Charles Stiles runs the Mystery Diners an undercover group that finds out what is going wrong in restaurants across America and gets to the bottom of who or what is at fault. This episode takes viewers to Tempe, Arizona, to Caffe Boa in this episode titled "F for Effort."
When Jay Wisniewski contacts Charles about his award-winning restaurant, Caffe Boa but the reviews have not been too good as of late. Located near Arizona State University, his staff consists mainly of college students. Recently his revenue has declined and the complaints have increased. Jay works 90 hours a week, and while he is there everything runs well, but as soon as he leaves, the place goes to Hell.
Jay has received emails and online buzz that the service is lousy and lots of bad press about his cherished restaurant. So Charles and his crew get to work setting up the cameras to see just what is going on. Danny, one of the Mystery Diners goes undercover as a new waiter, Matt and Leeann will be customers, as well as Chris who poses as a difficult customer. The viewing area will be nextdoor to Caffe Boa where Charles and Jay will watch the entire operation.
As the evening begins, a new waitress is still in training and works with another waitress who starts off by calling Jay a nasty name. A waiter Brad is the trainer for Danny and customer Chris puts him through the ringer. Then Matt and Leeann, who is 9 months pregnant come in and the waitress Sophia and her trainee say inappropriate things to the couple, and worse of all, Sophia is drinking on the job.
When Brad is put through the ringer by difficult diner, Chris, he goes into the kitchen and nearly loses it. But he does fix the order and returns it to Chris without any problem and is nothing but a gentlemen the rest of the night. When the pregnant couple are ready to leave, Sophia takes her plate back to box it for her, and eats some of the customer's food before boxing it up.
Finally, Jay has seen enough and goes into the restaurant to speak with the three employees. First he spoke to Gwen, the trainer of Sophia and even though she called Jay a name, and he called her on it, he was proud of her actions with the customers. As for Brad, arguing with the difficult customer about his oysters, he told him that he needing polishing in some areas, but he knew about wines and praised him for how he handled the entire situation with the customer. When he spoke to Sophia, he called her out for drinking on the job, draining customers glasses, and then for eating customer's food. On a follow-up four months later, business is up, customers are happy and Gwen is now the head waitress, Brad has taken an extended course about wines making him more of an asset and Jay can spend more time with his family, all thanks to the undercover work by the Mystery Diners.
Photo of Caffe Boa menu: Flickr