There’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve found an amazing take-out joint. But your voyage of discovery can be a long and twisting one. There’s often a lot of trial and error as you work your way through meals that aren’t as good as you’d hoped.
Wouldn’t it be great, therefore, if there was a way to know you’ve found a great take-out joint before you sit down?
Well, it turns out that there is. Here are some of the signs you’ll want to check to tell you that you’ve found a great joint.
It Has Stylish Decor
You wouldn’t think that stylish decor has much to do with the quality of the food, but you’d be surprised. It turns out that the quality of a restaurant’s interior tells you a lot about the overall success of their business model.
Think about it: if you’re making a lot of money from your food, what’s the first thing that you do as a restaurant owner? The answer is to invest in the way your joint looks so that you can attract more customers.
You’ll often find, therefore, that the best carryout restaurants tend to have stylish decor, visible from the outside. They use it as a tool to draw you in.
Thus, next time you’re scouting for restaurants, take their interior appearance into consideration.
You Can See Booths
Related to this point, restaurants that have booths tend to also offer higher-quality food and service.
Fundamentally, it’s about their attitude to customers. Outlets that don’t mind sacrificing space to give people privacy probably also put as much effort into thinking about their food as well.
Strictly speaking, booths aren’t economical. They take up space. That’s why so many cafeterias and fast-food joints, just line people up with tables next to each other. They want to pack as many people in as possible to ensure that they make money. Restaurants that don’t do this and instead give you space are telling you that your experience matters more. And that’s a rare thing.
Their Health Inspection Ratings Are Excellent
Health inspections are a regular feature of the foodservice industry. And while they’re a headache for business owners themselves, they’re great for consumers.
Again, a health inspection rating doesn’t tell you anything about the food directly. But it does indicate that the people working at the establishment pay attention to detail It shows that they take freshness seriously.
The Online Reviews Are Overwhelmingly Positive
You can now find out all you need to know about a take-out joint online, thanks to numerous industry review sites.
People don’t hold back in online reviews. If there’s a problem with the food, you’ll soon find out.
What’s more, when a restaurant has more than fifty reviews, the overall review score tends to be highly indicative of the level of service that you can expect to receive. It’s rare for members of the public to miss the mark.
Granted, the pandemic is making it more difficult for restaurants to host vast crowds of people. However, it remains a great indication of the quality of a joint for the future.
If you’re still hunting for great take-outs after the pandemic, look out for this sign.
It Looks Like A Temple Of Food
The architectural style of restaurants can often tell you a lot about the priorities of the owners. Some outlets look like they’re trying to push down costs as low as possible to squeeze a profit, while others are bonafide temples of food.
Next time you drive by a take-out outlet, get a sense of what the architecture is telling you. Is it a celebration of taste? Or is it a cool, calculating business enterprise?
The Owners Love Food
Lastly, pay attention to the owners of the business and how they feel about food. If they’re just C-suite executives borrowed from other companies, the food that you get will probably feel “productized.” However, if the people behind the brand are foodies themselves, then you’re much more likely to get something authentic.
You can always tell whether love and care have gone into the food. It just tastes better – and it’s more of an event. But it’s unlikely you’ll get an experience like that from restaurants run purely as businesses. What you want are establishments with a legacy and a mission. And, ideally, you want the people who run them to be obsessed with the quality of the food that they provide.
So, there you have it: how you know you’ve found a great take-out – without actually having to eat the food first.
Do you have a favorite, local restaurant in your town or city? What is it?