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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.

People Break Down Whether A Potential Partner's Politics Are A Dealbreaker

Reddit user duckmysick100 asked: 'How important are your partner’s political views to you? Is it a dealbreaker if they don’t align with your own?'

United States political map
Clay Banks on Unsplash

Twenty years ago, a question about politics and dating might have elicited very different answers.

But a large part of the United States seems to be getting more radicalized and more polarized.

While two decades ago most liberal versus conservative differences in the United States were about government size or spending, now it's about who has a right to exist or have body autonomy.

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Man peeking through window blinds
Photo by Chris Nguyen on Unsplash

Let's be honest: It's 2023, and times are pretty hard for most of us. We're all just out here, trying to do our best.

But while our instincts sometimes really save our butts, there are other times that our curiosity and impulses might get carried away.

In fact, they might get so carried away, we might find ourselves in some deep, deep trouble.

Redditor Mr_Manta asked:

"How has morbid curiosity screwed you over?"

A Troubling Find

"I found a human femur when I was a teenager and decided to take it home and hide it so I could inspect it."

"I was on exchange in Spain at the time. I didn’t know what to do with it after I brought it home, so like an id**t, I put it in my luggage five weeks later when I flew back home to my family."

"Airport security and I had really, really, really, really, really long talk."

"Edit: To answer all your questions, my friend and I had taken a walk to some cemetery in a roadside town. The population was 81. We thought the town had been abandoned, by the looks of it. We were dumb kids."

"We went to the cemetery and into some abandoned mausoleum. In it were So. Many. Bones. I grabbed a femur cause I was a 15-year-old who loved biology. I took it. That wasn’t cool."

- cowsmilk1994

What in the Pink Floyd...

"I Googled my estranged father's name and found out he died of an overdose, and they turned his cremains into a brick for a homeless memorial wall."

- Planet_Ziltoidia

Not a Smart Google Search

"I once Googled Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment. I wanted to see his furniture and stuff. That is NOT what I saw..."

- Efficient-Regular-96

Emergency Medical Technician Troubles

"I work as an EMT, a young EMT so obviously, I’m curious when someone says someone is dead."

"If you are a new EMT, don’t be curious; there isn’t anything good to see just major trauma."

- Individual-Estate758

Accidental Pepper Spray

"I thought this cool lighter was on a keychain, so I pressed the button. Turns out that cool lighter was pepper spray."

- copsdoesntstarttill4

The Horrors of Fire

"From the news: 'The Station nightclub fire occurred on the evening of February 20, 2003, at The Station, a nightclub and hard rock music venue in West Warwick, Rhode Island, United States, killing 100 people and injuring 230.' During a concert by the rock band Great White, a pyrotechnic display ignited flammable acoustic foam in the walls and ceilings surrounding the stage. Within six minutes, the entire building was engulfed in flames.'"

"There is a video shot by a cameraman from a local news outlet showing the start of the fire and approximately 13 minutes of heartbreak as the fire completely engulfed the building. As he circled the building he tried to open doors and call out to let people know that there was a way out, but the smoke was incredibly thick, and all you heard was screaming."

"The part that haunts me the most was the double doors at the front of the building, where people trying to escape were piled like wood in the doorway- one on top of another - people trying to free them couldn’t and eventually had to back off because of the fire. The video ends with the cameraman breaking down as emergency services finally arrived."

- Hot-Bandicoot8066

The Power of Electricity

"As a kid, I knew that you needed two wires for electricity to power an appliance. So I thought it would be a cool idea to let the electricity flow freely from one hole of a power outlet to the other, so I bent a wire in a U-shape and plugged it in."

"With my bare hands. At school, I believe in first grade. 220 Volt network. There was a flash, and I got thrown back, but thought nothing of it until some teachers came running and I got a lecture or two about safety."

- zedman_forever

A Recurring Mistake

"I found a memory card at work (retail). It sat on our desk for over two weeks. One day curiosity won and I stuck it in my phone."

"Memes, pics of family, and old man and old lady intimate parts."

"Then Google surprised me a few years later because it had uploaded them to my Google Drive."

- Itchy_Amphibian3883

Too Close to Home

"Finding out exactly where my dad died. He died in a car accident but I was never sure quite where it happened. I stupidly looked it up and found out it was right by where I lived and even drove past that exact spot plenty of times."

"Yeah, needless to say that did me way more psychological harm than good. I couldn’t handle it. Avoid that area at all costs. My husband got a job out of state and I was happy to move there just so I couldn’t be traumatized by living by that spot anymore."

- ZestyCloseTomato555

All Equal Deaths

"I killed a Rollie pollie when I was little and I still feel terrible about it."

- DoomSayerNih

Fair Enough

"Opening this thread and reading is officially at the top."

- Special_Lemon1487

Most of these entries were absolutely mortifying, and they remind us to be careful about what we're getting ourselves into, even if we're curious.

Otherwise, it can lead to terrible injuries if not terrible memories, which might even be worse, because they're so impossible to forget.

Man enjoying sangria solo
Sangria Señorial/Unsplash

When the cat's away, the mice will play.

That scenario could apply to many situations, but it generally refers to an individual enjoying temporary freedom to do as they please in the absence of a foe or constant companion.

In romantic couplings, this may involve a spouse or significant other finally engaging in private activity that could be frowned upon in the presence of the other person.

Curious to hear examples, Redditor shaka_sulu asked:

"Married folks, what's a non-sexual thing you look forward doing at home only when your spouse is away?"

Some people are happy to take up extra space.

Spacious Parking

"Parking my car in the middle of the garage."

– starkpaella

"Genius answer. It always brings joy."

– Heynicejobtoday

Hush

"The quiet. My husband constantly has the TV on, even if he’s not watching, and I enjoy silence."

– 2workigo

"This. My wife lived alone for many years and always has the TV on, even uses the one in the bedroom as noise to fall asleep to. The first thing I do when she’s gone is make sure all the noisemakers are shut off around the house. Well, except the cats. They don’t have off buttons."

– jaybeeg

Bed Positions

"Sleeping on the diagonal."

– snogweasel

"When you're there, I sleep lengthwise And when you're gone I sleep diagonal in my bed."

– downvotingprofile

Quiet Viewing

"I had a day off work today. Husband was at work, kids at school, so after I did the school run I came home, wrapped myself in our softest heated blanket, lay on the sofa and watched 3 movies with no interruptions. It was bliss."

– PheonixKernow

These Redditors can finally revel in their respective indulgences when they finally have the place to themselves.

Taste In The Finer Things

"The wife is a picky eater. When she is away, I either make a meal that she doesn’t like or I go to a restaurant that she doesn’t care for."

"It’s the little things. 😂"

– aizzo4

All Mine

"I cook almost all the meals. Almost being that we occasionally get take out. When I have a day off and my husband is working and my kids are at school/daycare, I go get breakfast and Waffle House. By myself. I sit there and eat a waffle, two scrambled eggs and bacon and I DONT HAVE TO F'KING SHARE! My husband despises Waffle House, but f'k I love those waffles. My parents used to have a waffle iron that made the traditional style waffles with the tiny squares until the cord shorted out. I miss them."

– missag_2490

Cheers

"My wife is in recovery, six years sober, and I support her in every way possible including, obviously, no alcohol in the house. If she’s away for a few days, I’ll grill me some steak tacos and wash them down with a really good Cabernet."

– Tom__mm

"I’m a recovering addict and I think you’re a great husband."

– JLHuston

Screen Time

"Watching TV shows he'd never watch, on the big TV."

– sexrockandroll

"There isn't an ancient aliens, shows from the early 80s (chuck Norris and Jack klugman), or horror movies that he won't watch - pausing every 3 seconds in case I miss something - that WE have to watch. When he travels for work I relish the quiet. Even the weather channel is enjoyable."

"My love for my husband has no end but he has the stupidest taste in shows yet whines if I would rather deep clean the basement than deal with any of it."

"But I can only deep clean the basement so many times..."

– Big-Mine9790

To each his/her/their own.

The Organizer

"Deep cleaning and reorganizing. I know, I'm a real party."

– Dependent_Top_4425

"You are my people. The garage door is hardly down before I'm getting busy!"

"There is not one thing better in this whole world than having some alone time in my spotless house."

– Individual-Army811

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

"Hike all day, get the sh**ty chinese takeout that she hates and I love despite knowing full well it’s objectively not good, and drink some nice beer while watching movies all night."

– holographoc

Establishing Order

"Putting things down and having them still be there when I want them."

"Having a clean house that stays that way for more than 30 seconds. I love him, but he's just a whirlwind of plates and seltzer cans some days."

– Lyeta1_1

When my husband's away, I watch all the horror films that have been stacking up in the queues of my streaming platforms.

He has a weak stomach for gore and violence, so we often avoid home invasion movies or slasher flicks and instead stick to comedy, drama, or dramedies, and documentaries.

Which is all well and good.

But when I have the place all to myself, I bust out the wine and Doritos and watch the latest Halloween or Scream movies I've been missing out on.

We've all had a conversation with someone where they say something where they've said something incorrect or inaccurate.

Sometimes, our gut reaction is just to laugh, as it was an honest mistake, such as mixing up a pair of celebrities or misusing or mispronouncing a word.

Other times, we might feel the need to put them in their place and not only correct them but educate them.

Then there are the times when we have just heard something so shockingly inane that we are left completely and utterly speechless.

Redditor Moo1124 was eager to hear all the dumb things the Reddit community heard which left them dumbfounded, leading them to ask:

"What's the stupidest thing you've ever heard anyone say?"

Before You Denounce Something, Make Sure You Know What It Is

"'I don't believe in astronomy'."

"We asked her if she meant astrology, and she asked, 'which is the one where like, you can tell what stars are made of?''

"We confirmed that was astronomy'."

"'Yeah, I don't believe in that'."- octohog

That Explains All The Traffic Jams?

"That when you press on the horn of your car, it lowers the amount of air in your front right tire due to it helping make that horn sound."- Boomstick123456

Oh, Dear...

"I was walking around the ruins of the ancient cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde just outside of Mancos, Colorado, (where the Ancient Puebloans lived from approximately 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D.) when a visitor asked the tour guide:"

"'Why did they build their homes so far from the highway?'"- badwolf1013

driving los angeles GIF by HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORYGiphy

Ribbet...

“'I can shoot with my left hand, I can shoot with my right hand, I'm amphibious'."- Master_Grape5931

Racist No Matter What...

"Apparently when my daughter was first born she looked vaguely East Asian."

"Enough, at least, for the nurses to ask if I was sure it was my baby."

"Now that was an incredibly weird thing to say to a new dad meeting his daughter for the first time, but it wasn't the stupidest thing someone said about this situation."

"That happened when I was retelling the above story to a client in a meeting."

"He asked to see a photo of my kid as a newborn, remarked how she really did 'look Asian', and then proceeded to ask if I thought my child might end up having an Asian accent when she got older."- JoeyCalamaro

"Where are you from, China or Asia?"- SonaPen22

Cbs No GIF by HULUGiphy

When Life Gives You Lemons

"Asked someone if they drove a stick."

"They responded, 'no, I drive a car'."

"Now I have a dad joke I’ll remember forever."- 99problemsbut

ID Please...

"I once found a big bulldog in my back yard."

"I don't own a bulldog."

"He was a big friendly, but slow witted guy."

"He look healthy and had a collar but no tags so I knew he was a local."

"I made sure he had water and went to the front yard to start knocking on doors."

"As soon as I stepped outside I saw the family three houses down all gathered in their front yard."

"So another case closed for our young detective."

"I walked over to them and said, 'You guys missing a bulldog?'"

"The mother looked at me and said, 'Is his name Tyson?'"

"The question took me aback."

"I mean, he didn't have tags."

"They knew he didn't have tags."

"So all I could think to say was, 'He didn't say'."

"'But I'm pretty sure he's yours'."

"To this day I wonder if that woman knew how dumb that question was."- Spodson

looks stupid english bulldog GIFGiphy

Under The Influence

"Stoned friend ."

"What year is February in?'"- IHave47Teeth

Woof Woof...

"My teacher told a class of 16-17 year olds about that super loyal dog in Japan who walked to the train station daily for nine years to wait for his owner, who died at work."

"After hearing that story, a girl raised her hand and asked 'Why didn't somebody just tell the dog?'"- Senator_Ruth_Martin

That's Why The FDA Warns Against It...

"When I was 12 years old a friend told me 'smoking is good for you because the smoke makes a shield around your heart when you breathe it in'."

"He argued that the smoke could prevent you from being stabbed or shot."

"Even at 12 I knew he was a moron."- ipondy

There's Denying Global Warming, And Then...

"Solar panels will cause a global ice age, because the law of thermodynamics states energy cannot be created or destroyed, so obviously they must be removing heat from the air."

"With no sense of irony of the scale nor efficiency (or lack thereof) of solar panels and their capacity to cool."- peptobiscuit

In Debt, Maybe...

"I knew a Finance major in college who thought he was worth $20k because he had two credit cards with $10k limit each."- alano134

No one loves a know-it-all.

Especially when they don't actually know anything at all...