The Top 5 Most Shocking Moments on Mystery Diners

by in Shows, May 23rd, 2013

Mystery DinersWhen a restaurant owner suspects his or her employees are not doing their jobs properly, they call Charles Stiles of Mystery Diners. With a sting operation that includes hidden cameras set up on location and a team of mystery diners who pose as customers and/or employees, Charles gets to the core of what’s happening. In most cases the employee is found to be stealing, lying or simply doing lousy work, but in some extraordinary situations, what gets revealed is shocking.

FN Dish recently caught up with Charles to talk about some of the most shocking moments he’s seen in his experience on the show. Here are his top-five moments (so far).

5. Ca’Brea in Los Angeles (Season 2, Valet Disservice) — The valet driver was stealing from customers’ vehicles and using the vehicles for food deliveries with the delivery guy as his accomplice.

4. Putter’s Bar & Grill in Las Vegas (Season 2, Night Shift) — The overnight bartender and manager was running his own bar out of the restaurant, serving his own alcohol, charging a fee at the door and letting the customers cook their own food in the kitchen.

3. La Traviata in Long Beach, Calif. (Season 2, Something Smells Fishy) — The head chef of the restaurant, which features organic ingredients and top-quality seafood, was found to be purchasing lower-grade seafood and produce that wasn’t organic so he could pocket the difference in cost.

2. Catharsis in Miami (Season 3, Dining in the Dark) — The employees of the restaurant, which features blindfolded dining, were caught messing with the diners. Their improper behavior included eating food off of plates, licking food, inappropriate touching and stealing.

1. Whiskey Dick’s in Las Vegas (Season 2, Singles Night) — The female night manager of the restaurant was running a dating service out of the restaurant using the waitresses to lure in male patrons.

Tune in to Season 3 of Mystery Diners on Fridays at 10pm/9c.

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Comments (42)

  1. Michelle says:

    I had never watched this show before today, and yes it's so over the top fake it's hilarious, but that's a reason for watching -if you want a good laugh.

  2. bree_zee says:

    I have to agree with other posters – the show is so poorly acted/faked that it's almost funny. What's truly sad is that these business owners aren't smart enough to root out the thieves without a 3rd party coming in.

  3. Johann says:

    Remember when Food Network had shows about food? This is the worst show I've ever seen, and I've seen Rachael vs Guy Celebrity Challenge. So, what 4 year old came up with the premise of meat being slipped into vegan food? Am I to believe meat is so hard to come by that you go to a vegan speakeasy for chicken? Please cancel this turd immediately if not sooner.

    • FAKE!!! says:

      Also the fact that in the beginning it says "Charles Styles has helped thousands of restaurants." At a rate of one restaurant a week, it would take 19 years to get just 1000.

  4. hvsteve1 says:

    It looks faked but fun to watch. Both this show and Restaurant Stakeout say they are showing real events with hidden cameras but I can't figure how they overcome the need for legal releases to put folks on TV, especially the ones who are shown misbehaving or stealing. The big difference between the two shows is the bad employees in Mystery Diners seem to have a 50-50 chance of being fired while nobody ever seems to be fired on Restaurant Stakeout, I assume because they don't want potential lawsuits from folks fired as part of a TV show, which makes the results of Mystery seem even more faked. What drives me NUTS watching this show is the way much of the dialogue, due to so much background noise, is shown in subtitles at the bottom of the screen which are usually obliterated by graphic promos for other Food Network shows. Aren't the folks in the control room smart enough not to block subtitles with graphics?

  5. GFIAD says:

    Guy Fieri is a douche. His fake bleached spiky hair makes me want to scream KAMEHAMEHA

  6. Jason says:

    I have the need to punch Charles in the nads. This so is SO FAKE, but it's hilarious because I know I share air space with people in this country who think it's completely real. When we shop at Walmart, we play a game called "Do you think they think Mystery Diners is real?"

    • Richard Robless says:

      That's what I do at Walmart, except I play "do they think god and jesus are real" I know I share air space with people that think it's REAL.

  7. ells says:

    i Like it[

  8. Keith says:

    I love this show! Please keep it going! these idiots who come on to post the hatred for the show are probably the same losers who either got caught stealing and fired or the ones who didn't get hired for the show! The first five minutes obviously is staged to setup the program's intention of what the problem is etc. so viewers know what they are watching. There's no way the video footage of staff caught doing something wrong are fake like they claimed. you're going to tell me the owners are in it given how much of their reputation is at stake here?! The staff who caught stealing etc at the end of the shows gave interviews because they'd be charged with a crime if they do not sign waiver and be interviewed and let off with a warning. simpe as that. Bravo Stiles!!!

  9. Marjorie says:

    Are you serious?

  10. Robert Ostrowski says:

    Rongh – I am sorry, but Ior your info, Willie is a person that worked himself up the chain of command and chose to regard customer service as his #1 passion. He (or someone on his behalf) developed the hidden cameras that are used to expose problems unbeknownst to restaurant managers when they are not on duty and his approach to dealing with problems is just what it is, For the record, he TRIES to identify who might be a potential solution to a problem and empower that someone to do better.

  11. Robert Ostrowski says:

    Nobby – I am sorry, but I completely disagree with you about the "Mystery Diners" show being "fake". The world of reality in the hospitality industry at large is anything but oh-so-picture perfect. Sometimes, even a renowned restaurant has its good days and bad days. Not all restaurant owners are on duty 24/7 and not all decisions made in life are perfect. Charles Stiles and his Mystery Diners team are experienced people who know how to find problems in any restaurant that they are asked to help out and I, for one, am glad that I can see the results of their exposes AS THEY ACTUALLY OCCURRED! The only thing I can suggest as an improvement would be for them to state before airing an episode "Due to mature adult content, viewer discretion is advised". Then, if any of us gets upset over what we see, we can be mature enough to turn the TV off or switch to another channel via the remote!

  12. Robert Ostrowski says:

    Lyndi- I am sorry, but I severely disagree with your characterization of Mystery Diners as a "fake" show. It is NOT fake – it is the SAD HARSH REALITY OF LIFE! Some places in the hospitality industry do not realize how bad their operations are until outside intervention is pursued and that is why Mystery Diners, along with Restaurant Stakeout and Restaurant Impossible, exist. We once ate lunch at a local branch of Famous Dave's BBQ and got sick because unbeknownst to us, the meat we ordered contained E-COLI and we didn't realize it until after we vomitted in the bathroom all of a sudden! Situations like this are equivalent to a horror movie experience yet sadly reality from time to time, and it affected us so personally that we never came back again ever since, which is real saddening! But the same also occurred with our having stayed at a Ramada Inn in 1979 featuring a BM & urine-laden bed!

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