A group of surveyed chefs have some suggestions that you will want to watch for when entering a restaurant. If you see any of these red flags, take your name off the waitlist, if there is one, and head on down the street to find a better restaurant. Chefs know what qualifies as a great restaurant, and they offer these suggestions.

Give a Smell Test

If you enter a restaurant and instantly smell fish, even in a seafood restaurant, it is time to leave. Smelly restrooms usually mean that the kitchen is even worse.

Watch for These Visual Signs

Skip a buffet restaurant as it is impossible to keep it sanitary. Dirty menus mean that nothing else is clean either, so do yourself a favor and leave. An extensive menu means that things are frozen and warmed up.


Instead, choose a restaurant with a small menu as line chefs have perfected each item.

Watch for misspelled items on the menu because it usually means it is not the real thing. Look for staff who are working together. That means that they want to be there and are more likely to provide outstanding service. If you find the catch of the day or local meat offered on a menu, consider your geographical location. There should be a lake or feedlot nearby.

A slow restaurant in a busy area indicates that other diners have decided to skip that restaurant choice.

Listen Up

If you go to a restaurant and it is really noisy, people are not enjoying their food as they are looking for excuses not to finish their meal. If you never see chefs interacting with customers, they are hiding out somewhere. Great chefs love to hear the praise of their satisfied customers.