Jenna Peffley for
If you’re prone to eating out more than you cook at home, you might want to pay attention to the following. A Reddit thread in which restaurant employees divulged the hospitality industry’s dirtiest little secrets, specifically when it comes to ordering at restaurants.
According to ’s roundup of the thread’s most shocking reveals, complimentary bread at restaurants should be avoided at all costs. “A lot of the time, if you don’t eat it all, it goes right back to the bread warmer,” warned Reddit user . Another essential tip comes courtesy of , who suggests ordering a restaurant’s most popular item in favor of one that’s ordered less frequently. As it turns out, the ingredients used in a menu’s rarely ordered dish are more likely to be past their best-before dates.
When it comes to beverages, recommends skipping all citrus garnishes, which are never washed thoroughly despite being handled by the staff’s hands multiple times throughout the course of any given night. Ice, too, should be avoided, as “the machines rarely get cleaned and often have mold issues,“ explains .
Finally, if you’re going to order food, make sure not to do it right before a restaurant shuts its doors for the night. warns that since most cooks turn off their burners to clean them well before a restaurant is actually closed, it’s likely that your food won’t be cooked at the required temperature.
Meanwhile, vegetarians need to be cautious of cooks who don’t wash their hands after handling meat products, warns . “When [our cooks] get an order to make a fish burger, they touch the lettuce, cheese, etc. with the same hand that made contact with the bacon.”
For more restaurant dos and don’ts, visit .
To find out what really goes on behind the scenes in a restaurant, read Anthony Bourdain’s confessional , and let us know your secret tips for dining out.