Beleaguered Scottsdale restaurant Amy’s Baking Company is continuing to face complaints about its service amid its “Grand Re-Opening.” In the latest allegation against the restaurant since their disastrous appearance on Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares” and their subsequent online meltdown, Phoenix reporter Hayley Ringle claims that she and a group of patrons were booted out of the restaurant on Friday after complaining about fruit flies in their drinks.
According to the Phoenix Business Journal, Ringle ate at the restaurant with a group of three other customers on Friday including fellow Journal Digital Editor Adam Kress. In an article for the newspaper, Ringle wrote that she approached the experience with an “open mind,” but was deterred not only by an inexperienced wait staff, but by the repeated appearance of five fruit flies in drinks Kress ordered and owner Samy Bouzaglo's failure to sufficiently remedy the problem.
“We went in with an open mind,” Ringle wrote, “but our quartet was kicked out after pointing out bugs in not one, not two, but three versions of one simple vodka martini.” Ringle said that Kress had ordered a vodka martini on the rocks with a twist of lemon, but had to repeat the order several times to their waitress, who apologized and informed them that she didn’t drink.
When the drink arrived, without ice and with a fruit fly, Amy’s Baking Company co-owner Samy Bouzaglo was brought over to the table. Bouzaglo “cordially” offered to remake the drink, according to Ringle. But when it arrived at their table the second time around, it came served on the rocks, but also with a fruit fly at the bottom. Ringle’s group complained a second time, and Bouzaglo reportedly explained that it wasn’t a fruit fly but “from the lemons,” but nonetheless took it away and replaced.
“So the third drink came. And we noticed not one, not two, but three fruit flies swirling around in the drink. We gingerly took out each one, laid it on a plate, and asked Samy to come over once again,” Ringle wrote. “He immediately became defensive. He said there are no bugs in the drinks, and he would pay for all of our drinks and then said we needed to leave.”
"At first I didn't even understand what Samy was doing, but I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at his reaction," Kress said of the dining experience. "It's clear to me that Amy's has truly earned its less than glowing reputation. I can't remember experiencing worse customer service, and they had two chances to make it right."
Amy’s Baking Company launched their “Grand Re-Opening” on May 21, in what the owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo said was an attempt to tell their side of the story. The Bouzaglos also wrote in a Facebook post that they had been the victims of a cyberbullying campaign and said that a portion of the profits from the re-opening would go to “a charity organized to bring awareness to cyberbullying.”
They also originally said that they would “likely” stage a press conference before the main event, but those plans were shelved when Fox threatened to sue the restaurant. The day before the event, the PR firm Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations, whom the Bouzaglos had hired in the wake of the “Kitchen Nightmares” debacle, quit. The company cited professional differences.