Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Restaurant Impossible 100th Episode Special - How Many Are Open vs. Closed?

Tonight at 10pm ET on the Food Network is the 100th episode special of Restaurant Impossible called Meet the Impossible.  The show description states:
Chef Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team have traveled to more than 100 locations to help America's failing restaurants. Now it's your chance to hear the never-before-told stories behind the show and meet the folks that make this impossible series ... possible. Featuring an interview with Robert and Executive Producer Marc Summers; a first ever sit-down between Robert, his construction manager and all three designers; a look back at the dirtiest kitchens, most stubborn owners and most dramatic reveals and more!
You may be wondering why the Restaurant Impossible Update Page only has 94 restaurants listed instead of 99 or 100.  This is because charity episodes and episodes such as Holiday Impossible are not included in these statistics.

As of writing this, 51 of the 94 restaurants that have appeared on the show are still open with the same owners, while 39 of 94 restaurants have closed, and 4 have been sold but operate under the same name.  

The way people look at these numbers is VERY subjective:
  • Some people think Robert can do no wrong and his advice is always right
  • Some people think 39 closed is terrible, while others think it is great
  • If a restaurant is still open is it still considered a success even if it is still struggling or losing money?
  • As soon as Robert leaves, a restaurant, is it considered a success until it closes?

The way they have been pumping out episodes recently has skewed the numbers a bit.  If you look at seasons one through five (2011 through 2012/2013), 34 of 61 restaurants have closed, 3 have sold, and 24 of 61 are still open.  So, more restaurants are closed than open if it has been two years or more since a Restaurant Impossible visit.  It will be interesting to see if the trend continues, and if about half of the restaurants on the show now will be closed 2 years from now. 

As always, visit this site to see unbiased Restaurant Impossible updates after each episode (the 'official' ones always tell you everything is great), and to keep track of any closings.

15 comments:

  1. He just boasted a 76% success rate, so I'd like to see what formula they're using to get that.

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  2. I guess their numbers are subjective as well, and I doubt they track them continuously. With Robert Irvine's resume issues in the past, maybe his numbers are inflated.

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  3. I've also noticed that the ads refer to "100 cities." Have there really been no duplicate locations?

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  4. As far as I can tell, they only ever do makeovers in small towns. It makes it easy to avoid duplicates that way.

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  5. Valerie MeinzerMay 8, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    "You don't tell me what to say," says Irvine.

    Then in the next montage there is a closeup of him from the side and he is clearly wearing an earbug, an IFB earpiece.

    Someone is telling him something during the tapings, that is clear.

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  6. It looks like some giant pair of robot ovaries were tacked on the front of her dress.

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  7. It's 70% "what the fuck" and 30% "I made this when I was drunk".

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  8. This trollops show is not worth watching. Annoying.

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  9. I'm sorry, I absolutely love Restaurant Impossible and I think Robert Irvine is a top-notch guy. Having said that, I cannot possibly see how he and Marc can say RI has a "76% success rate." I think they both knew they were on thin ice which is why they spent all of about 10 seconds discussing that on the 100th Episode. As of 5/13/2014, according to FnG, 39 of 94 restaurants that have appeared on the show have closed. 39 divided by 94 is 41%, so the show AT BEST has a 59% success rate. We could debate whether or not a 59% rating is "good" or "bad" but it is a far cry short of the 76% claimed. Furthermore, I agree with FnG that the way these numbers are viewed is completely subjective. Are these restaurants really making money? What if they are struggling? And what if they completely dump all of Robert's advice and end up closing - is that considered a failure of Robert's or a failure of the ownership?

    None of these questions have any easy answers and ultimately it boils down to the owners of these restaurants and their clientele to give the final word on a case-by-case basis. But I would have appreciated the 100th episode more if Marc and Robert would have just either left it alone or come clean. "Hey, we have slightly over a 50% success rate, but we do the best we can and the rest is up to the owners of the individual sites." No matter how you slice these numbers, what IS clear is that the actual show itself, Restaurant Impossible, IS a success -- you don't go into 8 seasons without having a strong, loyal following. But let's not insult said-following by giving a false impression of results with numbers that don't stand up to careful scrutiny.

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  10. They just filmed 2 restaurants here a couple of months ago and one has already aired. Bryants Seafood in Hueytown, Al. And one in DeKalb Co., AL, can't remember the name, but it was in our local news. So happy they have fixed this website so we can post! Remember the lines? It looks great!

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  11. Looks like she needs chemo and radiation for those two huge tumors growing out of the sides of her. Me thinks she is a headline grabbing gold digger.

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  12. The REALITY is that a restaurant's failure is NOT due to Irvine (or Ramsey). It is due to help coming too late, financial debt the owners NOT KEEP doing what was told needed to be done AFTER the Chefs leave. The ones that STAY open are because they didn't wait until it was too far gone and they took the advise and teachings they were given and KEPT doing what was proper and needed to be a SUCCESS. Period!

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  13. As of this writing, most of the restaurants in Seasons 1-5 are either closed or sold and those episodes actually looked more realistic than the latter seasons that obsess over "2 days and $10,000". Season 6 (aired in Spring - Summer 2013) is already down to barely above 50% success rate. I noticed that for Seasons 6-9, reviews following the makeovers are mixed, not that Irvine is to blame and he isn't. Maybe it's just me but given the higher failure rate in the long run, RI should go from 2 days to at least a week on their turnaround projects. Better yet, given "Bar Rescue" and "Kitchen Nightmares", make that at least 2 weeks.

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  14. I know the two done in my area are both out of business. One in Plumsteadville and the other in Horsham, PA. Both were ok for a while, but shortly after when back to their old ways and are now closed. So two for two closed, not good stats.

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