Chefs Share Restaurant “Red Flags” That People Should Look Out

A Reddit user posted a question “Chefs, what red flags should people look out for when they go out to eat?” Here are some of the most upvoted responses.

1. If a restaurant has a HUGE menu…it’s all frozen

restaurant red flagsutahjuzz,Brian Kelley

2. The first thing they told us in culinary school when you’re learning food safety is: If you enter a seafood restaurant and smell fish, leave

XxcontaminatexX,Brian Fitzgerald

3. When the menus are super dirty and never cleaned, that means everything is super dirty and never cleaned


4. In culinary school, every single chef-instructor says the same thing: If it’s misspelled on the menu, that’s on purpose. It’s so they don’t have to sell you the real thing. A prime example is ‘krab cakes’


5. 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

fancyfrenchtoilet,Nacho Facello

6. We have a sushi place me where the chef gives you free samples of future dishes. This usually means they take pride in their work and want to see peoples reactions before committing it to the menu.

restaurant red flags[deleted],Thomas Marban

7. ‘Catch of the day’ restaurants better have a lake or an ocean within a 50-mile radius. If they are advertising fresh-caught Alaskan salmon and you aren’t in Alaska, chances are that [thing] is not fresh

ComedyCookingFitness,Paul Einerhand

8. If the area is busy but the restaurant is empty, that’s usually a bad sign.

restaurant red flags


9. I always look for how the staff interact with each other. If they all seem to enjoy being there, and coordinate well, more often than not it’s because everything is running smoothly and they have a good system, which usually means they know what they’re doing and you can expect good food

ruizpancho,Michael Davies

10. No matter how well managed a buffet is, it can never be sanitary. It is not reasonably possible to run a sanitary buffet business