Restaurant Stakeout

The WORST episodes of Restaurant Stakeout

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

There are shows on TV, including Food Network's own ``Restaurant: Impossible,'' in which chefs help struggling restaurateurs turn their businesses around. ``Restaurant Stakeout'' takes that format to another level by using hidden cameras to surreptitiously watch the crew to see what really goes on when waiters, bartenders, kitchen staff and other employees think no one is watching. Analyzing that hidden-camera footage is restaurateur Willie Degel, who owns a chain of steakhouses in New York. After seeing how the staff acts, Degel uses his tough-love approach to improve the employees' work ethic and, ultimately, turn around the restaurant's fortunes. If employees don't improve their poor working habits, Degel shows them the door because his goal is making things better for the struggling eatery's owner.

Last Updated: 6/8/2022Network: Food Network
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Damsel in Distress
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#1 - Damsel in Distress

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 9/19/2012

Willie helps out Melissa O’Connell, a too-sweet wife, mother and owner of The Pepper Jack Grill in Staten Island. Melissa treats her staff like family, and, like any family, they bring the dysfunction. Their fighting, drinking, and unprofessional behavior is driving customers away and causing business to suffer. Despite the grill’s problem’s, Melissa’s hanging on to the business because of a promise she made to her young daughter. But if Willie can’t help her, she may soon have no choice but close up shop.

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Who Hires These People?
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#2 - Who Hires These People?

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 9/26/2012

Willie comes to the aid of Nick, owner of the Pita Grill in Hoboken, N.J. Nick recently achieved a lifelong goal of opening up his own restaurant, as part owner of a small franchise business. Nick's invested everything into the place and needs it to work. But now an unruly staff, more interested in having fun than customer service, could destroy his dream and cost him everything. Willie is Nick's last hope to help straighten out his staff and his business before the Pita Grill is forced to close its doors for good.

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Act Like The Boss
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#3 - Act Like The Boss

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/10/2012

Willie comes to the aid of Dawn, owner of the Liberty Bar and Grill in Hoboken, N.J. After 14 years in business, Dawn's restaurant is struggling and she's called Willie for answers. He soon discovers that Dawn's hands-off management style has created a leadership vacuum and some serious personnel issues that threaten to bring the business to its knees.

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That's Money Out The Door
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#4 - That's Money Out The Door

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 10/17/2012

Willie steps in to help Anna Maria, chef and owner of Anna Maria's Italian Restaurant in Larchmont, N.Y. While her food gets raves, her restaurant has developed a reputation for nickel-and-diming the customer and it's driving business out the door. If Willie can't solve the service problems, Anna Maria's dream of running her own restaurant is destined to become a nightmare.

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This Place Is a Circus
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#5 - This Place Is a Circus

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 10/24/2012

Willie is called in to help a desperate owner, Antony, save his Italian restaurant, Serata, in Oyster Bay, N.Y. Antony's rowdy employees have created an atmosphere that's more sideshow than serene, and business is suffering. The situation is complicated by the fact that Serata's main investor, Vinny, is also Antony's best friend. The two lifelong friends need Willie to get their restaurant back on track before their business and relationship come to an unhappy ending.

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You Can't Fire Family
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#6 - You Can't Fire Family

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired 11/14/2012

At Ariana Restaurant in Huntington, N.Y., Willie Degel finds a family-run business suffering from too much family and not enough business. The owner's son, Joey, has reached out to Willie to help save the restaurant and convince his father that recent reviews point to a painful truth: The lax atmosphere toward customers is driving business away and threatens to run Ariana's into the ground.

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On It's Last Leg
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#7 - On It's Last Leg

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 11/21/2012

Willie is called in to help the Haven Grill in Port Washington, N.Y. Tough economic times recently prompted this family-run restaurant to move from traditional Italian fare to an American menu with broader appeal. But, with the business still struggling, the restaurant has developed an identity crisis that's taking its toll on the married owners. Their daughter, Stefania, is desperate for Willie to sort this messy situation out and get the Haven Grill on the right track before it's too late.

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Little Place, Lotsa Drama
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#8 - Little Place, Lotsa Drama

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired 11/28/2012

Willie helps first-time owner, Michael, fix his struggling Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Autentica, in Bloomfield, N.J. Opening just one year ago, Michael's restaurant has wrestled with novice mistakes, botched food orders and a young staff behaving inappropriately. Now, a wave of negative customer reviews is seriously threatening the restaurant's bottom line. If things don't change fast, the restaurant may have to close its doors for good.

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My Big Fat Greek Nightmare
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#9 - My Big Fat Greek Nightmare

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired 12/5/2012

Willie comes to the aid of Spiro, owner of Athena Mediterranean Cuisine in Brooklyn, N.Y. The restaurant is a family affair for Spiro, with his mother, three brothers and a nephew all playing roles in it's day-to-day operation. But it's dwindling customer base and reviews pointing to unprofessional service suggest that sometimes business and family are a bad mix. If Willie can't get this passionate family operating on the same page, Spiro's restaurant could become another Greek tragedy.

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A Bunch of Spolied Brats
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#10 - A Bunch of Spolied Brats

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired 12/12/2012

Willie travels to Joey D's Pizzeria in Metuchen, N.J., to help the owner, Joey, put an end to the family drama that is tearing his business apart. Eight years ago, Joey risked everything to pursue a lifelong goal of opening his own restaurant. The gamble paid off as his establishment soon became a local favorite. But now, after almost a decade of successful operation, Joey's twentysomething stepdaughters have essentially taken control of the joint. Their bad behavior is driving customers away and if Willie can't help Joey rein them in, he just might lose everything.

Barbecue With Attitude
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#11 - Barbecue With Attitude

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 3/13/2013

Willie comes to the aid of Anthony and Toby, owners of Hot Rods Real Pit BBQ in Wharton, N.J. After 10 years, the restaurant is still struggling to succeed and it's robbing Anthony and Toby of precious hours they should be spending with their young daughter. Willie soon finds that bad attitudes and a significant lack of training are among the worst offenders on the floor — and it will take some serious hands-on intervention to turn things around.

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You Can't Be Everything To Everybody
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#12 - You Can't Be Everything To Everybody

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 3/27/2013

A.J., owner of A.J.'s Burgers in New Rochelle, N.Y., can't seem to make ends meet, despite award winning burgers and a commitment to pleasing his customers. Willie soon discovers the issues driving A.J. into the poor house, including an overloaded menu, confused identity and a burned out manager.

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Three Strikes And You're Out!
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#13 - Three Strikes And You're Out!

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 4/3/2013

Willie is called in to help Mohammad, owner of Shiraz Persian Restaurant in Elmsford, N.Y., who has already been forced out business twice before. But with staff infighting, laziness and an owner who is too afraid to lay down the law, Willie quickly discovers that there may be more problems at Shiraz than even he can fix.

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The Big ... NOT So Easy
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#14 - The Big ... NOT So Easy

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 4/17/2013

Willie steps in to help Lisa, owner of The Bayou in North Bellmore, N.Y. After 22 years serving up authentic cajun flavors, customers now seem to be disappearing. Willie soon discovers that a disillusioned leader and a staff that treats the place more like Mardi Gras than a restaurant, may be at the heart of the problem.

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To Catch A ''restaurant'' Thief
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#15 - To Catch A ''restaurant'' Thief

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired 4/24/2013

Willie comes to the aid of Danny, owner of Danny's Steakhouse in Red Bank, N.J. After 42 years in the business, Danny has seemingly tried everything, but his business is struggling. Danny is desperate to slow down, but doesn't think his staff can manage without him. Willie discovers that not only is the staff incompetent, but there may be a thief in their midst.

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Giving Away the House
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#16 - Giving Away the House

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired 5/1/2013

Willie comes to the aid of Audrey, whose brother, Ernie, took over the family-run eatery Gus's Franklin Park Restaurant in Harrison, N.Y., almost a decade ago. Now the struggling business is in need of serious help: Willie discovers that an overly generous Ernie may be the root of the restaurant's problems.

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Your Smokehouse Is a Joke-House
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#17 - Your Smokehouse Is a Joke-House

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired 5/29/2013

Willie steps in to assist Sean, the young owner of Smokehouse Barbecue in Somerville, N.J., Willie finds that an unprofessional staff, more interested in pulling pranks than customer service, may be more than Sean's business can survive.

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Tuscan Tumbleweeds
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#18 - Tuscan Tumbleweeds

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired 6/12/2013

Joe, the owners of The Venetian Grille in Somerville, N.J., grew up in the business and took over the family restaurant eight years ago. After an unsuccessful attempt at opening a new restaurant, Joe returned to The Venetian Grille and found business had disappeared. Willie quickly discovers that an unprofessional staff, confused identity and frustrated manager are just a few of the problems that need fixing.

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What Would Your Father Do?
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#19 - What Would Your Father Do?

Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired 6/19/2013

Willie answers the call of Frank, owner of Michael's Roscommon House in Belleville, N.J. Frank inherited the restaurant from his late father and is struggling to keep things afloat. Willie soon finds that an untrained staff, lack of structure and an unruly chef are only part of Frank's problem: Frank himself must learn to step up and lead as his father once did, or kiss his business goodbye.

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Family Style Failure
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#20 - Family Style Failure

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/16/2013

Willie is called in to help husband and wife Larry and Joan, owners of The Original Mama Angelo's in North Arlington, N.J. This family-style Italian eatery's authentic cuisine is no longer enough to keep customers coming back for more, and they are worried about losing everything. Pouring their life savings into the declining business, Larry and Joan need Willie to pull Mama Angelo's back from the brink of disaster.

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Bad News Bistro
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#21 - Bad News Bistro

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired 10/23/2013

Willie is called in to rescue, Pat, the chef/owner of PK's Restaurant & Lounge in Staten Island, N.Y. When Pat opened his restaurant a year ago it was a dream come true, but now it's become a nightmare. Only Willie can help him whip his young, inexperienced staff into shape and get the sprawling menu under control.

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Clueless Cousins
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#22 - Clueless Cousins

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired 10/30/2013

Willie swoops in to VB3 in Jersey City to come to the aid of two cousins that opened up a high end Italian restaurant a year ago. Chef Mike is running the kitchen with precision, but his cousin Joe is having difficulties operating the restaurant and managing an unorganized staff. Without Willie's help, the doors will close and the cousins' million-dollar investment will disappear along with their business.

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Sushi on the Strip
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#23 - Sushi on the Strip

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired 6/11/2014

Willie is called in to help Joy, owner of Osaka's Japanese Cuisine, the first sushi restaurant in Las Vegas. With her restaurant floundering, Joy calls in Willie to reel in her staff before her legacy comes to an end. Only Willie can save this Las Vegas tradition, before it becomes lost in the sands of time.

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Nobody's Runnin' The Store
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#24 - Nobody's Runnin' The Store

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 8/29/2012

Willie is called upon to help struggling owner and chef Mike, of Trends Restaurant in Staten Island, N.Y. The business is collapsing and Mike is at the mercy of his out-of-control staff. His problems are compounded by the fact that his manager son, Nick, is often missing in action instead of leading by example. Mike's always dreamed of one day passing the restaurant onto his son. But if Willie can't get this kid to step up and take control, there may be no business to inherit.

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Momma's Boy
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#25 - Momma's Boy

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired 3/20/2013

Willie comes to the aid of Luis, who, with his mother, own The Latin Kitchen in the Bronx, N.Y. After a freak accident that nearly claimed his mother's life and the arrival of new competition in the neighborhood, Luis is on the verge of ruin. It's up to Willie to take an unfocused, unguided staff and turn them into the winning team that Louis and his mother so desperately need.

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