restaurant interior chandelier decor with caption 'When you walk into a restaurant starving but the interior decor looks like this' (l) restaurant This must be the place neon sign decor (c) restaurant interior margarita sign decor with caption 'When you walk into a restaurant starving but the interior decor looks like this' (r)

@makoislandmermaid/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Just know the food is about to be mid’: Customer says neon lights, chandeliers at restaurants are a sign of bad food

‘Instagram food.’


V Roth


A woman shared a video of trendy restaurant decor, saying that this type of interior design is a sure sign that the food will be bad. 

In a viral video, TikTok user Phoebe (@makoislandmermaid), says that she had gone to one of these restaurants, but she was quickly disappointed by the trendy interior design. 

“When you walk into a restaurant starving, but the interior decor looks like this,” she wrote in the video’s overlay. 

Phoebe shows clips of the restaurant’s design: a crystal wisteria chandelier, brick walls painted white, neon lights, a selfie wall of fake flowers, and a sign reading, “If life gives you lemons, make margaritas.” 

In the caption, she wrote, “Just know the food is about to be mid.” 


Just know the food is ab to be mid 😞


On Wednesday, Phoebe’s video had over 619,000 views. Many commenters shared similar experiences at restaurants with the same style of interior design, some calling it “cheugy.” 

Urban Dictionary defines cheugy as “the opposite of trendy. Stylish in middle school and high school but no longer in style. Used when someone still follows these out of date trends.” 

The kind of interior design shown in Phoebe’s video, popular on Instagram in the 2010s, is now largely considered to be outdated. Many commenters agreed, saying that these types of restaurants are designed to be “Instagrammable,” rather than focusing on the quality of their food. 

“When I see neon signs and artificial grass walls, I move on,” one commenter wrote. 

“This is what I call ‘Instagram food’,” another said. “All they care about is aesthetics vs. quality, but it doesn’t even look good.” 

Several commenters highlighted the ubiquity of these cheugy restaurants; they seem to exist in most major cities and follow the same pattern. Many comments are incorrect guesses about where the restaurant is located or what it’s called, with commenters swearing that they’d been there in cities ranging from New York City to Miami to Los Angeles. 

Commenters also agreed that these types of restaurants are known for their small, unsatisfying portions and high prices despite a lower quality of food. 

“Every meal is a gentrified mess with no flavor,” one wrote. “And the bill will be $100 or more.” 

Despite this, Phoebe reveals in a comment that Carla’s wasn’t as much of a letdown as she’d been expecting. 

“The food wasn’t terrible, but we were prepared for it to be,” she wrote in a reply to a comment. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Phoebe via TikTok comment. 

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