One thing you'll learn quick about me is that I love my reality TV. Apparently Mystery Diners has already had a season, while it looks like Health Inspectors is brand new. I'm not sure so don't hold that against me if I'm wrong. Either way, these are new to me since I just discovered them. While watching an episode of Cupcake Wars on The Food Network (you know, the channel that makes you think you're a master chef no matter what) I saw commercials for both of these and decided to give them a shot.
Mystery Diners is a hidden camera show. The owner of a restaurant calls in a group of professional mystery diners to help them figure out what is going wrong.
Health Inspectors is about restaurants who are going to soon face a health inspection and need a little help to pass.
Mystery Diners: During the scenes with the owner, it seems a bit scripted. However the surveillance is enough to make you want to reach through your television and smack someone. In the episode I watched, the manager of the restaurant came to work unshaven after 30 minutes of sleep, stinking of booze. As if that weren't enough, he also took food meant for a client (not just customer, client, because they do catering also) and gave it to his buddies, lied to the catering client about...just about everything, closed the restaurant early to set up a poker game with his buddies and stole money out of the safe to finance said game. Then had the audacity to get mad when the owner fired him because he, "Was a faithful employee for two years." I would have fired his ass too! Every time I thought this couldn't get worse, it did and I couldn't help but thank the Goddess that, to my knowledge, I have never worked with anyone like that. I also can't wait to see what happens next week.
Health Inspectors: So a restaurant is gonna face a health inspection soon and they aren't sure they are going to pass. What the crap? Okay, if you're not sure that you're going to pass you really shouldn't be running the restaurant. But these people do and in comes the restaurant consultant who goes over the place like a health inspector would, pointing out all the things wrong with the place. This show makes me never want to eat out again. From the caked on, uncleaned grease everywhere, to rodents and insects in places they shouldn't be, followed up by the rancid food...puke city! For someone like me who suffers from mysophobia (fear of germs) it takes a bit to get me out to eat to begin with. Having worked in the food industry for a number of years, I can tell you (sorry) that these practices DO go on. I'm actually glad to see that there is a show out there bringing this to light so hopefully more places will do business a little more sanitary. Doubtful, but I got hope. If nothing else, this will help compose a list of where never to eat.
Kid safe: Yes, on both counts.
Web links: Mystery Diners, Health Inspectors