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Feb 10, 2011 12:16 PM

Is it Just Me?...

Is it just me or is anyone else really liking Restaurant Impossible?

I know it's not a new concept, but I really like the way Robert Irvine handles the show. It's like a military campaign. He gets in there, shakes up the owners, pinpoints the problems, corrects them, and gets out.
The only thing I don't totally get is why the rushed two day turn around. Would it kill them to allow one more day for the paint to dry?

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  1. The time and cost constraints are obviously in place to create drama and a sense of urgency. You see, a TV show isn't necessarily about helping a restaurant by giving them 4 weeks' worth of construction and training, but rather to create a story to put on the TV.

    The show seems contrived, especially after watching Kitchen Nightmares, which is edited very well and has a knack of telling a great story. You can see the coaching in this Restaurant Impossible show. It's very transparent, so for keen observers, a bit of a turn-off.

    1. The $10,000 budget that they give Irvine for the makeover is unfair to the restaurant owners to the point of being criminal. This is an hourlong show that airs during primetime on Food Network where they're making a killing on commercials yet they don't even give the restaurant that makes this show possible enough money to replace the carpet and drapes.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Bunson

        Yes the production company should be arrested for making a profit and giving restaurants more than 10,000 dollars in labor and materials. Agreed.

        1. re: tommy

          Not to mention giving restaurants on their last legs a chance to succeed.

          1. re: poser

            And putting them on tv and giving them free publicity. Scumbag producers.

            1. re: tommy

              There hasn't been a single restaurant from Restaurant Impossible after their makeover that made me say "Wow what a difference, I really want to eat there!" It was more "enjoy your 15 minutes because you'll be out of business soon". $10,000 is nothing, a good restaurant will make that in one day.

              1. re: Bunson

                If these were "good restaurants" they wouldn't need to be on the show. Also, that $10,000 that they make wouldn't be pure profit and would need to pay food costs, salaries etc. $10,000 for renovations while not great is better than nothing.

                1. re: donovt

                  Where's this $10,000 figure coming from? I watched the first episode and it was $1,000. You can't even recarpet a restaurant for $1,000. As I said, I watched the first episode--won't be tuning in for any more.

                  The Canadian version of the show is much more realistic--the restaurant puts up its money and the show matches up to $15,000 (with of course free labor, design, menu consultation).

                    1. re: poser

                      Wow, I'm either getting old or I really wasn't paying attention to the one episode I watched . . . or both!

        2. re: Bunson

          Food Network Canada has a Restaurant Makeover show too. They way they handle the budget is to get a chef and designer to estimate what needs to be done and then offer to split the budget with the restaurant owners. That way the owners have a real commitment to the project. I think I saw at least one show where the owners couldn't come up with the suggested amount, so the show matched the amount that they could provide and scaled back the renovations accordingly.

          1. re: Bunson

            It's sad watching the short cuts taken to fit within the budget for the makeover of an under-performing restaurant. Dressing up canned sauce, going with cheap floor boards that won't last, a bad paint job. The restaurant designer person (I can't remember her name) seems to constantly be annoyed.

          2. Not for me. I tried watching it and after the second episode was fast forwarding through it. Thought it was boring for the most part. Reminded me of some TLC type shows that remodeled rooms for a ridiculous budget in 24 hours. Way too much time spent on watching the designers screw around with paint and chairs, very little time with food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sibeats

              Not to mention that Robert Irvine is no Paige Davis.

            2. Did you watch the one about Mainelli's in Providence? My family used to eat there all the time way back when, so it was sad to see how far the place has fallen.

              Also, I hope it was not in as bad shape as Rascal's in DE -- I watched that ep and was repulsed by the place.

              1. I'm loving it too. Robert Irvine is a good coach. There's something special about the way he interacts with restaurant owners and staff that makes me want to keep watching.