

"I can't imagine what their marriage must look like behind closed doors and what life must be like for her."

"Heartbreaking."

"Note that this woman was already probably a size 2 at most so this was not a scenario where there were serious weight-related health problems."

"This guy was just a jerk and this really wasn't the first time that season, but his reminders that they aren't living up to his standards were usually aimed at his kids on the field."

"I try to assume the best of people but that guy sucked."- littleirishpixie

The Truth Hurts

"I was in an accident once and was hospitalized."

"The accident left me severely disfigured."

"I was out of my mind on pain meds when I arrived at the hospital and told my family to call my girlfriend and let her know what happened and where I was."

"My mom called my girlfriend and my sister not knowing the particulars of my life called my ex."

"Neither knew the other had called and both ended up showing up."

"They arrived within an hour of one another while I was asleep."

"Since someone was there with me it gave my family a chance to go home and take a break."

"So I woke up to my ex and my girlfriend talking to one another."

"Obviously my girlfriend was mad my ex was there and things got heated between the two."

"My ex being level headed suggested they step into the hall since I was half awake and in no condition to deal with the drama."

"As they're arguing in the hall voices are being raised until finally a nurse comes to reign the situation in."

"The nurse breaking them up made my girlfriend leave."

"As she was leaving she yelled 'you can have his a**'."

"'It's not like I wanna be with some burnt up scarred dude anyway'."

"'He's f*cked'."

"At this point I was still bed ridden and hadn't seen a mirror."

"I was aware my body was f*cked but had no idea what I actually looked like."

"Hearing that was such a gut punch and it really messed with my head at the time."- Burnvictim49percent

Where To Even Begin?

"I am a tutor."

"I heard some of my students say ;What's the point in learning history? We should live in the present'."

"We are German."- GentlemanPirate13

Most of the time, when a friend or family member warns us or apologizes for sharing "too much information" or "TMI", what we've heard isn't that shocking in the grand scheme of things.

Indeed, as evidenced by the sad and shocking stories above, when people really share TMI, they often have no idea they're doing so.


A hand adds a yellow post it to a wall of yellow post its
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

There are rules in life where people are expected to just know how to operate without being told.

For instance, if someone falls down... help them.

When you like a sweater in a store... get money to buy it.

Just leaving with it won't go over well.

And there are more rules, or guidelines to adhere to...

Redditor christygl7 wanted to hear about what is expected in people's homes without words, so they asked:

"What's an unwritten rule in your household?"

If you have to pee... lift the seat cover.

The people in Port Authority always miss that one.

Routine

Cleaning Chores GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy

"Either my wife or I can do any chore when noticed. We thank each other for routine chores as we appreciate each other."

cwsjr2323

"That’s how my fiancée and I handle chores. Whoever’s around when the core needs to be done does the chore, typically. I find she does more regular cleaning of the whole apartment while I do more dishes and cooking."

radtech91

Trashed

"Replacing the trash bag IS PART OF taking out the trash."

UndiagnosedReptard

"Similar to this, in my house, the rule is if the toilet paper ended on your turn (or there’s barely enough for the next person) then it is your job to procure the next roll and put it in the bathroom. It is NOT acceptable to let it run out for the next person."

wavesnfreckles

"We have extra stored in every bathroom. I make sure of it. However, if it runs low/out on the roll, my wife will 100% of the time take the new roll and set it on top of the empty tube on the spindle, refusing to replace it. I actually called her over and shamed her into changing it in front of me the other night (not in an abusive way - we were both laughing about it)."

on_the_nightshift

Finder's Keepers

"If you find money in the laundry while you are doing the laundry, it's yours."

Rich1926

"Yep. My boyfriend learned that lesson the hard way when we first started living together. He had a bad habit of just crumpling up bills in a big wad in his pocket, usually just ones, but sometimes he accidentally leaves a twenty in there. I tipped myself the twenty. It took him a couple of days of trying to figure out where it went before I took pity on him and told him."

"He now both turns out his pockets and washes his own clothes. I still find the occasional single dollar in the dryer."

Head_Razzmatazz7174

Dropped something?

"If food is dropped on the floor it becomes the property of the dog. The dog knew this rule before we did."

Altruistic-Bit-9766

"That was one of the hardest things after our family dog died. Dropped something? Who cares! Riley will get it. But then he didn’t."

"Also, I don’t live at home anymore but coming home to him barking and crying out of excitement and greeting me always made my day and I looked forward to it every time I opened the door and could hear him wiggling in excitement on the side hahaha. It’s a little less exciting coming home now."

ohno807

Obligations...

Water Stay GIF by Kinda FunnyGiphy

"If the water you take from the Brita pitcher leaves what’s left below a certain line, you are obligated to refill the pitcher on penalty of death."

halcyon3608

If you stay in my home and don't refill the Brita pitcher...

I'm setting your hair on fire at 3 AM!!!

Flushed

Go Away Pink GIF by HacklockGiphy

"Check the toilet after you flush."

NANNYNEGLEY

"This. My brother-in-law never does this. It's annoying and disgusting! You don't want to clean up after yourself because you think it's gross? How do you think it makes me feel to clean up after you?"

purplestarsinthesky

WAKE UP!

"Wake someone up if their alarm goes off. It's a pretty weird one but setting up alarms is a conscious and deliberate decision for all of us and you want to wake up when it goes off, so we just help each other out."

DonMartiniMacaroni

"I'll do this a few times, but my roommate needs to learn not to hit snooze because he's taught his body that alarms don't need to be woken up to. I don't wake him up anymore. He started waking up to them."

stumblinbear

"I’ll wake them up because it annoys me when people snooze especially if I’m next to them in the bed and I don’t have to get up."

chill90ies

No Exceptions!

"Shoes off at the door. No exceptions."

Next-Dark-4975"

"Shoes-on people must not be using the same public bathrooms that I do. 100% of them have a lake of dirty urine in front of the urinal. They must also be amazing at finding two urine-free spots that are shoe-sized on the shores of said lake. It’s fine if they want to bring that into their homes. It’s not allowed in mine, though."

Bmadray

Table Manners

"No tech at the table."

"Even with a teenage daughter this has proved eerily easy; we all love food though!!"

"Also murder is out of the question, it is non-negotiable. If any of us kills another then they are outlawed in the true sense."

"Other than this, we are pretty cool."

Dante2005

Woof

Well Done Applause GIF by MOODMANGiphy

"Let the dog out to go potty before you use the restroom. (Seriously, the dog is asking to go out and you think she can wait while you take a 30-minute poop first? Not cool.)"

InfiniteBackspace

Always let the dogs go first.

If you wait, you won't like the surprise they leave!

person using laptop computer to make a credit card purchase
rupixen.com on Unsplash

Sometimes we look at a product and think "who would buy that, and why?"

For me the "Flowbee" home haircutting tool comes to mind. If you're unfamiliar, it's a shaver you attached to your vacuum cleaner so you hair was pulled past cutting blades.

It was sold on late night infomercials in the 1990s.

Who wouldn't want to style their hair like this?

Flowbee infomercial GIFGiphy

As fabulous as that looks, results did vary with most veering toward "yikes!" yet by 2000 the company reported 2 million were sold.

And *surprise* you can still buy one—for about $150.

It seems no matter how bad a product is, someone will buy it.

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