Restaurant CEO Insults Customers and Waitstaff in One Interview

This morning on “Fox & Friends,” they had the CEO of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse, Willie Degel, on the show to discuss the minimum wage increases for servers. I only know Willie Degel from the Food Network show “Restaurant Stakeout.” You remember that one? It’s the one where they place hidden cameras all over the restaurant in an attempt to bust employees for doing things that might be making the restaurant lose money. I always felt like that show was fake, staged and total bullshit because out of all the years I have worked in restaurants I never saw things happen that seemed to happen all the time on “Restaurant Stakeout.” Others tend to agree that reality may have been skewed on that show. Anyway, this asshole went onto “Fox & Friends” today and sharted out a lot of disrespectful things about servers and customers.

When talking about increasing the server minimum wage to $15 an hour and how the government expects that restaurants will pass that cost onto customers, he said that customers will just stop coming when they see a price increase because, “They’re not educated, they don’t understand what’s happening.” Yeah, he just assumed that customers are too stupid to comprehend basic rules of commerce. Okay, fine. I too think there are plenty of dumb customers. The difference is that I wouldn’t say that on national TV, especially if I owned a chain of steakhouses.

Then he moves on to the topic of servers and says some things that made my jaw drop. “The way of waitstaff is different. They used to be servants when I first opened years ago. People took great pride in being a servant. Today they have a sense of entitlement.”

Okay, did he really say that? He talks as if he had a steakhouse at Downton fucking Abbey and his staff is bowing down to Maggie Smith and shit. Bitch, please. There are plenty of servers today who take great pride in their work. Don’t let the name of this blog fool you, but I too take pride in what I do for my guests. Yes, some servers may have a sense of entitlement, but you can’t lump everyone who wears an apron for a living into the same category. We don’t all have a sense of entitlement. And by the way, random-blond-Fox News-Lady, I heard your little “uh huh” after he made that comment, so fuck you too. I bet you’re a real; joy to wait on, but you know what? Even if you were the biggest pain in the ass, you would never know that I was thinking it, because I am a professional who does my job and treats customers with respect. I save all my judging and bitching for this very blog.

Wille Degel-berry goes on to say that, over the last four to five years minimum wage increases have taken $2 million out of his pocket. Honestly, I’m sure it has, but maybe it was time for servers to make more than a few dollars an hour. Besides, without that two million dollars in his pocket, he will now have more room to store his daily allowance of beef jerky, corn nuts and salami.

Look, Willie, I have never worked for you or met you, but on this interview you came across as a pompous asshole. Maybe you didn’t mean to suggest that customers are stupid and maybe it wasn’t your intention to harken back to the good ol’ days when servers were servants, but that’s what you did, Willie. And just like it’s your job to make as much money as possible off the sweat and tears of restaurant workers, it’s my job as Bitchy Waiter to call your ass out. And I am doing that. So pull a Slim Jim out of your pocket, cram it down your throat and maybe think a little bit more next time before you talk on national TV.

12 thoughts on “Restaurant CEO Insults Customers and Waitstaff in One Interview

  1. B

    All these people who bitch about wanting servers to just make a “living wage” just need to fight for making tip shares illegal. 99.9 % of my problems would be solved by no tip share. You don’t tip , fine, I break even, I don’t pay out of my pocket to serve you. Last year my tip out was $8,551.72. Dafuq?

  2. Doug Hopper

    What is missing in this jerk’s life with that 2 million dollars he has lost because of the rising minimum wage? Has he had to sacrifice a Lear jet or an extra condo in Aspen? Boo fuckin’ hoo. As long as he can open some lifestyle-porn magazine and see some idiot with more wealth than he has, he’s gonna feel oppressed and hate those without two dimes to rub together. He’d better hope there’s no afterlife, ‘cuz his won’t be pretty.

  3. Rodinei

    how about a million dollars lawsuit he lost over tips? how about his maid lawsuit? how about his problem with peter luger or his street fights in queens bars? I worked years for him, he never bothered to ask my name or say hi, or even to my underpaid colleagues

  4. Erica

    He is what most restaurant owners have become… even down to the little mom and pops. They don’t care if their waitstaff makes money anymore… only if they do. I have been in this industry for 15 years… from server to bartender to management to general manager and I just don’t think anyone cares anymore. They try to suck out every bit of you for $2.13 an hour. We aren’t given health insurance. We are told to use the marketplace. We are told that we should suffer through shifts where we make not even minimum wage because hey.. you’ll make it up at some point. Not only do most customers treat us like servants, but so do owners. I used to love this industry. I did it for many reasons but nowadays I find myself trying to fit in as many shifts as possible when the biggest allure was a flexible schedule where I could still have a life…

    1. Geo

      Please Erica do NOT lump all mom and pop restaurant owners in the same basket. If you have worked for some bad ones then I am sorry. 1.) I pay my employees MINIMUM $10.50 per hour. 2) No, I can not afford to offer health insurance, but have paid for them to go to a nearby health clinic when they could not afford it. 3) I employ family members who are just dumb asses who would be homeless if not for my employment (it was that or them living with me and my wife, when I mentioned that alternative her head pretty much rotated 360 degrees and flames shot out of her eyes.) 4) I work about 85-90 hours a week. 5) Most of my employees have been with me for years. 6) Customers DO abuse my employees….ONCE. It’s a one and done for assholes.

      There are 8 of us “mom and pop’s” in my area and all of us are pretty much in the same boat. Don’t put up with assholes and treat our employees with respect. I’m sure a lot of the assholes end up in corporate places where they can scam free shit by having tantrums and threatening to “{Never come back! and call corporate.) There are a few customers who have been banned by all of us. Let them go to the fast food places and get their asses kissed.

  5. Heather

    Waitstaff are entitled? No, that’s the human population in general. Especially Americans. His dumb ass obviously is. And if wanting to be treated like a human being is entitlement, then yeah, sure, I guess waitstaff are.

  6. J

    He’s the entitled one, making his waitstaff his “servants” and not paying them a fair and living wage. He should “get a better job” or “work harder” like the rest of us if he’s not happy. Fucking pig.

    1. Erik

      First of all, if you’re here to talk about the issue of “sense of entitlement” by servers today, don’t spend 1/3 of your editorial talking about his television show. Stick to the point.

      Secondly, I totally agree with Willie Degel in the fact that yes, servers today do have a sense of entitlement even if they are very proud of what they do for a living.

      25 years in the business and with every restaurant I ever was employed as a server there was not one time that one server didn’t look at the credit card receipt believing they did a “good job” at that particular table and complain, just a little bit, or shrug their shoulders, myself included, at a tip less than 15%. (Industry “standard” now is 20, I get that. I’m giving slack and more power to my point)

      In fairness, an experienced server who knew that they screwed up on a table accepts the fact it was reflected in the tip.

      However, the latter was much more common than the self admission of failure.


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