Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Restaurant Impossible - Caffe Positano/Tornatore's Pizzeria Update

Photo - Facebook
Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Orlando, Florida to makeover Caffe Positano.  This is a unique episode as Robert ambushes the restaurant and the owners supposedly do not know that Restaurant Impossible is coming.  This is done to try to get a truer picture of why the restaurant is failing.  During the makeover the name of the restaurant is changed from Caffe Positano to Tornatore's Pizzeria.

As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Tornatore's Pizzeria 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):


Reviews:

  • "As a New Yorker who is transitioning into a full-fledged Floridian I have to say that this is the best Pizza I have had in Orlando since moving here almost two years ago....I could write a long review about this place but the above should suffice. Trust me and the ratings, this place is a home run!"
  • "Enjoyed the food. The service was attentive. The atmosphere was comfortable - but it was too hot. Was the air conditioner turned off?"
  • "I went here on a Sunday evening after a day at Universal Studios, based on the yelp reviews. I was not disappointed. The pizza was outstanding, the service was great and fast."
  • "I just happened to be driving by and was craving some spaghetti! I stopped in...cute little place....emphasis on the little. The place was hoppin. I got an order of garlic knots....a little too crispy for me, but good. The spaghetti and meatballs were amazing. So good! I want to go back for more! Great service, friendly staff. I highly recommend it, would encourage them to start looking for a bigger space :)"
*Reviews from Yelp



Other News and Links:
  • The Restaurant Impossible makeover happened in March 2015
  • Here is the Tornatore's Pizzeria website which plays up the fact that they were on Restaurant Impossible.  Here is the To-Go menu.
  • Here is the Tornatore's Pizzeria Facebook Page which is kept up-to-date.
  • Here is the Caffe Positano's website, and there are still two additional Caffe Positano locations in Florida.
  • Denny Tornatore posted on Facebook that the first day they opened as Tornatore's Pizzeria, they broke a daily sales record. (Link)
  • In December of 2014, the restaurant announced they bought out their partners from Positano's and were changing the name to Tornatore's Pizzeria and Cafe.  They also said they were changing the menu and decor. (Link)
  • Kind of unrelated to the episode, but interesting - A competitor of the restaurant was supposedly caught on surveillance video spitting on Caffe Positano's windows in January 2015. (Link)
  • The restaurant had good reviews before the makeover and has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Yelp (Link
  • A comment on this article said the problem with the restaurant was they didn't advertise at all, so people didn't know about the restaurant.
  • A restaurant marketing agency was brought in to help out during the makeover and Tornatore's is still working with them for the branding and marketing of their restaurant. (Link)

Conclusion:

The reviews for Caffe Positano/Tornatore's Pizzeria both before and after the makeover are positive and people seem to love the food.  Perhaps one of the problems was advertising, which it seems they have addressed by hiring a restaurant marketing agency.

The name of the restaurant didn't get changed until Restaurant Impossible visited, but it was planned months before the show came.


*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

50 comments:

  1. So this is going to be "Marketing Impossible"? This doesn't seem to meet the definition of a failing restaurant that the show typically does.

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  2. Right O......fixing a restaurant that ain't broken!

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  3. They said the old decor reminded them of a Pizzaria.


    Then they change the name to Pizzaria....

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  4. Robert (after watching application video): I'm doing this one.
    Producer: Oh OK seems like a good restaurant?
    Robert: No, I meant the sister.

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  5. Pam Kerstein-MaesMay 6, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    For some reason, Our DVR listing showed that tonight's episode was only 33 minutes and low and behold that's all that recorded! It left us hanging! Will this episode be shown again? Soon?

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  6. David RofulowitzMay 7, 2015 at 12:05 AM

    Pam....the Food Network generally repeats first-run episodes within an hour or two after the initial showing. I'm on the East Coast, so this episode will be repeated on the FN at 1am Thursday morning, eastern standard time.

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  7. The "ambush" is so fake. The last couple Restaurant Impossible episodes seemed to be getting back to what made this show good in the past. Now, they're going back to gimmicks. At least this one didn't include Robert playing Dr. Phil.

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  8. Pam Kerstein-MaesMay 7, 2015 at 1:42 AM

    hanks David! It is being repeated at midnight so we are trying again. I hope we get the full episode this time!

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  9. David RofulowitzMay 7, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    That's what I thought at first too....another one of those "for the first time in RI history" gimmicks, just like the boat thing last week. To be honest though, I thought the "ambush" thing actually brought out real reactions and emotions from Denny, his wife and sister.


    However, if marketing was really one of the obstacles to Denny being successful, I wish he would have been upfront about it when Robert told him that he was trying to pinpoint the reason as to why the restaurant wasn't successful.

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  10. David RofulowitzMay 7, 2015 at 2:03 AM

    You're welcome! However, I thought that these episodes usually ran a little over 40 minutes long, excluding commercials. I could be wrong though...

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  11. That ranks up there with Irvine telling another pizza chef that he was wrong and thickheaded (or something to that effect) for refusing to put something on a Margherita pizza that didn't belong on a Margherita pizza.

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  12. I agree with him on that one. While it is no longer a true Margherita pizza there is no reason people should not be able to add toppings to one if they want to.

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  13. autumndandelionMay 7, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    I don't think it was real so much as it was better acting than we tend to see on this show as of late.

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  14. autumndandelionMay 7, 2015 at 1:24 PM

    No surprise he's out of business when he refuses to cater to his customers.

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  15. Which restaurant was it?

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  16. Mama Della's

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  17. A nice little episode. (and another with new contraints) Cheryl did her typical nice, fresh—yet underwhelming—job. I like that they don't go with the typical red/white/green that Italian restaurant owners feel compelled to use, but it was just...nice, rather than 'wow.' I must admit I look forward to Lynn's designs more than the others, as he takes more chances, making items that 'pop' and are memorable. I like Taniya's stuff more than Cheryl's too, but not quite as consistently as Lynn's.

    From one of the Yelp reviews: "would encourage them to start looking for a bigger space" No, you idiot! Don't give them ideas like that! :p

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  18. Well, at least we're still talking about him. Not sure if he'd like that or not...

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  19. I fell asleep during the episode and woke up before the reveal. I was a little surprised by the bold blue/white theme. was there an inspiration for the color scheme? This seemed a bit nautical to me, although I really liked it.

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  20. I agree, I really liked this guy when I didn't expect to. But the premise that they weren't doing well seemed very weak to me. Positive reviews before tells me that I don't think they were doing that badly.

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  21. I agree, why call it that when to me the new decor was nothing like a pizzeria or italian joint at all. Maybe a little like a New England B & B?

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  22. I agree! Do you really believe the wife when she said she had to take food from the restaurant to make dinner cause money was so tight?

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  23. David RofulowitzMay 8, 2015 at 1:25 AM

    I'm probably in the minority, lol, but I kinda liked the "ambush" thing, in that it showed some things you wouldn't normally see in a regular episode. While it wasn't anything to get overly crazy about, I felt it provided a bit of a break from how the show is normally structured. And I didn't think that the "eight hours behind" drama really impaired Robert's ability to help Denny....he (Robert) generally seemed to like the food, and was mainly concerned about helping Denny repair his relationship with Pasquale so that he could move forward and make the restaurant his own.



    I also felt that Denny is decent guy who deserved Robert's help....though he showed cockiness when it came to his food, it did seem like he really took in Robert's suggestions to heart. The family seem to be good people. so I hope they can be successful long-term.

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  24. David RofulowitzMay 8, 2015 at 1:27 AM

    I'm not so sure about that...my award for best acting would probably go to Ken, the owner of CocoaModa, lol!

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  25. Most "hour-long" shows run 42 minutes without commercials—or less, if you count the repeated footage shown before and after the breaks.

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  26. I don't remember them saying anything about the blue or anything to do with the reno in general. :p It was one of the least reno-focused episodes I've seen, perhaps #1 in that regard. (well, maybe #2, behind Mama E's, of course)

    At least they don't have those 10 second glamor shots of the paint cans anymore. Heh.

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  27. And I happen to love the reno parts! I also remember the Mama E episode making a little bit of a fuss about the new green counter face. I guess Behr's stopped the sponsorship :)

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  28. Wasn't there supposed to be a restaurant marketing consultant called in to help with the advertising, the lack of which was why the restaurant wasn't doing well in the first place? Didn't they say that many people really didn't know it was around? Or was this just another sham sob story?

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  29. I've found most hour-long shows are 44 minutes long on Netflix.

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  30. Loved the Lowes ‪#‎StepAwayFromTheSledgeHammers‬ moment!

    Also, in related news from FB:
    https://www.facebook.com/chefirvine/posts/10153258035962836

    If you want to see more episodes of ‪#‎RestaurantImpossible‬ like this post! Next week wraps season 11! Show your support! ‪#‎bestfansintheworld‬

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  31. Robert only talked with Cheryl and Tom for very brief moment before they started the reno - because 'we're already 8 hours behind...!!!'

    Cheryl said that she was going with a more regional 'Mediterranean' feel and color scheme - blue and white - rather than something specifically 'Italian' - red, white and green.


    But that was about it.

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  32. How could Robert go to Lowes. For shame (from a Home Depot associate), and too muc cheese on a pizza? Never

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  33. Wow, that's pretty sad that he posted that. It is so adolescent.

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  34. I liked this reno. It wasn't junked up with lots of clutter that won't stand the test of time, wear and cleaning. It was a clean and straightforward job.

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  35. And now I'm torn between Jernard and Yaku.

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  36. Same here.

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  37. I'm hoping smirky Matthew goes out fast.

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  38. Hi, Matt! I'm having a hard time viewing your website. There's a buggy script in the ads that keeps crashing my browser. I'm viewing conversations through Disqus's website due to the issue. Is there any way of contacting the advertising vender to let them know about this problem? Thanks!

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  39. Sure... What type of device are you accessing the site from? That will help me out a bit to know that.

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  40. It's an HP ProBook 4440s with Windows 8 on it. Thanks!

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  41. I really wish Alton Brown was on it this year. I also wish Bobby Flay wasn't on the show, sorry I just don't like him now since his little 3 years affair with whoever, probably not his first, also what is the point of winning if you never get a show, I am just not interested in this show any longer.

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  42. Never liked him before The Kitchen and thought he tried too hard to be funny, but he's really good on The Kitchen, naturally funny, and fun to watch.

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  43. Racist welfare JerryMay 25, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    Wow you even hate white people... You are just a bitter old unemployed loser that most makes racist posts all day.

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  44. David RofulowitzMay 26, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Agreed....I like the Kitchen a lot....the personalities seem to mesh well and they actually do offer some good cooking tips. I also like Sunny Anderson - she seems to be very down to earth.

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  45. Also like Sunny because she's so unpretentious...this show just seems to flow naturally...it's refreshing.

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  46. Why do they keep doing this show? Are the ratings good? I mean, they haven't produced a real star in years. In the last three years alone two of the winners never went forward with a show. Damaris Phillips is likeable but it's not a show I eagerly watch each week. The last real star they produced was way back in season 2 with Guy Fieri and he's so overexposed on the network that I find him unwatchable. Maybe they should give this show a rest for a year or two.

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  47. Mathew, learn some humility and to be humble. Also called the high road.

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  48. Stacey Patrick KyleJune 14, 2015 at 10:21 PM

    sorry, Matt is an idiot who needs to stay FAR away from TV until he learns some manners and respect. That 'smirk' is what did him in tonight on NFNS. And boy, I bet there was a C E L E B R A T I O N!!!

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  49. Loved seeing Alex and Giada, who had the majority over Bobby, ready to eliminate Sita, do a 180 when Matthew threw out that self-satisfied smirk. It'll be interesting to see whether a new "villain" emerges or whether we'll see a fairer and more even competition from here on in.

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  50. Random non-partisan voterJune 16, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    I am so glad they kicked that immature little brat off. It was completely his own attitude that did it too. Food Network
    has an interview where he's trying to act all nice and pretend he's not a
    punk, but after seeing him act like a jerk on multiple occasions I
    think it's just a desperate attempt to save his image.

    #matthewgrunwaldisadouchebag

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