A recent episode of Food Network episode of "Mystery Diners" was titled, "Charitable Donations,” where Charles Stiles and his crew of undercover diners came to Austin, Texas to Pelons Tex-Mex Restaurant.
Charles heard from Doug Guller, owner of Pelons because he was experiencing a loss of revenue of about $3,000 a month. Charles showed up with Holly for the consultation. Pelon in Spanish means bald guy, and at the restaurant, they celebrate the bald guy. He noticed his food and alcohol costs going up, and they operate on thin margins, so this is crippling them right now. Anthony is the general manager, and a good friend of Doug, but lately he is cutting the conversation short on their weekly meetings. Charles suggests they watch all employees who handle cash, just in case, so they will also be watching waiters John and David. They set up the cameras and Holly will be a waitress in training and Justin will pose as a customer.
When Doug saw the control room, he was surprised, but scared of what he may see. As they observed waiter David, he greeted a table with a balding man and explained their custom of treating bald men like royalty. Then he explained about the special; for $45, they can get a bottomless pitcher of sangria and two tacos and a raffle ticket that enters them in for a chance to win $1,000, with some of the proceeds going to cancer research. Doug never heard of this before, after that David asked for cash for the special. David rang up the sangria, but did not ring up the tacos. Doug wanted to run in and put a stop to this, but Charles suggested they waited to see just how far this scam went.
Justin was sent in with his date. John was their waiter and gave them the same spiel about the charity. John offered them two deals for $45 each. As Justin continued to question this and John pushed it even more. Justin finally declined the offer and ordered off the menu.
When another guest paid the check, David gave Anthony $20 and the raffle ticket. They then spotted Anthony throwing the raffle ticket in the trash. When Holly checked the bag, there was nothing but raffle tickets in that bag, and the money bag had tons of cash in it. Then Justin offered $100 to the charity, if someone on the staff shaved their head. David agreed. Finally, Doug came to get the three employees and bring them back to the control room.
When they arrived at the control room, they were surprised, and although the charity was real, they did go about it the wrong way.
After four months, the employees have inspired him so much, that Doug continues to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity, and they are no longer experiencing losses at the restaurant. Had it not been for the "Mystery Diners," these well-meaning employees could have put themselves out of a job.