Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Restaurant Impossible - Maple Tree Cafe Update

Restaurant Impossible Maple Tree Cafe UpdateTonight's Restaurant: Impossible has Robert Irvine going to the Maple Tree Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada to try to help a 26 year-old owner, Ashley, who is new to the restaurant industry.  She has hired many of her family members, who are also inexperienced, to help run the restaurant.  As I do every week, I searched around the internet to read stories and reviews about the Maple Tree Cafe to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant: Impossible):

The Positive Reviews:
  • "Took my staff here for lunch on Friday after hearing about the RI update.  I'm anxious to see the show, but I'm happy to give it my thumbs up...Service is quick and attentive.  Servers are friendly and spoke briefly with the owner to ask how things were going since the filming and she indicated that things were better than before, but some changes were still in process." 
  • "Restaurant Impossible has done well for this place."
  • "I have been eating at this restaurant for years. I've seen many changes... new owners... new menus.. new decor.  Honestly, I've seen a pleasant improvement here. The service was top notch the last few visits... I feel like they actually care about their restaurant and their customers." 
  • "My family had breakfast at Maple Tree after hearing about the RI makeover. The interior is really great, and the food was even better. The red velvet pancakes were to die for and the country style potatoes are probably the best I've ever eaten. The servers were very attentive. We'll definitely be back!"
  • "This is an awesome breakfast and lunch spot. Can't wait to go back... A few service glitches but worth the trip."

The Negative Reviews:
  • "I have never given a one star review for any place ever, but my recent experience at Maple Tree was overall simply poor. I used to go to the Maple Tree pre- Restaurant Impossible-makeover, and I honestly felt that the food was better. This restaurant makeover serves no purpose when the food and staff are horrible."
  • "Horrible service in every area today...We ordered the breakfast burrito and the spring rolls. Well the spring rolls were way over cooked and the breakfast burrito was made with sausage instead of bacon like it was ordered. The hash browns were burnt as well"
  • "Even after Irvine's visit to turn this place around I find The Maple Tree Cafe to continue to disappoint. The staff is so unattentive to guests it is almost funny. We spent 10 minutes trying to get one of four waitress' attention to get a glass of water."
*Reviews taken from Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Urbanspoon


Many of the reviews before the makeover were already pretty good, so maybe the makeover was more for a mentoring a new owner rather than bad business.  The Maple Tree Cafe is now open 7 days a week for Breakfast and Lunch, and will be open a few nights a week to showcase Robert Irvine's menu changes.  I think none of the menu items on their breakfast menu changed and Robert focused on revamping the lunch/dinner menu.  From the reviews, it looks like most people like the breakfast food, especially the red velvet waffles, and the service can be hit or miss.

The makeover was done in late July, and the Maple Tree Cafe has already opened 2 additional locations in Las Vegas partnering with Lucky's Lounge (both opened on September 1st).  While many owners on Restaurant Impossible seem incompetent to run a business, it seems as if Ashley knows what she is doing.  What makes me say this is that she is addressing negative reviews on review sites, maintaining Facebook and Twitter accounts for the restaurant, and offering discounts if you check-in at the restaurant.  She had to have an idea about opening additional restaurants before Restaurant Impossible came to visit, so probably used the show as a way to gain exposure, which is very smart.

What are your thoughts after watching the episode on Maple Tree Cafe?  Think they have what it takes to succeed?

UPDATE 10/2013 - The 2 additional locations of Maple Tree Cafe in Lucky's Lounge have closed, however the restaurant made over by Restaurant Impossible remains open.

UPDATE 11/2013 - The Maple Tree Cafe is now closed.  More information on the closing.

*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant Impossible Updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold.  Also Like Us on Facebook  and  Follow Us on Twitter 


  1. Robert Irvine needs to stop saying "Alls". It is not a word. All is plural as is. It can be used as a contraction, i.e. all's (for all is) but the two little words are fine on their own. It grates on me every time he utters it on Restaurant Impossible. In an episode tonight he said it 3 times. Hey, let's start a game where you have to guess how many times he will say alls in the current show.

  2. I like the show Restaurant: Impossible but I think sometimes
    the restaurants that get put on the show don’t really have serious problems and
    it just becomes Irving
    being critical of people. I’ve set the timer on my Hopper to record the show
    each week and then when I get some time, I can watch it whenever. Overall, I
    think that Irving
    has the right idea behind mentoring the restaurant owners, especially when they
    are clueless about the business. When you have hit or miss service there is
    something fundamentally miscommunicated amongst the staff. My DISH co-worker
    thinks that the show is a poor copy of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and
    in some ways I agree. 90% of all of the restaurants Ramsay deals with have
    serious issues. I have yet to see consecutive episodes of Irving dealing with over the top offenders. I’m
    glad to hear that the restaurant featured here is doing better.

  3. The maple tree café is a restaurant impossible. It is a useful post.
    Corporate events

  4. Love Robert Irvine and his heart to help people! Glad to hear that they are doing well. Of course you can't please everyone but if she's opening two more branches after a year of no profit, seems like it has been a success.

  5. I have a hospitality industry background and I know how difficult it is to manage a successful restaurant. For those of you that have never cooked, pushed a dish rack through a dishwasher, or waited on a table, you have no idea how truly complex a restaurant really is. It burns people out. It takes everything you have. You think cops and fire fighters have it tough; they don't have to make a bottom line profit every month or lose their job. Bravo Chef Irvine on how you are telling the real truth about what dedication and hardwork the restaurant industry requires.

  6. I haven't watched it yet. But we are about to watch it. Worst place ever! The smell was over bearing when you walk in. The staff looked high and acted high on drugs....our waitress wouldn't even pick up our own plates we had to hand them to her. After her saying hand me your plates. Our food was stone cold and they served all their friends before us.... bullsh*t of a place. So disappointing I will NEVER be back. Plus the place was filthy!! Food on the pictures on the walls and the floor was sticky and black and dirty. I don't understand how they got a A in the health code. Nasty place good bad I couldn't enjoy it cold too.

  7. Would I love you to see the restaurant owners daily schedule breakdown ... I too k several pictures if it when it was on the tv screen but can't make out many of the words

  8. If this owner has really opened two additional branches, she is really nuts! She doesn't have what it takes to make it, sad to say!

  9. I don't understand what you are saying!

  10. And are you saying you went to the restaurant AFTER Chef Irvine was there??

  11. Well maybe that's how they do it across the pond

  12. He has a couple of grammatical errors in his speech. But I assumed that is because no one told him of them when he became a TV host.

  13. Just came back from Old World Italian Restaurant in Murrells Inlet, SC where Restaurant Impossible just finished shooting.  I think Robert Irvine needs to come back, because less than a week after he left, the salad was soggy, waited appx 30 mins for bread and at least an hour for dinner.  The Osso Buco was full of fat and the polenta was grainy.  The veal cutlet was pounded so thin, it was like a mint.  We gave it a second chance, but will not be going back.

  14. It's not a British thing.  I used to work with a girl from Indiana who said it all the time.

  15. He  says "them" instead of  "those",  like "I need them tomatoes sliced".

  16. I've seen online that this place has closed

  17. We went to the Maple Tree Cafe, there were 8 of us. All four plates of pancakes came raw in the middle, the sausage on the two plates with sausage was a gray sort of scary color, the one omelet had a greasy block of cheese on top that was not even fully melted. The orange juice had too much water added to it and the coffee was weak at best. The restaurant offers real or fake maple syrup. We clearly told our waitress that we only wanted real syrup served at our table despite the extra cost. Some of the pancake eaters got the fake stuff and some the real stuff. And that was just the food. Once we all discovered that we could not eat the food that had taken a long time to get to us we complained to out waitress who said she would talk to someone. Another woman who had been waiting tables come over to us and asked if she could get us anything else, but with all our different plates failures and the amount of time it had taken for those plates to come out we were not willing to try again. We said no we just wanted to leave. She went away and said that she would comp the two plates with the dangerous looking sausage. Then we were given our bill of over $100 and that included a 15% discount. But we could not eat 95% of the food! Finally, most of our party left and we asked to speak to the manager. Ashley came over and when we explained the different issues with the food she shrugged her shoulders and asked if we had told our waitress which we said we did and then, contradicting her lack of knowledge, she said that she had told the waitress to give us 15% off of the bill. We said, OK, but we couldn't eat any of it! She said that the food never comes out of the kitchen any way but good and she would talk to the chef. That was the end of that, we decided to pay the bill despite it all and we warn everyone to STAY AWAY!!!!!! Rude people with disgusting food do not deserve your hard earned money!

  18. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this was after Robert was there, love the show btw, it was only one or two months ago, but the memory is poignantly fresh because of how horrible and expensive it was to me and my family.

  19. I dont see any complainers here with big muscles, successful show, and restaurants. So what how he talks as long as what he cooks is good, your not eating his words.

  20. Most of the restaurants on the show are in debt, or close to failing. that sounds pretty serious if that is the families main support structure.