Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Valentino's Trattoria / Italian Bistro Update

Photo - Food Network
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Summerville, South Carolina to makeover Valentino's Trattoria.  Valentino's Trattoria is an Italian restaurant that opened in 2014, and is owned by a family who also owns another restaurant in Summerville called Italian Bistro.  Both of these restaurants are struggling and Robert Irvine decides to help them both out on this episode.  As the big reveal was done at Valentino's Trattoria, this update will mostly be about that restaurant.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Valentino's Trattoria and Italian 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 and all of these reviews are for Valentino's Trattoria):



Positive Reviews:
  •  "As my go to for a  quick slice lunch place, Robert Irvine and his design team did an outstanding job on the makeover.. Food has always been solid along with  friendly management and staff. At a dinner with a friend, tried a RI Italian rice ball that was added to the menu and it was quite good."
  • "Welcoming renovations. Except for the canned mushrooms the pizza was delicious as was the tiramisu. We would go again just hold the mushrooms."
  • "First off, since Restaurant Impossible reworked the interior that is now up to the same standard as the food.  The only problem that I have is that the women's rest room is disgusting!!!....Other than that, not a bad restaurant.  Please clean the restrooms"
  • "I have to let everyone know that Valentinos has been remodeled and is beautiful! We ordered two large pepperoni pizzas and I will say they are the BEST Summerville has! Strongly recommend!"
  • "I have been to Valentino's before and looked forward to seeing the revised and improved version after Restaurant Impossible got through. Nice job. Much more open and bright. Nice paint job. There were six of us, and we all enjoyed our meals very much.....All in all the evening was wonderful, the food great, and the company superb. We'll be going back very soon."
  • "Since moving to Summerville in October we've been trying to find the best pizza place that delivers. We've tried several but this has been the best yet. Delivery was fast. I thought the pizza was very good, not the best in world but definitely the best in the area. Prices we're about average. We will order from them again!"


Negative Reviews:
  • "I would say our dinner was mediocre. My friends had meaty strombolis that were delicious. However, the veggie pizza was disappointing. The crust was almost soggy--probably from the frozen spinach and canned mushrooms!!!! Halfway through my first slice, I realized that the spinach was definitely not fresh! I could get fresher ingredients at Pizza Hut!...The service was ok--the server seemed to be inexperienced.... the food was decent for a pizzeria, and the prices were reasonable. However, I would like to visit again in a few months to see the progress."
*Reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor


Other News and Links:
  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover happened in January 2015
  • Here is the Valentino's Trattoria Facebook Page and Website.
  • On their Facebook page, they seem happy with the makeover and their Restaurant Impossible experience.
  • In December of 2014, the restaurant posted the following message on their Twitter page, "Use this link and suggest us to be a Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives hot spot on the food network!!!!"  So it appears they were trying to get on the Food Network any way they could.
  • There are actually 2 Italian Bistros in Summerville - One on Central Ave.(The one on the show) - Website and Yelp, One on Main St. - Website and Yelp.   The menus are exactly the same and the menus are also the same as the menu on the Valentino's Trattoria page.  So it appears that the family may actually own 3 restaurants, unless there is a different owner at one of these.
  • In a local article from last week, Elsa Valentino said "It’s funny, because he introduced a new menu, but the first weekend, our customers wanted the old menu. So we went back. As far as the décor, everyone loves it. The place needed a facelift.”
    • She also said about Restaurant Impossible - "A lot of the stuff, I’d say 80, maybe even 90, percent of it is real, but they tell you when to say certain things."
    • There are a lot of people commenting on that article saying they were going to try the restaurant, but will not anymore now that the restaurant has gone back to their old menu and seem unappreciative of the makeover.

Conclusion:

The reviews of Valentino's Trattoria are mostly positive since the makeover with complements on the interior and the pizza.  Even though most of the reviews are positive, they are pretty average (3-stars) and do have small complaints.  There were multiple complaints about canned mushrooms and a complaint about the dirty bathrooms.

The restaurant has also went back to their old menu and judging by the comments on a local article, it seems like this decision made a lot of potential new customers not want to try the restaurant.

UPDATE - It seems that the restaurant closed in late 2015, but no reason was given for the closure and it seemed abrupt.

*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

112 comments:

  1. So we're going to fix both restaurants, but concentrate effort on one of them. He's just trying to make things hard for the sake of making things hard. Maybe he should tell Tom and Tanya they have to work while riding unicycles next time?

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  2. Will reviewers STFU about the bathrooms???????????? That's not what RI does. If they're dirty, that's the owners' fault. How they expect RI to remodel the bathrooms is ridiculous.

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  3. I agree, they've really jumped the shark with the 2 restaurants done simultaneously. The owners were pathetic and acting entitled to Robert's help. What a stupid strugatz the father and son were, and the mother and sister were bitches

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  4. Also, they think they qualify for Triple D??????????? The places on Triple D have rabid, loyal fans and they do extremely well (except for Mama E's).

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  5. Tom and Tanya should have spent time remodeling both restaurants, AND they should return every few hours for the foreseeable future to clean restrooms. Is that too much to ask?

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  6. Also, I don't know about you, but when I go to restaurants, I expect to be able to eat in the bathroom.

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  7. Their ploy to get on Triple D is hilarious.

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  8. I almost halfway liked these people, at first. But by the time all has been said and done, it seems as f they're probably just another set of opportunistic business owners who used the show to clean-up their dirty restaurant(s).

    Even if Frankie the son is, indeed, well intentioned - he's in way, WAY over his head. He's 24 years old and he's never had any experience actually RUNNING a restaurant. Even so, he naively (and arrogantly) thinks he can run TWO restaurants at the same time - which he resumed doing almost immediately after the show wrapped. Gee, wasn't his attempt to split his time between both restaurants a large part of the problem in the first place...??? Answer: Yes, it was.

    And this follow-up quote from the mother in the local newspaper is priceless: "...our customers wanted the old menu. So we went back." No, 'your customers' didn't want the old menu. You didn't HAVE any customers, lady. You were losing $7,000/month. You went back to your old menu because you refuse to change the way you do anything, even if it means going bankrupt as a direct result.

    So, the up shot here is that they didn't change their business practices and they didn't change their food. Anyway wanna guess how that's gonna turn out for 'em...???

    I anticipate seeing both of these restaurants being listed for sale within six months.

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  9. Have to agree with this...and that the mother was quoted as having said "the place needed a facelift" clearly indicates that they wanted to use RI to clean their two restaurants up since they couldn't afford to, and had no intention of keeping his menu changes.


    And the fact that, according to the RI updates website, slightly more than 50% of the restaurants that Robert has helped have closed (for whatever reason/s) should put future RI restaurant owners on notice that maybe it would be a good idea to give Roberts' menu changes a chance before they revert back to their old, money-losing ways the minute he walks out the door.

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  10. I think the dirty bathroom is just a part of the review of the place.. not an RI review. The restroom in how your really tell how clean a place is. If place has a nasty restroom then many times the back of the house is nasty too.

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  11. Seems to me that Juniors primary agenda was to to promote the restaurant with the free advertising and media attention that accompanies the makeover.

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  12. Perfectly Franks in Summerville got the Triple D experience, so maybe these owners thought Guy F. would come back?

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  13. Just once, I'd like to see the RI team check out the bathrooms. Ramsay has done it; why can't Irvine?

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  14. I guess a lot of these 'business owners' are, indeed, failing because they don't have very good, basic business sense when it comes to running a successful restaurant.



    You're exactly right: if someone who actually KNOWS ABOUT FOOD comes in and gives you a 'new and improved' menu, you should give it a legitimate chance. I mean, why wouldn't you at least try it for a while...???



    Business owners like these guys already know that their 'old menu' menu isn't working. And they see proof of that fact every day. If their old menu had been 'amazing,' then they wouldn't be bleeding money week after week, month after month.



    Not that Robert Irvine or Gordon Ramsay or any one of those 'celebrity restaurant guys' is 100% perfect.



    But...



    What do you think the odds are that someone like Robert Irvine probably knows enough about the basics of cooking and menu planning and running a restaurant that he can come with a menu that is - at the very least - a little bit better than what these guys already have...???

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  15. Yes - this bunch obviously made a decision to NOT turn the entire experience into either a screaming, crying 'family drama' or a constant 'us against Robert' altercation.

    But I think you're right that, ultimately, this family just wanted RI to come in and renovate their dirty restaurants for free. And generate some publicity that didn't cost them anything.

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  16. I've heard that same statement on shows like this before: the cleanliness of the bathrooms often times is a direct indicator of the cleanliness of the kitchen.

    Sure, this show is about 'the restaurant.' But it might be interesting every once in a while to have Robert take a peek at the bathrooms at the beginning of the show and say something like, 'this should tell me how much (business owner name) actually cares about keeping things clean.'

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  17. I'm curious to know what's involved in the initial service they do before the reno. Does Food Network pay for the meals? Are the diners instructed to be critics? Do they push the plates away because they don't have to pay? I know if it was me, and I was paying, unless it was *really* bad, I'd just eat it anyway. I dunno, I have a feeling people can be more harsh about things because there are cameras there, whereas they'd just deal with it otherwise and just not go back.

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  18. Buying a second restaurant to try and help the first one? Father working at son's place and son working at father's place? What could possibly go wrong?! :p


    It turned out pretty well, despite the contraints. (are they trying to out impossible themselves with each new episode now? I hope not!) The father's place really was a more minimal change, but looked nice. The son's turned out really well. I dunno about those reading lamps look-wise, but they're a good pop of color.



    The son reminded me of Aziz Ansari at the reveals, excitedly commenting on so many specific things. Heh.

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  19. I agree I'd like to know this too.

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  20. Yeah, especially since they were apparently doing it *before* R:I, when they were mediocre at best. :p Of course, going back to the old menu will quickly return them to that state.

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  21. It still seems to me that most of these people, even the ones who apply to be on the show!, don't even watch it. They definitely don't learn anything from it if they do. Not all changes have to be monumental to make a big difference. (clean/remove your smelly carpets! Buy a can of paint!)

    On the other hand, I think that the show is a good warning example for other restaurant owners that *do* watch and helps them avoid problems, so no matter how it affects those on the show, it can do good for many others.

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  22. "I mean, why wouldn't you at least try it for a while...???"

    A lot of it is laziness and impatience. It takes longer to scratch cook, at least at first if you hadn't been previously. At this place, it seems they can't even be bothered to slice a fresh mushroom. *shrug*

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  23. So they can have a better chance at getting on Triple D! Yay! :p

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  24. If I ever hear Irvine is coming to rescue a restaurant near me, I'll volunteer to be on the renovation crew. Every time I see a camera around, I'll run around yelling "Robert, what about the bathrooms...they're filthy!" Or, if I can get a seating after the reveal, I talk loud enough for everyone and the cameras to hear about how Irvine missed the filthy bathrooms. Either way, it would be good for a few laughs.

    Seriously, I'm guessing they don't show the bathrooms because they could be a tipping point on whether someone would go to the restaurant after it was renovated. You usually don't see the kitchen, but you usually do see the bathrooms at some point. On the road after getting sick a few times, I started checking the bathrooms in a place before I ordered regardless how clean it looked, especially fast food places. If they were dirty, I'd leave. I still do it to this day.

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  25. From Menu:

    CHEESEBURGER $6.95
    7 oz. Kobe organic beef on a kaiser roll, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mayo & mustard, served with fries or onion rings

    _________________


    Kobe, sure Ok right....

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  26. Because Ramsey's team would clean it or renovate it, RI does not touch the bathrooms.

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  27. The kaiser roll, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mayo and mustard weigh 6.95 oz.

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  28. In a way you do, the cooks use it. If there is no soap you might be having some of their urine in your Pizza like Poppy.

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  29. Figure they need to sell another 700 or so large pizzas a month just to break even.... they were a long way from profitable with the old menu.

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  30. Restroom Impossible, you should pitch that to HGTV!

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  31. So where does RI and crew go pottie????

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  32. Potty inspection is a great appetizer!!! Good to whet the appetite.....or the pants!!!!!

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  33. Well Guy....I take one can of canned spinach and two cans of mushrooms.....then I place this on frozen pizza crust with canned sauce.....oh....and the Velveeta cheese is to die for!!!

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  34. Some restaurants make me feel as if I AM eating in the bathroom.

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  35. 'That is off the hook! You could put that on a flip-flop and I'd eat it!'

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  36. You could step in a cow pasture with
    said flip flop and eat that flip flop too!!! Winner Winner flip Flop dinner!!!

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  37. Forget HGTV! I should pitch Restroom Impossible to a film producer!

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  38. One of the many reasons why I don't eat at restaurants.

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  39. I also liked them initially and became increasingly more irritated with them, especially Frankie.

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  40. Well, if I'm not mistaken though, early on in the episode didn't his mother say that she was upset with Robert for beating down on her son, which then caused him to walk out of the restaurant?

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  41. It could be like Kobe anus or nose too....

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  42. I would guess that is free. Otherwise tough to get people to all at once come into a bad dirty place and pay full price...

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  43. I'll have the Kobe please....Wait, what's that smell...is that an anus??

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  44. I think you've found the common denominator with the majority of the restaurants that Robert (and others) attempt to help: the owners are in the wrong business. It's that simple.



    At the end of the day, they just don't understand the skills that an owner needs to have in order to be successful in restaurant business and, sadly, they probably never will.

    And as difficult as that is for these owners to hear, it's true. Running a restaurant is A LOT OF HARD WORK. Every day. That's why so many restaurants close within the first year or two.

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  45. That's a really good point: 'change' doesn't always mean going back to a blank slate and reinventing the way you do everything in your restaurant. Sometimes, a few well thought out, simple changes in the RIGHT areas can make a huge difference

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  46. That one always kills me: Robert watches someone 'cook' their
    signature dish, and most of what they do is combine pre-prepared ingredients that I could buy at my local grocery store.



    Or the places that actually use frozen hamburger patties, frozen chicken wings, frozen fries, etc.



    How many times during his assessment of the food has Robert ordered a couple of apps and the owner confesses to him (as Robert didn't already know) that they're all purchased frozen.



    I mean, seriously...??? You're running a full-service restaurant and you can't even make a basket of wings to order...??? Or cut a potato to make your own fries...???



    Why would I go to a restaurant and pay someone for stuff that I can purchase just as easily myself from the Gordon Food Supply location in my area...???



    First off, those things always tastes terrible. That's the kind of stuff that you buy at the concession stand at a high school football game. Secondly, if I really did like that kind of junk, why would I go to a restaurant and pay restaurant prices for someone to heat it up in their (dirty) kitchen and bring it to my table...???


    I'm not sure if that's laziness or stupidity or a equal amount of both.

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  47. Yes - that was her initial reaction. Then, at the end of the show, she said she was glad that Robert was 'tough' on her son.



    But the whole family was just playing to the camera.



    Even Frankie the son's fake storming off the set. That was so phony. You could see it all over his face right before he did it: 'Ok, this is the point where I'm supposed to walk off the set a because I'm mad at Robert. Go...!!!'

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  48. Well said! And if you're interested, here is link to an interview that the mother gave to a local newspaper not too long ago.


    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150317/PC0301/150319899

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  49. Well said! And if you're not already aware of it, here is a link to an interview she gave to a local newspaper not too long ago; it is rather telling, to say the least!

    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150317/PC0301/150319899

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  50. Well said....and if you're not already aware of it, here's a link to an article regarding an interview she gave to a local newspaper recently; it's quite telling to say the least!

    http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150317/PC0301/150319899

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  51. More often, Ramsay has made the owner and staff clean the restrooms.

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  52. Kobe—and Angus, for that matter—is just a breed of cattle. Saying what kind of cow the beef comes from doesn't tell you the cut, and it could easily be from one of the cheaper cuts.

    Still that's a suspiciously low price even if the burger was ground chuck.

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  53. But I didn't know the Triple D places closed and reopened. I always thought they filmed during a usual business day. It seems like so many of the cooks/chefs have amazing skills and use a ton of quality ingredients and making a lot of stuff from scratch

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  54. They close down for two days. Its all staged BS.

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  55. I wonder about this show.


    How is it possible to remodel a restaurant, retrain the staff, redo the menu, and "fix" all the family and personnel problems in two days with just $10,000 to spend? In the real world it takes about a month and a few hundred thousand dollars to do a real restaurant remodel.


    Basically, what we see is Chef Irvine giving motivational speeches, teaching them one or two recipes, and then Tom and Tonya slapping on a fresh coat of paint and making some cosmetic improvements. Sure, it ends up looking better, but you end up with lampshades made out of peach baskets, some clever "modern" design touches, and moldings stapled into place. A quick and shoddy job. But what do you expect on such a small budget in such a short time?


    The results look good, but the underlying problems are still there. Not everyone is good at managing a business, and it takes more than a pep talk to turn them into good managers. Sometimes it takes decades.


    So after Restaurant Impossible is done, everything reverts back to the old ways, and you end up with a mismanaged business with nicer decor. Hardly the prescription for long term success.

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  56. Wow, I didn't know that either. I don't watch the show though.

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  57. I am sick and tire of the oh poor me game, especially on chopped, thought it was supposed to be about foo, not just who died or might be dying. disgusting

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  58. duhhhhhhhhh

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  59. closed, not just listed

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  60. It's funny because when you started your reply to me with "Well Guy," my first thought was 'how did he/she know my name?!' (Guy, not Well, heh heh)

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  61. Yeah, I've always figured it's free the first time and probably not the second time. I would imagine someone over at the Food Network site has mentioned this at some point, but I don't care to sift through a million spam comments to find that info. :p

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  62. Hence the multitude of closures.

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  63. Princess StarlightMarch 28, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    I always thought something was up with Triple D. Actually, my parents went to a restaurant that was featured on Triple D and thought the place sucked. I really have to wonder how some of these places get on Triple D because I have looked up reviews on some places and the reviews where lackluster.

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  64. The sob stories turn me right off. I don't want to hear the extraneous reasons why they should win, reasons that have to do with personal issues and not talent. Makes them all look like a bunch of losers.

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  65. They go in a porta potty engineered by Lexus.

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  66. Princess StarlightMarch 28, 2015 at 9:02 AM

    I was on the FB page, people where blowing smoke up their ass by saying they didn't need to be on R:I and the food was great before hand. Okay, if the place was so great and you people loved it so much, why was it failing? This has always been my question with these types of shows. If it was such a damn good place, why weren't you going their more?

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  67. Little Frankie reminded me of that phony Renee (the one with the four kids and the now closed restaurant). She mouthed all of the correct responses but was merely well versed in giving the correct answers to appease RI. She was all BS and already had the restaurant up for sale.

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  68. Next.....Little Frankie Junior is a contender on Iron Chef! Secret ingredient???? A can opener!!!!!

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  69. Maybe Chipotle would sponsor it!

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  70. That's a mental image I didn't need.

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  71. Or on Beat Bobby Flay.

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  72. I wish I could vote-up this response more than once!!!

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  73. If they're there for charity, they should stay home and set up a Go Fund Me page.

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  74. I just want cooking ideas, not crap, totally agree.

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  75. these places are all dumps, even a 4 star, expect pee and feces in your food, they never wash their hands. gross

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  76. totally agree

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  77. Good point! Personally, I'd rather watch Kitchen Nightmares.

    Food Network Star used to be good but but too many of the challenges are irrelevant and stupid and its too much of a personality contest and not enough about who cooks best. See last pages of the threads at blog.foodnetwork.com/star-talk

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  78. The sob stories are pushed by the producers

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  79. it needs to stop, makes it boring, producers or not

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  80. You know, that's why in a previous post I mentioned that if you go to the RI updates website you'll see that slightly over 50% of the restaurants that Robert has "rescued" have since closed down. My belief is that it's mostly because these other owners were only in it to get free publicity for their restaurants...just like Junior (although if I'm not mistaken I think a couple of owners cited the economy as the reason for closing). To me, if an owner has no clue how to manage his/her restaurant, then all the remodeling in the world won't stop it from sinking.

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  81. That's because the judges on Food Network Star would actually keep telling the contestants week after week they were looking for someone with as much personality as they had cooking skill. I mean, you could be the next Bobby Flay in terms of skill, but if you had zero charisma do you think anyone would bother watching your show?

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  82. "But, but, our customers like the food we serve!"


    LOL! Ok, so if that's the case why are you supposedly losing money hand over foot and are maybe weeks away from closing?


    You know, the thing I seem to notice unless I'm wrong, is that when Robert re-makes their signature dish or comes up with new menu items, it's not like he's necessarily trying to elevate their food to the level of a 5-star restaurant. It seems like he's just trying to create fresh homemade food that are easy for the cooks to make and that customers will enjoy eating.

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  83. Also, Zoog's Caveman Cuisine died Thursday, he possibly been a sponsor.

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  84. Dirty bathrooms has also been an issue with Bar Rescue. I've read some comments about how the bathrooms were just as filthy after the bar renovations as they were before.

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  85. Yeah, I wonder if the RI execs are getting hip to this yet. It's becoming more and more obvious that growing number of the owners who appear on the show are only interested in having RI and The Food Network pay to renovate their restaurant.

    In one of the discussions for a previous episode, someone suggested that the RI producers should make the business owners sign a contract stating that if the restaurant is listed for sale within 6 months of the air date of the show, then The Food Network is entitled to a sizable portion of the sales price of the restaurant.

    That might sound kinda hardline but it also might help to weed out some of the freeloaders who are trying to scam a free remodel out of the show.

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  86. Totally agree. Most of the owners on RI simple aren't going to make it - no matter who shows up to help. And a 2-day boot camp probably isn't going to make much of a difference to the majority of the participants.



    Of course, the restaurants that we see on RI literally are on their last legs. That's one of the criteria for being on the show. They're already deep in debt and on the verge of closing their doors. RI really is a last resort. So, it's not surprising that so many of them do, indeed, fail even after Robert (and everyone else on the RI crew) has worked with them.


    I'd actually like to see a series wherein Robert spends a more substantial amount of time working with restaurants that already are 'OK,' but can't quite seem make it to that top notch on the ladder. I'd like to see what kind of advice Robert would offer during the course of, say, 6 months, to owners who actually 'get it,' but just need some help for turning their restaurant into the 'go to place' in the neighborhood.

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  87. probably coming up

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  88. thru it all, the bs, bobby flay seems the most real and has a wicked sense of humor. funny stuff.

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  89. I've seen a similar proposal suggested over on the Bar Rescue discussion board too. I suspect that the RI execs are aware of it but are choosing to turn a blind eye to it in favor of churning out episodes where there is "family drama". As long as there is drama that's boosting the FN's ratings, I'm not so sure they're worried about weeding out owners looking for a free remodel.


    I would make a slight modification to the idea of the owners signing such a contract as proposed; instead of the FN being entitled to a portion of the sales price the owner receives, I would require the owner to reimburse RI/FN the costs of the remodel. Suppose the owner is unable to sell the restaurant and has to close down instead? Then what do you do, you know?

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  90. I'd say you have a great idea there.


    Gordon Ramsey does that on Kitchen Nighmares. I think he spends a week transforming a restaurant. The problem for Ramsey is he tries to turn every restaurant into an elegant 5 Michelin star dining experience, which sends their prices way over what their customers are willing to pay.


    The good thing about Robert Irvine is that he understands the need for "moderately priced" restaurants, and isn't horrified by "mayonnaise out of a jar" or "bread that isn't freshly baked."


    Sometimes you see restaurants where the food is good, but they lose money due to poor management or waste. So maybe it might be interesting to see a show where a team of forensic accountants and restaurant management experts rescue a restaurant that already has good food? It's not always about teaching them how to cook. Sometimes it can be teaching them how to buy supplies, and how not to waste food.

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  91. I like Bobby Flay, but I can't stand that show.

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  92. I agree. I think all they care about nowadays is the stupid drama, not if the restaurant survives or if they help anybody.

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  93. Yes, this is why I prefer Kitchen Nightmares.

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  94. Ramsay has done a number of moderately priced restaurants and has even had some white-tablecloth places ditch the pretension and provide more "friendly" food and décor. I like that Ramsay works with a range of eateries. Irvine seems to go straight to the bargain basement. (And in the earlier seasons, he actually did tackle a fine-dining place or two. He's dumbed it down.)

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  95. Haven't seen that one yet, but I did like Throwdown.

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  96. It's the Sandra Lee school of cooking!

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  97. What I really prefer is the original Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. No overwrought music, no ham-acting narrator, no forcing Ramsay to scream and curse, and more concentration on getting the kitchen and front-of-house staff to function properly, with no total menu overhauls and only the occasional re-design of the interior.

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  98. But you need someone who can deliver those ideas with a certain degree of charm. The viewer needs to feel the presenter is his or her friend and is speaking directly to him or her.

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  99. Maybe change the name to "Rehab and Formerly Incarcerated or Homeless Chopped."

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  100. but how does 6 months worth of mentoring get drilled down into an hour show. Plus 6 months of Irvine's time on just one episode is too costly to produce. You could only do two shows a year, or if he did them almost concurrently, do you have any idea how long you'd have to wait between episodes?

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  101. Oh, I like that show too. Both are much better than RI.

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  102. Kitchen Nightmares manages to do it.

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  103. Kitchen Nightmares is 6 days, not 6 months.

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  104. I noticed the comparison to Kitchen Nightmares and thought it was silly because 6 days is no where near 6 months. Let's get real.

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  105. Thanks for backing me up, MoHub

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  106. I realize that, but they do a heck of a lot more.

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  107. Someone said months ago here on FNG, that Fieri offers seminars or some such thing, at a very high price and a lot of the restaurant owners that take the seminar end up on Triple D. I had no idea that type of thing was happening, but if true, is really wrong. It's like they are buying their way onto the show.
    I don't watch the show and after reading that, did some halfhearted research online to see if I could find out anything about it, but came up empty.

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  108. The production/filming schedule would be very different, yes. But all of that footage still could be edited for an hour-long program. Easily. For example, segments on '60 Minutes' and other news magazine shows are filmed over the course of weeks and, often times, months. But the final report is edited to be broadcast during a 13-to-15 -minute segment. And that's even true for complicated news topics, like, trade tariff negotiations with the EU. So, doing the same thing with 6 months worth of Robert's interaction with a restaurant wouldn't be an issue. But you're right - the production schedule would be radically different and Robert likely would be helping multiple restaurants concurrently. I really would like to see Robert advise a restaurant that wasn't on it's very last legs. He's a smart guy. I'd like to be able to see how he puts all of his smarts to use when everything isn't just 'now, now, now...!!!' in it's approach.

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  109. Every kitchen has better soap and a sink in it.

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  110. That's just mean. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the mother and daughter. Nothing wrong with the father and son either. Seemed like a nice family, just not one that should be trying to run two restaurants (or one for that matter(.

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  111. It's hard to evaluate the owner(s) with the footage from the TV show, but it seems like either having the owner as a decent cook (ahead of time) or an owner that is 110% invested and will bust their ass gives the restaurant some chance of success post-renovation.


    My advice before opening any Italian restaurant would be to go spend the money on a trip to Italy and eat. Plane ticket might be expensive, but you could travel by train while in Italy and stay at cheap hotels. Just like in the US, stay away from the tourist areas to eat :)

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