Last night's episode of “Restaurant Stakeout” was titled "Momma's Boy."
Willie Degel heard from Luis Concepcion, owner of "Latin Kitchen." His mother's cooking is the talk of the town in the Bronx, but the service recently has been their downfall. Back in 2010, his mother was struck by a hit-and-run driver, was pronounced dead, revived in the ambulance and was in a coma. When she awoke, the first thing, she questioned; was who is cooking in the restaurant? Her best therapy was coming back to the restaurant; the place she loves the most.
Willie and his team got to work setting up the cameras and microphones to do their surveillance and get to the bottom of what is wrong. When Luis saw the setup with the hidden cameras showing everything, he was amazed.
Willie's strategy was to: identify the key staff, observe behavior, test the systems and confront the staff. Marlene is Luis' mother, who has been on staff for nine years. Lory is the bartender who has been on staff for six months. Jonathan is a busboy, on staff for three months. Ricky is a waiter and on staff for three years. Maria is a waitress with six years in the restaurant.
A couple was there celebrating their anniversary. Maria served the woman a glass of sangria, there was no fresh fruit in it. She asked for fruit and received a dish of canned fruit as Willie and Luis watched. Willie was appalled that there was no fresh fruit in the sangria and immediately chastised Luis for this major infraction. Nothing was even offered to them to celebrate their anniversary and Willie reprimanded Luis for not making this a policy. Willie then observed Lory's drinking behind the bar, and wearing the cordless phone in her cleavage. Ricky was dancing provocatively in the restaurant in front of customers, and then the entire staff started taking pictures of each other with their cell phones. Nobody was in charge of the place. A couple came in and as his girlfriend went to the ladies' room, Lory did a shot with the guy. When his lady came back, she was very annoyed with him, and they walked out of the place. Jonathan did not join in on the drinking and festivities, but did his job. The staff was all sitting at the bar while Jonathan did the serving and tended to his job. When a customer asked for something made special, it was brought incorrectly, after waiting a long time. They did nothing to entice the customers to come back.
Willie sent in his chef in as a diner ordering a skirt steak well done. As a chef, he knows that the steak will be like shoe leather, but the waiter did not warn him of that when he ordered it, because he was never trained properly.
The next day, an emergency staff meeting was held by Luis and Willie walked in. He told the staff that they were unprofessional. Now they have to be held accountable. Ricky gave Luis an argument because he texts the staff, rather than being there, where he belongs.
Willie met with the staff individually. Maria made a lot of mistakes, and Willie suggested that she become a hostess. Ricky was sent to the kitchen to bring two steaks cooked in two different degrees of doneness. When he tried them, he saw the difference in the two immediately. Now Ricky knows when a person orders this particular steak, it should be medium rare, not well done. For his dedication to the job, Jonathan was promoted to waiter. Then Willie met with Luis and told him that he must be in the restaurant more. His presence is a dire need for the place to be successful.
Six weeks later, when Willie returned, the place was busy and the staff was doing their job. Luis was in the restaurant, just where he should be and found out where the place was going wrong thanks to Willie and his staff of "Restaurant Stakeout."