Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - El Bistro (Renae's Corner) Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Titusville, Pennsylvania to makeover El Bistro.  The restaurant is owned by a single mother named Renae, who after three years is behind on taxes, has a depleted savings, and has lost her passion for the restaurant.  The restaurant is filthy when Robert walks in, and Robert can sense she has lost her passion.  Renae threatens to sell the restaurant, and Robert Irvine calls her bluff by telling her he would give her cash for the restaurant.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about El Bistro 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):


 
Positive Reviews:
  • "This restaurant has undergone great changes and is continuing to add to the menu and make great food!...I'm sure this restaurant will continue to increase it's efficiency after the major changes that had to go through."
  • "Good Food, timely service. Good pricing. LOVE the pies - homemade. The kids menu is not limited to kids ;) for those who eat less..... Breakfast on the weekend - here we come!
  • "Incredible food and good prices before and after. Good people as well."

Negative Reviews: 
  • "Nice to see the hb's back but the charge for every little thing is over the top. This place needs to bring back more of the old menu....Waitresses have no smiles or seem not to care to be working"
  • "Serving for sandwiches were small,we ordered the stuffed wing's and then the server came back to say they are out of them but we believe that were charged for them anyway, the dessert was great though. Too pricey"
  • "The food had no flavor. The service was horrible. Waited 45 minutes for the food. Was hardly anybody there at the time. Will never go back there again! The menu has hardly anything on it. This place is a flop makeover!"
*Reviews from Facebook
  
Other News and Links:
  • During the makeover of El Bistro, Robert decided to rename the restaurant to Renae's Corner.  My guess is this was in hopes of getting Renae's passion for the restaurant back.
  • Here is the old El Bistro Facebook page, and here is the new Renae's Corner Facebook page.
  • Here is a copy of Renae's Corner menu, which was posted in July after the makeover.
  • Here is Renae's LinkedIn profile, and it appears she bought the restaurant while getting her MBA at Penn State.
  • Renae's is already listed for sale.  The real estate listing does not have a price disclosed, and the description of the listing states, "Looking quite posh, RENEE'S CORNER, got an entire facelift. Recently selected by Food Network's Robert Irvine, the restaurant underwent a full renovation with a fresh interior design , with NEW flooring, NEW tables and seating, NEW Counter Area, NEW lighting and fixtures and Motif"
  • Here are some pictures of the new interior from the real estate listing.

Conclusion:

There were no reviews for Renae's Corner on any sites besides Facebook, so take those with a grain of salt.  The episode description states that Renae threatens to sell the restaurant during the filming of the show, and now it appears that she is following through with her threat as the restaurant is listed for sale.  Ten thousand dollars worth of materials as well as free labor should help get the sale price higher, but I am sure people will be mad to see the restaurant up for sale already.

UPDATE 1/2015 - Renae's Corner has closed - More info 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

94 comments:

  1. The $10,000 + Robert's wage is probably not that bad of a price for a show on FN, especially since there is little need for writers. Irvine et al might not mind that much if a business sells quickly, althro I can justify volunteers being mad, althro they might have just wanted a chance to be on TV.

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  2. Guessing the name change was to make it a) less generic and b) more inviting. Besides, El Bistro is just an awful generic name and uninspired name. Is it just me or does the menu feel a bit confused, between the pierogies, pulled pork and beef tips?

    The only I can say is that at least the menu is pretty damn reasonable- with the most expensive dish being $13, that's cheaper than what you'd be able to go to say, Red Robin for.

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  3. It's pretty sad that on the real estate listing the photos show the kitchen still being dirty. Not terribly dirty, but if someone were coming to take photos of my restaurant's kitchen, I'd have it looking great. The price isn't disclosed UNLESS you are pre-approved for financing. Pretty lame.

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  4. So does that mean she's selling after the restaurant impossible crew came in and cleaned it up?

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  5. The real estate agent should have insisted that it was spotless before taking the pictures. It had a feeling of "I don't care" about it. The half empty glass of tea sitting on the counter right beside hamburger buns, the random plastic containers on the floor and shelves (food? chemicals?), the dirty grill top, floor, and spatters on the walls. Ugh.

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  6. I dont fault the owner for wanting to sell. Its their business and they can do what they want with it. Plus he said all along that he was only helping out because of the kids. The sad part is that somone else who actually cares about their business could have been helped instead.

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  7. Wow watt deuce, she should've taken da money and not wasted Roberts time and $ deres so many mom and pops restaurant serves Dat could use help like day and she's just a joke b=%/#

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  8. Sure does and you can see she's not keeping it clean.

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  9. I agree! I rarely see pictures of a place for sale where it isn't spotless. That is on both the owner and the real estate agent. The owner because she isn't keeping it clean and the agent for not insisting.

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  10. Nope people die every day from kitchens like hers watta shame

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  11. I agree that the menu seems all over the place.

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  12. I wonder what Robert thinks about her selling Tha place after all his and the crews hard work

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  13. When I was still inspecting hotels, the company I worked for INSISTED that their QA people eat in the restaurant if the hotel had one. About 3 months into the job I inspected a restaurant that had such greasy floors in the kitchen that I had to hang onto the counters just to walk.

    I ran a knife across the floor tile and took a picture of the grease that came up from 1 tile and then took a picture of packaged beef dripping onto lettuce on the shelf below it in the walk-in and sent them to my boss. I wrote 'never again' in the subject line of the email. The policy about having to eat there changed rather quickly after that.

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  14. She's not the only one, but it would tick me off if I was Robert.

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  15. I'm an asst. Manager at a hotel and I'm very Ocd wen it comes to da cleanliness I'm on top of it gloves every were budget on chemicals Temps everything the cooks uniforms it takes a lot of patience and hard work and I also have a family 3 kids and a loving husband is just very dissapointing to me and sad u have to be vested and u don't have to love ur job bub atleast like it

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  16. What really bothers me about this episode is that she was offered an out by being offered the money. She didn't take it, and she gave a few speeches about how committed she is now. Why put on the song and dance? Considering how the cleanliness immediately went back to like it was, it shows that she was never committed to making this place work.

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  17. Sounds like you are doing a great job! I loved nothing more than walking into hotels to QA and finding an engaged staff! You're right, better to at least like your job.

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  18. I agree. I can't understand why she turned the money down.

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  19. Deffinetly do been with them 9 yrs just last month we had our inspection 99 only because I hired a house man and he took the garbage out of the bin didn't put the lid back I was in my office speaking to the owner he was a little nervous because we hired a lot of students and where close to Saratoga NY and it's track season but I got a 15k race so deff worth all the stress wish Renae would've stuck it out

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  20. Me too u also have to be good to your staff if there not happy you have no buisness

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  21. I fault her for the fake "I'm so dedicated now" speeches.

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  22. Thank U all hard work pays off

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  23. I wonder if this lady was ever married.

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  24. Some people never change. It is OK if someone confirms that they are not able to run a restaurant, or that they are such a slob that no intense cleaning of their premises can cure them. But if they sell, they should repay RI their $10,000 out of the proceeds. Otherwise, they are just taking advantage.

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  25. She was the worst actress ever. I didn't believe for one second that she was dedicated to the future of that restaurant.

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  26. That is just insane, taking a chance that others would kill for, and putting it on the market by the time the show aired. She didn't deserve much sympathy at the beginning of the episode, and deserves zero now.

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  27. It costs much more than that. The volunteers are only the people who help clean, etc. There are production staff salaries(you'd be surprised how many), and the costs of travel, lodging, office equipment, etc. It takes quite a bit of money to put together a show for tv.

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  28. Step one should have been to drug test her, soooo many other folks could use the help...

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  29. She more than likely owed more than the $30,000 in back taxes and $6000 in back rent. She probably couldn't sell for that price, even if she wanted to. But the scene made for good TV.

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  30. Seeing that Robert needs to demolish a counter with a sledgehammer to calm down, he may want to think about anger management classes.

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  31. She turned the money down becuase it wasn't enough. She owed $30,000 to the IRS and $6,000 in back rent. Had she taken the highest offer (30k) she would still be in a financial hole for the rent and probably vendors,back pay,etc.
    Restaurants are people-centered businesses. Someone who seemed to care so little should never run/own a restaurant. She knew by having Robert spiff her place up she more than likely could get a good price for it after the re-do.

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  32. 3 sandwiches and 4 entrees is too small a menu.....but if the kitchen staff is useless I guess that is all Robert thought they could handle.

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  33. my personal opinion is that, she has Robert come in and do a makeover on her place..(free to her) and it ups the value of the place..Bngo more money in her pocket, I think that may have been her plan from the get go. and she probably figures she can now get more then the 30k that he offered her..

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  34. The real estate listing also spelled the name of the restaurant wrong, which is pretty sad.

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  35. For Titusville, that is expensive. I used to live in NW PA and trust me when I say that Titusville is in an economically depressed area. It has one of the lowest cost of living in the country. It's a beautiful area but there aren't many jobs in the region that aren't minimum wage and service oriented. Considering the amount of businesses in Titusville that have gone under, it doesn't matter what Irvine would've done to fix it. There's nothing saving the town.

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  36. WWLD??? What would Lenny do???

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  37. Or spend more time with his wife, who is hot.

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  38. Is there a reason you refuse to write in English?

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  39. I don't think he cares...he gets paid regardless.

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  40. What I always love with these things is Food Network's failure to deal with anything negative in its follow-up blogs to the episodes. It always takes the Comments to state the truth about the "rescued" restaurants.

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  41. That's part of the reason why I started doing updates on here.

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  42. I hope no one gives her anything close to what she is asking for the restaurant and she ends up being stuck with this money pit.

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  43. And that's why we love you, Matt!

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  44. Gail Kim is indeed. Irvine seems like no fun at all....

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  45. Well she should knows what a "sunk cost" is. You can't change past losses, you can only take the best deal going forward.

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  46. Heart of Polish country, there it makes sense to have pierogies. The other stuff is standard stuff these days.

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  47. Ditto what MoHub said! I've sent so many friends here because I love this site!

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  48. That lady is a sickening scumbag. I saw thru her every minute of that show. I can't believe Robert bought that, or maybe it was too late. The producers really screwed that one up! When he asked if she kept her own house like that.... I was like, damn right and probably worse, guaranteed. Then when she went out back to talk to the cook... Her comments when she didn't think anyone could hear... I was like this is a scam. I also think that cook wasn't just cooking at the restaurant! This site is great though because the minute she turned that money down I thought to myself, she's gonna turn around and sell this place as soon as they leave and I log on here and bingo, that's exactly what she did. It was so obvious! All fake crying at the reveal, no actual tears, etc, etc.... What a low life.

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  49. Probably feels better about a restaurant that sells and flourishes than one that closes down.

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  50. It's hard to spend time with your wife when you're traveling all over to do food network shows. Someone's probably taking care of her for him ;-)

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  51. How about having a chocolate Advent calendar on the menu????

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  52. You're right on the nose with that one, Greg. I wonder why more people haven't made similar comments.

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  53. I honestly don't know how he did this one as an industry professional. I can't imagine he didn't seriously contemplate leaving. The place was so unfathomably disgusting - the only makeover should have been done by HER - cleaning! Just thinking about the last time I had food poisoning (ER, 15 hour of severe sickness, IV, the whole works) was enough for me to want to grab the sledgehammer myself. Anyone eating in there, much less a child or someone elderly with a weaker system, was put at serious risk. Plus, it's just straight old disrespect -- giving that kind of environment to a paying customer! She is a public menace and the only corner should be the one she is standing in. Horrible.

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  54. She clearly has no problem taking advantage of anyone. She has taken advantage of customers all along -- taking good money for food created and served in a filthy environment. I don't know how such people live with themselves.

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  55. Knowingly feeding the public dirty rotted food and being aware of the food borne illness that can result should be a criminal offense. Unbelievable that she would invite the viewers into see the scene of her assault on the dining public. This should be a chargeable offense.

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  56. Where in the heck is the Health Department? I don't understand how a place like this can stay open, and pass routine health inspections?

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  57. Lenny runs a clean kitchen!!!!

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  58. My wife suspected her of having a substance abuse problem because of all the time away from the restaurant and the condition of it, the rotten food and all. Good she's selling it.
    I hope the new owners have a passion for food. She sure didn't.

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  59. Marcus, I did too. Pretty quickly - everything about her reads SA issue. Of course, this is just an observation. No matter what, it's inexcusable to inflict that on the public. And, she is a user, plain and simple.

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  60. I don't get how this place even passed inspection. This is why I hate eating out at restaurants.

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  61. I actually think that should be written into whatever is signed when RI agrees to make over your restaurant. Something like, if sold within X # of months, the pay back is....

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  62. He can make a mean brisket!!!!!!

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  63. The topping on the cake, as it were. ;-)

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  64. During this episode he sounded the most angry that I've ever heard him, rightfully so.

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  65. I know. I was like, WHAT? It seemed so fake. I believe that the makeover the restaurant got the total value is taxable. She may owe that amount on her next years taxes. When you win a prize on the Price is Right, when you go off stage, they grab you and say, hey, here is the amount of taxes owed on that prize. Either sign ok or you can turn it down.

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  66. I hope it is not true, but she showed obvious signs of SA.

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  67. I love this idea!

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  68. Don't all of these restaurant owners give that same line? It is part of the RI script.

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  69. And yet, somehow, they think people will believe them.

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  70. If she is in so much debt, how can she afford to go to Mexico, and run all over the place? Me thinks she used robert to spruce up the place so she could sell it n not have to put ny money in the place! Can u say gold digger?

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  71. Robert was angry because he new what her game was. He knew he could belittle her, and she would take it, because she was gonna flip the place.

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  72. I've decided to comment once only about the show and I guess this is a good place to do it. Robert gave me hope to keep going and for the first few weeks we did well, but my town is a very depressed area and wesiin slipped to where I only have money for food and payroll and I am still finding that difficult. Sysco is way expensive! Robert changed the dynamic of my restaurant when he should have gave me a great breakfast menu.the show got what they wanted, ratings! I owe it to my kids to make a way for us to LIVE, I'm all they have. In business when the bottom line is negative, you have to know when to fold them! In response to my vacations, my sister paid!

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  73. thank u for ur update. i hope u sell ur restaurant too. restaurant biz is as tough as it gets. I dont blame you for trying to get out.

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  74. The smirk on her face said it all. Robert should have never gone back inside. She was giddy at the thought of Robert cleaning it up and be able to sell it for a better price than how she had let it deteriorate. Robert - learn the lesson here.

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  75. Just an update on the sale price. I clicked on the real estate link above and now the price is showing up. The current price being asked for it is $56,500.00.

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  76. Robert should have beat a hasty retreat after walking in the door. With that filthy place she showed no respect for her potential customers and she wasn't deserving of his help! She's a slug and won't be successful and any business she would own.

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  77. She was soooo very phony in her speech and responses. What a sluggo!!!!

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  78. Has anyone noticed, Her reply was lacking in the grammatical department, yet she has an MBA?

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  79. Too bad you're not OCD about grammar, punctuation and spelling. That was hard to read.

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  80. Why are you so lazy and filthy?

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  81. I live in Meadville which is 20 minutes away from Titusville. That town is where the first oil well was drilled in the U.S. It was a boomtown back then but now it's just a big hole. It's a very depressed area and one of the biggest meth areas around. the police are constantly busting meth labs over there. Maybe she owes a lot of money to someone else!!

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  82. Read my above comment to John. I hadn't gotten to your comment yet but I see we were thinking the same thing.

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  83. Vancouver Restaurant CleaningSeptember 25, 2014 at 5:18 AM

    Great post! All of these tactics is great if it will do properly.

    Vancouver Restaurant Cleaning

    Keep up the good work,

    Sarah Agosto

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  84. Vancouver Restaurant CleaningSeptember 25, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    Nice post! All of these tactics are great if it will do properly.

    Vancouver Restaurant Cleaning




    Keep up the good work,

    Sarah Agosto

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  85. i don't know if anyone will read this or not, but the 10,000 dollars had to come out of her pocket, it wasn't give by the show! i live in titusville, pa and my sister used to work for her!

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  86. I think he would care though he gets paid. He puts in a lot of time, work, and heart in each restaurant he helps. This takes a toll on a person as much as putting the money in. And it is sometimes not worth the money he gets out of it.

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  87. The show would have to provide the money to redo the restaurants. Most of them are broke when Robert gets there. How could they pay for anything? I think both you and your source received incorrect information.

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  88. They do not. The production company pays the $10,000. The restaurant owners don't pay anything except their time.

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  89. It's down to $39,500, Probably should have taken the $30,000.

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