Proof Restaurant Stakeout uses actors to play servers

There isn’t really a need to prove that Food Network’s awful reality series Restaurant Stakeout is a fraud: it oozes inauthenticity in every frame, and people featured on the show have described how fake it is.

But here is hard evidence of its fakeness: a casting notice “seeking male or female to play waiter at BBQ restaurant.” The project name doesn’t even attempt to conceal what it’s for: “Restaurant Stakeout (NJ).”

Casting producers want a man or woman 25 to 35 of any ethnicity “to play a waiter or waitress at a restaurant in Somerville, NJ. Commitment will be one to three days of shooting, $120/day.” There is also “$60/day (to be used on restaurant meal),” though it’s not clear if that’s in addition to the $120 compensation.

Actor and comedian Anthony Devito first noticed this and sent me the full casting e.mail message (below) from Casting Networks’ posting.

I’m heartbroken that this comes from the network of Bob Tuschman and Susie Fogelson, but even more sad that this is increasingly becoming acceptable behavior.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.