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Restaurant:Impossible w/ Robert Irvine

menton1 Jul 25, 2011 03:35 PM

I find this an entertaining show with an entertaining concept. I also enjoy Robert Irvine alot. (Although I wish he'd vary his clothing a bit from the black polo!) I much prefer him to a similar format show w Gordon Ramsay. Irvine is more interesting with a better personality.

I have a couple of peeves, though. Why, in heaven's name, do they have to finish in TWO DAYS??? What would happen if they took 3? Or even 4? The 2 day requirement makes the show a bit ridiculous at times, you wonder how people can eat with wet painted walls and the smell of sawdust and paint in the room!

The other issue is with the $10G. I believe that they are only including material-- with labor costs, this could be triple the price!

Overlooking those ideas, though, I still find it entertaining. Wish they'd give up on the silly 2 days, though...

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    smartie RE: menton1 Jul 25, 2011 03:58 PM

    I bet it's not 2 days, there is no way RI is walking into a disgusting restaurant on day one, identifies their problems, watches a lunch service, rips everything out, retrains the chefs, orders the food, revamps the place, teaches the servers, advertizes in the town and opens at 6pm the next day.

    2 Replies
    1. re: smartie
      k
      kpaxonite RE: smartie Jul 25, 2011 05:30 PM

      Agreed,,,,,he is there for AT LEAST a week. The 10k budget is also bs based on what I saw in the 2nd episode I saw this season..i forget what it was called...but it was like 5k square feet- impossible!

      And I searched online and apparently the recipes irvine made taste like crap ... i dunno.

      1. re: smartie
        s
        shan RE: smartie Aug 12, 2011 03:30 PM

        I've been very suspicious of the 2 day time line... in part because they are wandering into all sorts of cities and towns around the USA... sometimes dealing with structural issues and sometimes with kitchens and wiring... depending on where you are at...these things are code issues and you can't always get an inspector there to sign off in 2-3 hours... or weeks.

      2. c
        Cathy RE: menton1 Jul 25, 2011 05:33 PM

        It just happened in San Diego.

        The newspaper article in the OP was cited on July 6, after a lot of planning and purchasing had started. (Including mention that it and another California restaurant had been chosen for the season. So, that one was being given even more time.)

        It had the opening on July 13.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/794060

        1. DiningDiva RE: menton1 Jul 25, 2011 05:53 PM

          As noted by Cathy above, R:I did a makeover of a small restaurant here in San Diego located in a very, very residential neighborhood.

          1. They started filming on a Sunday during their usual Sunday breakfast/lunch service. Robert Irvine was not present for that.
          2. They reopened a 6 pm for dinner service that Tuesday. This was, of course, a very big deal for the neighborhood. The restaurant was slammed and couldn't keep up, plus there were filming issues. RI was there for that filming and apparently screaming at people to not move so they could get the shot(s) right Some people with reservations (at 9 pm) for the second seating didn't stay.

          I've seen more than a few episodes of this show. I like it. Unless The Trails was a complete wreck in the kitchen, it wasn't nearly as bad as some of the places I've seen on the show. It wasn't overtly dirty, decrepit, dingy, badly lit, or otherwise banged up and and unattractive. In fact, the inside was homey and way understated.

          The transformation of the dining room was nothing short of amazing. They did deal with a badly placed counter that the restaurant had inherited from the previous tenant, and that may be where the bulk of the money went. The chairs were not replaced, nor were the tables. Beadboard, wallpaper and paint were well used and I certainly recognized an IKEA piece as I've got 2 of the same at home. They were under $150 when I bought mine. The designer, Tainya Naiak from HGTV is creative and usually comes up something fun and interesting. I suspect some of the labor was not covered, but I'd be surprised if it was all gratis. (I should add, I've just recently been through a whole house remodel and after looking at acres of tile, flooring, fixtures, paint, etc, I don't think they spent $10,000 and what they did was done well)

          There was never anything very wrong with the breakfast/lunch menu and RI didn't touch it. He did, however, completely overhaul their old dinner menu. The new one - which I have not tried yet - is FAR more appealing and sticks with the restaurants goal to have vegetarian and gluten free items available.

          The restaurant is currently open for dinner only 2 days a week but expects to expand to 5 days over by mid-August. This probably isn't a bad idea as it gives the restaurant a chance to practice the dishes on slower days and get accustom to making them because once the program airs, they'll be slammed again.

          I'll be interested to see how poorly they portray the owner. I don't think she's as clueless as they have typically been portrayed on R:I, but that doesn't make for good TV does it ;-). I think she's stuck with a hard location and had an uninspired dinner menu and couldn't capture enough dinner business to help keep the breakfast/lunch business afloat.

          1. MaxCaviar RE: menton1 Aug 12, 2011 12:36 PM

            Anyone see the episode with Rascal's BBQ and Crab House ? Wow, the second I got a look at the folks running that dump I knew R.I. was wasting his time. They screwed the place up all over again as soon as he left. I guess rodent dropping and junk heaps sell well in any event. Those people just didn't deserve his time IMO.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_kmvu...

            1. Kagemusha RE: menton1 Aug 12, 2011 04:45 PM

              Never liked his schtick but this little problem did it for me:

              http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Kagemusha
                applehome RE: Kagemusha Aug 13, 2011 11:06 AM

                Old news - 2008. FN already fired him for the lies on his resume, and then rehired him - his fans called and all was forgiven. What's sad is how much better Mission:Impossible was while he was gone, with his replacement, Michael Symon at the helm. But people who watch FN obviously prefer dramatics to great cooking and to that end Irvine is probably a better actor.

                1. re: applehome
                  Kagemusha RE: applehome Aug 14, 2011 02:14 PM

                  Maybe but he's still a mendacious poseur. That's still current.

              2. e
                ediblover RE: menton1 Aug 13, 2011 01:09 PM

                I caught an episode of it. It was the one the veteran owned diner. The concept was interesting, but then when it came to the food.... No. The Irvine fella, he "created' 3 signature plates for the diner. It was apple pie, a burger and something...

                For the apple pie, he said to use a pre-made crust.
                For the burger, he said you should never press down on the patty.
                No idea what the 3rd item was, or even if there was one, but if there was, I'm gonna wager that there was an egregious error there too.

                On the time and $ limit, it creates an artificial deadline in order to create extra drama/pressure. "Are they going to be able to do this?!" Cheap and unnecessary, but guessing most viewers enjoy it (since I've no doubt they do research on this). Anyway, nice show, but only way I'd watch it again is if the host actually (really) knew food.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ediblover
                  k
                  kpaxonite RE: ediblover Aug 13, 2011 01:20 PM

                  When a burger is cooking you shouldn`t ever press down on it...

                  1. re: kpaxonite
                    e
                    ediblover RE: kpaxonite Aug 13, 2011 01:50 PM

                    Smash Burger.

                    It's a valid style of burger that results in a crunchy exterior. As long as it's done right (early and with consistent/constant force), the end product is a tasty one. To me, it's a technique that every diner and other places that feature low/moderate cost burgers should use. Just because the other approach, a thick and juicy burger, is difficult to pull off without using pricey meat.

                    1. re: ediblover
                      c
                      Cathy RE: ediblover Aug 13, 2011 02:00 PM

                      SmashBurgers are smashed when raw, onto the grill and NOT while they are cooking.

                      1. re: Cathy
                        e
                        ediblover RE: Cathy Aug 14, 2011 03:59 PM

                        Yes. Hence, I wrote, "... done right (early and..)"

                2. menton1 RE: menton1 Aug 13, 2011 03:54 PM

                  My main beef with this show is... Why the 2 day limit? What the frick would happen if it took 3 days? Would the place blow up?

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: menton1
                    mamachef RE: menton1 Aug 14, 2011 04:34 AM

                    Nope, the place would still be there but the premise of the show would be completely lost. The entire point is the stricture of the time and money limit. Of course the show is heavily edited. Even a half-hour episode of Jeopardy (starring: Alex! Trebek!) takes a half-day to film. TV time isn't real-time, folks! An hour of "useable" footage is obtained after many hours of filming. My guess is that, the time he actually spends working on the project is condensed after editing to reflect this. So if he's on-site for six days and they can pull 48 hours' worth of actual time, that's what they use. It's shady, but it's TV!

                    1. re: mamachef
                      menton1 RE: mamachef Aug 14, 2011 07:33 AM

                      So what you're saying is that they start on Monday, finish on Saturday, but for the show's sake they claim they finished on Tuesday?

                      I don't think the premise of the show would be lost if they took 3 days...

                      1. re: menton1
                        DiningDiva RE: menton1 Aug 14, 2011 07:41 AM

                        A restaurant 3/4 of a mile from my house was a recent Restaurant:Impossible subject, the episode will air in September.

                        They began filming on Sunday morning, they closed at 3 pm Sunday afternoon for the make over and reopened at 6:30 pm Tuesday evening for dinner service. The physical make over was quite good. The breakfast and lunch menu was not touched, but the entire dinner menu was overhauled. While the show will feature 3 menu items, there are probably something like 15 new items all together. 3 of the new menu items have already been 86ed off the menu because they didn't sell.

                        I suspect that the makeover is planned by the minnions at HGTV and the new menu items by the Food Network test kitchen. RI and the designer are most likely just following a plan already developed and staged by corporoate headquarters.

                        1. re: menton1
                          mamachef RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 06:08 AM

                          menton1, if you listen carefully, the phrase utilized is "forty-eight hours" which is a different thing entirely than two days. See my comments about editing and condensation. And yes, the premise of the show WOULD be lost if they took 3 days, because the premise is to do it in the hours allowed in a two-day (nonconsecutive, obviously) period. Otherwise, they'd have to change the lead-in and call it Robert Irvine's 3-day Restaurant Makeover or something. And it would basically be the same show, you're right, only he'd have a little more time.

                          1. re: mamachef
                            menton1 RE: mamachef Aug 15, 2011 07:05 AM

                            I "listen" and watch all the shows. Irvine supposedly gets there one morning, and then has the rest of that day and until 6PM the next day to reopen. To the viewer, there is no 48 hours. It's more like 36, supposedly.

                            I don't think the show would lose ANYTHING by taking 3 days, only a mindless, stupid, nonsensical deadline. The $10G limit makes sense. The 2 days, just dumb.

                            1. re: menton1
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                              saeyedoc RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 09:16 AM

                              $10k limit, plus unlimited labor. By the time you add up all of that labor, it's way more than 10k

                              1. re: menton1
                                mamachef RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 09:18 AM

                                I didn't say it would lose anything. In all honesty I don't think this show HAS much to lose because it's been done, re-done, overdone, and now I'm done. We're having and argument about semantics, which is ridiculous. Have a good day. Keep your ears open. :)

                      2. inaplasticcup RE: menton1 Aug 14, 2011 07:49 AM

                        The last episode I saw was about a veteran who apparently lost his sense of taste and smell in combat.

                        My main issue with this show is that it pours money and other resources into grown people who don't have the good sense not to, among other things, open a restaurant after they lose the ability to smell and taste food.

                        The few times I've watched this show, I've found myself thinking these poor people should just file for BK and find something else to do with their lives.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: inaplasticcup
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                          ediblover RE: inaplasticcup Aug 14, 2011 04:05 PM

                          That's the (one/only) episode I saw.

                          I agree with the premise that people shouldn't invest heavily in something they don't know or have much passion for, but not with the sense. I do recall reading about a fairly successful chef who completely lost his sense of taste. And, as it was shown on the show, others can taste the food and develop the menu.

                          1. re: ediblover
                            petek RE: ediblover Aug 15, 2011 06:33 AM

                            "I do recall reading about a fairly successful chef who completely lost his sense of taste".

                            Grant Achatz....

                            1. re: petek
                              inaplasticcup RE: petek Aug 15, 2011 06:53 AM

                              I thought of Achatz as well, but I think there's a big difference between a chef who's had years of practice developing all their senses around and toward the production of great food and having those other senses be able to somehow compensate for the loss of the two, and someone who decides to come into the business of making and selling food without that kind of experience behind them and with that kind of deficit.

                              And this is not directed at you, pete, but if I recall correctly, I think Irvine told that man that someone else will *now* be the taster, the implication being that he was doing the tasting until that point. 48 hours of improvements not withstanding, how long will it take a man who didn't realize that, lacking the ability to taste, he probably should not be the taster, to run the restaurant back into the ground?

                        2. Phaedrus RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 07:15 AM

                          If anyone remembers the myriad of shows that popped up a few years ago on TLC that dealt with flipping houses, they had the same premise. or the show where neighbors re-did pone room in each other's house, this has the same feel. You have the so-called experts come in, chage the restaurant to what they think should be the trendy movement at the moment and then bugger off to let the original owners deal with the fall out. Some are successful, some aren't.

                          The time constraint is a nuisance especially since this is an artificial limit and sometimes things that are important just don't get done. I seem to remember that one of the shows got sued because they made a mess of what they were supposed to do. So those shows include a clause in the contract where they will come in and re-do the work if the homeowner is pissed. i wonder if they have a similar kind of thing in this show.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Phaedrus
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                            pine time RE: Phaedrus Aug 15, 2011 08:57 AM

                            Yeah, read on one of those ultra-fast home re-build shows (can't think of the name, the one with the sob story, then the guy with the megaphone & his crew), many of the outrageous designs never worked past the 1st showing on TV. Plus, the new owners got stuck with mega-tax reassessments. Wonder about the same thing on Irvine's show, including doing new wiring, building up to local codes, etc. The menu re-do seems to be much easier than rebuilding a dump of a restaurant.

                            1. re: pine time
                              DiningDiva RE: pine time Aug 15, 2011 12:16 PM

                              Are you thinking Extreme Makeover on ABC?

                              My mother has a friend who's son was featured on Extreme Makeover several years ago (like in season 2 or 3). He had been recently widowed and left with 7 kids and a tiny house. EM literally blew out the old house and rebuilt a quasi McMansion. The new place was great and met all the needs of the family. Only problem was they lived in a CA beach community (Leucadia, IIRC) where property is scarce and houses and property taxes HIGH. The new house was reassessed and the new property taxes were astronomical. Several years after the makeover they family was forced to sell the house in order to make the taxes.

                              1. re: DiningDiva
                                p
                                pine time RE: DiningDiva Aug 15, 2011 12:31 PM

                                Yes, that's the show and the case I read about (I'm also in S.D. county)!

                                1. re: pine time
                                  DiningDiva RE: pine time Aug 15, 2011 01:56 PM

                                  Yeah, it was really a sad story. My mom got a lot of the gory details and it was really just so sad. The good news is that the family has recovered, but what an unfortunate situation to have happen.

                            2. re: Phaedrus
                              paulj RE: Phaedrus Aug 15, 2011 11:17 AM

                              The only remake show that I watched in full was the British garden one, which always managed to fit a pergola and fountain the smallest back yards.

                            3. d
                              daeira RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 11:18 AM

                              Restaurant: Impossible seems pretty mediocre compared to Kitchen Nightmares UK version with Gordon Ramsey. For me, there's something very off-putting about Irvine. Between his over-aggressive and patronizing voice that's dripping with condescension towards the restaurant staff and the general way that he bullies everybody around him by yelling, it just doesn't make for entertaining viewing. At least with Kitchen Nightmares UK, Ramsey is actually attempting to address the root of the problem in the restaurant, whether it be bad chefs, internal dissension, poor product, an inappropriate menu vis-a-vis patrons etc. Ramsey often encourages younger chefs and restaurateurs. I'd take that approach over Irvine's, "yell at anybody around me and talk down to them" approach. I just feel that Irvine comes in, yells at some designers to do things faster, yells at staff to be better and leaves.

                              Maybe it makes for good television, but personally, I can't even sit through five minutes of his show without being disgusted by his own behaviour.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: daeira
                                Phaedrus RE: daeira Aug 15, 2011 12:43 PM

                                BINGO! You hit it. I couldn't put my finger on it. Irvine is very condescending and overly pedantic. Maybe it has to do with the previous Dinner Impossible challenges. With Ramsey, you at least get the idea that the guy is thinking critically, his solutions are sometimes repetitive but then again the challenges with the restaurants are also repetitive. You can see the guy home in on what is wrong and encourage what is going right, whereas Irvine has a stock answer for everything and when the situation is different, he rams ahead with the same solution. Irvine reminds me of what is wrong with corporate management, everyone is hacking at the same recipe and the same if-then list of what to do rather than thinking for themselves.

                                1. re: Phaedrus
                                  menton1 RE: Phaedrus Aug 15, 2011 04:36 PM

                                  I disagree. Irvine is quite empathetic and realizes the emotional bond the proprietor(s) have with the restaurant, well-founded or not. After his criticism and corrections, he usually pulls the owners aside and even gives them a hug. Something Ramsey would NEVER do, he's quite a cold bastard.

                                  1. re: menton1
                                    Phaedrus RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 05:03 PM

                                    We agree to disagree. Irvine is always playing to the camera, it is less obvious on Dinner Impossible by the nature of the challenge, and I actually liked him better on that show. I can't stand him on this one.

                                    if he really cared about the owners he would actually work to understand the problem with the restaurants rather than just apply the FN formula.

                                    1. re: Phaedrus
                                      menton1 RE: Phaedrus Aug 15, 2011 05:05 PM

                                      It seems that most of the time, filthy kitchens, canned food, and a disinterested management are the problems, and he zeroes in on that. That's not a formula, that's good food business!

                                      1. re: menton1
                                        Phaedrus RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 05:08 PM

                                        Like I said, we agree to disagree. I think he's a prick and you think he walks on water.

                                        1. re: Phaedrus
                                          iheartcooking RE: Phaedrus Jul 14, 2012 09:35 PM

                                          Not really, it seems like "agree to disagree" means "agree to ignore evidence that supports the opposing view."
                                          It's true that his tone grates, it's false that he fails to hone in on the true problems of the restaurants he visits. He takes different, creative approaches to the individual situations.

                                      2. re: Phaedrus
                                        Michelly RE: Phaedrus Apr 10, 2013 10:33 AM

                                        I also disagree. Ramsey has gotten some owners and/or workers together to work out the emotional problems that sometimes are the basis of why the owners are in denial and/or don't seem to care about their food or their team. He doesn't resort to yelling unless the owners are pig-headed and/or if there's a health risk.
                                        He also gives people hugs....and I don't think he changes clothes on camera to show his bod, and it's not important anyway.
                                        I just feel sorry for the workers who have to redo the restaurants overnight.

                                      3. re: menton1
                                        k
                                        kpaxonite RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 05:05 PM

                                        100 percent agree

                                        1. re: menton1
                                          d
                                          daeira RE: menton1 Aug 15, 2011 06:34 PM

                                          Edited*: This was written in response to menton1's posting. I'm not sure what happened with the order.

                                          I'd have to disagree with your assessment of Ramsay. But, I base my opinion from Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares UK version. On that version of the show, Ramsay is quite compassionate, often doing whatever it takes (taking walks on the beach, talking to spouses, challenging chefs beyond their comfort level, encouraging team building exercises, encouraging owners to fire incompetent staff for the wellbeing of the restaurant, setting up purchaser/consumer relationships for local buying etc) to reach who or what he sees is the problem. The FOX version is admittedly different, probably for tv ratings.

                                          What I find with Irvine is that he talks down to people, not to people. It's great that he may give the owners a hug, but if he's condescending during the entire process to everybody, a hug doesn't make up for that.

                                          I did manage to watch an entire episode of Restaurant: Impossible where they redid the Floodtide. I think Irvine was nice to the elderly owner. But, rewatch his interactions with the cooking staff. He was condescendingly pedantic in asking them to identify vegetables and other basic food.

                                        2. re: Phaedrus
                                          rockandroller1 RE: Phaedrus Sep 6, 2011 07:50 AM

                                          I completely agree as well. I haven't been able to put my finger on why this show is alternately boring and annoying, but this sums it up. Ramsey's KN show is just completely different. He's very interested in teaching and helping and is a much more layered personality to watch.

                                          1. re: rockandroller1
                                            EWSflash RE: rockandroller1 Apr 13, 2013 10:39 AM

                                            Agreed.

                                      4. m
                                        melo7 RE: menton1 Aug 16, 2011 01:09 PM

                                        My pet peeve is that Robert Irvine claims to be an expert in opening profitable restaurants. He's been in the business for 25 years and has opened just ONE restaurant and this didn't even happen until he was on the Food Network. The idea he is an expert is laughable.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: melo7
                                          menton1 RE: melo7 Aug 16, 2011 04:00 PM

                                          Having a profitable restaurant is not always a symptom of an expert. A lot of times it's how well you're bankrolled. Think Robert DeNiro is an "expert"? No, just a good team and a good financial bankroll.

                                          Bobby Flay always admits that it was good fortune that led to his success, he found a backer when he was 27 years old and opened up Mesa Grill.

                                          Good for Irvine, it's obvious that he knows sound restaurant operational strategy, and he's earning a good buck from FN, anyway. Who needs the aggravation of an 80 hour work week?

                                          1. re: menton1
                                            m
                                            melo7 RE: menton1 Aug 16, 2011 04:06 PM

                                            I have no idea how you got the idea that Flay opened Mesa Grill at 16 but that is not at all the case.

                                            "it's obvious that he knows sound restaurant operational strategy"

                                            Maybe to you but he hasn't said anything on the show that proves he's he's an expert at anything except getting on TV.

                                            1. re: melo7
                                              menton1 RE: melo7 Aug 16, 2011 05:19 PM

                                              He's earning a lot more than you are, and working a lot fewer hours.

                                              1. re: menton1
                                                m
                                                melo7 RE: menton1 Aug 16, 2011 05:26 PM

                                                I already said he's an expert at getting on TV. So bully for him. But if you think earning a lot of money is the be all and end all in life I feel badly for you.

                                                1. re: melo7
                                                  mamachef RE: melo7 Aug 16, 2011 05:59 PM

                                                  +1.

                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                    menton1 RE: mamachef Aug 16, 2011 08:35 PM

                                                    Earning money, a good thing for me. "Be all and end all", well, those are your words, not mine.

                                              2. re: melo7
                                                inaplasticcup RE: melo7 Aug 24, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                At least Ramsay seems to have some awareness of the contribution of human nature to the failure of a restaurant and attempts to address those core issues. Irvine just barks and flexes his biceps while applying lipstick to pigs.

                                                And what is with this *so and so makes more money than you so they're above reproach* mentality?

                                            2. re: melo7
                                              chicgail RE: melo7 Aug 24, 2011 09:07 AM

                                              Sometimes being someone from out of town - with an opinion - is all you need to be an "expert."

                                              1. re: melo7
                                                f
                                                FloydianSlipped RE: melo7 Jan 30, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                This the same guy who LIED on his résumé what can you expect? http://cbsop.com/news-and-reviews/che...

                                                1. re: FloydianSlipped
                                                  c
                                                  catroast RE: FloydianSlipped Apr 10, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                  lol who hasn't lied on their resume?

                                              2. TrishUntrapped RE: menton1 Aug 24, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                Pastori's in Ellington, Connecticut will be featured tonight 8/24/11, on Restaurant: Impossible.

                                                Having "dined" there post makeover, all I can say is the place is AWFUL from food to service, an epic fail.

                                                I will say this: The interior is nice. But it is falling apart at the seams already. The banquettes were covered in new fabric and the fabric has come loose in spots.

                                                I'm concerned that consumers will see this show, think it's worth trying because Irvine says it is, then blow their hard-earned money on terrible food.

                                                Link to my previous comments: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/794814

                                                1. The Dairy Queen RE: menton1 Sep 5, 2011 08:09 AM

                                                  I have to, watching this show is a guilty pleasure of mine. I really do love to see the transformation of the restaurant. I wish they'd give them another day and another $10,000 in the design budget so they didn't need to cut so many corners. I imagine a lot of their cheap fixes --veneers and laminates and such--will quickly come undone, which doesn't do the restaurant any good beyond the very short term. I'm sure the labor cost of the film crew and the design team for another day would be more than FN is willing to spend. While FN may only give the design team a $10,000 budget, they are in the meantime paying Irvine, the film crew, and the design and building crew. They are probably already giving them $50K in value, by the time you add in the labor and consulting time. As someone said elsewhere in this thread, I'm sure the food network and HGTV do a lot of advance prep on the menu and design plan before even showing up for filming.

                                                  I am very tired, though, of Irvine's schtick of showing up on the morning of day 2 and shouting at the design team that nothing is done.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    chicgail RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 5, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                    It's all pretty formula. You can predict what's going to happen what Irvine will say or do by how much time has elapsed on the show. And I agree that the cheap "lick and a promise" fixes ultimately help nothing.

                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                      m
                                                      melo7 RE: chicgail Sep 5, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                      The cheapest fix I saw is when they ran out of fabric for the banquette cushions so instead of wrapping the fabric all the way around the bottom of the cushion they just stapled it to the back. That will never last and in the long run will just leave the restauranteurs with something that will look worse than what was there before.

                                                      1. re: melo7
                                                        TrishUntrapped RE: melo7 Sep 5, 2011 11:42 AM

                                                        That's the problem with these "makeover" shows. The work is done for the camera money shot and not for durability or use.

                                                        I'm so over this show. Not watching anymore.

                                                        1. re: melo7
                                                          The Dairy Queen RE: melo7 Sep 5, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                          Yes, I just saw that one, "Sweet Tea"--the restaurant looked gorgeous but I can't imagine the banquette solution will last more than a couple of months. What a shame to do all of that work and spend even some money for such a poor result. She should have gone back and gotten more fabric, even if only in a complementary color.

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            m
                                                            melo7 RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 5, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                            IIRC they couldn't get more fabric, because it "wasn't in the budget".

                                                            1. re: melo7
                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: melo7 Sep 5, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                              I thought it was because she didn't measure.

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                        DiningDiva RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 5, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                        RI did a restaurant up the street from my house (espisode to air 9/28) back in June. It wasn't the wreck to begin with that many of the places that have been on in the already aired episodes. The decor was a bit on the amatuerish side, but the place wasn't a dump. No worn out chair, filthy carpet, dated wall treatments, etc. It was two small storefronts that had been cobbled together and it showed.

                                                        After 3 months the makeover is still intact and not showing signs of wear and tear. They installed subway tiles on one wall, which was, unfortunately, the wall with 3 electrical switchplates. The tile looks great except around the switchplates, and even that doesn't look horrible unless you look at it from the side. They dealt with an eye-sore of an old counter and it looks like they opened the room up a bit more, tho' that could just be a decorating illusion. I will be curious to see how bad they say this place is (was?) when the episode airs.

                                                        The breakfast and lunch menu was left in tact with no changes as it didn't need them. The dinner menu was overhauled and has been fairly well recieved. I stopped in for lunch yesterday and spoke with the owner who said business has picked up and been steady.

                                                        1. re: DiningDiva
                                                          The Dairy Queen RE: DiningDiva Sep 5, 2011 02:41 PM

                                                          I read your detailed report on your visit to the restaurant and I'm really glad the makeover went well. TrishUnwrapped's report on her visit of a made-over restaurant didn't sound quite so positive. I guess just like anything else, these makeovers will be subject to individual variation. Of course, I hope for more successes than failures.

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                            DiningDiva RE: The Dairy Queen Sep 5, 2011 03:36 PM

                                                            I would guess that the majority of the places RI makes over actually do fail within 6 months of the rehab. Robert Irvine *may* get to the root of some of each restaurants problems, but old habits are hard to break and it's absurdly easy to revert back to the old ways once the lights go off and the cameras disappear. My guess would be that if the owner(s) really want to make a go of the restuarant business after the makeover, they've probably got a decent chance in succeeding, but if they're simply looking for their 15 minutes of reality TV fame, the made over resto probably doesn't have much of a chance.

                                                          2. re: DiningDiva
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                                                            smartie RE: DiningDiva Sep 5, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                            one restaurant that Ramsay made over here in Boca was unbelievably bad, we went the week after he had been in, it was completely empty and the menu was
                                                            Chicken Veal or Tilapia - with Piccata, tomato sauce or one other sauce (can't remember now). Decor was nothing special either.

                                                            He revisited it on another episode and the woman had shut it down. I don't think she was very interested in it after it was made over, probably sold it and had lost 50lbs and looked like she had had plastic surgery oh and had got divorced.

                                                            1. re: smartie
                                                              DiningDiva RE: smartie Sep 5, 2011 03:32 PM

                                                              LOL...

                                                        2. hal2010 RE: menton1 Sep 5, 2011 07:02 PM

                                                          Just another recycling of the same old, tired formula, with a "chef" who's main attribute seems to be some overdeveloped biceps.

                                                          1. Professional_Amateur RE: menton1 Jan 23, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                            No one saw the episode where he kissed the sledgehammer before using it to demolish a hosting station? Its hard to take someone seriously who does something quite so loopy.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Professional_Amateur
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                                                              Sparklebright RE: Professional_Amateur Jul 22, 2012 05:53 PM

                                                              Lol I love the parts where Robert smashes stuff!

                                                              1. re: Sparklebright
                                                                Michelly RE: Sparklebright Apr 10, 2013 10:04 AM

                                                                I need a kitchen makeover; am looking forward to taking a sledgehammer to it myself.

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                                                              Puffin3 RE: menton1 Mar 17, 2012 06:42 AM

                                                              What's RI doing now? BF replaced him on the show with Anne right?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Puffin3
                                                                paulj RE: Puffin3 Mar 17, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                                There's been a different cohost on worst cooks each year.

                                                                There's been a steady stream of RI episodes, currently episode 6 of 'season 3'.

                                                              2. k
                                                                kas66 RE: menton1 Jul 18, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                I HAVE WATCHED RESTURANT IMPOSSIBLE SEVERAL TIMES AND I JUST CAN NOT APPREHEND HOW THESE RESTURANT OWNERS CAN STAY OPEN AND SERVE THE PUBLIC IN SUCH DIRTY AND DISGUSTING SURROUNDINGS. WHERE IS THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH!!!! HOW CAN THEY JUSTIFY SUCH A COMPLETE LACK OF RESPONSIBLITY TO THE PUBLIC? HOW MANY HEALTH CODES HAVE BEEN VIOLATED ?

                                                                1. m
                                                                  mxwrty RE: menton1 Jul 21, 2012 04:20 PM

                                                                  Ditto and ditto. They seem to have only one script to cover every show. The whole boring drama about the 2 day renovation is when I'm ready to change channels. At least Robert doesn't seem compelled to change clothes on camera !! Come on Gordon -- do you really think you're that hot ?

                                                                  the

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                                                                    FloydianSlipped RE: menton1 Jan 30, 2013 06:19 PM

                                                                    I think they should do a more thorough job with the updates and NOT air episodes for establishments that no longer exist case in point COFFEE BOILING POT HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE SEPTEMBER 2012. Yelp reports the owners drowned in debt anyway and the restaurant was destroyed by Hurricane Isaac (the website domain is no longer active and up for sale) RASCALS BBQ & CRAB HOUSE closed since Aug 2011 locals stated despite the show "the owner is a filthy slob who can't cook"

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: FloydianSlipped
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                                                                      pine time RE: FloydianSlipped Jan 31, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                      Just saw a repeat of the Boilin' Pot last night--thanks for the update. The tiny on-screen update did say the owner had gone back to his [flavorless] recipes, so I'm not surprised the place didn't make it, hurricane or not. Sad, he seemed like a nice guy, just not a businessman (or chef).

                                                                    2. t
                                                                      tonytee1947 RE: menton1 Apr 12, 2014 09:13 PM

                                                                      I've been i remodeling & construction for almost 40 years & unless I see these guys do this in 2 days for $10,000 without the magic of TV I remain a non-believer

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: tonytee1947
                                                                        Gastronomos RE: tonytee1947 Apr 15, 2014 08:32 AM

                                                                        in this part of the country the delivery of any materials alone will cost over $10,000. The cost of the materials at least triple that and labor is no less than 10 times that amount, and that for amateurish day laborers, not skilled craftsmen.

                                                                        the show is entertaining, depending on the episode...

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