Restaurant Stakeout…I think they mean Restaurant Fakeout

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.


  • espinaca.

    September 21, 2012

    Are you kidding me? In the 10ish years I’ve been serving, more than half of the staff (foh and boh) do not take their jobs seriously. For a lot of servers, it’s easy, quick cash while they’re going to school or gettin high or whatever during off hours. What other job will let you walk out with a $100 cash after a 5 hour shift.. Surely not retail, where their good looks, cutesy personalities and zero experience wouldn’t even get them hired. They complain when they don’t make an amount of money a night that most of their peers don’t even make in a week! Spoiled, yes. This industry sadly allows it. Coming from where this season’s Restaurant Stakeout is being set, so far, it all seems about right.. Maybe even too lenient on them.
    I take my job seriously; it is my career.

  • Rudee

    September 30, 2012

    The show is indeed staged and they do hire actors to portray restaurant staff. I know this because I was a paid actor on one of the early episodes. Obviously I’m not going to say which one, as I signed confidentiality agreements. It’s entertainment folks. Get over it.

  • Sophie

    November 16, 2012

    I personally don’t know what you’re talking about. The show clearly shows cases of bad employees getting out of hand. Anyone with half a brain realizes it’s extreme cases of bad employees and does not represent the average employee. It wouldn’t be too entertaining if they just showed model workers.

  • Phil

    November 25, 2012

    Wow Sophie u are dumb

  • RoyerB

    November 29, 2012

    It’s a great idea if were real. It doesn’t have to have all the extra drama just to create tension. The lighting was my first clue – way too bright for a typical kitchen area. Then the sound was too good. And that “remote control room” is exactly the same thing every show. I was looking forward to it but its so bad. Come on Marc Summers, you can do better.

  • Jo

    December 16, 2012

    First of all, Willie Degel is an obnoxious, loud-mouthed New York Yankee. He is a wannabe spy. He gets the restaurant owner off in a vacant lot, supposedly so nobody will follow or know where he is. (How Silly) Then he talks all the time, half forming his words, which is typical of his type. Then he tries to make himself important, like owning 2 restaurants and “The people don’t know who they will be facing” LOL.

  • Marilyn

    December 21, 2012

    Yes, I agree that it is fake. It is so much better then all the crime and killings on TV.

  • Marjorie Fisk

    December 22, 2012

    Whether or not the show is fake doesn’t bother me as much as that Willie Degel guy. He needs to learn to speak proper English. I know he’s a New Yorker and many people from that area speak that way but if a waiter (let alone an owner or manager) said things like “we don’t have none of that” or “he don’t know what he’s doing”, I would be quite offended. I worked in the retail industry for over 20 years and wouldn’t hire people who would be interacting with the public who didn’t use propler English. Did these people ever go to school?? He often calls employees “disrespectful” but I find him to be rude and very disrespectful. Willie, find yourself an English teacher and take some lessons!!

  • Susie

    January 13, 2013

    I just wish they would not insult our intelligence by having the owner of the restaurant wear the same clothes while displaying on the screen day 1 – day 2- day 3- . Each and every episode is the same ! At least have them change ! From day one to the final confrontation with the employees the outfits are the same. Come on not believeable at all !

  • Jen

    March 23, 2013

    The scenario you listed about the manager hiring a better looking server is actually from Mystery Diners, another fake show on Food Network. I’m disappointed in them for showing both of these staged shows as real.

  • scmoxy

    March 26, 2013

    Fake or not, Willie Rocks!!! I am SOOOO GLAD that one person, one guy, yes Willie D had the customers interest at hand. Actors or not HE GETS the point across on HOW to treat customers. I have these issues with restaurants all the time. I AM SO pleased that He brings these things into a reality show. I and my husband LOVE it!!!!!
    Willie is a ROCK STAR with humor!!!!

  • Ellen

    March 27, 2013

    Willie is awesome! I love this show , Willie is who he is and guess what? He’s successful without having to act like some pseudo-intellectual phony

  • elizwat

    July 20, 2013

    @scmoxy & ellen: I get what you’re saying, the customer, barring obnoxiousness, should always be right and it should be acknowledged that their spending money in your establishment is why you get a paycheck. But Willie Degel? Come on. Do some Yelp reviews on Uncle Jacks’. His customers aren’t all that impressed with his wait staff or even his food. Some of the things he claims he would fire the fake employees on RS for, apparently his own staff does to Uncle Jack’s customers. Don’t they know they are supposedly being recorded?

    And of course it’s 100% fake. I figured that out early on. Just as with Mystery Diners, there is obviously a villain in every episode – some person on the staff who is bringing the whole place down, right? Well, as I understand television, anyone who appears on camera must sign a release saying the producers have the right to show their faces, voices, reveal their names, what have you. Think about it – why would someone who was just fired or accused of theft EVER sign a release to put their behavior on television for the world – not to mention future employers – to see? Not a smart career move. And that’s why they are all paid actors. And you know this because to this day, I haven’t heard of any of these “villains” filing a lawsuit against FN claiming their identity was breached.

  • Boswell

    August 18, 2013

    Willie Degel is a fake.

  • Ragu

    September 22, 2013

    Big deal he has two restaurants. He calls a Big chain of restaurants. Its fake. Send your comments to the Food Channel and let them know how you feel get it off the air. There is to many shows like this that are fake. time to clean house.

  • dr love

    October 27, 2013

    wille knows what diners want to be treated w respect at all times
    most places r \horror shows
    god bless willie he has to employ alot of people u cant trust
    so he catches them on camera but hes the the bad guy no way
    willie was taught by his very smart brother dr edward degel to treat people
    w respect n u receive respect ! but thats not the real world under obama
    god bless america the world that cliff degel fought 4 !
    i hope wille exposes congress n the senate mayor etc next ………..

  • Rudy

    December 11, 2013

    Almost every series I see him raging on everyone but he can talk on the phone why he is driving. I’M glad that he thinks he is helping people while he is breaking the law by driving and talking on the phone…. almost every time this show is on I know he is breaking the law why does he think he and the network he gets paid from think they are bigger and better then the rest of us where we want to pull over and talk . He is a real bad influence on young kids that he says he is helping. I do not want my kids to know its alright to text and talk on the phone while driving. I will never ever back his restraunts or him. It is on tv and the network or and the law enforcement do nothing. and he shows his true colors break the law but I run a great dinning experience.

  • Bobi McA

    June 11, 2014

    Barefoot Bob’s was on Mystery Diners, and Osaka’s was on Restaurant Stakeout. Both shows had the same employee, Liz, on it. True, both were filmed in Vegas, and Liz was supposedly fired from Barefoot Bob’s, but it seems odd that one person could legitimately be on two reality shows.

  • Mark

    July 23, 2014

    Of course its fake. While an employer may be allowed to secretly film their staff. It’s completely illegal to display that video for profit without permission. And, no idiot is going to allow negative video of themselves be shown.

    That, and I’d never confront people like they do without a cop in the room! Really, in today’s age where employers get shot I wouldn’t.

  • Patricia Butler

    July 30, 2014

    Mark, you seem to be conflating “Mystery Diners” (thoroughly staged, using actors, for the sole purpose of advertising the restaurants involved) and “Restaurant Stakeout”, which isn’t really confrontational.

  • neal

    August 29, 2014

    the servers who think it’s fake are probably the low quality of server who would get busted on this show. we’ve all seen and worked w bad servers. why the shock?

  • anthony

    June 17, 2015

    In fairness I do think there are some issues regarding actors but in all most of what is being showed happens In the hospitality industry I have witnessed this myself. I am from Republic of Ireland and we are lucky if we are given a hello which peeves me offffff I love visiting the USA because in most cases you are treated with respect.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field