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. Marjorie says:

    I am very disappointed in you, Food Network, that you air such a silly and obviously fake "reality" program. I cannot believe restaurant owners subject themselves to ridicule by participating in this show with their supposed "problems". The estabishments look foolish and desperate. Perhaps Chef Robert's intervention on "Restaurant Impossible" might be a better option for them! Please consider dropping this show from your line-up … and soon!

  2. Beth says:

    Having watched several episodes, I understand the need for Mystery Diners. In college I worked for an upscale restaurant and there were many things that weren't quite as they should have been. The wait staff shared with new employees what they could do and get away with. Many of the staff ate leftovers off their customer's dishes. Sometimes portions were shorted before being served. Sips of drinks were taken. Yes, I saw staff spit on food, drop rolls on the floor and dust them off. There were other issues as well. I left after 6 months since things didn't improve. So, having seen some of the things happen, there can be issues.

  3. laracatgirl says:

    I guess you guys are recreating problems that happened because the offenders don't want to be seen on tv? It's the only reason I can come up with for the fake feel of the show. Almost everything about this has a setup feel to it. There is no way these problems occur within 6-12 hours of the cameras being installed and there is no way that each and every bad employee is this awful an actor OR that they manage to get caught this well on camera.

    Stop embarrassing these business owners with this fake setup and either do the deed properly or not at all

  4. Wrigs says:

    I just seen my first episode and I agree with this seems like a fake recreation of alleged events.

  5. Arkee says:

    If you don't like it, don't watch it! It's as simple as that……..Maybe you'll think twice before you'll eat out again or tick someone off ……..things like this happen everyday whether it be taped on the spot or not,,,I'm not sure if I were an owner that I would want my true identity known or shown as looking far too naive…but I still watch the show every week……Although I do like Restaurant Impossible, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen nightmares ,.. .chopped, etc., so much better…..

  6. Marjorie says:

    If you seriously think these shows are for real I have a "seeeeee-krit" barbecue sauce recipe to sell you! Best offer Cowboy hat and rehhd cowboy shirt and tie included! ROFL!

  7. GScot says:

    Anyone who's taken an acting class can smell out the "acting" that's going on, not to mention the badly scripted dialogue and manufactured plot points. Especially when you compare it to the more realistic (and for that matter entertaining) Restaurant Stakeout which, whether or not it's real, is at least better written and acted.

  8. Alex says:

    This show is an insult to talented chefs on Food Network like Robert Irvine, who have to do ACTUAL work for their shows. Idiots like Willie Degel (that intolerable, loud-mouthed blowhard) and Charles Stiles are an embarrassment.

  9. Lyndi says:

    Why has food network stooped so low as to put on a show as fake as this one? It's embarrassing!

  10. sharon says:

    Just watched my first and last episode of this amateurish and fake "reality" show. Really, Food Network? This is the best you can do? You must really be under estimating the average IQ of your audience if you think you can pass this embarrassing show off as real. It is pathetic.

    How about a show just highlighting the wonderful and memorable restaurants in beautiful settings across this country instead using fillers like this carp? It really diminishes the entire integrity of the FN brand. You should be ashamed.

    • April says:

      Food Network has integrity? Since when?

    • Robert Ostrowski says:

      Sharon – I just saw your question about the idea of a show highlighting the wonderful and memorable restaurants in beautiful settings across the country, and frankly, I, too would like to see something like this for once in my whole life – it's a long overdue idea! My only addition to your question would be "How about having such a show air in the evening hours before 10:00pm so that people lwho cannot stay up late at night can benefit from watching it?". I would think that seems logical.

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