10 Signs You’re at a Bad Restaurant

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4. It Has Bad Reviews

Thumbs Down
Source: Pixabay

The best way to avoid dining at a bad restaurant is to check out the online reviews first. If it has a score below 3.5, it’s best to avoid eating at that establishment, Traveller.com advises. If the reviews are influencer-heavy, that is, if they’ve hired a PR team to get local bloggers, journalists and others to frequently post reviews, you might not be getting an accurate description of the restaurant. “If you see influencers singing their praises on Instagram, but find their Yelp reviews are questionable, this is a big indication of bad service,” Fabiana Meléndez, a publicist in Austin, Texas, told Reader’s Digest.

3. You Don’t Smell Smoke

Smoke Coming From Grill
Source: Pixabay

Okay, normally this is something you don’t want to smell at a restaurant. But, if you’re going to a barbecue restaurant, it’s exactly the kind of thing you want to smell.

“Do you smell the smoke? Is it hickory and oak? If they’re not running the pits while you’re there, it’s a possibility they don’t cook fresh every day,” Myron Mixon, a Barbecue Hall of Famer, told Fox News.

“You should see a smoker either outside the building or in a smokehouse,” Tuffy Stone of Q Barbecue told Fox News. “If they don’t have one, I would be worried,” Stone added.

2. They Have a Street Team

Human Billboards
Source: Wikimedia Commons

But, not just any street team. If they have someone outside ushering people in off the street and trying to convince them to eat there, it’s a sign that they’re desperate for customers and that the food may not be all that great. Ryan Sutton, a blogger and Bloomberg critic, told Food and Wine magazine that taking the word of a street team member is a lot like ordering a product from an infomercial. It’s likely that these people are biased, so it’s best to do some research on your own first before dining there.

1. The Menu Uses Flowery Language

Menu On Chalkboard
Source: Pixabay

If you see words and phrases like “luscious” and “fall off the bone” in the menu, it’s a pretty good chance they’re hyping it up a bit. “When I read the menu, it needs to have a brief description,” Myron Mixon of Jack’s Old South, told Fox News.

Speaking of language, Traveller.com says that multi-language menus are also a red flag. “There’s reasonable logic for a menu in Prague to be translated into German and English, for example. One’s the major language of neighboring countries, and the other is the nigh-on global lingua franca. But if there are also translations in Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, then it’s usually a sign of a place going whole hog for undemanding tourists,” the website said.


Do you have any restaurant dining tips to offer? Feel free to do so in the comments below. Thanks, and bon appetit!