A waitress fired during filming of the now-infamous episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" has taken to Reddit to discuss the restaurant (Amy's Bakery Company), its owners and what went wrong during and after the episode's airing that made the place an overnight sensation -- for the wrong reasons.
As part of an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit, Katy Cipriano told how she was working at Amy's as a waitress and was ultimately fired by co-owner Amy Bouzaglo for asking “Are you sure?” after picking up an order for a table that had been waiting a long time for their food.
Cipriano said Amy's was always clean and its kitchen was spotless, something the owners prided themselves on -- whereas in other episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares,” kitchens were usually dirty or unsanitary, with expired food or rotting produce left in the refrigerators. Other kitchen problems found in other restaurants featured on “Kitchen Nightmares” included frozen products being sold as fresh.
One action that generated a lot of anger toward Amy’s Baking Company was when co-owner and Amy's husband Samy revealed none of the waitresses received tips. Any tips left by diners were pocketed by the owners of Amy’s Baking and Samy justified that by saying they paid an hourly wage. When asked about the practice, Cipriano said, “i honestly didnt see it as a big problem because i got paid hourly at least. and this was my first job working in this type of restaurant, so i was kind of clueless.”
Cipriano revealed that another waitress featured on the show, Miranda,who served Ramsay lunch, quit Amy’s Baking Company a few days after the show finished filming. When asked about how long she was employed, her salary and “any redeeming qualities” of the owners, Cipriano said, “i didn't even last a month! maybe like 3 or 3 1/2 weeks. and i think i got paid 8 an hour i believe. and Samy can actually be pretty genuine. he referred to miranda and i as being "like his own daughters". though it was kind of creepy! haha.”
Samy said that Amy's Baking Company does little baking and the beautiful products were purchased at a store. When asked if the cakes were store-bought, Katy said, "People keep asking me this and i have no clue! im lead to believe that they were yes, but im not certain." In the Facebook comments Samy had said, "THE CAKES WE OFFER ARE EXPENSIVE BECAUSE WE HAVE TO REPACKAGE AND SHIP. DO NOT BLAME US BECAUSE YOU CAN NOT AFFORD QUALITY," while another comment states, "AMERICA IS ABOUT RESSLING, IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL."
Katy could not discuss the quality of food served at Amy’s Baking Company as she said the business had a policy that waitresses could not try the food. As for the owners, Cipriano said “Kitchen Nightmares” brought out the worst in Amy and Samy.
During the restaurant’s disastrous first night, where Amy threatened to call the cops and Samy pushed a customer, Cipriano said it was the craziest experience “by far.” Cipriano said the producers “cut it off short but the first night, after samy brutally yelled at and laid his hands on that one customer, the cops did end up being called and everyone had to leave the restaurant and the producers had to pay for everyone's meals.”
Katy also discussed the show’s production during the Reddit AMA. Cipriano said “Kitchen Nightmares” was filmed in December and said the actions of Amy and Samy were not staged. According to Cipriano, “None of amy or samy's actions were staged. 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.”
The show amplified the existing problems at Amy’s Baking Company, according to Cipriano. While food that wasn’t particularly good on a given day may have not garnered any criticism, because of the taping, customers were much more vocal and “let nothing slide.”
Other aspects of the AMA included Cipriano’s decision to work at Amy’s Baking Company, saying she was new to the area and did not know Amy’s reputation until after being hired, if she was coached for the show and other aspects of the now infamous taping.
Amy’s Bakery’s appearance on the season finale of “Kitchen Nightmares” and the resulting Facebook tirade catapulted the restaurant and its owners, Amy and Samy Bouzaglo, into the spotlight. Chef Gordon Ramsay’s attempt to turn around Amy’s Bakery on the show was met with resistance and Ramsay had to abandon the attempts to save the restaurant.
After the episode aired, viewers took to Reddit and Yelp with shaming comments, and Amy’s Bakery’s owners took to Facebook to defend themselves. The comments by Samy and Amy soon devolved into angry attacks toward bullies and haters, and the caps-locked rants went viral. News outlets began to pick up the story and the Facebook posts by the owners of Amy's Baking Company and the story soon went viral.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.