13 Things Servers Won’t Eat at Their Own Restaurants

You know if a restaurant is safe to eat just by checking the bathrooms, but a little insight from people actually working there can be eye-opening.

13 Things Servers Won’t Eat at Their Own Restaurants

Keep in mind that just because some restaurants don’t have good hygiene standards, that doesn’t mean all restaurants are the same; there are no general rules, and every restaurant is managed differently.

When in doubt, memorize these foods to avoid when visiting a new restaurant.

#13 – Fried Stuff

Fried food

Fried food is unhealthy, it’s loaded with saturated fats and will impact your health directly, but that’s not the reason fried foods are on this list. How many times do you use frying oil at home? We bet you don’t use it even twice. Now imagine the same oil being reused dozens of times! Anything going in that oil is something you don’t want to order, guaranteed.

#12 – Ice Cubes


There’s a lot of paranoia going around the ice in restaurants, although it’s almost always safe to consume. It’s the small number of exceptions that you should be worried about. Bars might handle ice inadequately, stocking dirty trays with it or using un-sanitized shovels or tongs (or their hands.) Take a peek across the bar and see if there’s something fishy going on before ordering drinks.

#11 – Slow-Moving Buffet Items

Slow-Moving Buffet Items

Buffet items are kept in adequate conditions that prevent bacteria from growing. Still, slow-moving items, especially at the salad bar, might sit there for hours without being replaced, and that’s a problem. How many people are topping their buffet salads with Panela cheese? Not too many? Then ditch it.

#10 – The Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Sure, you’re hungry, and your starters won’t be coming out of the kitchen in at least twenty more minutes, but you should resist digging into the complimentary bread basket. Not everyone cleans their basket, right? So, where does the abandoned bread go? Probably to the next table.

#9 – Sauces


Food safety is tricky; bacteria stays at bay as long as the food is below a certain temperature, below 40°F, to be precise. How long has your chips and salsa been sitting on your table? At what temperature? Any dip and sauce outside a refrigerator is growing bacteria by the minute.

#8 – Soups and Creams

Soups and Creams

A restaurant will cook gallons of soups and creams in one big batch; it’s not a cooked-to-order item, which means your soup might have been prepped days (or even weeks) ago, especially if the soups are not ordered regularly. If you enjoy eating fresh food, avoid creams and soups, eating them the day they’re prepared is a long shot.

#7 – Pasta


There’s nothing wrong with pasta dishes, they’re often cooked a-la-minute and are crowd-pleasers, but you should avoid them for another reason — they’re bad value. Pasta is often priced at ten times their cost, so why throw your money away? Make pasta at home for delicious cheap meals instead.

#6 – The Kid’s Menu

The Kid’s Menu

Restaurateurs and chefs often forget kid’s menus. Why pay 10 dollars for frozen fish sticks? Kid’s menus are filled with fried foods; besides, kids never finish their meals at restaurants. Order something for yourself that you know your kids will enjoy and ask for a small plate for sharing.

#5 – The Daily Special

The Daily Special

Sometimes the daily special is great when creative chefs want to make something new and exciting for you to try, but more often than not, daily specials are overstocked food items about to expire. If a chef has too much-frozen salmon in the back, it’ll go to the special’s menu, just think about it.

#4 – Food Served on a Wooden Boards

Food Served on a Wooden Boards red meat beef

Doesn’t a juicy, thick steak look nice on a wooden board? It does, but wood is hard to sanitize, and even the best dishwashers leave traces of food in the invisible cracks. Wooden cutting boards are forbidden in many countries for a reason, so why should you eat over one?

#3 – Mojitos


Let’s imagine for a second that the cooks know what they’re doing and sanitize fruits and vegetables before service. Sadly, that might not be the case with bartenders who don’t have the same food-safety training as chefs. This means fruits, and especially herbs coming out of the bar are seldom sanitized. And no, alcohol will not disinfect them for you.

#2 – Burgers


Unless burgers are the restaurant’s specialty, they’re an afterthought, a necessary item that cooks are not very interested in making right. Even French bistros offer burgers because it’s the best-selling restaurant item in the country, but unless you’re eating at a hamburger, gastro temple, order something else and avoid disappointment.

#1 – Chicken Dishes

Chicken Dishes

Chicken dishes are often the most disappointing, uninspired concoctions coming out of the kitchen. Chicken is boring, it might be tasty, but no one has ever said: “that’s the finest chicken I’ve had in my life.” For the price, chicken at restaurants is often a bad deal.

There you have it!

Don’t get discouraged by the items above; people working the kitchens are proud of their work and will make sure your food is not only safe to eat but tasty, so and eat out often!

If you suspect something is not quite right, play it safe. Enjoy your meal and stay away from trouble.

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