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Thread: Why Rocco's "the show" has worked... and Rocco's "the Restaurant" has failed.

  1. #1
    FORT Fan stebo's Avatar
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    Why Rocco's "the show" has worked... and Rocco's "the Restaurant" has failed.

    Ok, I am going to say my peace on this show and be on with it. Rocco's the SHOW, success. I would normally switch off the tele the first time I heard a blatant product placement. I nearly barfed on myself when Rocco "acted" like he was out of money last week and said, "I know! How about we call American Express small business where they bridge the gap!" But none the less, I can look past those things to laugh at this train wreck. It is edited well and the staged scenes drive me crazy (how did those cameras just so happen to be in Caroline's apartment when Topher called her anyways?).... BUT... I enjoy it! It is good eye candy.

    Now, why Rocco's the Restaurant doesn't work (for now).. it is filled with bad waiters. They seemed to hire half qualified people and half quirky personalities. Every server can get in the weeds at any time (see Topher - whom I think is a superb waiter)... but the rest of the wait staff has to be good enough to pick up the slack at that moment. You have to have a manager that recogizes there is a problem and you have to have a capable staff to pick up the pieces. When you have a guy faking injuries to get camera time then you have big problems. Notice how we never heard the doctor comment on this "injury". So if you have one weak link then the chain breaks and things go out of control. The management has to take some of the blame. They didn't train them. That is why I said this restaurant would have NEVER opened in the real world. You do not risk a $4 million (or even a $40,000) investment when you are not ready. That proved to me that this was not a real restaurant; it was more about the show than the longevity of the establishment.

    So they are stuck with an inept staff that has "incomplete" talent. This leads to a mutiny. I could FINALLY see who the real waiters were this week. Topher is a real waiter but he is a drama queen and feeds of of the attention and the frenzy. The goth looking Marilyn Manson guy and the fat guy are real waiters. They couldn't believe that everyone was bitching and I have to agree. The rest f the staff are mad because Rocco seems to walk around and not care. Well, Rocco has decided to be the PR guy and has hired 3 supporting managers to take care of this stuff. The PROBLEM is that the support managers are not taking care of anything other than re-assigning smart ass waiters to be dish runners. So where is the conflict between Rocco and his managers?

    Ok, Rocco's the show... thumbs up. I am literally on the edge of my seat to see what they screw up next and who is the next to ham it up in front of the camera (so pathetic). Rocco's the restaurant - it will keep this gimmick for a year. At that time it will either fail or it will become a nightspot that serves about 10% food. Maybe that is what he really wants, I know that I did after 10 years inthe rest business. He seems to be setting the stage for a drink and apps nightspot which would be fine if that is what it started off as.. but changing the identity again is going to be tough... and how do you fire Mama? What is she going to do, wait tables? Maybe she can bartend? the music is blaring, I get the feeling that Rocco really wanted to open a nightclub but settled for this. The focus will be on drinks and not the food because the concept for the food is bad. You can't serve an $18 anything in a paper sack. As we all know, the hot nights spots come and go... if this does catch on, I think it would be for another 6 months tops. So that would give it a year and a half in business. Not enough to break even but long enough to declare that it wasn't a complete failure (which it was). I just wish the show was that long as well so I could watch every single screw up.
    Last edited by stebo; 08-07-2003 at 03:13 PM.
    "'Your best?' Losers always whine about 'their best.' Winners go home and **** the prom queen."

  2. #2
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    My sentiments exactly. I think you're being very kind when you suggest that he'll be open a full year. My guess is that this joint is as phony a front as the "streets of NY" set at Universal Studios.
    I would love to find out how much the sponsers really put up.

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    Given this is a Mark Burnett (Survivor guy) production, you know the producers are focussing on any piece of friction they can find, a la Survivor. NBC must be rubbing their hands together, because unlike Survivor at CBS, where great effort is made to find the right mix of "unique" players (read people who will definitely not get along), Rocco managed to accomplish this feat without any help.

    Definitely a TV winner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stebo

    Now, why Rocco's the Restaurant doesn't work (for now).. it is filled with bad waiters. They seemed to hire half qualified people and half quirky personalities. Every server can get in the weeds at any time (see Topher - whom I think is a superb waiter)... but the rest of the wait staff has to be good enough to pick up the slack at that moment.
    So they are stuck with an inept staff that has "incomplete" talent. This leads to a mutiny..
    I'd agree that the waitstaff was largely "casted", but there is the presupposition that anyone can serve food, so why not make them interesting and pretty? Obviously, good reliable waitstaff is hard to find; you'll look long and hard to find a "under 30 American" working in a top flight restaurant in NYC. It is VERY hard work, long hours, and the pay isn't great,which is why many of the restaurants are staffed by persons from Eastern Europe and Central America, who have waited tables all their lives,don't necessarily consider it demeaning, and do a great job.
    That having been said, it is NEVER the staff's fault a restaurant is failing. There are over 8 million people in NYC, and if ROCCO can't find anyone to do a good job, it is HIS failure, not theirs. If you pick high-maintenance model/actress/tv weather girls to be a hostess, if she is awful YOU fail as a manager. YOU hired her, YOU saw how she worked, YOU tolerated it. If you delegate all meaningful decisions to a managerial staff, and they do not get results, YOU as the owner/operator fail.
    Rocco seems to be making basic mistakes of management--being Captain Bligh doesn't work with people who are not slaves or conscripts. Hence, Mutiny on the Roccos!

  5. #5
    FORT Fan stebo's Avatar
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    But if they had really wanted the best staff for the business (not the show... the actual business) than I think that they could have had it. They had 3,000 people apply for 85 positions. There is no way that you convince me that the hired 85 qualified applicants. I think they hired about half and half. Of the original staff, there are 10 people left over (according to the newest interview with Rocco)... they won't say who those 10 people are but I am guessing that Laurent, Rocco, Uzay, and his Mama are 4 of the 10. That is really sad. I said in another post that I think they will make it for a year or maybe two. People go to places like the Hard Rock Cafe... not because they have good food, but for the gimmick of it when it comes to town. After that gimmick wears off it will be very tough to get someone to come down there and fight for an on street parking space so that they can pay $18.00 for spaghetti.
    "'Your best?' Losers always whine about 'their best.' Winners go home and **** the prom queen."

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    Absolutely, if this was a place built for the long run, would you hire people willing to admit that they don't really like people? Or that feel that being nice to customers is just too much for them to sustain for any period of time?
    I feel for the applicants that showed up with the intention of working for a famous chef (not just getting tv face time) and now have to deal with the fact that there jobs probably won't exist in the near future.

  7. #7
    I think I have a clue 1083's Avatar
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    I understand very well the "hot" label comes and goes quickly but ANY restaraunt that has virtually no down times, is booked full for a goodly month ahead of the calendar date and has HYPER Inflated prices is doing quite well in the $ department. Whatever the food critics are saying, Roccos on 22nd Street is putting bodies in the seats hour after hour EVERY day... I am absolutely sure that an eatery cranking at maximum capacity is NOT a failure, anything but.

    PS I basically despise the TV Rocco and really don't care for Italian food much at all but reality issssss reality.
    everybody has the right to speak their mind, so don't shoot me if I speak mine- ray davies

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    Quote Originally Posted by firenze
    Absolutely, if this was a place built for the long run, would you hire people willing to admit that they don't really like people? Or that feel that being nice to customers is just too much for them to sustain for any period of time?
    I feel for the applicants that showed up with the intention of working for a famous chef (not just getting tv face time) and now have to deal with the fact that there jobs probably won't exist in the near future.
    The idea that people showed up JUST for a job and not ALSO to be on TV is silly. The wait was 5-12 hours to MABYE get an interview. Come on. Anyone that showed up needing a job was also interested in being on TV. The problem is that when the show was over he fired lots of people thinking who cares the show is over. Not caring or knowing we needed the REAL jobs absent of the TV.

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    I read somewhere that the producers were perturbed because Rocco fired someone the first week that they really wanted to keep for the sake of the show. The show, not the good of the restaurant. They didn't say who of course. The drinking hostess maybe? They were lamenting that they actually didn't have complete control of the people and had to give in to Rocco sometimes because of the restarant. Not The Restaurant. I imagine they would have had all drama queens if they had their way. The two concepts must be pulling at each other constantly. I thought I saw the guy who didn't like people cooking in the kitchen. Hopefully he is a good cook, and doesn't whack someone with a cleaver. Thank God he isn't hosting.

  10. #10
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    Frankly, I think all the drama is to a purpose. They're already plugging tonight's show as a comeback from all the problems to date. They carefully edited the first few shows to make the place look like a complete disaster, now they're going to make it look like Rocco J. Squirell brings it back from the brink single-handedly. Ytch.

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