The Will to succeed: Willie Degel

Full story: Zap2it.com 21
Growing up in Queens, the youngest of four driven boys born to industrious parents, Willie Degel developed his entrepreneurial spirit at an early age. Full Story
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Abby

Georgetown, TX

#1 Mar 14, 2012
He is an annoying joke of man in addition to being a grossly unprofessional businessman. If you do not respect your employees, i.e. the very people that support your operation, you will crumble and reap the consequences. His show is a knock-off, wanna-be, couldn't-even-cut-a-third-tier -showing shit show. He mocks the people he is trying to "help" and sets the restaurant management and its workers up for failure. I watched the first episode and it made me sick. I acknowledge that it is fake.

And that the majority of it is scripted i.e. the "fight" that broke out between the two "servers" in the back of the restaurant that was SO OBVIOUSLY REHEARSED. You think people don't see that? In addition to that, I was taken aback when I saw the "operation: no tipping" play out. Whether or not that person was a real server, you are promoting poor treatment of restaurant personnel and making it acceptable to belittle the people who are trying to give you a pleasurable experience. How dare you?

Yeah, I get it, that server will be reimbursed for the amount lost because he is apart of this "experiment." Regardless, the show itself is primarily focused on service, which is a cornerstone of a successful restaurant, and yet they allow the servers to be treated horribly for the shear entertainment of people who most likely don't tip appropriately anyway. Willie Degel ALLOWS that to happen. In a perfect world satisfactory service should illicit a 20% tip because they are basically your Yeah, I get it, that server will be reimbursed for the amount lost because he is apart of this
"experiment." Regardless, the show itself is primarily focused on service, which is a cornerstone of a successful restaurant, and yet they allow the servers to be treated horribly for the shear entertainment of people who mostly likely don't tip appropriately anyway. Willie Degel ALLOWS that to happen. In a perfect world satisfactory service should illicit a 20% tip because they are basically you butler for an hour. The math works out just fine. If you were to hire a personal chef and a personal servant, your bill would reach upwards of $1000. But instead you decide to patron a local restaurant and spend upwards of $100. Be as demanding as you'd like or care to, depending on how much of an asshole you are or as feeble as you are (if you have any allergies or dietary preferences), but leave at LEAST 20 percent. No matter what. And if you don't you will probably be going to hell.

This is the tip of the iceberg as far as the downfalls of this show is concerned therefore, I strongly insist that if the Food Network wants to maintain its level of credibility and appeal that it remove this abhorrent show from the air ASAP.
Eric

Washington, DC

#2 Mar 14, 2012
Wow, I get the impression that Abby won't be a regular viewer. I actually thought it was okay although watching Willie Degel watch the monitors was less than compelling television. Restaurant Stakeout won't last very long anyway because unlike Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Kitchen Impossible and Bar Rescue, the viewers don't get to see the bar/restaurant improve. Instead Degel criticizes or compliments certain employees and then leaves. This deprives the viewer of any meaningful emotional payoff.

Also, they should consider subtitles for Degel's comments. I just couldn't understand several things he said.
judy giacoia

Bellmore, NY

#4 Mar 14, 2012
hello Mr. Degel, my name is Judy Giacoia and i live in East Meadow, NY. i saw your show tonight and i was not surprised by the behavior of the employees. i have been in the restaurant business for 35 years but i got out because it was bad for my health. i would love to help you train people to be professional waitresses and bartenders. my Uncle Gene owned a restaurant in Bayside called Cafe Genelli for many years until my Uncle Sandy passed away from cancer. we are all pros and i hope you will give me a chance to show you my expertise. thank you so much.
judy giacoia

Bellmore, NY

#5 Mar 14, 2012
i think abby and eric should shut the hell up. they have no idea about the restaurant business.
missmarymack

Hoboken, NJ

#6 Mar 21, 2012
Abby is right, across the board. This guy is a hack at best - no class to speak of despite deliberate effort at matching tie & hanky. He's like an old, pasty, Irish "Snooki". He runs steak-shilling frat houses in NYC, then goes to the sticks Upstate to tell people who run restaurants in strip malls how unprofessional they are. City Mouse meets and beats Country Mouse. Wow. That's some heavy, intellectual stuff. And better yet, it's ALL staged. Like professional wrestling. Wake up, people. The Food Network's 'standard' is the almighty dollar. Better still if they make it showing ads to idiots willing to tune into this drivel.
Amanda Reynolds

Aurora, CO

#7 Mar 21, 2012
I love this show!,,,, I have been in customer service for ONLY 7 years and everything this man says is common sense! I am so so inspired that someone else sees the way shit should be in an industry in which your are doing for someone ekes wether it's hotel restaurant or anything else that involves you depending on your company evolving and existing from customers or guests. You cant be a person with soft skin and at the same time you have to be so patient and considerate! Would I love just one day with this man just one I am 25 and have no idea what I want to do but WOW am I just so impressed by Mr.Degel
Amanda Reynolds
Aurora Colorado
Amandahatch123@yahoo.com
Ps I would love to talk to you
Amanda Reynolds

Aurora, CO

#8 Mar 21, 2012
So
Abby and missmary what is it that you do? Or have done because the way you speak sounds like you haven't ever worked in customer service! It's a hard job and even harder if your an ass that dosnt care about the customer! You both sound selfish and don't have a clue. I can admit it does seem staged but the advice he gives out and the real true attitude for the service being Above and Beyond and a WOW factor for every place and a true hope for these places to succeed is real!,!! So many places I have worked at and been to have LOST the inspiration to keep people coming in it's sad so many forget that you couldn't have a job if people DIDN'T come to your place of work your there for them and sooo many places have forgotten that it's horrible you always want to feel welcome and wanted when Your going somewhere to spend money .... A lot if places make you feel unwelcome and not wanted yet the servers and employees expect $$$$$ from you because they are "working" bullshit and the ones that work hard and do their jobs don't even get tipped properly from waiters to bellman tips are horrible these days
Rux

Howard Beach, NY

#9 Mar 29, 2012
I completely agree with you. I was in the restaurant business for over a decade. What he shows us about restaurants and waitstaff in on par with reality.
Joy Gunter-Columbia SC

West Columbia, SC

#11 Apr 3, 2012
I find these negative comments by several posters to be highly irrational.
1. Have they ever worked in a service based industry?
2. What is their basis for being equipped. To give such negative feedback? TV producer perhaps, restaurant owner.......I think not.
3. Do they understand this is a reality based TV show, but w much more substance and more reality based than others, such as The Bachelor, Bacherlorette, Survivor, and a varirity of others which are DEFINITELY NOT trying to improve anything and are complete fanciful fantasies?
Personally, whether some events are staged or not, the ,message is a good one and it is delivered in a highly entertaining format. I like Willie Degel's straightforward manner and take no prisoners attitude. I have paid for many highly priced dinners that I wish Willie had paid the owners a visit. I think this will wake up many restaurant owners who are not featured, simply by watching. Why not make restaurant employees accountable for their actions? Most every other career does. It only make good business sense! Best wishes for the continued success of the show!
Anonymous

New York, NY

#12 Apr 5, 2012
Yea this guy is a joke..I know two girls that were actual servers in one of the restraunts he went to (lexington bar and grill) and they told me it was 100% staged and fake. They said they obv knew the cameras were there and that this guy Degel spoke to them like twelve times to embellish stuff when the customers were there..it's ridiculous and I'll never watch this big head again.
Julie

Carbondale, IL

#13 May 2, 2012
I love watching his show, I always go to work the next day and am more aware of what my employees are doing or not doing. He needs to write a book for the owners who he can't come visit but they can learn from him
joe Bayside

New York, NY

#14 Jun 19, 2012
The guy is a con artist. He hires illegal aliens and pays them less than minimum wage off the books. He was in Federal prison for fraud and stealing 250k in a credit card scheme. How does he have a liquor license.
Scott

Cookeville, TN

#15 Sep 19, 2012
I hate that punk, he needs his fat face busted..Shallow minded punk, if restaurants actually ran the way he tries to portray, they would all fail like he does..!Lol, he's such a uber D O U C H E !!
Scott

Cookeville, TN

#16 Sep 19, 2012
Joy Gunter-Columbia SC wrote:
I find these negative comments by several posters to be highly irrational.
1. Have they ever worked in a service based industry?
2. What is their basis for being equipped. To give such negative feedback? TV producer perhaps, restaurant owner.......I think not.
3. Do they understand this is a reality based TV show, but w much more substance and more reality based than others, such as The Bachelor, Bacherlorette, Survivor, and a varirity of others which are DEFINITELY NOT trying to improve anything and are complete fanciful fantasies?
Personally, whether some events are staged or not, the ,message is a good one and it is delivered in a highly entertaining format. I like Willie Degel's straightforward manner and take no prisoners attitude. I have paid for many highly priced dinners that I wish Willie had paid the owners a visit. I think this will wake up many restaurant owners who are not featured, simply by watching. Why not make restaurant employees accountable for their actions? Most every other career does. It only make good business sense! Best wishes for the continued success of the show!
LMAO ,I have worked in restaurants for 23years,that dude is a moronic shallow minded douche period, his restaurant probably sucks anyway..Open your eyes this guy is a loud mouth, fat pasta loving, D O U C H E ..Get a grip ,I would love to see someone wire his jaw shut!!
KGB

Victoria, Canada

#17 Sep 30, 2012
Painfully rigged.

Get some actors to make it a little more realistic, and lose the cookie cutter format that has the same "drama" happening at the same time in every "episode".
This guy has three "restaurants", he's nobody's expert.
hi2u

Douglasville, GA

#18 Dec 5, 2012
the guy will be dead from a heart attack soon enough, thankfully.
SCMOXY

Morganton, NC

#20 Mar 26, 2013
WILLIE D IS A ROCK STAR!!!
I THINK THAT ITS AWESOME THAT HE HAS A SHOW ON WHAT CUSTOMRS EXPECT FROM RESTAURANTS. REGARDLESS OF WHO WHAT OR WHERE ABOUT WILLIE, HE HAS SHOWN SUCCESS! ALOT OF PEOPLE CAN SAY WHAT THEY WANT ABOUT HIM IN A NEG WAY, BUT THERE ARE NEG PEOPLE OUT WHO ARE IGNORANT TO WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT. SOME POEPLE EAT OUT MORE THAN THE USUAL, AND THEYRE THE ONES WHO CAN IDENTIFY WITH HIS SHOW.
THANKS "WILLIE D" FOR BEING MY VOICE!!! YOU ROCK MAN!!!
PS: SORRY FOR THE CAPS, NOT YELLING, JUST LIKE IT!:)
Janet campos

Colorado Springs, CO

#21 Sep 19, 2013
I can't believe all the negativity on Willie..He is amazing. He does an awesome job helping restaurant owners with their losing employees. It's really ashame he doesn't do all kinds of businesses. I love him and his show!!!!
Janet Campos

Colorado Springs, CO

#22 Sep 19, 2013
All I can judge him based on, is the show. On the show I think he is awesome! I don't believe he has people "degrade" the waiters/staff. I've never seen an episode where that's happened! I think he gives great advice, in a respectable way...but will get firm with the ones he needs to. I will keep watching the show & don't feel it's scripted. I've seen plenty of scripted shows & it's so obvious & ridiculous...I don't get that from this show at all! Keep doing why you do Willie, your awesome!!!!!!:-)
longliverockland

New City, NY

#23 Aug 21, 2014
Julie wrote:
I love watching his show, I always go to work the next day and am more aware of what my employees are doing or not doing. He needs to write a book for the owners who he can't come visit but they can learn from him
Yeah was always looking for this Lexington episode....always looked for it...never found. That female lady manager is the problem there...I have been going on and off for years, she just gets more and more miserable, never makes you feel like your business is appreciated..never greets you, never says hello.. just DOES NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE YOU!!!time to find a new career!!!.ALWAYS closing much earlier than anywhere else local.

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