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‘Restaurant Stakeout’ rescues Somers 202 in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

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Last night's episode of “Restaurant Stakeout” was titled "Somers Almost Over." Willie Degel came to help out Somers 202 in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

Willie met with the two first-time owners, Joe Mazzella and Gene Angelo, lifelong friends who have nearly a million dollars invested in the restaurant. However, things are going very wrong, and they needed help from Willie to make it right. Willie met with the guys and got their keys to set up the hidden cameras and microphones.

Willie will use his usual strategy to identify the key staff, observe their behavior, test the systems and finally, confront the staff. When the system was in place, the guys met with Willie to watch the goings on while they were away from the restaurant. They saw their general manager, Scott comped a complete dessert course for a couple who did not like the sweetness of one dessert. Even the couple were amazed that the whole check was comped. Then they spotted a dog in the restaurant. Jen, a waitress since they opened was allowing this to happen. As the dog ate under the table, two waitresses and the manager let this go on, as other diners looked on in shock.

As a customer ordered a Grey Goose martini, it was served in a large glass, and the charge was only $9. Willie knows why the place is going under, as they give away cheap drinks and free food. When Willie questioned the owners about the size of their portions and drinks, they had no idea of the cost and average charge. As two guys were at the bar, visibly buzzed, the bartender left the area, so one of them went behind the bar to refill his spilled drink.

Willie sent in Iris and Jose to state that it was their anniversary. They had a problem, because a fly was circling their food; which resulted in another comped meal. Soon the two guys at the bar started fighting, and the bartender never returned. Finally, the fight was broken up, but the two should have been cut off long before.

When a server, who was recently promoted from busboy was spotted, Willie sent in two more guys to test him. The first two questions were a failure, as he was never properly trained.

As people sat at the bar, the bartender was too busy to attend to them because he had to serve food to tables and go into the kitchen. Willie was shocked that the bar was so understaffed. Then when a food fight was seen, the owners and Willie had enough.

When the shift was over, the owners took control of the staff, and Willie walked in to give them the lowdown. Willie called them to task on their actions. The place was not being run properly, and it started with the owners on down. So Willie dedicated one week to train the entire staff. He brought in a mixologist to come up with ways of making more money for the bar.

Next, he went to the managers to get their help in training the servers. Willie made a game out of quizzing the staff as the managers looked on. It was a fun way of giving them a learning experience and making it easy for them to remember different menu variations.

Six weeks later, Willie returned finding Gene in the bar overseeing the operation. Joe was in the dining room owning his restaurant and overseeing the operation. When Willie went to the bar, he had one of the new specialties, and the bar was filled with people, all enjoying the attentive bar staff.

Thanks to Willie and his staff on "Restaurant Stakeout," the partners can see a future for their restaurant, and their children’s college funds are safe.

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