I've been a fan of Gordon Ramsay since he started his television career with 'Boiling Point.' He has been a star ever since.
Meet Amy and Samy Bouzaglo
Gordon's Initial Impression.
At first glance there seems to be nothing wrong with Amy's Baking Company. The frontage of the store is large and updated. The cakes are attractively arranged in a beautiful display case. The dining area is classy. Even the kitchen is clean with all the food neatly arranged and properly labeled. Gordon even had a cake slice and liked it.
The Outside of Amy's Baking Company
Inside Amy's Baking Company
Amy's Baking Company's Famous Cakes
Inside Amy's Kitchen
Kitchen Nightmares Preview of Amy's Baking Company
Problems Identified During the Show
While at first glance, it seems that Amy and Samy have their act together, the problems soon surface. Here are the problems the show identified.
1) Slow Service - The service is very slow as the server Miranda Winant is not allowed to handle payments and use the Point-of -Sale (POS) System. Samy is the only one who is allowed to handle payments and use the POS System which slows down the process. To add to this, Amy personally did all the tickets so it was done one at a time.
2) High Employee Turnover - The restaurant has a high turnover rate and employees don't seem to stick around for long. The show even interviewed two employees that lasted for only a couple of months. During filming the show, server Katy Cipriano was fired by Amy for simply asking a question. Amy and Samy simply do not treat their employees properly.
3) Lack of Delegation.- The owners are too hands on for their own good and do not delegate properly. As the floor manager, Samy does not let Miranda use the POS System and take payments. Amy also does not let her assistant cooks prepare the dishes without her supervision.
4) Greed - Owners of restaurants are very greedy. Samy steals the tip money and does not give it to the servers.Before Gordon's visit, there was a guy who waited an hour for his pizza. He repeatedly followed up on this and never got his pizza. Samy told him that if he cannot wait, he should leave and he still wanted the customer to pay for the mere fact he ordered the pizza.
5) Disrespect for the Customer - In the show's preview for the episode, Samy berates a guy who follows up with him for a pizza and cusses at him instead of apologizing and giving the customer compensation. Another instance is when an under-cooked pizza returns, Amy blames the customer instead of just owning the error and just reheating the pizza. Also Samy verbally abuses an elderly woman was did not like their food and told her not to come back.
6) Close Mindedness - Throughout the show, both Amy and Samy fought tooth and nail with Gordon Ramsay on any comments or suggestions he had.They were always very defensive and had all sorts of excuses. In the end, they wee so stubborn that Gordon gave up on them.
7) Low Quality Food - To be fair, Amy does serve good cakes. Unfortunately, the same does not extend to the other menu items. The pizza's aren't that good and are at times under-cooked. The ravioli is store bought and is not spectacular at all and had a weird combination of ingredients.
8) Low Morale - As clearly seen in the episode, there is a high employee turnover and the current staff are not happy with their working conditions. Samy and Amy do not act professionally towards their employees and would berate them even in front of guests.
9) Both Owners are Confrontational - Both Amy and Samy are confrontational. Once they hear something from you they will immediately confront you. While Amy will just shout and berate you, Samy is not afraid to be physical. He even hits a friend of a complaining customer.
10) Both Owners Cannot Accept Criticism - While it is true you cannot please everyone, still everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Restaurant owners must accept customer feedback as its a good tool to help them improve - not Amy and Samy. They view criticism as an attack and will immediately retaliate. They even confronted Chef Gordon Ramsay multiple times ones he gave them some form of criticism.
Who Samy and Amy Actually Are
Salomon "Samy" Bouzaglo, an Israeli citizen, is currently facing deportation charges by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as he did not disclose his criminal past which included charges of drug distribution, threats, and extortion.
Amanda "Amy" Bouzaglo was previously married and was Amy Bossingham when she spent fourteen months in prison for misusing a Social Security Number for a bank loan.
Aftermath of the Shows Airing
The show aired on May 10, 2013 on Fox and this causes a barrage of Internet attacks on Samy and Amy for their deplorable behavior on the show. Instead of changing for the better or apologizing, they attack back at the critics.
The store finally closed on July 10, 2015 but still continues to sell cakes, pastries and desserts online. Amy even made a cookbook on how to create fantastic cakes.
The Aftermath - Arizona Nightly News Interviews Amy and Samy of Amy's Baking Company
ABC 15's interview with Amy and Sam of Amy's Baking Company
Katy Cipriano, the Fired Waitress, Gets Interviewed
Samy Bouzaglo Accuses Gordon Ramsay of Sexual Harassment
Appearance on Dr. Phil
Jaxamoto's Parody of Kitchen Nightmares - Amy's Baking Company
On a side note, two interesting incidents happened before the store's closure. A customer asks for a martini replacement after finding fruit flies in the drink. Samy and Amy accuse him of planting the evidence. Also, Samy was almost stabs someone outside his store with a knife.
TMZ's Footage of Samy Attempting to Assault Someone with a Knife
Fox 10's Interview with Samy After the Knife Threatening Incident
Amy's Baking Company had many of the ingredients that restaurants needed to succeed - a good location, an beautiful looking dining area, a clean and well organized kitchen with modern equipment and amazing cakes. Unfortunately, the owners were their own worst enemy. They simply were not people persons. They do not care about their customers and staff and treat them like animals. At certain times, they even verbally and physically abuse people.
While it was sad to see Chef Gordon Ramsay deem this Kitchen Nightmare as an impossible mission, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that there are thousands of restaurants in America which are struggling and who need help. The fact that these people were chosen to be on the show and to receive financial assistance and free publicity is a godsend.They just did not deserve it.
Message to the Haters
Local Pizza Company Makes Fun of Amy's Baking Company
© 2016 Jan Michael Ong