When Nader Morcos, owner of the My Greek food chain, returned from a three-day vacation, something seemed very wrong at his Tacoma location. The numbers didn’t quite add up in his finance books, and there were a lot of broken plates in the trash. Morcos was suspicious of the circumstances, considering he had recently hired a new manager.
Rather than ignore the issue, Morcos called the Food Network “Mystery Diners” program, a reality show that investigates what happens at restaurants when the boss isn’t around, using a combination of hidden cameras and undercover actors.
“I was surprised how quickly they contacted me,” Morcos said.
After submitting his application, the network got in touch with him a few days later, and a week after that the cavalry arrived.
“I expected five or six people, and then a whole crew and three trucks pulled up,” Morcos said, but still served his guests samples of his classic Greek food.
The My Greek episode of “Mystery Diners” aired on Feb. 18, and revealed some startling results.
It turns out the new manager was getting a little carried away with certain Greek traditions at the restaurant, allowing customers to smash their plates for a price. The extra cash didn’t go to the restaurant, mind you, but to his personal pockets.
With this new information in mind, Morcos rectified the situation by firing the manager. Morcos has previously dealt with a similar situation at his old Puyallup location, when he discovered that several of his cooks were drinking the restaurant’s stock after the doors were locked.
“That type of thing is very common when you give someone the keys,” Morcos said.
The My Greek episode was filmed last summer, and since then business has picked up considerably for the restaurant.
“Everything is fine, we had this scare six months ago, business is picking up, and the numbers are ahead,” Morcos said.
My Greek serves classic Greek food as well as Italian and American food, everything from gyros to Chicken Parmesan is available at the restaurant, though the Greek tradition of smashing plates is most definitely not allowed.
My Greek is located at 2303 N. Pearl St. and can be reached at (253) 752-2700.