You can't see inside the kitchen at most restaurants, so there's no way to tell how clean it is. Here are five red flags you can look out for.

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  1. How clean the outside of the restaurant is. If there's trash in the parking lot, or the dumpster area looks overly gross, the kitchen might not be very clean either.
  2. How clean the bathrooms are. A gross bathroom is an even bigger sign that the restaurant's standards for cleanliness might not be that high.
  3. How clean the servers are. They should be reasonably well-groomed, and you don't want to see them touching money then serving you food without washing their hands.
  4. Look out for employees who might be coming down with something. A recent study found 53% of the people who work at chain restaurants have gone to work sick.
  5. Watch how they clean the tables. They shouldn't be using the same dirty rag to clean the tables, the menus, and the condiments. If they do, they're probably just spreading germs around.