Eating out at local restaurants in foreign countries is one of the most fun activities for many travelers. It allows us to get closer to the local culture, or to spend some pleasant time after a day of walking and exploring the landmarks. However, there are certain risks involved. Is food totally fresh and cooked properly? Do they clean the place well enough?
It’s not always obvious for those outside the industry what things demand our attention when eating out. So here are ten important warnings you should be aware of before ordering your meal at any eatery. The information was gathered after interviewing a big number of chefs and staff.
The ten popular danger signs that should make you eat elsewhere
- Untidy dining rooms. If the place – including the floors and walls – is not spotless, you don’t want to think about some other areas not shown to the visitors. The surfaces must all be clean – not just your table.
- The WC lacks tidiness. A dirty bathroom is widely considered the most obvious red flag. Like, imagine what their kitchen looks like.
- Any insects anywhere. A restaurant housing flies should have you up and off.
- Too long menus. A decent eatery usually has a well-organized menu card occupying 1-2 pages. Longer lists could mean some dishes are not popular enough to be ordered often – you will define them because of their low price.
- Food served is not warm enough or is dried. This indicates that the food wasn’t freshly cooked, but had been waiting for someone to finally order it and was then simply warmed up.
- Your dish is too hot. Yes, in case an opposite situation takes place, this should also get your attention. It means your food has spent too much time in the window, and they cooked it in advance, already prior to your order.
- The waiters don’t know the menu well enough. If your interest in what the dish’s ingredients are or how it tastes can’t be satisfied, and the waiters head to the kitchen saying they need to figure it out, this is it.
- The service is too unhurried. If it takes the staff more than ten minutes to attend your table, when the restaurant is not even full, chances are your further food experience won’t be a pleasant one either. Poor organization is often transferred to food.
- Chef yelling in the kitchen. If you can hear the chef trying to manage his team, or – even worse – the cooks fighting, they are almost surely screwing up your dish.
- A lot of vacant parking space during the busiest hours. This can probably mean the place is not in demand.