Tonight's episode of “Restaurant Stakeout” was titled "Joe Broadway’s or Bust" Willie Degel came to Joe Broadway’s Billiards & Sports Pub in Staten Island, N.Y. after hearing from owner, Joe Polimeni, a first-time owner with a great menu. He is a single dad with a four-year-old daughter.
The online reviews rave about the food, while the service is terrible. When Willie arrived, he found out that Joe lost his mother to cancer, and his inheritance is what funded his restaurant. As they watched the staff in action, they keyed in on two female bartenders. One was cleaning her sneakers behind the bar when two customers came in to ask for a drink she did not know how to make. She showed them the app she had on her cell phone that would give her the recipe. When they questioned her again, she asked if they wanted to come back there and make their own drink! They saw chef Scott in the front of the house; he is French-trained, and Joe does not know what he would do without him. A waitress he was not happy about was pointed out to Willie. The waitress was not hired by Joe, but by the chef. As they watched her, she had no idea about the menu and had a very laid-back attitude. Another bartender was texting on her phone as customers waited for their food. When a customer went into the kitchen to find out if her food was ready; she was yelled at by the chef and the bartender in earshot of the rest of the customers and staff.
Willie's strategy is to: 1. Identify key staff. 2. Observe behavior. 3. Test the systems. 4. Confront the staff. So he sent in an undercover customer to test the knowledge of the staff. He ordered the $9 lunch special and got a bill for $22. Then a new customer came in and ordered a beer, meanwhile; regulars came in, and she ignored the rest of the customers. Next she started drinking shots with the customers, and soon every waitress and bartender was drinking shots. Wonder why they are losing money; wonder no more! Joe begged Willie to help him because this is all he has, and if it fails, he has nothing.
When Joe called a meeting, Willie came in and laid the law down to the staff. He asked each person about their job; the waitresses were tired of the chef coming out and barking at them. Willie dedicated five days to training the entire staff. Joe needed training too, and Willie pointed out his strong and weak spots. He met with the wait staff and gave them lots of tips, then he met with the chef and found out that he was ready to quit. Willie talked him into staying and promised that a change was coming. He was more upset because the staff did not care the same way he did.
On his next trip, Willie found a happy owner, smiling staff and the chef feeling great about his job and the place was packed with customers, thanks to Willie and his staff of "Restaurant Stakeout."
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