Friday, July 5, 2013

Food Court Wars Premieres Sunday - First Winner's Restaurant Is Already Closed

Tyler Florence Food Court WarsThis Sunday is the series premiere of Food Court Wars on the Food Network.  The show is executive produced by Gordon Ramsay and hosted by Tyler Florence.  The premise of the show is that two teams compete against each other with the winner getting a space for their restaurant in a local mall rent-free for a year, which is valued up to $100,000.

The series actually had a pilot episode filmed in Huntsville, Alabama, which aired on the Food Network in December 2012.  I guess they decided the ratings were good enough to film additional episodes, which start this Sunday.  The winning team of the pilot episode was Kettle n' Spouts, and they won a year rent-free in the Madison Square Mall.


Despite the episode being filmed in August, Kettle n' Spouts closed either in late February or early March.  The restaurant also stopped updating their Twitter and Facebook pages on February 22nd, and gave no reason to why they closed.  People were questioning what happened, but there have been no responses from the restaurant.  Not sure why you would close a restaurant that was rent-free before the year lease ran out, but I can't find a reason why it was closed. 

The mall locations set to appear on this season of Food Court Wars are: Meridian, MS, Spartanburg, SC, Midland, MI, Burnsville, MN, Wausau, WI, and Charleston, SC.  I will keep an eye out to see if the winning restaurants face the same fate as Kettle n' Spouts or if they succeed.  I wonder out of the six new ones, how many will renew the lease after a year (if they make it that long)?


UPDATE - The winner of the Meridian, Mississippi episode, Mary Jo's Hot Tamales, plans to open their restaurant in the mall in early August.

28 comments:

  1. I have a theory that most of the folks that are capable of running a business successfully don't need a reality game show to get them going. Sure there are exceptions since winning seed money and benefits like free rent is a nice leg up but I think there are benefits to the hard work that goes into raising capital and developing and executing a business plan that free stuff won't overcome. Just look at how many RI places have folded despite the publicity and makeovers.


    Running a business is a skill that not everyone has the stuff for, even though everyone thinks they should be their own boss.

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  2. Just because you win a car doesn't mean you can drive. I agree with LordClever that people who can run these businesses don't compete for them on TV.

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  3. There are people who are probably quite capable of running business that can never get the capital to get going - perhaps because of bad credit in the past. That said, I'm sure that Food Network gave them no business training to speak of and these people probably needed that. Add on top of that the fact that food court eateries are very competitive and it's easy to go out quick, especially if you aren't an established franchise. I wonder if the prize also covered the % of sales that those contracts require?

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  4. I wonder what the figures are on Giving You the Business?

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  5. So I just finished watching this..what the heck? The winners couldn't open the restaurant?? I'm dying to know!

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  6. Seems pretty shady. Why would you compete on a show if you couldn't accept the prize?

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  7. I live in Meridian Ms and our food court was already dead. Great idea, but no business . I can find no listing for the tamale restaurant either. What's up?

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  8. Jennifer StevensonJuly 7, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    omg! What Happened???

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  9. Suck the Shuck's facebook page says they will open tomorrow (7/8/13).

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  10. My guess is they broke up. That or they found out they wouldn't be able to afford food costs...

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  11. I grew up with Erika, the girl from tonight's episode. On her Facebook page, she claims she "did her research," and posted a screencap of the third paragraph of this article. Unless she has a time machine, I doubt this article factored into their "decision." The truth is, she's lazy, full of shit, and has absolutely zero of her father and grandfather's (both amazing barbecue men) talent as a chef. She's also crazier than a shithouse rat. I guarantee you they're "personal" reasons are because she realized she'd actually have to work and decided against it since she has all the acumen of a garden slug. There's your gossip.

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  12. Seems a shame. But well, at least the prize went to two very hardworking people. I have the have lots of success.

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  13. This is the message I see: "OMG
    y'all have killed me with support an kind words on facebook. Absolutely
    UNBELIEVABLE. My friends and fam and hometown are the best!!! So now
    that I can talk about it, Stevo and I declined the winnings based on
    our decision NOT to move to meridian for a food court restaurant, and
    also upon the fact that we would like to open one closer to home, and
    that Mary and Thomas would be much better suited for that environment.
    We are very happy with our decision, and kinda hate that we got cut out
    of so much of the show, but ya know what? We won that thang. Freaking
    killed it. You didn't even see the half of i"


    No screencap or anything, so she must have taken that part down

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  14. Yep. She took it down between me posting last night and this morning. So full of shit. The more deserving couple got it. Trust me. She's a bigger whore for attention than she is for men (just like her mother), and everyone in our hometown (Batesville, MS) is on her Facebook kissing her ass like she did something noble. Ah, the hilarity.

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  15. Well she won it. I guess those are the bragging rights.


    However, at the end of the day, it will not be luck or a competition that makes you successful, but hard ass work. I believe that Mary and Thomas absolutely deserve it and I hope they make it great,

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  16. From what I understand, they just get the free rent. There is a lot of other costs involved. I wonder how they will afford that.

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  17. Good question. This is one of those shows where the prize sounds good in theory, but you question how many will be able to make a viable go of it in reality.

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  18. Wow, that's quite heavy chip on your shoulder!

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  19. The winners found the commute from Oxford to the Meridian mall was too much for them and said they hoped to establish their food court business at a mall closer to home.

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  20. Ask the winners of Chef Wanted about that. There are lots of extraneous circumstances that surface once the winners are supposed to begin work.

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  21. People who TV producers think make good TV are those they find "interesting" -- read "not altogether stable." These are usually not the same people who make good business people. Those more stable and thoughtful folks usually come across as boring on TV, with no odd outbursts to hang a story on.


    Oprah had "The Big Give," which postulated that the most important people in the world are TV producers, because they are the ones who can draw a big audience to worthy causes. That only lasted one series, because in the end, TV producers turned out to be mostly a manipulative and cutthroat lot.



    So while I believe that Food Court Wars will continue the TV Food Network tradition of craftily produced shows, I doubt TV producers will actually be very successful at picking good, solid business people who can make a go of it.

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  22. This is the most boring new show on Food Network in the past several years. I'd rather watch "Top 5" (anyone remember that?) over this. It seems like a really cheap replacement for "The Great Food Truck Race" (though I don't know if that's the case, but it feels like it). It's a very low-rent show.

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  23. Tyler Florence looks bored out of his mind. Like he is trying to show concern about the cast but is stuck in
    some mall thinking, the things I will do for $ and fame.

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  24. Well this is Jay her husband, if you have balls bitch don't hide behind a fake ass name call me 9015530962

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  25. Jackass Appleton, why would you put your number on a public wensite? Unless, of course, it isn't you.

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  26. I dont kno what meridian u live in but its plenty great restaurants in bonita lakes mall food court

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  27. Lol yall kno if yall would have won and able to open up yall business ya would have so stop frontin and get real

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