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When 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.