Katy, who was summarily dismissed from her job at Amy’s after she innocently asked the owner to confirm that a dish was for a specific table, recently did an Ask Me Anything session over at Reddit, where readers gobbled up her answers.
“[Amy] messed up a table’s order numerous times in a row,” writes Katy about the incident that got her fired. “So when she told me to deliver the dish to that table AGAIN, I simply just asked her if she was sure. Didn’t mean for her to get so offended!”
On the show, restaurant owners Amy and Samy appeared to freak out over any complaints from customers, launching into fits of denial and rage. In the beginning of the episode, they kicked out some mildly displeased customers and threatened to have them arrested.
“The cops did end up being called,” says Katy, “and everyone had to leave the restaurant and the producers had to pay for everyone’s meals.”
Katy says that none of the owners’ antics were staged, adding that “people may have purposely sent back their food or falsely complained for a chance to be on TV, but that’s about it. Everything else was 100% real.”
Regarding an oft-cited critique of Kitchen Nightmares — that diners are instructed to be particularly critical of the food and send it back if unsatisfied — Katy says that it definitely happened more during the taping of the show than usual, but that doesn’t mean customers were any less-unhappy with their food before the show came to town.
“Just imagine if you got mediocre food,” she explains. “Just because you weren’t completely satisfied, doesn’t mean you go complain to the managers and demand a refund or money back. Most people just let it slide, I feel like.”
She also confirms that she and the other staff were told by the owners to simply throw out returned food instead of telling Amy and the kitchen staff about unhappy customers.
When Gordon arrived at the restaurant, he appeared to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the desserts, but not thrilled with the rest of the food. Unfortunately, Katy says she has no idea what the food was like because she never ate any of it.
“They never let me try their food and I never felt like paying for it out of my own pocket,” she writes, “so I have actually never tasted anything from there.”
Gordon — and certainly more than a few viewers — were enraged when they found out that Amy and Samy kept all of the staff’s tips, but Katy, who made more than minimum wage, admits she had no idea that this arrangement could be unethical or illegal.
“I honestly didnt see it as a big problem because I got paid hourly at least,” she says. “This was my first job working in this type of restaurant so i was kind of clueless.”
As for why two notoriously prickly owners, who had already had problems with the local media for years, thought it would be a good idea to go on a show about failing restaurants featuring the world’s most famous shouting chef, Katy says, “Honestly I have no idea why they wanted to be on the show. maybe they thought they’d get great publicity from it?”
Surmises Katy, “I think the show just brought out Amy’s inner demonic soul.”