15 Sneaky Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know


Dining out is always a treat, but have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurants? Those who have worked as servers have fascinating stories to tell about what really goes on behind the scenes in the restaurant industry. Certain surprising facts might change how you view your next meal out.

Ingredients Aren’t Always Fresh

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Many restaurants rely heavily on frozen or pre-packaged ingredients. Instead of daily fresh produce deliveries, they often use items that can be stored for longer periods. This helps them cut costs and reduce waste. However, it might mean that your “fresh” salad or seafood isn’t as fresh as you think.

Menu Prices Are Strategically Designed


Ever noticed how some prices end at .95 or .99? This isn’t by accident. Restaurants use psychological pricing to make items seem cheaper than they are. For instance, $9.99 feels more affordable than $10. Menu design often highlights higher-profit items to catch your eye first.

Portions Are Carefully Calculated


Restaurant portions are often controlled to maximize profits. Chefs weigh ingredients to ensure consistent servings, which helps manage food costs. This practice also means that the sumptuous plate you’re served might be carefully measured to keep expenses in check.

Specials Aren’t Always Special


Daily specials are a great way to sell surplus ingredients. Restaurants often use these to move items that are nearing their expiration date. While you might enjoy a delicious dish, it’s also a clever tactic to avoid food waste. Next time you hear about the special, think twice about why it’s being offered.

Cleanliness Can Be Deceptive

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The dining area might look spotless, but what about the kitchen? Health inspections reveal that not all restaurants meet high standards of cleanliness. You might want to glance at recent health inspection scores before making a reservation. If food falls on the table, treat it as contaminated, and be sure to wash your hands or use Purell after handling the menu.

Recycled Bread and Butter

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When you sit down and get served bread and butter, you assume it’s fresh just for you. However, many restaurants recycle uneaten bread and butter from previous tables. Instead of throwing away untouched items, they might re-serve them to cut costs. It’s a common practice that helps minimize waste but might make you think twice about diving into that breadbasket.

Menu Descriptions Are Marketing Tools


Descriptive menu language does more than make your mouth water; it’s a strategic marketing tool. Words like “succulent,” “farm-fresh,” or “handcrafted” are designed to give rise to specific emotions and justify higher prices. These enticing descriptions often make dishes sound more gourmet and exclusive than they are. You’re paying not only for the food but also the experience they’re selling.

Servers Influence Your Choices


A server’s recommendations aren’t always based on personal preference. They are trained to upsell certain items or steer customers toward high-profit dishes. When a server suggests a particular appetizer or dessert, it’s likely part of a sales strategy. This tactic helps increase the restaurant’s revenue without you even realizing it.

Cooking Techniques Can Be Deceptive

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Grill marks on your steak might not be from a grill. Many restaurants use a technique called “par-cooking” and then add artificial grill marks later. The process speeds up preparation during busy times. While it looks appealing and tastes good, the steak wasn’t necessarily cooked on a grill as you might expect.

Ice Machines Are Germ Havens

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Although your drink might be refreshing, the ice in it could be less so. Ice machines are notorious for being breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. This means the ice cooling of your beverage might not be as clean as you’d hoped. Don’t peek inside if you like your drinks cold.

Lemons or limes Aren’t Always Fresh

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Lemons used in drinks at bars and restaurants are often the most unhygienic food item present, sometimes leading to episodes of food poisoning. Usually, they are not washed and pass through multiple hands, spending a significant amount of time exposed in the open air. Consider carefully before requesting lemon slices in your drink.

Tap Water Could Be Your Best Bet


Many diners opt for bottled water, assuming it’s a safer or tastier option. Surprisingly, some restaurants fill these bottles with tap water and charge you a premium. You’re essentially paying extra for something you could get for free. It’s a sneaky way to boost profits.

Leftover Wine Isn’t Wasted

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When you order a glass of wine, you might be getting leftovers from a previously opened bottle. Rather than pouring fresh wine for each glass, restaurants often serve from partially used bottles. This practice helps reduce waste but can affect the quality of your drink. It’s something to consider when you’re selecting a single glass instead of a whole bottle.

Ketchup Bottles and Salt Shakers Get Pretty Gross


Think twice before grabbing that salt shaker or ketchup bottle on your table. Throughout the day, items left on the tables during service can accumulate significant germs. Even if the dish is spotless, condiments are usually overlooked when cleaning the table. Consider wiping them down or using a napkin to handle them.

Some Diners Often Get To Pay Extras on their Bill


Diners who are a bit tipsy or aiming to make a good impression on their companions often overlook reviewing the bill before settling it. Restaurant staff are well aware of this, which means that there are unethical waiters who might sneak in additional items without the customers’ knowledge.


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