I for one love the Food Network, I think their programming has gotten so much better since the old days of strictly cooking shows. I think recently they have been stretching a little too far in the reality department like so many other cable channels out there. When I saw the promos for Restaurant Stakeout I thought “Nice someone is actually gonna show the service industry from the inside and the common situations we have to deal with.” I watched the first episode and NO, just NO…it’s like production sat around and had a meeting and were like ok how can we make servers, bartenders, managers and hostesses look as bad as possible. I will admit there are some bad apples out there, but for the most part, we are a hardworking group of people.
This show is just so ridiculously faked it represents us in such a negative way. One specific episode had two women go into the restaurant to order something that was not on their menu, they asked their server “I see you have artichokes on your menu, can you make a stuffed artichoke?” The server replied, “To be safe I would stick with what is on the menu, no we cannot make that.” Willie Degel, the host said he would fire someone who had that answer. Why Mr. Degel would you think it is wrong for your server to tell the guest to stick with your menu, I’m sure your chef who spends hours developing your menu items would appreciate that.
Another example is one episode where the manager hires two girls for a server position, one of the girls is better looking with no experience and the other is a less attractive more experienced server. The difference between how the manager treats the two is so unrealistic, he follows around the first girl, asks her inappropriate questions, asks her out to a club and checks in on her regularlu. The second girl is berated almost immediately when she walks in the door and thrown an apron and immediately charged with taking a table by herself. She obviously struggles through her shift because she is given no instructions and has no idea about the menu or restaurant policies. Even the owner who is watching this situation on a “hidden camera” has nothing to say about the lackluster training process. Thanks RS for dumbing down our training process so much that to the general public it looks like we just walk on the floor and start taking tables. Let’s not get started on how the staff is portrayed, they are shown saying things to guests like , “Crusty like your boyfriend’s underwear” and “do you know who the F*** I am”, the interactions seen on the show are so obviously fake and as a member of the service industry I am personally offended that someone would go out of their way to make us look bad. We already struggle enough with people thinking we are low on the totem pole of life and treat us like servants enough of the time, now there is this full on propaganda of a show fueling the fire that we cannot conduct ourselves professionally. I for one cannot wait for a show that portrays the service industry from the real inside, not one made up by producers to boost ratings.