Willie met with owner Pat Kotsonis, and discovered that he was drowning in debt to the tune of about a quarter of a million dollars. The online reviews rave about the food, but the disinterested wait staff is another story. So Pat met Willie and handed him the keys.
After installing the hidden cameras, they set up in a place close to the restaurant. Willie used his four-step plan to get to the bottom of the problems here. He identified the key staff, observed their behavior, tested the systems and in the end will confront the staff.
Daniela, a server needed Rea, the manager to help her open a bottle of wine as Coco, a hostess & server watched as the bottle took forever to finally open the bottle. Willie saw why Pat is never home with his family. As Willie observed the menu, it was six pages long. His new sous chef was Lenny, who is only there for three months and does not fully know the menu yet.
Willie sent in some diners to test the menu. When the diners asked to do half and half of two different calamari orders, the chef sent them to Carlos, the manager for the decision. When he said yes, they ordered their meal. It came without the ingredients on the menu and was tasteless. Willie knows that the menu is much too big. Then they observed Oscar, a line cook giving an attitude to Carlos. There was no leadership in the kitchen and just bad attitudes.
When Rea told the busboys to clean up, they were taking their break and wanted her to wait. When customers told Rea that they would not be back because Coco had an attitude, she tried to talk to her, but got no respect. When a loud customer was talking a cell phone, Rea could not handle the situation properly. The staff was too young and inexperienced.
When Pat called the staff together, Willie walked in to give them the lowdown. Oscar and Coco needed to change their attitude. By the time Willie left, they knew what teamwork was supposed to be. Pat was happy that his staff wanted to cooperate with each other for the good of the restaurant.
The next day, Willie presented Pat with all the wraps on the menu. There were too many wraps and Willie streamlined the menu. Willie noticed that the place was more like a diner than a restaurant, and they decided to go with the diner theme. Another problem was; the restaurant was difficult to find because it was off the beaten path. Willie wanted to bring some recognition to the place.
He met with staff individually and gave them confidence and then showed them how they can work like a team and keep the customers happy and coming back to the restaurant.
Six weeks later, Willie returned with his son Dylan to have a meal. Coco greeted them at the door with a smile and seated them. Rea was busy, but had time to come and say hello. The staff has been trained, and the kitchen is running beautifully. When Pat came out to greet Willie, he was a happier person, introduced his wife and daughter and Willie told him that he couldn’t miss the new sign outside. Now the place is well-run and Pat has more time to spend with his family, thanks to Willie and his staff of "Restaurant Stakeout."
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