“Restaurant: Impossible” is boot camp for restaurant owners hosted by renown chef, Robert Irvine. Robert goes to restaurants that are failing and turns them into a better place with help from his design team and master carpenter. With a budget of only $10,000 and two days, they transform tired restaurants with bad food and owners who have lost their way into viable establishments. Robert pulls no punches and does not hesitate to tell owners the truth, no matter how much it hurts.
This episode brings Robert and his crew to Fayetteville, Georgia to the Longbranch Steakhouse and Seafood restaurant to meet with owners, Lisa and Lindsay Howard. Lindsay was the previous owner who married Lisa and gave her the restaurant as a wedding present. Lindsay had to leave the restaurant and return to his previous job and Lisa is suffering from poor management and financial loss and now poor health due to the loss of revenue. Lisa’s daughter is fed up with the situation and they put the business in Robert’s hands to get control.
Customers were unhappy with the service and food is not good at all. The staff is not doing their job and Lisa is afraid to voice her opinion because she is avoiding conflict. Robert found the place to be filthy, infested with roaches, and a place where customers could get very sick from the sanitation problems.
Of the $10,000 Robert has to work with, he first has to spend about $1300 for a cleaning service and exterminator. They get the staff to empty the restaurant of the furniture and decorations, then the food has to be thrown away because of the extermination process. Fortunately, viewers do not have to smell the disgusting mess that Robert finds in the walk-in fridge and the cost to repair the refrigeration and contamination is put back on the owner because Robert’s budget will not allow for it.
Robert interviews the staff individually to see where the problems lie and they tell him the truth. The person who stands out is Michelle, Lisa’s niece who has previous restaurant management experience and knows how to run the placeÂ—unlike Lisa who is a people-pleaser.
Lisa slept on the info she got from the staff and decided the next day who would stay and who would go. Lisa met with the staff and announced that these were her decisions because Robert opened her eyes. Julie, her daughter, will be the floor manager during the day, Michelle is now acting manager when Lisa is not there, and Rodney will now run the kitchen. Flip, the longest person on the kitchen staff, was a bit slighted, but Robert gave him the pep talk he needed. Fortunately, nobody lost their job and Lisa’s backbone grew back and will stay a part of her from now on. Robert also gave the kitchen staff some new recipes to add to the menu.
When the restaurant was ready to open, Robert took Lisa, Lindsay and Julie in for a preview before the large crowd was allowed in. The look on their faces was enough to let Robert know he did an awesome job. The design team did a spectacular job making a silk purse from a sow’s ear thanks to “Restaurant: Impossible.”