Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Restaurant Impossible - Paliani's Restaurant & Pizzeria Update

Paliani's Restaurant Impossible UpdateTonight's Restaurant: Impossible has Robert Irvine going to Paliani's Restaurant & Pizzeria in Burton, Michigan to try to help a single mother, Marina, revive her struggling restaurant.  Paliani's has been in open since 1965, and was recently bought by Marina in 2007.  When visiting, Robert Irvine was quoted as saying it was the "worst Italian food I've ever had in my life." I again searched around the internet to read stories and reviews about Paliani's, so you do not have to and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant: Impossible):


The positive reviews:
  • "Visited after the "Restaurant Impossible" crew had visited. I LOVE what they did with the inside. It used to be so dark, gloomy, and stinky. Much nicer now and the lighting is 1000 times better!  The food was good but the menu had been downsized a LOT and I really don't think I'd go there more than once or twice a month because of the limited selection."
  • "Awesome pizza since re-opening. Can't recommend the braised veal enough. My kid can't get enough of the stromboli. Tiramisu had lots of mascarpone.  New lasagne is really good too. It's as good as before, with less cheese so the flavors of the homemade sauces shine. Love it."
  • "We went last night for the re-opening and overall enjoyed our meal."
  
The negative reviews:
  • "Well just got back from Paliani's. This place use to be a decent place to go. I had I hope that things would go from good to great after the food network came in and help do a revamp. Well I am very sorry to say it has gone from good to poor. Reasons: Smaller Menu, Less tasteful food, and I would have to say a less than talented staff."
  • "The restaurant had a clean look, but the service was terrible and it didn’t seem the owner learned anything from the training...We overheard most of the other guests grumbling about getting wrong orders, waiting too long for their food, not having salad and bread included (as it is in so many other nearby restaurants), inattentive service and the prices."
  • "My mother and I ate here recently on an early Saturday evening - we had heard of the renovations and wanted to see for ourselves. The food was good. I would love to see them succeed, but they need to work on their service."
  • "Restaurant Impossible ruined this restaurant. Go back to your old menu if you want to stay in business and teach your staff to be a bit more personable and attentive."
  • "Food was terrible. The wait staff was not friendly, and they clearly don't know what good service is. Do not go here, it would be a waste of time."
  • "My biggest issue though was what appeared to be the owner doing some paperwork in the middle of the dining room with their kid running around free."
  • "We noticed a middle aged woman and a toddler sitting at a table near the front door.  The toddler threw himself on the floor crying as his mother walked away and one of the waitresses grabbed his arm and told him to get off the filthy floor.  They proceeded throughout our entire meal to give him food and drinks to keep him quiet."
  • "Our family had dinner there tonight and I'm not sure what food network did there but it was awful! We had 8 people at our table and the only good thing to be said about the food was that the breadsticks were wonderful! Everything else... Not so much."

Conclusion:

It seems as if there are a lot more negative things than positive things being said about Paliani's after the Restaurant: Impossible makeover.  Even the night of the big reveal, many customers with later reservations had to wait a few hours after their reservations to be seated, and once seated were told the restaurant had run out of most items.  Service seems to be the biggest issue with the restaurant, as most of the complaints with the restaurant mention something about the service.  Multiple people also complained about the owner and a kid running around free in the middle of the restaurant, which customers shouldn't have to deal with.  I bet Restaurant: Impossible will play up the single mother thing tonight, but this still should not happen.

What are your thoughts after watching the episode?  Do you think Paliani's can turn around the business and succeed in the future?

UPDATE - Paliani's Closed on 12/31/2012

Reviews taken from Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Google
Also information taken from mlive.com and the reader comments

51 comments:

  1. Staff is useless! The CHEF of all people was swearing and customers could hear him in the dining area. "What the F* do you expect its fried cheese" is what the CHEF said about the food I had ordered.. The food was way greasy.. it was just an awfully disgusting place to eat and the cooks... and what they think they have for a "chef" was just rude and did NOT know how to cook.... The dishes were dirty that my food came out on.. I myself am a chef and in all my years in the business I have seen WAY better dish washers and way better cooks!

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  2. Marina needs to get her head out of her ass if she wants this restaurant to succeed.  She's not helping her business by letting her kid run around.  I can't stand it when customers let their kids do that; why in the world would I want to stay in a place where the owner thinks it's ok.  She said in the show that Nico was going to manage someday.   Um, is it just me or does anyone else think that was just ignorant?  He's a toddler for heaven's sake.  What the heck is he learning?

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  3. Get a chef to run the kitchen, Marina needs to hire front end manager to improve customer service. With a new chef they can slowly increase the menu with good flavor. Marina needs to manage her business profressionally. At the end of day, she will be able to spend more time with her son and for herself.

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  4. I think the owner has personal issues that she is carrying in to her business. She doesn't see a problem with her kid being at her work and feels that her employee's are her family. THAT is a huge problem. I've managed a few business's and, while I treated my employee's with respect, dignity and kindness, I also demanded respect and hard work. I always had good crews and had no problem firing somebody if they didn't want to do their job or just didn't care. 

    The owner also has a huge anger management problem. It was great for RI to show her progression from calm, to frustration to instantly RED HOT ANGRY! THAT is a HUGE issue and fully explains why she goes through so many employees. From seeing in the show, she doesn't see anything wrong with her actions and will probably never change unless she gets some professional help for her anger issues, among other things.

    From the reviews, it appears she has a huge food inconsistency issue as well has quality of service from her staff problems. She is still not a leader and that's proof by her business lack of customer service. She said her father never thought she could run a business, she has gone through so many employee's that she doesn't remember everyone and that is two huge red flags.

    Until she see's the issue is herself, opens her eyes and addresses her issues, she won't last much longer in the business. Sad to say. Because I wish her the best and wish she would change her ways so she could be successful. 

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  5. No way would I patronize a restaurant with a toddler running around. RI always seems to cut customer favorites off the menu instead of improving them. Then they raise the prices. RI filming stops and the restaurant has now alienated their loyal customers. The owner seems like a real piece of work.

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  6. After watching the show I don't think the  owner is willing to do what it takes to make her restaurant successful. She still hasn't hired an actual Chief, she changed the menu from what Chief Robert left her and started serving things from her old menu that obviously wasn't working, and her child is STILL running around the restaurant.

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  7. The owner thinks nothing is her fault and her employees are misbehaving children.  It's doomed.

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  8. The food was HORRIBLE!!! And when I complained that my sons pizza was undercooked (mind your we waited 45 mins for it) and my chicken was dry, the waitress replied in a snotty tone "Well thats the first time someones complained about the chicken" Ummmm excuse me but I'm not chef and I know polenta should not be gummy and sticking together. Never going back!!

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  9.  I should have worded that better.  It is she who thinks her employees are misbehaving children and treats them as such.  She is far more willing to scream at her employees for their perceived shortcomings than to discipline her toddler who is running freely through the restaurant, annoying customers and risking serious injury.  A restaurant is no place for a toddler running loose. 

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  10. Another Undeserving owner, can't you find a restaurant with truly deserving owner...? Enough of the Failing owners, how about more failing restaurants?

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  11. The owner needs to hire a babysitter

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  12. the BRATTY kid guarantees Palianis will fail...AGAIN! I have 4 kids and I am no  pro parent but that little Mega_Brat is a Business KILLER...she deserves anything and everything she gets...bye---bye Pailains---selfisn <LOSER took the fee "Make over" and is right back to her LOSING WAYS!!! 

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  13. I went to Palianis with a friend to check out the new menu and decor.  I had never had polenta before so thought I'd try it......well I was'nt very impressed,  'but I thought maybe it was just me....now I'm not so sure.  I watched Chef Robert make it and his looked alot better than mine. I think next time I'll try something with pasta.  Also I thought the owner was very stubborn and had a hard time listening to Robert.  I just know if i were her I'd take his advice to heart....I mean the man knows what he's talking about!

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  14. Sorry to say that I thought this was the most difficult challenge that Robert's ever had and for one reason only......the owner. She has the information she needs to succeed, but if she won't take the advice whole heartedly, then she will likely fail sooner than later.

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  15. Great comment. Sorry to see RI waste time and energy on someone who does not have the tools to change.

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  16. This is the first time I've watched RI and WANTED the restaurant to fail. Nothing worse than someone claiming to "just love everyone like my family" and then have them throw a temper tantrum complaining about how everyone gets treated like a child because they act like children and "Oooohhhhh" (getting so mad she turns red and can't speak).Most importantly, it made me recognize the importance of taking criticism graciously, especially when asking for help. Thanks for the lesson. 

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  17. I've always liked their pizza. It's the only dish I've had there. I went after the make-over (8/12). The pizza seemed the same. It was what I remembered it being. But I guess they didn't change that or their awesome bread sticks. I guess the pizza is cooked differently now. The antipasto was plain with little toppings and it was served on a plate too small for it. It was falling off the sides. The waiter was excellent. He had only been there a month. Really nice. Don't remember his name but he had a ponytail. It was dead there, very few people.

    As for the show, I actually was hoping the restaurant would recover, but the second I saw she was letting her kid run around, I changed my mind, and the fact that she was thick headed about what the problems were. Are these owners that stupid that they have to be told by an outsider what their food is like or that they don't have a clue about management. She has had five years to analyze the slow decline in business. Don't they taste their own food? Letting her kid run around is the dumbest thing she could do. I wouldn't want to go to eat at Paliani's Daycare. I didn't see her kid when I went.

    I'm gonna go again and try something else, and maybe take some family and see what they think. If I see that kid, I'm done.

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  18. I knew when Robert tried to make this restaurant successful that she wasn't going to cut the cord.Her attitude is just like my ex-bosses and it will never change. Did you see her get angry?  No wonder her staff is quitting!

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  19. Robert gave her the tools but you have an owner that thinks she does no wrong. The owner has no business sense at all. I wonder if she knows what her labor, food and paper costs are weekly. You have an owner that is micro-managing and that is only a disaster. I am curious as to why her family in the area want nothing to do with her.

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  20. Never been to Paliani's before, but we're new to the area and have heard about it's history. Been waiting for the RI show to see what changes were made and the feedback it received after the new opening. I get that the people that liked their food before probably wouldn't care for the new menu, although I figured what Chef Irvine gives them they could learn from and refine to their regular's tastes. But to hear that her kid is still running around that restaurant? I think Ms. Bufalini needs to sell her "restaurant" and open a daycare.

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  21. I watched the episode last night for Paliani's. I have no desire to ever visit that restuarant. The owner does not deserve to own a restaurant nor does she have any business sense. Clearly she did not listen to anything Robert Irvine had to say to her. It will only be a matter of time before she is back in the same situation she was in when Restaurant Impossible came to her rescue.

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  22. Yes my husband and I laughed when we heard that. I said how is he "learning to be someone's boss" at 2 yrs old...12 maybe, and learn the goings on of the business as he grows but at 2 yrs old, that is absurd. It's a cop out for her, she just doesn't want to spend the money for her child to go to daycare. She was an idiot, she should have sold that restaurant the minute she got her dad's house and $400K dollars! She would be able to put her child in a montessori half day and work from home and go make friends and be at peace. No, she chose to sink her money into a failing restaurant. Stupid! I totally agree, her head needs to come out, she has no business running a restaurant. Changing a child's diaper in the freaking kitchen?!?! 

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  23. Denial and Delusion ...  You would think that someone who owns a business would realize that they have an oportunity. The loss of focus on the enviroment and management is pathetic. She was right about one thing Nico IS running the restaurant NOW ... and it shows ... Restaurant BOO BOO Honey - a new fusion show ... sad ... since truth is there will be no restaurant for Nico to manage ... She needs to place her attention on her business .. OR just get a profesional manager with a vested interest in improving your business ... The remodel looks nice but is only as good as the way it is managed... Look within for the answer ... be the change you want ... she looks lost and confused ... wake up and save your business..

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  24. Marina
    During a dinner rush a waitress/waiter can not be attentive to more than four or five tables tops. I go to dinner to get away from the kids  I don't want to see a two year old running around the dining room. Get a sitter. Your son will be happier having something to do and you will be happier spending quality time with him. If you don't do these two things, your restaurant will probably not survive.

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  25. She should open a day care center.

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  26. her father was right. She cannot manage a restaurant and she will not last at the rate she is going. The fact that she let's her not so well behaved son run around and disturb customers all day just pisses me off. She doesn't care about her customers, she kept staff that obviously cannot cook, and she wasn't willing to listen to Robert so she deserves to fail and this was a waste of an episode he could've helped someone who actually cared.

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  27. He wont be managing anything but the debt she leaves behind after the restaurant fails

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  28. A child should not be in a restaurant all day, it is not good for the child, the parent or the customers.  I have stopped going to a nail salon because the owners child ran all over the place.  I don't want to deal with a child while dining. 

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  29. We went to Paliani's a month ago after finding out RI had been there. A 13 year old girl was hostess (and acted 13). The waitress was not friendly and only asked the very basic questions then left. The food was presented OK and had good ingredients but was bland (had Lasagna and Osso Bucco). It was Saturday night and there were 8 people in the restaurant. The sign out front needed painting and was missing letters on the reader board and there were weeds growing around it. As Robert said on the show "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink". This place will never do well. Restaurant Impossible is a good name because most of the restaurants they "transform" are truly impossible. Two day superficial changes are just that, superficial.

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  30. And a psychiatrist.  There is a reason people "disappear from your life."

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  31. It seems if the restaurant had that large of a following of loyal customers RI wouldn't have been there in the first place.

    If RI would even fix half of the restaurants it visits I would say that would be a good thing for both owners and patrons alike. 

    Heck I don't know if I would want to be recorded on video and then shown all my faults. 

    I thought what Robert told her about being a "boss" vs a "leader" was very enlightening, hopefully when they show a rerun maybe she will see herself in a different way.

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  32. I know it makes it more dramatic to have a short time frame to get it all done, but I am more than up for throwing in an extra day, if it helps all of the parties, prepare for their future without RI to help them out.

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  33. I think I just got her logic, if she sees her employees as children, so what is one more child (her son) added to that wonderful messed up mix, and if as she says they're family to her, they should be looking after her son.

    In her eye's there all the same, so it is a day care, with herself as the only adult there, well at least in her eyes.

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  34. The owner is a product of her own upbringing. She mentioned several times how her "family" owns several restaurants in the area, leaving me to guess that they are well off financially and she was spoiled by her parents and probably got everything and anything she ever wanted as a child. Now, as an adult, she still feels she's entitled to get what ever she wants. Spoiled child equals spoiled adult. This would include running around her daddy's restaurant when she was a child, that's why she doesn't see anything wrong when her child does the same. Unfortunately, like most children that have rich parents that raise them not to appreciate what they have or the hard work that went into getting to where they are, they grow up to be unappreciative adults who feel those who are not at the same level financially as they are beneath them. And those people should be the once to be kissing her shoes for "giving them a job". Maybe one day this owner will grow up and stop acting like a spoiled child and stop raising one as well.

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  35. Why do people with no restaurant experience think they can run a restaurant.
    NEVER, should a child be running around any kind of business!

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  36. If the owner does not see that having her young child there is bad for him (can anyone say dangerous and not a positive experience) and horrible for business, after the staff and Restaurant Impossible told her directly, I don't think she'll ever learn. Where is her concern for the enjoyment of her customers who are paying her bills and shouldn't have to put up with a bratty child's behavior (and she is the reason he acts bratty)?  I also would never trust the cleanliness of the food in a restaurant where the owner thinks its OK to change a diaper on the prep table. It obviously wasn't a one time mistake as her attitude has not changed. 

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  37. I loved paliani's before Robert visited the restaurant I liked it. I haven't been there since because Robert told them it was the worst Italian food he ever had. I won't go there because if he changed anything about the food it is a waste of my time to go. I liked it the way it was. The worst thing is getting rid of the Sunday buffet.

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  38. The owner is not going to learn nothing until its all gone and then she will blame everyone else. There is a reason her family left her out to dry.

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  39. FreddydaniellehunterJanuary 19, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Owner was an ass you can fix a place but you can't change a person she had no idea about the rest. Business

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  40. I read a lot of reviews online after the show. And after seeing the type of person the owner was I knew she would squander all the advice given amd fail. After robert irvine came she STILL had the kid running around. Not surprised to hear they closed down

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  41. ur obviously not cultured enough to be a critic of true italian food.

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  42. First, I love the show, Restaraunt Impossble. After reading the reviews my conclusion is that the owner did not learn from past mistakes. She needs to spend money on a babysitter! She and her staff need to be attentive to the customers. It seemed so promising-the new menu looked great, and the kitchen staff looked happy. It might be understandable that they ran out of most dishes the first night, so that part  could be forgiven. But there is no excuse for poor service. Customers are why you exist!

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  43. Regarding to their Facebook Page they went out of business.

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  44.  This link was at the bottom of the post: http://www.foodnetworkgossip.com/2012/12/palianis-from-restaurant-impossible-to.html

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  45. Truth!!!
    She pissed away $400,000+...
    AND a fully owned house!!!

    Now, $600,000 in the hole..,
    What's left for her SON?!?
    NOTHING!!!

    Pathetic mother-person-woman!!!

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  46. Having worked in the hospitality business for 15+ years, I knew the minute she said that she lost a chef a week that SHE was the main problem. As for the food the current chef's were serving, she was the owner she should take ownership of the food that was being purchased to serve in her restaurant, ie they can't serve frozen food if frozen food isn't being purchased. Finally I feel that Robert Irvin did a terrible disservice to this woman. I have seen him batter the heck out of ppl to drive home the fact that they are the main reason their business is failing. He blamed the kitchen, he didn't spend enough time the front of the house, and he definitely didn't convince Marina that she wasn't up to par!

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  47. What kind of a FOOL lets her child run around a restaurant. HEALTH HAZARD to GUESTS. SAFETY HAZARD to CHILD. The Department of Children and Family Services should take that kid AWAY from this deeply SICK woman. Very serious PSYCHOSES going on in the crazed head of that woman -- twisted piece of work.

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  48. There was no way this clueless woman was ever gonna succeed while letting a spoiled brat run around making her customers miserable on top of serving crappy food. She probably had to bring him with her because she couldn't find a day care facility that would take him. Not only would he ruin her 3 r 4 customers meals, but he could also end up getting hurt by cutting himself or getting burned with hot oil from the kitchen. I hope her and her son will be ok, but that will only probably happen if they both get some professional help (i.e. seeing a shrink).

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  49. Just watched on Netflix since they just added the show. I would never go back to a restaurant that had a kid running around. If the owner had to go work for someone else after she lost the restaurant, I am guessing she wasn't able to bring her kid to work. I am guessing these people went back to their failing ways, after Chef Irvine left, thinking they know better. Obviously what they were doing didn't work, so why keep doing it. Einstein had a quote that said something to the effect, that stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I could tell she thought she knew better than everyone. It didn't surprise me she went out of business.

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