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Restaurant Stakeout


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#1

Bethlyn

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 3:37 PM

From FoodNetwork website:

Willie Degel is known for running a tight ship at his restaurants. His secret: cameras canvassing every inch of his restaurant, allowing him to keep a close eye on his floor, staff and patrons. Restaurant Stakeout follows as Willie takes his practices to troubled restaurateurs looking to find and rectify the hidden problems that lie within their establishments.


Anyone else watch this show? I loved it! I don't know if the guy on the show is all that in terms of his success, and don't really care enough to Google him, but I love me some hidden camera tests when I'm not the one being tested! I'm glad that the servers who did the right thing were acknowledged, and I hope Miss Napkin Tosser never gets another waitstaff gig anywhere again. I was totally grossed out by the staff who were eating off of the patron's plates; I sincerely hope that was fake, because YUCK!!
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#2

Anna Baptist

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 3:46 PM

I thought it was enjoyable to watch this one time, but I just can't see viewing this on a regular basis. I think it would be the same service problems over and over again. It's like that show with the two British ladies who visit and clean dirty houses - when you've seen one dirty bathtub, you've seen them all.

And did no one on the staff notice this gigantic trailer in the parking lot and not wonder what it was doing there?
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#3

CoyoteBlue

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 4:11 PM

And did no one on the staff notice this gigantic trailer in the parking lot and not wonder what it was doing there?

They were next door to a hotel, so an RV in that parking lot would not be a total anomaly.

It was like they took all the 'horror show' elements of similar shows and then completely left out the 'do something about it' part. Seriously, there were four minutes left in the show and I was wondering when they were going to have a staff meeting! And did they not get waivers from everyone? Because there were a lot of blurred employee faces in that restaurant. That owner is totally ineffective and I doubt things are going to get much better unless he finds a kick-ass general manager and hands everything over to them. Thank god the manager fired that waitress because the owner probably would have left her around to abuse customers for a few more months of "second chances".
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#4

JLHSmurf

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 4:26 PM

Is this a rejiggered version of the show that they had before where they spied on bars? I don't remember this guy being a part of the show, but it's been a while.
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#5

aliyameadow

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 4:34 PM

I liked the show, but agree as to how many times you could watch it before it got repetitious. Imagine that you know what you have left and when you get home, only part of it is there! I don't like it when the server gives me a container to fill on my own, but maybe that's best - 'avoids the near occasion of sin' for the server, as they used to call it in catechism.

I really disliked the girls getting free drinks and food. And the server throwing a napkin at a patron? Too much! She needed to be gone. I laughed as she protested that the customers were lying, when we knew it was all on tape. Yeah, I'd watch this again.
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#6

Bethlyn

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 6:05 PM

I'd want to eat at the main guy's restaurant, because I really would like a decent customer service experience for a change. I'm not super-picky but I really hate,hate,hate when I as a customer am invisible to the people with whom I am spending my money. I'll walk out of a store or restaurant if no one bothers to acknowledge me in any way when I come in, or can't interrupt their conversations with their co-workers to at least say "How ya doing today" or "How is everything?". Too many places to spend money to put up with being invisible. Does this mean it's time for me to tell kids to get off of my lawn?
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#7

misterbfd

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 6:09 PM

I really wanted to like this show, but it fell flat. I was hoping it would be like "Bar Rescue" but it is a pale imitation. The best part was the "hidden" (yeah, right) camera footage catching all the clowns misbehaving and that won't likely get old, but the expert himself is not intriguing or interesting enough for me to keep tuning in.

And the follow-up visit, crammed into about 20 seconds at the end of the episode, was completely unsatisfying.
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#8

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 6:47 PM

http://www.nypost.co...qpOMJtfGeIZHmRO

He is the CEO of Uncle Jack's steakhouse which is a three chain steakhouse with two locations in New York City with the other being in Bayside, New York.

Plus he also just started Jack's Shack in Glen Head, New York. Note this restaurant is green meaning the building is supposed to be made of all recycled materials with the food being all natural and organic.

20 years and four restaurants all located in the same state.
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#9

Christmas Time

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 7:19 PM

JLHSmurf

Is this a rejiggered version of the show that they had before where they spied on bars? I don't remember this guy being a part of the show, but it's been a while.

It is the same show and that guy spying is the same guy.
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#10

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 7:25 PM

Bar Rescue was John Tapper. The guy from Restaurant Stakeout has never had a show before though he did try to sell one about his three restaurant chain in new york state.
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#11

maineiac

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 7:25 PM

I was bored. To me, there is no continuity to the story...just people screwing around. I'll admit to skipping ahead at some point so maybe I missed it but was the staff meeting at the end with the pep talk supposed to fix everything? What exactly was the point of the show other than to show us the hidden camera footage?
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#12

misterbfd

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 8:29 PM

It is the same show and that guy spying is the same guy.


No, it isn't. The other show is "Bar Rescue" and the expert is Jon Taffer. This one is "Restaurant Stakeout" and the expert is Willie Degel.
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#13

chelle493

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 9:40 PM

I call shenanigans on the server that got fired. She seemed like a plant to get some drama in. She sounded miked. You could hear everything that she said very clearly, but everyone around her was muffled. Also, I think the girls that she threw the napkin at were plants. They were a little over the top themselves.
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#14

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 9:57 PM

The other show is "Bar Rescue" and the expert is Jon Taffer. This one is "Restaurant Stakeout" and the expert is Willie Degel.


As I pointed out, I misspelled Taffers name though. A lot of new york guys look like they were cast in the Sopranos or other movies. It's the gene pool of the area. Accent doesn't help matters either in distinguishing them.

You could hear everything that she said very clearly, but everyone around her was muffled.

Directional microphone and audiomixing will do that.

Edited by runningoutofnam, Mar 12, 2012 @ 9:57 PM.

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#15

Penthilisea

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 10:13 PM

Did I miss some part of this sneak peek episode? I saw an hour of spying and calling people out- but no retraining and no "after" video spying to see whether the changes were being enacted when staff was NOT under direct supervision.
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#16

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 10:49 PM

Wasn't the premier episode show supposed to come out the 14?
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#17

chessiegal

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Posted Mar 12, 2012 @ 11:37 PM

Wasn't the premier episode show supposed to come out the 14?


It is. This was a "sneak peek reel 'em in" show. Not sure how successful. Already seems formulaic. And I don't like people who shout, like the host. He may be successful at what he does, but not in my living room.
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#18

Mikesgal

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

I really liked this show mostly because I am a server in a restaurant. I was appauled at the attitudes of the staff - like leaving customers sitting there for minutes. Eating off of their plates (ew- gross!), that one waitress throwing a napkin.And oh yeah, the dilly dally when the guests came in at 5 til closing. Your hours are your hours, and customers need not feel guilty or feel like they have to hurry because you are closing! That one server with the attitude deserved to be fired though. Drinking on the job? Oh hell no!

Now, the other side of the coin: The plants: first of all- I would have no idea what a colorie count would be on anything on our menu. I figure if it's deep fried or smothered in sauce then it has high calories! Why should I know that?? And the one plant who wanted stuffed asparagus or whatever? Please! The menu is big enough- there is a reason restaurants DON'T put menu items on the menu. I do agree though that it was handled badly with the guest and his suggestion of suggesting other items was spot on. And the plant who kept changing his mind and then left a buck! We work extremely hard for our money and it sucks when regular people are rude and clueless and leave shit for a tip but to have a plant do it really sucks. I just hope the server was eventually tipped what he should have been. I was also disappointed that they set him up with the guests wallet and the "will he do the right thing?" crap. I had no doubt he would do the right thing- just like 99.9% of the servers out there.

I will tune in again because I thought it was a good show. Plus, I feel thankful that I work in a great place that does put customers first and tries to accomodate them. I appreciate my boss a lot more now than I did before because he *gets* it and we are required to make sure the guest is happy.
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#19

MsLawDawg

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 2:29 PM

The host, Willie, reminded me of an even louder Donald Trump during his intermittent Talking Head segments where he explained the do's and don'ts of the business. That was nerve-wracking. I think he was even wearing the pink tie. But he seemed to be very knowledgeable and customer-oriented, which is why he has successful restaurants.

I know from friends that have been servers that the eating off the plate is pretty common when it's a plate of multiple items, but it was before the customer receives it, not after he/she has eaten off of the plate. Her eating after someone else was nearly as disgusting as the unfortunate soul who was taking the food home.

As for the napkin thrower, I've thankfully never witnessed such. She needed to go and several others did as well. I agree that the owner needs to get a really good general manager and pay him/her well if he wants to succeed. Obviously, his food was not the problem and that was his sole focus.

I do like the hidden camera aspect, but they need to focus more on how to fix it and the update after the surveillance/confrontation. Otherwise, all you're doing is scaring people or leaving an unfair impression of restaurants and servers everywhere, neither of which holds viewer interest for very long.
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#20

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 2:29 PM

I would have no idea what a colorie count would be on anything on our menu.


Calories counts on menus either listed or not is a big thing these days. Of course the thing being that it is usually bs. When tested the calorie counts were far higher then the menu listed it to be.

There are even challenges for chefs to make meals under a certain calorie amount.
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#21

Mikesgal

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 2:40 PM

I haven't figured out how to Cut and paste yet, but I will say this: In the past 6 years I have worked at 3 restaurants and if I or any of the staff were caught eating off of a plate, either before the guest was served it, or when packing it up, we would be fired. It is not common. Period. (and I would never work in a place that allowed it either)
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#22

cpcathy

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 3:04 PM

Watched Sunday's episode, but won't watch again. Too much yelling! The host guy is indeed a Trump retread, right down to his pink tie. And I'm not sure if anyone thought so, but I think the napkin-throwing waitress (flower in her hair) was totally fake. She seemed so actressy--rubbing the other server's shoulders, yelling about another guy stealing her table, and of course, throwing the napkin at the customer. If she's a plant, I'm sure it's to create drama and I'm sure there will be someone like her next week, creating trouble and probably getting fired. If she was real, why wouldn't her face be blurred! Who would agree to have their face shown on TV after that nonsense!
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#23

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 3:53 PM

why wouldn't her face be blurred! Who would agree to have their face shown on TV after that nonsense!


Because they have no idea how they will be presented. Sorry it's quite common for those people in real life to not be blurred when shown off on tv. They think their bad behavior is normal and how they should act.
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#24

misterbfd

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 7:10 PM

If she was real, why wouldn't her face be blurred! Who would agree to have their face shown on TV after that nonsense!


Despite what some naive viewers may believe, much of "reality TV" is either set up or scripted. She may have been a plant, but even if she were not, she will have had to sign a release or they couldn't have used her image. On some reality shows, the participants are compensated if unblurred footage of them is going to be used. So in such cases, it comes down to whether or not they sign the release. Sign and get paid, or don't sign and don't get paid but get blurred instead.
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#25

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 7:30 PM

uch of "reality TV" is either set up or scripted.


Sorry not true. They may push certain things but they don't do plants unless they state they do it. They don't setup things like some people think. It is not scripted either. You have to pay writers and honestly no one can write the stuff done in reality shows.

The Mole has a plant but that is known to the rest of the people in it and to the audience.

"Reality shows are mostly real, and the parts that are fake aren't scripted so much as they are set up to happen.

Read more: 5 Secrets of Making Reality TV They Don't Want You to Know | Cracked.com [url="http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-secrets-making-reality-tv-they-dont-want-you-to-know/#ixzz1p2wj2ILC""]http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-secrets-maki...1p2wj2ILC"[/url]



Also using plants if it comes out can backfire on a show royally.
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#26

jcbrown

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 8:26 PM

Agreed this show seemed kind of pointless and formulaic. Leaving only 4 minutes at the end (or however long) to reveal the problems and having the re-visit to see whether the issues have been addressed run under the end credits (so my DVR cut it off) seemed like not enough payoff for suffering through all the hidden camera stuff. I also did not care for the personality of the obnoxious loud host, though I hated him a little less at the end than I did at the beginning. Not interesting enough for me to watch again.
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#27

misterbfd

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 9:41 PM

Sorry not true. They may push certain things but they don't do plants unless they state they do it. They don't setup things like some people think. It is not scripted either. You have to pay writers and honestly no one can write the stuff done in reality shows.


Sorry, but it is true. One of my very good friends, a professional actor (live stage theater) whom I've known for almost 20 years, was paid to appear as a "customer" on a reality television show. He got the gig from another actor who appeared on a different reality show produced by the same company.

Check up on many "reality" shows like "Dance Moms" or "Pawn Stars" for BLATANT examples of phony reality (see the first Coke machine makeover as a very clear and undeniable example).

You'll also find that many "reality" shows employ a writing staff.

So... my statement stands, based on facts.
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#28

runningoutofnam

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 10:19 PM

my statement stands, based on facts.


Facts from others show differently.

"was paid to appear as a "customer" on a reality television show"

People paid to go to restaurants to eat not on tv as part of a secret shopper. Paid to eat would mean they couldn't get regular people to sign the NDAs or didn't want to go through the hassle. Was he paid to act while eating or just for eating at a particular time and place?

Sorry your story has tons of holes in it.

Once again reality shows are considered cheaper because writers are not hired. Writers for shows legally have to be contracted hence why expensive.
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#29

delabela

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 10:30 PM

This show did feel like the basic premise is "Hey, look at the assholes!" with very little redemption arc. Not that I'm opposed to that - in fact, it is a staple of my TV viewing choices. I'll probably watch it again.
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#30

misterbfd

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Posted Mar 13, 2012 @ 10:30 PM

Was he paid to act while eating or just for eating at a particular time and place?


Paid to appear on camera as a customer, and given direction on exactly how to behave during the visit to the business.

Sorry your story has tons of holes in it.


Whether someone finds holes in my story or not is neither here nor there to me. Facts remain what they are.
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