There are some serious tell-tale signs that can tell you you’ve stepped into a bad restaurant minutes after you’ve entered their doors. Want to know how?
Nobody’s Greeting You
A restaurant’s entrance is where first impressions about the place are sealed. A restaurant which doesn’t quite have a protocol that customers are greeted at arrival is a place that lacks proper management. So if it's only that the hostess is seating another table, and you just have to wait a while before they greet you, then it's one thing to consider. But if you’d have wait for a long period to be greeted upon arrival or one where you’d have to flag down a passing member to inquire about seating, then there’s a serious problem.
The hospitality world dictates that it should be within 60 seconds that a table must be greeted at any restaurant. Your server may be completely stuck or may not be able to get your drink or even tell you the specials on their menu, but you must be attended to and told that you’d have to wait a few minutes until someone comes to take care of you. If for nothing, this is a great way to break the ice with guests.
It’s a Ghost Town
If you’re probably seated at the best table by the window at 8 pm on a Saturday, with no reservation whatsoever, you may want to doubt what you’ve got yourself into. Its a tell-tale sign that you’ve won the best seating because nobody’s wanting to claim it, anyway. While this may be acceptable for new establishments gradually gaining hold of the market, a restaurant that continues to operate in a lull is likely going nowhere. And you must pay attention.
The table setting or menus are dirty
Dirty menus or table settings are no excuse. No dirty glassware must hit the table too. A little amount of teamwork goes a long way in avoiding such mistakes and the nicest of places are bound to make some of them. Though, when the 'guest experience' in a restaurant is closely paid attention to along with a well-trained staff who are able to execute it, then you’re guaranteed to have a stellar time dining at the place.
Dirty Dishes Aren’t Being Cleared
Dirty dishes must be cleared. Nobody’s going to sit next a pile of somebody’s dirty dishes left on the table. Even if the table’s not got any customers waiting, there is no reason to leave dirty dishes lying on the table. And it isn’t just about cleaning the table. A quick sweep with a broom under and around the table would also be good, particularly if its left messy with children eating about it. Condiments and other tableware lying around must get a good wipe as well.
The Kitchen or Server Is Getting It Wrong Too Many Times
Mistakes are likely to happen since we’re all human at the end of the day. But they must be handled well, and in a pleasant fashion. If that’s not happening, that’s a clear sign that this is a terrible place you’re at. Things that should never ever happen to you in a restaurant include having the wrong table’s food coming to your table, kitchen staff giving you something completely different from what you had ordered, meat not being cooked properly, cold food or a server forgetting to input the order into the kitchen.
More so, if the servers aren’t savvy enough to make up for the bad experience by offering you something off of your bill, then its just another one of those signs that reveal this ain’t a place worth coming back to.
The Biggest Sign
A clean bathroom’s a pretty good sign that the kitchen’s been kept in proper place. Good restaurants have their restrooms checked on a periodic basis throughout a shift to ensure that toilet paper and paper towels are being stocked and things are operating in proper fashion. When the shift ends, the bathroom is scrubbed properly with a good bleach and disinfectant. If it smells of urine and the floors are noticeably dirty with overflowing trash bins, then there’s a problem with how things are managed around, not just here but also in the kitchen. Rest assured, you wouldn’t want to eat in this place.
Can you think of places you shouldn't have eaten at? What place comes to mind? Tell us!