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Mystery Diners

Mystery Diners

  • Premiered: 
    May 25, 2012
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Food Network
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the 2011 Food Network special (Mystery Diners) 
  • Subject Matter: Workplace
  • Tags: food, cooking, restaurant, hidden camera

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(That We Know Of)
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Plot Synopsis

When a restaurant, bar or pub owner suspects an employee of behaving badly, that owner calls in a company that outfits the establishment with cameras and uses undercover diners to catch the staff member red-handed. Since they know the business well, the mystery diners are usually current or previous waiters, waitresses, restaurant or food establishment owners, hostesses, bartenders, chefs, caterers, and even food bloggers/critics. Food Network aired the pilot of this program on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 10pm ET/PT, showing a Los Angeles pub owner who suspects that one of her bartenders might be overpouring for customers, giving away too many free drinks and overtipping himself. When Food Network brought the program back as a series, it aired a sneak peek episode on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 10:30pm ET, followed by the official series premiere on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 10pm ET. In Season 2, Charlie and the mystery diners investigatee: D'Cache restaurant in Los Angeles; La Traviata in Long Beach, CA; Ca' Brea in Los Angeles; and many more eateries. Season 3, which premiered on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT, featured these restaurants: Catharsis in Miami, FL, where employees mess with blindfolded customers; Cheeseburger Baby in Miami, FL, where the owners suspect an ex-convict employee is stealing from them; George's Restaurant in Miami, FL, where the staff is taking the owner's "everyone have fun" policy to the next level; Garcia's Seafood in Miami, FL, where Harry and Carlos go undercover and discover where the seafood is going missing; R&O's Restaurant in New Orleans, where the owner is fed up with his employee's lack of respect; and N'awlins Cafe, in New Orleans, where incompetent friends prevent the restaurant from thriving. Season 4 premiered on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT, with the new season featuring these restaurants: Buster's Beach House (Long Beach, CA); Lotus on Flower (Los Angeles, CA); Newport Beach Brewing Company (Newport Beach, CA); Colombo's Italian Steakhouse (Eagle Rock, CA); Gauchos Village (Glendale, CA); Bistro Bordeaux (Evanston, IL); and more. Season 5, which premiered on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network, featured these eateries: Looney's BBQ (San Leandro, CA); Source (San Francisco, CA); Rocco's Cafe (San Francisco, CA); Chapeau! (San Francisco, CA); Speisekammer (Alameda, CA); Bistro Baffi (Burien, WA); and My Greek and Italian Restaurant (Tacoma, WA). MYSTERY DINERS returned for its sixth season on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network. In the Season 6 premiere, Charles investigated Mexicali Tacos in Los Angeles, where the owners hear rumors that customers are being served food off-menu. In subsequent episodes of Season 6, Charles and his mystery diners investigated these restaurants: Spring Street Smoke House (Los Angeles, CA); Roll'n Lobster Food Truck (Los Angeles, CA); Pelons Tex-Mex Restaurant (Austin, TX); Old School Bar and Grill (Austin, TX); Bakehouse Restaurant and Bar (Austin, TX); Uncle Billy's Brew and Que (Austin, TX); and many more eateries. On Monday, July 28, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT, Food Network aired the Season 7 premiere of MYSTERY DINERS, during which Corinne and Seth go undercover at the Shades Oceanfront Bistro in San Diego, and discover one of the employees is running their own side business. Later in its seventh season, MYSTERY DINERS visits these restaurants: The Compass (Carlsbad, CA); Barrio Star (San Diego, CA); food trucks in San Diego, CA; Devine Pastabilities (San Diego, CA); and more. On Monday, October 13, 2014 from 9-10pm ET/PT, Food Network aired the Season 7 finale immediately followed by the Season 8 premiere of MYSTERY DINERS. Restaurants in the eighth season included: 55 Degree Wine and Link-n-Hops (Los Angeles, CA); Tavern on Main (Los Angeles, CA); Cookin' With Lenny Smokehouse (Los Angeles, CA); Fenders Moto Cafe and Brew Pub (Portland, OR); Dar Salam (Portland, OR); Uptown Billiards (Portland, OR); Food Pavilion (Portland, OR); Amalfi's (Portland, OR); and more. On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 9:30pm ET/PT, Food Network premiered the ninth season of MYSTERY DINERS. In the season opener, "Bowling for Dollars," Bryan, the owner of Corbin Bowling Center in Tarzana, CA, contacts Charles for help after hearing complaints about rowdy customers. Mystery Diners Eliot and Kendall go undercover and discover the staff is condoning reckless behavior. Other establishments featured in Season 9 include: Lenny's Deli (Los Angeles, CA); Doffo Winery (Temecula, CA); Hot Red Bus (Los Angeles, CA); Capo's Speakeasy (Las Vegas, NV); Moviesets (New Orleans, LA); and more. MYSTERY DINERS returned for its tenth season on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 9:30pm ET/PT. In the season opener, "Partner Problems," former client Jaime contacts Charles to help determine if he should invest in a failing California restaurant. Mystery Diners Kendall and Kiel go undercover and discover the current owner isn't being honest about all of his problems.After a two-month break, MYSTERY DINERS returned with new Season 10 episodes on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT. In the fall premiere, "Tour Bust," father-and-son team Danny and Danny Jr. own the Star Cafe and Star Coaches in Atlanta. They are concerned about missing food in their kitchen and a rise in fuel expenses on their tour buses. Charles Stiles sends in Mystery Diners Meagen and Jamie to investigate what's happening on the road.
On Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 11pm ET/PT, Food Network premiered "Surprise Twists," a half-hour special that counts down the top ten biggest twists that surprised Charles Stiles and the various restaurant owners who called for help.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by T Group Productions