‘Restaurant Stakeout’ Recap – Agnello’s Brick Oven Pizza, New City, NY

Restaurant Stakeout is hosted by Willie Degel an undercover new program on Food Network. He plants hidden cameras in failing restaurants and discovers the reason or reasons why they experience low sales, unhealthy happenings in the kitchen and poor service. His claim to fame is that he does the same thing in his own restaurants, which are well run and thriving.

On this episode, he heard from the owner of Agnello’s Brick Oven Pizza in New City, New York. The owner, Diane and her husband Steve are losing money and Diane is an heir of famous New York pizza makers, Patsy’s and Grimaldi’s and are trying to make a go of it in New York City.

Willie came to Agnello’s to find out why they are having problems. It was Diane who called Willie and never told her husband and son who also run the business with her. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and now has extra worries besides the business going downhill.

That night, the hidden cameras were installed and Willie set up shop in a construction trailer nearby. Diane got to sit with Willie and see her restaurant in operation. Her husband Steve was impatient with the youthful staff. There is no manager at the place, just everyone doing whatever they want. No professionalism was shown by the staff; they touch people inappropriately, have bad posture while taking orders, texting at work, arguing out loud, just letting the inmates run the asylum.

The restaurant does not deliver, which Willie found a hindrance to their profits too. Willie sends in two guys to test a waitress to see how long she stays with one customer. She failed the test and spent 20 minutes with them while other customers waited. The service is too slow and Steve is barking orders at the staff, but they basically ignore him.

One employee who has their act together is Lisa. The waiter seems to make eyes at the table of women and as they egg him on to dance, he dances for them. When Steve comes out from behind the pizza oven, he turns the customers against him by chastising the staff in front of them. Willie goes in when he cannot take any more of this. As soon as the restaurant closes, Diane comes in with Willie to meet the staff. They explain the problems to the staff and how they should act. Willie meets with the staff individually. He gives his recommendations to the Agnello’s regarding the staff and Willie also discusses delivery.

Six weeks later, Willie came back to Agnello’s and found a professional operation with a thriving delivery service, a hostess at the door that everyone liked as a crazy waitress, a manager handling the front end, Steve much calmer and happier customers thanks to Willie Degel and Restaurant Stakeout.

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Baby Boomer and lover of life. Family comes first. Retired and happy to write about things that make me happy.

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