Danny's Steakhouse/Sushi/Wine Bar...Red Bank, on Kitchen Stakeout 4/24/13
Did anyone else see this on the Food Network last night? I’m not sure what the requirements are to get on a TV show like this one, unlike Ramsey’s kitchen nightmares, this show primarily seems to focus on the staff rather then the kitchen or food. (my first time watching this show was last night)
In my opinion, Danny’s hasn’t been a good restaurant in over 10 years, so it wouldn’t surprise me that he feels he needed some help. However, it has seemed his bar business has held up well over the years and I assumed that was the driving force of his business. His sushi has been excellent and is really the only reason I would ever go there to eat.
This episode pretty much just concentrated on the staffing problems he has there, including that of his completely hapless grandson, who has been a server for 10 years.
One interesting food critique that came up is when a customer questioned his grandson if their French Onion Soup had meat in it. Quickly, I responded to the TV, no french onion soup does NOT have meat in it, however the grandson was unable to answer, and he had to go to the kitchen to ask. Much to my surprise the kitchen staff answered, YES, the onion soup has chorizo in it!?!?!?! Never in my life have I ever heard of a french onion soup recipe that included chorizo. (It was later discovered the menu didn’t mention this either).
All in all, not much of a surprise, Danny’s is a struggling restaurant in Red Bank I assume looking for the exposure being on this show provided him. Did this inspire me to go back again anytime soon? Nope.
(FYI interesting article in the Asbury Park Press lately that indicated Red Bank has 67 eateries, not including bakeries, candy stores etc. and that 1 out of every 3 retail locations is a restaurant. With a new one coming into the old Famabilia location! I’m really so over that town.)
I've never been, but I feel for him. I do my own consulting with small businesses like this and wish they'd just reach out to get a little help. Bringing the right combination of communication, performance observation and management, and leadership would keep places like this from slipping. Most business owners don't realize that there are consultants out there who have only an interest in making them operate more successfully and profitably without the fanfare of the TV show. Many of us offer expertise in leadership and management that small biz just never considers important enough until it's a bit late.
Saw the show and, frankly, I think this one was really over-doing the reasons for the restaurant's apparent demise. One foul-mouthed bartender, another lifting some cash from the bar, two lousy servers....? They never presented any palpable problems with Danny's, especially with the food. I can't say if the food is good or not, haven't been for anything more than a drink in five years. But the saddest thing was that it *seemed* that the business had passed Danny by with no one there to hold things up.
I actually went to Danny's about a month ago. It was a bad experience all the way around. My wife and I had a reservation at 7:30. We arrive at 7:20 and the host tell us it will be about a 20 minute wait. No big deal we take our pager and head to the bar. The bar was packed so we squeezed into a corner and waited. at 8:00 I went to the host stand and they apologize and say it will only be several more moments. At 8:20 we decide to just eat at the bar and give the bartender our pager. Now the food itself was good. Nothing spectacular that would justify an hour wait (with reservations) After dinner while trying to get another drink the bartender was more worried about finding her smokes and a lighter then helping us. Then after we paid the Bill Danny came out and apologized to us.( It turns out the hostess wrote down the wrong pager number and they never came to look fir us.) Overall just not a good experience.