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Kitchen Nightmares Ep. 3- Improving

Better episode this week. Glad the guy could cook from the get go......a basic re-design on the restaurant concept and some take it to the street advertising. Also an update at the end.

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  1. I agree, I like the update at the end.

    This manager guy was obnoxious. Taking servers tips is pretty bad. Surprised he didn't have a huge dramatic firing...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

      I do hope something was changed about taking the tips. Don't most restaurant managers get a base salary and a small percentage of the restaurant's net as compensation? To take tips on top of that is incredibly arrogant and surely lowers morale among the folks you're supposed to be managing.

        1. re: coney with everything

          Those women were crazy to give that jacka** part of their tips. i waitressed for years in a variety of places and was never, ever asked to share my tips with the manager.

          1. re: southernitalian

            Yeah, and what's up with crying about his job ? I mean give me a friggin' break. No managment skills and no spine, YOU'RE FIRED !

      1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

        That Manager was a total fool. Ridiculously melodramatic and you could see that he was passive-agressive. Great choice by the Owners to pick a winner like this to run their restaurant when they know that their livelyhood is at stake. They made a HUGE mistake by not firing him when he popped off to the Owner's wife.

        I wouldn't trust that jacksass to run bathwater let alone a restaurant. While he was brown nosing, jacking 1/2 the tips, buying tacky signs, and taking 50% off customer bills, the restaurant was going belly up.

        I also like the updates they did this week reminiscent of the British version. They are entertaining and you just need to know if they keep it up or go back to their old ways.

        Next weeks kitchen looks FOUL!!! Almost as bad as that nasty Indian restaurant with the stinky linen, roaches, flies,and rotted food. SICK!!! I dont't think for one minute that the Owner was unaware of the extent of that filth. Barf. "Peter the limey" and Mike should get together and open a restaurant for kamikazes.

        1. re: anita bonghitt

          Agree, Mike the manager was a schmuck, and agree with others, after that tirade at the owner's wife, he should have been shit canned. But I also don't trust the TV producers, I have feeling in my gut that the cross cutting between Mikes tirade, and the shocked look on patron's faces was all contrived in the editing room, and that the tirade did not occur in front of the customers.

          I think they produce these shows for their entertainment value and whats more entertaining than good vs evil, the "innocent" clueless restaurant owners, and their evil, greedy managers. What I don't understand is how the owners last week and this week, can be so out of touch with reality. Its their money (or their backers money) going down the drain, and they just passively go along.

          I think in addition to redecorating, or improving the kitchen facilities, and re-working menus, and re-working staff, Gordon and the producers would do a real service if they also threw in six months of professional counseling to these incompetent owners, what kind of self esteem can these people have if they let out of control, incompetent, unprofessional jerks control their own professional and financial destiny.

          1. re: ChinoWayne

            You think Fox would contrive drama into a reality show? Really? :o)

            I remember reading that the people who were on-camera diners at Hell's Kitchen were mostly actors and others who promised to make 'interesting' comments to jack things up. The same was reported about The Restaurant, the reality show about Rocco DiSpirito. And the editing???...... I won't even start on that. But I watch. It can be interesting, but it is getting very reptitive, what with the same Gordon routine on 3 different shows now (Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares (BBC AND Fox) and soon "The F Word".

            1. re: Midlife

              Would Fox *contrive reality*, of course not, its the same network that broadcasts "Bill-O". ;-)

      2. My only problem with the show is that there is always one person set up as the villain, Peter, the Limey, and now Mike.

        3 Replies
        1. re: KTinNYC

          well, next week they show a few villans!

          1. re: KTinNYC

            FYI, When a restaurant is doing virtually no business, although there is likely more than just one problem or "villain", there is always a major problem; I don't believe it's the show that "creates" the "villain", they are, in fact, a big part of the pre-existing problem. These restaurants are operating with a serious level of dysfunction, the show didn't create the dysfunction, it was already there.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              It was interestintg that the limey GM took the heat on the Indian episode but the OM/chef who was in the kitchen all the time got off scott free.

            2. I kind of avoided the show this week. I'm still grossed out about the vermin from the previous episode where I don't think I'd trust any restaurant if they showed that stuff again.

              However, if it's a better episode, I'd try to catch it in reruns.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dave_c

                You missed out... absolutely NO vermin or disgusting gross food this week - just a tired restaurant looking for a new image. It was a much better episode - much more like the BBC ones...

              2. Did anyone else think it odd that when the crew went back to the restaurant 2 months later, they interviewed Mike, the blond waitress, and Billy's wife, but not Billy himself? I know the guy was shy, but still...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nikki NYC

                  I figure Billy just didn't give good soundbite, so they likely interviewed him but didn't have anything they could use.

                2. I agree. This was MUCH better than the first two. My only criticism is that they seemed to solve the Mike problem a little too easily. That guy was out of control. The same thing happened with the owner's son (Peter?) in the first episode. Leopards don't change their spots overnight. Perhaps they were edited to look worse than they are, but I doubt it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Pete Oldtown

                    Yes, I agree. Instant transformations like that are about as common as..... well, not very believable.

                  2. I missed the first 5 minutes. Why is the place called the Mixing Bowl? To me, that seems more like a bakery? Was that what it was before it turned into the healthy restaurant? I was suprised they didn't change the name

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: stellamystar


                      They never said why the place was named the Mixing Bowl, nor did they change the name over the course of the episode. I noticed that even after they changed the cuisine and the dining room, they never changed the big signs out front that said: PASTA, SEAFOOD, STEAK. Seems to me if you were re-positioning your business to attract more health-conscious customers, you'd post that information somewhere on the facade. The only reason I can think that they didn't change the signs was because they made such a big deal out of all of the failed signage Mike had used.

                      I agree that this episode was much better than the first two.

                      1. re: stellamystar

                        I was surprised by the name too. It's awful. It says nothing. Probably something the owner came up with when he couldn't think of anything else. I'm watching the Brit version (Bonaparte's, a truly awful restaurant with all the food going bad, horrible cook, etc.). The Brit show is just much better because they get down to the details. In the Fox show, he has the money to call in the decorators. What did it cost for all those tables, chairs, plates and stuff last night. Or the whole new kitchen at Peter's? Here, he has to do it with no money. Far more interesting and valuable. Anyone running any business could learn from this. The Fox version? No way.

                        "Find a TV show to pay $30,000 to fix your place up." Not exactly a winning business strategy.

                        I really didn't like this guy at first. He's really arrogant. But the more I watch, the more I see how much he really empathizes with these people. I would NEVER have put up with that simp Mike or that Italian guy who was running a Welsh superstar into the ground because he refused to change a thing. So you gotta give him credit for keeping his temper.

                        The Brit show is so much better, at least so far, because he doesn't always succeed, and you really get into the psychology of a chef. The people on the Fox show are too much like cartoons. Low hanging fruit.

                      2. Loved the "2 months later" that they had on this Ep. IMHO, that was one of the things that made the British version excellent -- it went beyond the 'makeover' part and showed if the people could keep it up...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Feastradio

                          Agreed. It's nothing without the update!

                        2. So far it seems that the theme for the season is "Nail the Manager". We'll have to see what next week holds.

                          The biggest problem I had with this episode had to do with continuity. The wife's hair kept going back and forth between straight and wavy/curly, and not just between the 'actual' scenes and the interview portions. If this isnt evidence that some scenes were re-staged at later times, I dont know what else it might be evidence of. After noticing it the first time, I found it to be really distracting throughout.

                          But taking everything at face value, if Mike the Manager's mouthing off to the wife/co-owner wasnt enough by itself to get him fired, his going postal in front of the customers (during the screwup with the football team's reservation) should have.

                          1 Reply
                          1. I'm still waiting for Gordon to say "Bollocks" on American television.

                            Wish he brought his consultant maitre'd with the french accent to show them how to run the service properly.

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: Xericx

                                Not to mention twat. Wow. There is a certain word that here is a HUGE insult to women, worst than twat, which is everyday language in the UK. As far as I can tell, he never used it even in the Brit version. His main word seems to be the f word. Bollocks is not going to cause a problem here. Remember the Sex Pistols album, Never Mind the Bollocks? It got released here. It really means two things: balls and bullshit. And American TV allows both of them now. Bollocks won't even be questioned.

                              2. I think the Mike situation was greatly inflated, thanks to some creative editing. I also wonder if Mike is a relative b/c the owner was so reluctant to fire him (I believe that one of the waitresses--the older one--is the owner's sister, so this could be family-run operation). If I remember correctly, the owner decided on the spot not to fire Mike, even though Mike dissed his wife. And truthfully, I did not feel that the wife was really that angry at Mike--more like exasperated. It's as if someone kept saying to her off camera "Pretend you're really angry--come on, play it up!"

                                Mike was a convenient villian. But I actually felt sorry for him toward the end.

                                3 Replies
                                  1. re: bakerboyz

                                    He seemed so tortured (plus other things, I know)....

                                  2. re: gloriousfood

                                    The waitress was Mike's sister (the manager- not the chef/owner).

                                    As far as Mike is concerned, I don't think the elevator reaches the penthouse. I mean, what's with the tears??? Is this your business?? No - it's your job. The way he blubbered at the reveal was ridiculous and totally inappropriate. I would have fired him ASAP.

                                  3. It is better than Hell's Kitchen which is not saying much. However, in my opinion, it is incredibly scripted to the point where it has nothing to do with reality.

                                    Every episode has a drama with a problem person who is usually the manager. Ramsey confronts the manager and he either immediately leaves or humbly agrees to change.

                                    Ramsey miraculously updates the restaurant overnight and revamps the entire menu the next day. There are a few minor dramatic screw-ups. However, at the end everyone is deliriously happy and loves everyone and everything.

                                    The whole thing is complete BS and has nothing to do with reality. Its a non-stop Ramsey ego boosting commercial for him.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: RBCal

                                      Not saying that it isn't BS, it very well may be, but it makes for good TV. Just curious but you know that it is BS how?

                                      1. re: bakerboyz

                                        Every episode has the same fake dramatic element and syrupy sweet happy ending. I'm sure in the end most of the restaurant owners appreciate that FOX spent a lot of money to remodel their restaurants. However, it would be interesting to see how well their doing after six months.

                                        I bet nearly all the patrons flock to the initial revamped restaurants in an attempt to see Gordon Ramsey and to get on TV. Once he's gone so will they. (I know someone will mention that the BBC show does do follow ups. However, these are not true representations since Ramsey shows up in person and again people would flock to see him and be on TV).

                                        1. re: RBCal

                                          Gordon does the followups unannounced on BBC. Unless they fabricate that as well. There have been times where he comes back and the chefs had quit or the restaurant changed ownership.

                                          1. re: Xericx

                                            Unless you have been in the restaurant business it's almost impossible to believe how difficult it can be. Regardless of GR's makeovers, as good as they may be, it is extremely difficult to maintain your QSC (Quality, Service and Cleanliness) while keeping control over labor cost, food cost, waste, etc. Not to mention keeping the restaurant concept and menu "fresh" and appealing to the public.

                                      2. re: RBCal

                                        I agree with you on this. I can't believe that Ramsey swoops down and save the day for eternity. Take this episode, for example. You're telling me that we are supposed to believe that Mike the manager has changed so much all of the sudden? He's apparently got some emotional issues that are out of Ramsey's scope.

                                      3. This was the first time I'd caught the US version. I don't get BBC America, so the only UK episodes I've seen are whatever's on YouTube.

                                        That said, it seemed awfully pat, didn't it? It seems like it's the let's-do-it-in-a-week version whereas the UK version seems to span over a few months. My feeling is that GR must've filmed the episodes on the heel of HK so perhaps there simply wasn't enough time. Nevertheless, a Band-Aid is better than nothing.

                                        Mike. Ye gods, where do people like him come from? I wasn't surprised the chef/owner didn't fire him. Maybe he felt sorry for Mike. Hey -- maybe Mike cried because he knew he couldn't get a job anywhere else! He did look as though he was making an honest attempt to edit himself toward the end. Either that or he's a great actor *shrug*

                                        Once all the episodes air, I'd love GR to return to all the restaurants to see if they're still upholding his improvements. That'd be interesting.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: xo_kizzy_xo

                                          The UK version allows a week too. I'm pretty sure they send someone in to investigate and see if there's a chance of turning it around. He pretty much takes the same approach to each place: fresh, local ingredients, moderate prices, and simpler cooking. Sometimes he comes up with interesting gimmicks. Mainly, though, his advice is solid and it will improve just about any restaurant. In the Brit series, for instance, he finds some restaurants that are using store-bought crap (frozen crab cakes, bulk salad dressing and so on) and that's a problem that can be fixed fast and which will make a big difference.

                                          In the UK version, he also has shows where he returns to some of the restaurants, generally if they've screwed up, about a year or two later. I would bet there'll be something like that with the Fox series, assuming it lasts. I think Gordon is an acquired taste, and he's not going to do well on national TV. I hope I'm wrong, because it's a fun show.

                                          On the Brit show, he's really helped out people who were about to lose everything. What surprises me is how many people cannot resist going back to the habits that got them in trouble in the first place. His way is usually WAY easier.

                                          1. re: Pete Oldtown

                                            I agree with you 100% - I absolutely Love Gordon, and think that his advice is spot on. In the UK show, it was appalling to see how many "chefs" used tinned pasta sauces, packets of soup mix etc... mortifying.

                                            So far in the states it seems to be a mix of managerial incompetence and filth. Those things are readily fixable.

                                            BUT human nature being what it is, old habits do die hard, and after a while, it's easier to resort to pre-packaged, pre-made ingredients than to run to a market or butcher every few days.

                                            I love whatever Gordon does, and hope that the Fox show stays on the air. I just wish they didn't over produce it.

                                        2. I'm really starting to wonder about whether you can make significant changes in a week. I wrote about this once before. Anyone in Westchester has to go check out Ye Ole' Stone Mill in Tuckahoe. The place is atrocious (albeit beautiful inside).

                                          I spoke a bit of chef talk with the cook (Michael Gallo who calls himself the head chef) and was embarrassed for him. I’m thinking the prerequisite for the chef job here is home economics and a GED from an Internet based high school. Whatever Gordon did for them, went in one ear and came out the next. The food was bad, the service stunk and the owner could care less about greeting the customers (all of 3 at the bar).

                                          When I spoke to them about the show, they said it was really rough but advised me that when it finally does air, "remember it's only a reality show you (I) shouldn’t take it seriously". What? I didn’t take Nick & Jessica seriously, nor did I when I watched Growing Up Gotti. But this? What’s not serious about a cook that has no clue what he’s doing and bugs in the salad?

                                          Needless to say, I can't wait to watch this episode. I just can't believe this cook didn't get fired.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: billyparsons

                                            Do you know when the tuckahoe episode os airing? or did it already?

                                          2. i like gordon but having watched the three episodes i hope it's not going to continue being so formulaic. i can almost predict the next episode. dying restaurant, bad management, old bad food, then gordon comes in and saves the business! over and over and over...zzzz. i also wish that the editors and producers would keep a close eye on the scenes and when and where they get shot to keep it "real". for instance, at the indian restaurant one of the managers, i think the indian one, is talking to the camera how he's glad that the transformation gordon made, however, if you took a close look at the background he's talking about it in the restaurant with sheets on the wall which was before the transformation! aha! reality not so reality...

                                            1. This is my favorite show on TV right now, bar none. My only issue with the show is that Gordon's criticism has been toned down for mainstream US television. On the BBC series he's more acerbic and critical, just spewing smartass venom that doubles as comedy gold. The US version lacks that edginess and is mostly just Gordon yelling and screaming the same things over and over...plus the show is over-produced which makes the show seem more like everything is set-up and planned in advance.