When eating out in local bars and restaurants, telltale signs signify the place you’re dining at is worth spending your hard-earned cash on. It’s the little things that matter in the eyes of a restaurant patron, and avoiding red flags is paramount to an enjoyable experience. Recently, diners of all ages met in an online discussion to reveal the green flags that signify eating at a fantastic establishment!
1. Knowledgeable Staff
Is there anything better than servers who expertly answer every question you throw at them while making excellent recommendations? It makes the whole restaurant experience borderline magical! “I love when the wait staff knows the menu and know what they are talking about,” confesses one woman. “They can also make recommendations based on what is fresh and or if the chef is doing something special that day.”
2. Spotlessly Clean Restrooms
In the eyes of countless diners, a restaurant is only as good as its restrooms. In other words, clean restrooms mean clean kitchens! Think about it: If the restaurant is putting effort into properly maintaining and cleaning their restrooms, it indicates that they don’t cut any corners. Feel free to dine at these establishments often because I’m positive their food is top-notch.
3. Happy Servers and Bartenders
As a former restaurant manager, I quickly discovered the happier the team was, the more satisfied our guests were! If staff is treated well, it shows, and there is a trickle-down effect that makes every part of the restaurant experience better. “Servers that are happy and enthusiastic is a huge green flag,” reveals one frequent diner. “Not just faking it, which comes off super obvious. This is a huge giveaway as to how the place treats its staff. Happy staff means happy customers.”
4. It’s Always Busy
Have you ever sat down in an unfamiliar restaurant, ordered your meal, and wondered where everyone was? It’s a common occurrence for many people. Unfortunately, this is a sign that the restaurant is not excellent. Great establishments are always busy no matter the time of day; if you walk past a new restaurant and it’s packed, that tells you more than a Yelp review ever could.
5. The Head Chef Is Overweight
Although this indicator is rude, some people feel it is a great indicator of a good restaurant: An overweight head chef. One person explains why. “Because you KNOW they know their way around a plate or bowl of great food,” they argue. “I’ve walked into a restaurant, and when I saw that the chef was skinny, I up and left before ordering anything.” Wow, people have no shame!
6. There Is More Than One Host
I’m only using anecdotal evidence when I say this, but I genuinely believe the best restaurants always have more than one host at the front desk. Two or more hosts give off an air of classiness and sophistication that tells me the restaurant does well enough to pay two hosts simultaneously. Therefore, the place must be great!
7. It Attracts a Specific Clientele
Believe it or not, restaurants that cater to a specific culture can be a great indicator of how amazing the food is. One person puts it all into perspective. “A general rule of thumb for eating at Asian restaurants is that if there are many people of that specific culture eating at a restaurant specializing in their country’s cuisine, that means the restaurant is not only good but authentic,” one expert alleges. I can see the logic in this!
8. A Focused Menu
Too many restaurants have an overly complicated and endless menu. The best establishments all have one thing in common: A focused, compact menu that varies only due to seasonal availability. To the diner, this shows that the chef cares about perfecting a few dishes instead of spreading himself too thin and causing a dip in quality.
9. The Ranch Dressing Is Top-Notch
According to many diners, you can tell a lot about a restaurant by the quality of its ranch dressing! Who knew? “I know I’m at a great spot when they have really good ranch dressing,” confesses one man. “It’s gotta be made fresh in-house with buttermilk. I’m disappointed if it’s Hidden Valley from a bottle.”
10. An Extensive Wine List
An extensive wine list is the ultimate green flag for most distinguished diners in identifying quality restaurants. The best restaurants boast comprehensive wine lists that cater to all palates. I’m not even the most prominent wine lover, but I admit I love scanning the wine list in anticipation. I ultimately settle for a beer, but for a few glorious seconds, I am a wine connoisseur.