How to Distinguish a Good Place From a Bad Place to Dine Out

It’s possible to understand whether you are in a good or bad restaurant in the first few minutes after you open the door and go inside. Of course, you can read reviews on the internet before going out to eat — this alone will help you to potentially find a good place. But reviews are not always honest and that’s why it’s better to check them out yourself. There are several things that you should pay attention to.

5-Minute Crafts learned about this topic and wants to share important nuances that can help you choose the best place to dine out.

1. If there are too many items on the menu, the quality of food could be pretty average.

If the cafe’s menu contains many dishes, it means the chef needs to have all the ingredients to fulfill your order on time. In this case, the freshness of the ingredients and getting your food on time becomes doubtful. To solve the issue of a big variety of dishes, they use pre-made food. This approach helps chefs greatly but the quality of food decreases.

Choose a cafe where the menu doesn’t consist of many pages. Keep in mind that even a small list of dishes can be diverse. When opting for cafes with small amounts of dishes indicated on the menu, you can be sure the quality of food is good and that it’s unlikely it was heated in the microwave right before being served.

2. If all the seafood on the menu is fried, it’s likely it was frozen.

Breading and frying seafood is an easy way to disguise the fact that it had been frozen before. It’s likely this place doesn’t have fresh food at all, which should make you question the expiration date and the storage conditions.

Moreover, food distributors offer a wide variety of pre-cooked fried fish. All a restaurant needs to do is heat it up and serve. In this case, when ordering seafood, the chances to get something that was recently quickly deep-fried are pretty high.

3. If it’s impossible to remove or replace ingredients in a dish, it was likely pre-cooked.

Let’s say you want to order a dish but you hate onions and ask to have the dish made without them. This request won’t be an issue for a high-rated restaurant and your wish will be fulfilled.

A situation where a waiter says that the chef can’t remove an ingredient from a dish or replace it looks totally different. In this case, you can be 100% sure that the dish was pre-cooked and it will be simply be heated up before it’s served to you.

4. If the staff are attentive to details, they really care about your comfort.

There are little things you can do without, but they turn an ordinary meal in a restaurant into a pleasant experience and make you want to return to this place over and over again.

  • Water glasses that are always filled.
  • Napkins that the waiter folds nicely, while you are using the restroom.
  • Tissues that are always there on your table, that you don’t have to ask for

When the staff can anticipate their guest’s desires and show little signs that they are attentive, guests will want to visit this cafe as often as possible.

5. If the dishes are served on time, it means the whole team works together smoothly.

All courses must be served in the correct order and on time unless there were agreements otherwise with the waiter. None of the guests wants a second course before they finish the first one, especially if there is a possibility that untouched food will cool down.

And it’s even worse when one visitor out of the many has to wait for their courses at the same table, and gets their dish earlier or later than others. In this case, they have to sit and look at how others are eating, or vice versa to start eating before others in order to not to let their food cool down. It’s an unpleasant situation no matter which way it happens.

In a good restaurant, the staff calculates the time correctly to cook the first courses simultaneously. Waiters know when to bring the food and in what sequence, while the manager makes sure the food is served correctly and on time.

6. If no one greets you at the door, don’t expect good-quality service.

A restaurant where guests are not welcomed at the entrance causes doubts about the good service inside. It’s one thing when you are going to a small cafe and the owner needs some time to finish her or his small talks with other visitors. But it’s a totally different thing when you have to stand and wait for someone from the staff to pay attention to you help you figure out where to sit.

If you came to a restaurant and you have to ask personnel who are passing by to tell you where you can have a seat, you shouldn’t expect good service in the future.

7. If bartenders touch the rim of your glass, it can potentially be dangerous for you.

No responsible bartender or waiter will ever touch the rim of a glass. Otherwise, you will have to place your lips to a place that has recently been touched by another person’s fingers.

Pay attention to how the staff handles the glasses and cutlery. If you notice something that does not suit you, it makes sense to get up and go have a meal at a different place.

8. If the restrooms are clean, it means the kitchen is in order too.

Cafes that spend time, money, and effort keeping their bathrooms clean, also make sure that their staff cares about the comfort of their visitors. Workers regularly clean the floors, take out the trash, and replenish the toilet paper — looking at this, it is safe to say that this responsible attitude certainly carries over to everything.

If the bathroom and the dining area are clean, if there are no stains on the glassware, and if your feet don’t stick to the floor, it’s likely that the kitchen is clean too and the food is stored in the right conditions.

9. If the cafe is full, even on weekdays, it means visitors like this place.

The easiest and most obvious sign that can help you judge how good a restaurant or cafe is, is to see how full it is. If most of the tables in this place are regularly occupied, it means the place is popular and people want to visit it again and again. Usually, these places have good cuisine, excellent service, and a pleasant atmosphere.

The surrounding environment also matters. Pay attention to the design of the hall, to how the tables are located, to whether there is enough free space, to how noisy the cafe is, and to whether you feel comfortable. Every person has their own preferences. Opt for something that you like.

10. If a waiter is too friendly, it could be a red flag.

Good service partially depends on having a waiter who can keep the balance between giving attention to their table and giving them freedom. It is important for the employee to find the line so as not to distract the visitor from eating every 2 minutes, but also to not make the visitor wait for them for a long time.

The degree of friendliness shouldn’t be overwhelming. The patron will instantly understand when the waiter is cunning and ingratiating. This hypocritical communication leaves an unpleasant feeling about whether the waiter is trying to look kind in order to get something (the tip, perhaps?). A good employee knows when to pay attention to the guest and when it’s better not to go up to them.

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