The most-recent episode of Food Network “Mystery Diners” was titled, “Lobster Looting.” Charles Stiles came to the boardwalk at Asbury Park, New Jersey to meet with sister and brother Marilyn and Richard Schlossback at Langosta Lounge. They own a 10,000 square foot pavilion that houses four businesses. Marilyn discovered that their lobster inventory and amount coming in for them did not jive. They spend $10,000 a week on lobsters, and those losses show up immediately.
Charles explained how they will go about wiring the restaurant with microphones and hidden cameras and brings in a private investigator to stake out the place for a week or so and do what is necessary to get to the bottom of the problem. The control room was downstairs from the restaurant and easily accessible. As they watched, they pointed out the workers and Charles even had a waterproof camera in the lobster tank.
Charles then called Dennis, the private investigator to the control room. He had some compelling information to share with them. Mikey their server was on an empty rental boat and when he returned, it was filled with empty lobster traps. He then loaded the traps in a car. When the lobster deliveryman came in, Diane, the manager asked him if her order was there too, and he told her it was at the bottom. If she is ordering her own lobsters, she is abusing her position at the restaurant. Mikey then told the table he was serving that they were out of lobsters when the delivery just came in. Megan was posing as a waitress and went to ask Mikey about lobsters. He told her that the lobster population was being killed off, and the lobster fishermen were over harvesting and the lobsters scream when they get boiled. However, Mikey’s theory was opposite to the reason Charles was there. If it is true, they should have more lobsters than less. Then the waitress who was promoting their surf shop and telling three ladies about bathing suits came to their table with a bag of bathing suits – ones that she made herself. She told them to go next door and ask Ava, the manager about Sam’s suits.
Next, Charles sent in Natalie with glass-cams to check out the surf shop with a cameraman with a hidden camera. Ava told Natalie that if she purchased the bathing suit, she would get a ten percent discount at Langosta. She would not take a credit card; it had to be cash only. Next, they spotted Mikey removing lobsters from the tank and putting them in a backpack. That’s when they went to get Diane, Mikey, Sam and Ava.
Charles explained to them why he was there. It was originally for a lobster shortage, and he explained that the penalty for stealing lobster traps is $55,000 and jail time. He stated the money did not mean anything to him when so many lobsters were being killed. They then fired Sam and Ava, and a camera spotted Mikey with the backpack releasing the lobsters at the beach. Charles ran down to the beach to get the lobsters before Mikey could let them go.
Since being fired, Mikey has remained unapologetic; Ava and Samantha have been unable to sell their bathing suit line because of the lack of venue. Diane was given a second chance and no longer purchases seafood for personal consumption thanks to Charles and his staff of “Mystery Diners.”