Willie is called upon to help struggling owner and chef Mike, of Trends Restaurant in Staten Island, N.Y. The business is collapsing and Mike is at the mercy of his out-of-control staff. His problems are compounded by the fact that his manager son, Nick, is often missing in action instead of leading by example. Mike's always dreamed of one day passing the restaurant onto his son. But if Willie can't get this kid to step up and take control, there may be no business to inherit.
Willie comes to the aid of Tom, proud owner of Nauna's Bella Casa, who's spent the past 24 years building his restaurant into an established Montclair, N.J., eatery. Now, the married 45-year-old owner is looking to take a step back from his demanding business to start a family. Tom's enlisted Willie to help him figure out what his staff is doing when he's not around that's costing him customers, so he can salvage his restaurant's reputation before it's too late.
Willie has his work cut out for him when he stakes out the Oakwood Diner in Staten Island, N.Y. The owner, Mike Jr., has been around the diner business his entire life. Following in his successful father's footsteps, he took over the Oakwood Diner two and a half years ago. Mike inherited an undisciplined staff that treats the place like their living room and drives customers away with rude and inappropriate behavior.
Willie helps out Melissa O’Connell, a too-sweet wife, mother and owner of The Pepper Jack Grill in Staten Island. Melissa treats her staff like family, and, like any family, they bring the dysfunction. Their fighting, drinking, and unprofessional behavior is driving customers away and causing business to suffer. Despite the grill’s problem’s, Melissa’s hanging on to the business because of a promise she made to her young daughter. But if Willie can’t help her, she may soon have no choice but close up shop.
Willie comes to the aid of Nick, owner of the Pita Grill in Hoboken, N.J. Nick recently achieved a lifelong goal of opening up his own restaurant, as part owner of a small franchise business. Nick's invested everything into the place and needs it to work. But now an unruly staff, more interested in having fun than customer service, could destroy his dream and cost him everything. Willie is Nick's last hope to help straighten out his staff and his business before the Pita Grill is forced to close its doors for good.
Willie comes to the aid of Dawn, owner of the Liberty Bar and Grill in Hoboken, N.J. After 14 years in business, Dawn's restaurant is struggling and she's called Willie for answers. He soon discovers that Dawn's hands-off management style has created a leadership vacuum and some serious personnel issues that threaten to bring the business to its knees.
Willie steps in to help Anna Maria, chef and owner of Anna Maria's Italian Restaurant in Larchmont, N.Y. While her food gets raves, her restaurant has developed a reputation for nickel-and-diming the customer and it's driving business out the door. If Willie can't solve the service problems, Anna Maria's dream of running her own restaurant is destined to become a nightmare.
Willie is called in to help a desperate owner, Antony, save his Italian restaurant, Serata, in Oyster Bay, N.Y. Antony's rowdy employees have created an atmosphere that's more sideshow than serene, and business is suffering. The situation is complicated by the fact that Serata's main investor, Vinny, is also Antony's best friend. The two lifelong friends need Willie to get their restaurant back on track before their business and relationship come to an unhappy ending.
Willie is called in to help the Haven Grill in Port Washington, N.Y. Tough economic times recently prompted this family-run restaurant to move from traditional Italian fare to an American menu with broader appeal. But, with the business still struggling, the restaurant has developed an identity crisis that's taking its toll on the married owners. Their daughter, Stefania, is desperate for Willie to sort this messy situation out and get the Haven Grill on the right track before it's too late.
At Ariana Restaurant in Huntington, N.Y., Willie Degel finds a family-run business suffering from too much family and not enough business. The owner's son, Joey, has reached out to Willie to help save the restaurant and convince his father that recent reviews point to a painful truth: The lax atmosphere toward customers is driving business away and threatens to run Ariana's into the ground.
Willie helps first-time owner, Michael, fix his struggling Mexican restaurant, Taqueria Autentica, in Bloomfield, N.J. Opening just one year ago, Michael's restaurant has wrestled with novice mistakes, botched food orders and a young staff behaving inappropriately. Now, a wave of negative customer reviews is seriously threatening the restaurant's bottom line. If things don't change fast, the restaurant may have to close its doors for good.
Willie comes to the aid of Spiro, owner of Athena Mediterranean Cuisine in Brooklyn, N.Y. The restaurant is a family affair for Spiro, with his mother, three brothers and a nephew all playing roles in it's day-to-day operation. But it's dwindling customer base and reviews pointing to unprofessional service suggest that sometimes business and family are a bad mix. If Willie can't get this passionate family operating on the same page, Spiro's restaurant could become another Greek tragedy.
Willie travels to Joey D's Pizzeria in Metuchen, N.J., to help the owner, Joey, put an end to the family drama that is tearing his business apart. Eight years ago, Joey risked everything to pursue a lifelong goal of opening his own restaurant. The gamble paid off as his establishment soon became a local favorite. But now, after almost a decade of successful operation, Joey's twentysomething stepdaughters have essentially taken control of the joint. Their bad behavior is driving customers away and if Willie can't help Joey rein them in, he just might lose everything.