Server Reveals "Ugly Truth" About the Restaurant Business

Tatayana Yomary - Author
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Jul. 17 2023, Published 11:09 a.m. ET

Thanks to word of mouth and popular apps like Yelp, it’s easy for folks to assess which restaurants are worth dining in. Many of us would say that restaurants getting a clean bill of health from the health department is pretty much the only prerequisite for having a meal at the location.

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That said, there has long been discourse online about some restaurants not living up to the gold standard when it comes to preparing food — from cooking in dirty kitchens to serving items on dirty dishes and with dirty utensils. However, some folks are convinced that their desired restaurants follow the health department’s rules and regulations.

Interestingly, one TikTok user has sounded the alarm on what goes on in the kitchen. In a rapid-growing video, the server has shared the ugly truth about restaurants and folks aren't too surprised. Here’s the 4-1-1.

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A server shares ugly truths about restaurants in a TikTok video.

Do you trust that your favorite restaurants practice proper cleaning protocols? In a July 5, 2023, TikTok video, creator Hazel (@hazel_gm) ruffled a few feathers as she revealed the ugly truths about restaurants as a server.

As the video begins, Hazel appeared with text above her that reads: “The Ugly Truth.”

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Hazel said, “Here’s what you need to know about restaurants from someone who worked in multiple restaurants.”

Hazel said that the “kitchen is not clean and not up to our standards.” And while she apologized for the revelation, she said that “it’s just the truth.”

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As the creator continued to reveal troubling truths, she revealed that it’s likely that your server hasn’t washed their hands for their entire shift. She even recalled a moment when she was teased by staff for washing her hands.

“They used to make fun of me because of how much I washed my hands,” Hazel shared. “The dishwasher once told me, ‘You come back here a lot and wash your hands. What’s going on? I said, ‘That’s just what I do. See when I have other people’s food on my hands, I go wash them.”

Hazel said that she also watched servers “clean a dirty table and turn around and make a salad with their bare hands.”

As the video progressed, Hazel said this is the risk we take when going to a restaurant. She also highlighted that the ice is not as clean as we would want it to be.

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“That ice is pretty nasty and the reason why is because no one cleans the containers that the ice is in,” Hazel said. “Usually we’re transporting ice from the ice maker to the drink machine. So, whatever container we’re using probably hasn’t been cleaned in years.” Disgusting!

Hazel admitted that different restaurants have various cleaning protocols.

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“If it's corporate run, they probably have sanitation stations that consist of buckets with pre-mixed sanitizing liquid that you dip a rag in, go to the table, and wipe it down with,” Hazel said. “Let me tell you, no one is changing out those buckets as often as they should be.”

Hazel also shared that fellow servers made it a point not to clean out their sanitizing buckets.

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Apparently, Hazel said that other restaurants simply spray a disinfectant on the tables and wipe it down, but “no one lets it sit long enough for it to actually be disinfecting.”

Hazel said that nighttime cooks are better than daytime cooks. While she isn't sure why that’s the case, she chopped it up to the restaurant wanting a better cook when it’s busier.

Also, dining out in the evening is best since “that’s when you’re going to have the best servers, dishwashers, and cooks.”

TikTok users agree with Hazel’s opinions and also shared other restaurant secrets.

Whew, it’s safe to say TikTok users are aligned with Hazel’s sentiments about the ugly truths regarding restaurants. In fact, some folks also spilled the tea on other shocking truths that may just make folks reconsider dining out.

“My supervisor yelled at me for 'washing my hands too much on the clock' lmao I was a busser,” one person commented.

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“Girl SAME! I use to get yelled at for 'wasting my time' every time I washed my hands during rush hour 😐,” another former server shared.

“What gets me is them wearing gloves but touching EVERYTHING anyway,” another user chimed in.

So, now that a server has decided to put restaurants on full blast for their shortcomings, will they make a change in their cleanliness practices? Only time and another update will tell.

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