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Restaurant Stakeout - Mount Ivy Café Pomona NY - recap

Restaurant Stakeout poster

Written by : published Monday 26th March 2012

Restaurant Stakeout - Mount Ivy Café Pomona NY - recap main image

Willie Degol does the restaurant stakeout. Mount Ivy is a good restaurant with good food reviews. The online feedback praises the food but tasks the service. The hidden cameras will be set up to find out what staff problems are happening. Lucia the owner gives him the keys and the technicians install hidden cameras everywhere.

Next door they set up flat panel displays and watch from a variety of vantage points what is going on. this includes the entry way and the back kitchen and the guest tables. The staff does a lot of goofing off and talking on the phone. Patrons are not entirely happy.

He senses a lack of real leadership that stops patrons to have an hour long for lunch. Almost an hour and a half to be served. This underscores why more staffing is needed.

The stakeout goes as planned. Many of the staff drink and talk on the phone. They talk about the bartender and watch how staff fool around and tell customers their personal business. The owner’s eyes are really open to what is going on. She says she allowed personal drinks after work if their tables had been attended to.

She says she has no hostess because the economy is too bad. But then he shows how one person, Isabelle, is too fully tasked to run the lunch crowd by herself. He assess the potential losses of low staffed for lunch circumstances. This might cost Lucia as much as $15,00-$45,000 a year.

Isabelle has five tables. He stressed the restaurant should be fully staffed. The phone rings and a man wants a reservation.

She says "Not now I’m busy." He hangs up.

Isabelle is too over worked. Willie looks to scout out a leader in the mix of staff. She needs an assistant manager. Kim and Rich are front runners with big personalities and have been at Mount Ivy for years. Willie wants to make sure they are as good as the think they are.

Willie Degol sends in people to order unusual drinks and put on the pressure. Kim shows leadership and tries to manage Rich and his massive personal phone calls. Rich says that he will walk out. Rich says "The day I listen to you tell me what to do is the day I die".

Willie Degol stresses you cannot forget about customers. Owner observes as a table wants a drink another wants coffee another table needs a replacement , and Steve the new guy has challenges. Steve is the staffer is running around like crazy. He asks Kim for a whiskey and pretends Lucia said it was OK. Kim calls and finds out he did not ask. Lucia says from now on nobody drinks on the job. Steve is fired and walks out.

Degol is amazed at how Rich and Kim fight. The owner says Rich and Kim will go weeks without talking to each other. Degol says that is unacceptable in a working environment and they should be written up and sent up for that behavior. Degol has a customer leave their pocketbook behind and Rick brings it to the parking lot for them, passing the honesty test.

Degol says Kim has leadership potential and if she groom Kim as the manager the Lucia can work on other things from outside in. A hostess is needed to answer the phone and keep waiters out of the weeds. The front of house is where the work is.

Willie hosts a meeting with the staff, who claim they are very polite to patrons. Rich says the economy is terrible and Degol says that not matter from a service perspective. Degol stresses the people are put onto the floor too soon without being completely trained.

Willie Jack Degol stresses he saw a few things on camera. They are shocked to realize the things the have been doing and saying are on record and have been recorded.

Rich says "You can’t tell me what to do, I’ve been here for ten years.” Willie does not like this feedback.

The feedback from the meeting is mostly positive. The choose Kim as an assertive person and be her right hand man. It is a lot of responsibility. Rich is now head waiter and takes a lot of pressure off Lucia. Willie says people gravitate to success and happy people.

Six weeks later Degol returns to Mount Ivy. Rich is working well as head waiter. Kim is succeeding as manager. The additional staff is covering the additional foot traffic. All this staff including Lucia have good things to say about Willie’s methods and advice.

About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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