The owners of a Scottsdale, Arizona restaurant provided a shocking glimpse at what a hostile work environment looks like.
Amy’s Baking Company was featured on Gordon Ramsay’s show, Kitchen Nightmares. The owners of Amy’s Baking Company are husband and wife Samy and Amy Bouzaglo. According to Amy, “In 2006, Samy invested over $1 million into this restaurant to make my dream come true.”
After watching the Amy’s Baking Company Kitchen Nightmares episode, it quickly became clear why, according to Amy and Samy, they have gone through “hundreds” of employees. Workplace bullying was one of the main ingredients that the owners displayed during much of the show.
Both Amy and Samy Bouzaglo showed almost no respect for either their customers or their employees. Amy said that the reason why they have such high turnover is that their employees are “dirty” and “lazy.”
The two bad bosses hurled numerous obscenities at their customers and employees. Amy referred to a customer as a “son of a bitch,” and said that another group of customers are “just f–cking haters…. I will go tell them to f-ck off if my husband doesn’t!”
At one point, Amy Bouzaglo threatened to hurt a customer with extremely spicy food: “I hope he eats it, and I just made it really spicy for him. I hope it hurts him.”
Any at another point, she threatenes someone else, though it’s not clear is she was referring to an employee or a customer: “I’m going to really hurt somebody if they send back my cakes.”
Samy Bouzaglo became irate, screaming, swearing, and threatening physical violence at a number of customers, one of whom Samy pushed, and at Ramsay at one point during the show. Samy explains, “If anyone tells me that my wife’s food is no good, I just tell them to leave the restaurant. I don’t want them, and don’t come back.” After one of the altercations, Samy reassures Amy by yelling to her in the kitchen, “Don’t worry, I told them to f-ck off!”
Viewers of Kitchen Nightmares got to witness one of the hundreds of firings that happened at Amy’s Baking Company. After a young employee politely asked Amy a legitimate work-related question, Amy went ballistic on her for no apparent reason, yelling at her: “You don’t need to question me, you can go home right now!” Amy then yelled to her husband, “Samy, I would appreciate it if you would send Katy home right now. I don’t need an attitude from her. What a little bitch.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, after Samy got into an altercation with Ramsay and Amy declared that the kitchen is closed, Amy told Katy in front of the other employees, “I think, Katy, you can go, for sure.” When Katy began to leave the kitchen, Amy started screaming at the teenage employee, “I’m talking to you, Katy. Katy, listen to me when I’m speaking to you! Do not walk away from me! You don’t work here anymore, ok! Don’t start crying! Why are you behaving like this! Oh my god! You’ve had an attitude with me all night long!”
Amy then explained to the camera, “She’s a poisonous little viper. I don’t allow people who have an attitude in my restaurant. What does she know? Who the hell is she? She is gone! That’s who she is! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”
A waitress revealed to Ramsay that the owners do not allow the servers to keep their tips. Ramsay responded by telling her that she “must be the only server in this country that doesn’t get tips.” Samy later admitted to Ramsay that he does not give their servers their tips. An online petition has been started calling on the US Department of Labor and the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) to investigate Amy’s Baking Company for possible violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A former employee told Ramsay that Samy made him wash his car one day. Another former employee said, “In the year and a half I was there, I saw at least 50 people come and go. They were in and out so fast… They don’t really know how to manage a restaurant… They both think that the whole world is out to get them.”
Since the show aired, Samy and Amy Bouzaglo have been busy defending themselves – and attacking critics with profanity-laced posts – on their Facebook page, which they now claim was hacked.