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Olivia Wilder

Olivia Wilder


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Growing up in Queens, New York, Willie Degel is the youngest of four brothers born to industrious parents, who inspired him to have an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. From lemonade stands and paper routes, he was always eager, always hungry, and never afraid of failure. While his brothers headed off to college following high school, he knew that higher education in a classroom was not for him. He continued to hone his natural knack for business - and pad his bank account - via any opportunity that arose, accepting occasional failure as part of the deal. Following his father's death when Willie was only twenty, he took what he refers to as a "shortcut" to success, finding himself winding up behind bars for a few months instead. This proved a valuable lesson, one he's never forgotten: the only path to prosperity is toughing it out, and he learned to see people as much more than the sum of their mistakes. 
Degel hires people who impress him with potential, rather than a loaded resume.  He evaluates everybody and sees what they excel at, putting them in the position where they can flourish, even with an occasional "smack in the butt."
Willie Degel owns and successfully runs three "Uncle Jack's Steakhouse" and one "Jack's Shack" restaurants in New York. His secret: cameras canvassing every inch of his restaurant, allowing him to keep a close eye on his floor, staff and patrons. 
The second season of "Restaurant Stakeout" on Food Network on Wednesday, August 29th, at 10 pm ET/9 CT, which follows as Willie takes his practices to troubled restaurateurs looking to find and rectify the hidden problems that lie within their establishments.
And our favorite "Wine Curmudgeon," JEFF SIEGEL, will be back on the show to talk all things wine!