Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family Style

This year there are several reality shows on television that make use of hidden cameras to find out what goes on when the owner isn't around to see for himself. My favourite is called "Restaurant Stakeout". The star of the show takes a no-nonsense approach in dealing with lazy, slovenly and unmotivated workers.

My mind began to wander as I imagined the possibilities, and I came up with this fictitious script for an episode of a similar program.

Restaurant Snoops

The stakout - Mama Bellini's family-style Italian restaurant serves great food just the way mama used to make it. The recipes were all developed by Joe Bellini's mother, after whom the restaurant was named.

The problem - online reviews give the food five stars, but there are numerous complaints about the service. Joe is losing money as customers stay away. Joe calls upon famous restauranteur and professional snoop, Billy Deakin, to help him determine why his once-popular restaurant is failing.

Billy and his crew arrive at the restaurant after closing and set up cameras in every possible location, then install monitors in an unused office next door. The next afternoon Joe arrives and is impressed with the ability to watch what happens when he's not around. He and Billy watch the evening service.

Camera 2 - the kitchen
The sous chefs are cooking. The head chef is washing pots.

Billy: "Who's that, doin' the washin'?"
Joe: "That's Gus, the head chef."
Billy: "Your head chef is washin' dishes? Who's the dishwasher?
Joe: That's Anthony. I don't see him."

Camera 5 - the servers' station
Anthony is flirting with the female servers, joking and having a fine time. When the head chef comes out and orders him back to the kitchen, he is disrespectful.

Billy: "That Anthony, he's got no respect. He ain't doin' the job he's paid to do."
Joe: "I fired him once, but I gave him another chance. He's like family."
Billy: "Yeah, that's what every failing restaurant owner tells me. 'I treat my staff like family.' Then they go out of business."

Camera 4 - the bar
Maria is on her cell phone while customers wait for their drinks.
Billy: "Why is she on the phone? Do you allow your bartender to talk on the phone while she's workin'?"
Joe: "I told her to leave her phone in her locker. That's the rule."
Billy: "So she's breakin' the rule and there are no consequences. No wonder your customers ain't comin' back."

Camera 7 - the floor
Clarissa, a new server, doesn't know what dishes are served "family style", leaving the customers at the table confused.

Billy: "Look at her, she don't know the menu. You say your staff is like family, but you don't train your staff. What's up with that?"
Joe: "I guess I was a little lenient with her because she's just starting out."
Billy: "If she was my employee I would be strict, not lenient."

After service, Joe calls an impromptu staff meeting.

Joe: "I called you all together because there are a few things we need to change..."
Billy walks in unannounced. "I'll take over from here, Joe. I'm Billy Deakin, world-famous restauranteur, and Joe here called me in because he's been losin' money. From what I saw of the service tonight, and the bad attitude of some of yous, there's gonna be some big changes. There will be rules, and consequences for not following those rules. I'm gonna meet wit' each of yous tomorrow and show you exactly how that's gonna work."

The next day, Billy sets about showing Joe exactly what "family-style" means. They are in the empty restaurant. Joe notices that Billy has brought a large wooden paddle from the kitchen with him. It's the one the chefs use for stirring the big pot of tomato sauce.

First up is Anthony.

Billy: "Anthony, last night I saw you jokin' around instead of washin' dishes like you're supposed to be doin'."
Anthony: "Yeah, so what, I would'a done 'em later."
Billy: "So from now on, your job is to wash everything that the chefs put in the sink, right away, and don't leave the kitchen until your shift is over.
Anthony: "Hey, man, that's not fair."
Billy: "It doesn't have to be fair. Them's the new rules, and if you don't follow 'em, there's consequences."
Anthony: Oh, yeah, what 'consequences'?"
Billy: I'll show you. Joe, are you watchin'? I'm gonna show you how to follow up when employees don't obey the rules. Anthony, turn around and bend over the table."

Anthony is nonplussed. He hesitates for a moment, but Billy outweighs him by at least a hundred pounds and has a mean look in his eye, so he complies. Billy picks up the wooden paddle and quickly applies six sharp, stinging blows to Anthony's well-padded posterior.

Anthony: Hey, that hurts!"
Billy: "It's supposed to. Now get up and look at me. Six for a first offense, six more for each additional offense. Joe here will be askin' Gus about your performance and he'll be keepin' track. Understood?"
Anthony (rubbing his bottom): "Understood."
Billy: "Now get outta here." Anthony leaves quickly.

Billy: "Joe, you get the idea?"
Joe: "Um, you mean I gotta spank them when they don't do their jobs?"
Billy: "Exactly! This is a family-style place, you gotta step up, be the father and do your job."

Next up for an interview is Clarissa.

Billy: "Clarissa, you been here six months and you still don't know the menu."
Clarissa: "No, but I can read it or ask one of the other girls."
Billy: "Not good enough. You go home and study the menu. Tonight, Joe is gonna test you on your knowledge. If you don't know the menu, he's gonna give you some family-style discipline."

Billy points to the wooden paddle, then looks at Joe. Joe flushes, looks at Billy who nods encouragingly, then looks at Clarissa and frowns. Clarissa gasps, then runs out.

Maria comes in, sees the wooden paddle, and her eyes widen.

Billy: You'll leave your cellphone in your locker or else Joe will be givin' you some family-style discipline.
Joe has caught on to the idea now, and smiles briefly, then puts on a stern face and picks up the  paddle.
Maria: "You mean you'll paddle me if I use my phone when I'm at the bar?"
Joe: "I'm afraid so. There's going to be some discipline here from now on. Now go put your phone away. This is your final warning."
Maria: "Yes, sir!" She scampers out.

Six weeks later, Billy returns for a followup.

Billy: "So the last time I was here, there was no structure, there were no rules and no consequences for breakin' those rules. Let's see how Joe has done. Hey, Joe, how's it goin'?"
Joe: "Things are great, BIlly. Anthony learned his lesson and he hasn't stepped out of line once. Clarissa knows the menu inside out. The only person I'm a bit puzzled about is Maria. She seems to be using her cell phone even more now, and I don't know what I'm gonna do with her. Last week I had to paddle her three times. Sometimes it's tough to be the owner but it's something I gotta do."

Billy looks over at Maria, who is standing behind the bar with her cell phone in her hand. She winks at Billy.

Billy: "There you have it, America. We knocked that one outta the park."

From Hermione's Heart


Roz said...

LoL Hermione, this was great! Obviously at least one spanko among the employees! :)


Anastasia Vitsky said...


Very clever, Hermione. Nice, fun way to start my day.

Our Bottoms Burn said...

I have known a few Maria's.

PK said...

I think you should have the job as show developer and writer. I know I'd watch.

abby said...

I loved this.....we need more spankos to be show developers!
hugs abby

Anonymous said...

Terrific Hermione. I really enjoyed the story.

Agree with PK, you could show owners how to discipline their staffs.


Cat said...

LOL Hermione...very clever. I do enjoy Restaurant Stakeout but you just made it better! Hmmm...only one spanko in the group? ;)


Aimless Rambling said...

That was great, very clever.

Anonymous said...

This would also work well for "Undercover Boss." At the end of the show the undercover boss reveals his true identity and hands out money and promotions. But it could work the other way...

ronnie said...


Very good, clever. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Too funny, Hermione!

I love the thought of spankifying reality tv.

Unknown said...

branching out into fiction..well done
bottoms up

River Wild said...

Nice job with this! With kink going more and more mainstream I see spankTV in our future! (hopefully)

Hermione said...

Roz - Yes, and who knows how many more may apply for positions.

Ana - Thank you.

Bogey - I'm sure you have:)

PK - I like that idea!

Abby - True, and I can see a lot of possibilities.

Joey - Or show staff members how to take it:)

Cat - Sadly, only one among the featured staff members. But tehre might be more off camera.

Leigh - Thank you.

Rollin - That's another possibility. My next attempt might be Hell's Kitchen.
Ronnie - Glad you enjoyed it.

Katherine - Gee, I wonder why:)

Red - Willy (aka Billy) makes it so easy!

River - I hope to see it too someday.


Kenzie said...

Lol, this is great. Where do I apply for a job? :)

Terpsichore said...

So it! :-)

Erica said...

I hate reality TV, but I would watch that! :-D

Hermione said...

Kenzie - They're taking applications for next season:)

Terps - Thanks!

Erica - It's the kind of reality I'd go for too.


mouse said...

Oooooh how fun! Wouldn't want to work there, but would totally watch!

Always thought it would be interesting to do "wife swap" lol.