Top 20 Restaurant Red Flags According To This Online Thread

Published 1 year ago

There are a few reasons to visit a restaurant; the food, the experience, the convenience, the chance to engage in a neutral social setting with friends and family etc. While we go in with high expectations, not every place is able to deliver. At the end of the day, we just want a good experience since more often than not we are paying a premium for it. So how do we ensure we pick the right place for our requirements?

Redditors took to the online community to share the red flags they’ve learned to look out for that are the tell-tale signs of a potentially bad experience and we’ve shared a few of the best deal-breaker tips for you below so that your next restaurant choice leaves everyone truly impressed, full and happy.

More info: Reddit

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Image source: McSillyoldbear, Pablo Merchán Montes

Kids running wild. Apart from the inconvenience of the other diners it’s dangerous when staff are walking round with hot food.
Edit. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many up votes. I thought I was posting something controversial. People sometimes get triggered when someone mentions badly behaved kids and think your just some bitter child hater. But actually I love kids. I just don’t want to eat in their playground.


Image source: Philcycles84, Hans Vivek

Loud music. I’ve been in restaurants before where I can’t hear myself think, let alone hear people opposite me talk.

Edit: comments were irritating me, so I amended


Image source: Spraynpray89, Adrien Olichon

Not a deal breaker but more of a huge pet peeve, and please…if you are a waiter/waitress please please please listen to me:

If you are going to take my whole tables order by memory, and write none of it down, You sure as s**t better get it right. If that’s a problem, just write it down… literally no one cares, and I actually prefer it when I see this done.


Image source: domin8r, Rod Long

If they just ignore you for 10 minutes. Even if you are (too) busy at least acknowledge you’ve seen me and will get to me.


Image source: LittleBlackBird0191, Vanna Phon

Owners being rude to staff in front of guests


Image source: Stanford-baller, Wilhelm Gunkel

No hand soap in the restroom.
Unless staff have their own restroom no one’s washing hands after doing their business into
urinal or toilet.


Image source: DarthGayAgenda, Andrew Seaman

The smell when you walk in. If you can smell sewage, mold or excessive bleach or ammonia when you walk in over the food, turn around.


Image source: onthedownhillslope, Nicolas Hoizey

When they keep the lights so low that you literally can’t see the menu. I’ve been in three places like this, and the food is always bad. The place is dark for a reason.


Image source: indigoassassin, Max Burger

No prices on the menu. If I’m going to spend money, I want to know how much I’m going to spend. Just tell me the steak is $40 for f**k sake.


Image source: IAmSagacity, Erik Mclean

Dirty menus. If they can’t be bothered to wipe the menu then what else are they not cleaning?

Edit: I see excuses like ‘there’s not enough time’, ‘it’s not a priority’, ‘the last thing we’re going to do is clean the menus’.

There’s always an excuse not to do something. Like I asked, what else are they not cleaning?


Image source: SallyJane5555, Jin Yeong Kim



Image source: ruvol23, Jonas Leupe

Hidden fees or changing prices regularly. I’ll go once, but if that happens, I won’t return.


Image source: Stokehall, Foo Visuals

I’m from UK so maybe not relevant but HUGE menu with loads of variety. If they can just master 5 or 6 dishes they will taste far better that the 50 different options that the kitchen has to offer.


Image source: KHUSTOM, Clint McKoy

Warm water served in a piping hot glass from the dishwasher.


Image source: LuckyLawyer21,

Taking forever to get the check grinds my gears. I’m less likely to return if I had to wait a long time to leave. I don’t want to be held hostage after my meal.


Image source: thejamielee, Tai’s Captures

if you go to a mexican/tex-mex spot and the chips and salsa are terrible just pack it up and leave, nothing will get better.


Image source: Isorry123, Rita Chou

Being seated next to other diners *in an otherwise empty restaurant **if it’s not a shared dining experience like a BBQ


Image source: jimcol, Rod Long

Tables packed closely together to the point where you might as well just be sitting with the strangers next to you.


Image source: lambchoplives, Clay Banks

“3% has been added to your bill for to provide a living wage for our employees” uhm EXCUSE ME SIR, that’s squarely your goddamn problem.


Image source: MowBooVee, Sam Dan Truong

Paying and tipping on a handheld electronic device while the waiter stares me down. One guy actually “instructed” me to press the 25% tip option as if it’s a required step of the transaction. Infuriatingly rude.

I waited tables and bartended for over 8 years and it was always considered a huge no-no to stand over someone while they tipped, totaled, and signed the slip.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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deal breakers, dine-out red flags, dining out, red flags, restaurant dealbreakers, restaurant red flags, restuarants
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