History Series / RestaurantImpossible

8th Aug '17 4:19:54 PM fruitstripegum
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* CallARabbitASmeerp: The head chef of Cave Inn BBQ calls himself a "culinary chemist," never a "chef." He does get referred to as an "executive chef" though.



* CallARabbitASmeerp: The head chef of Cave Inn BBQ calls himself a "culinary chemist," never a "chef." He does get referred to as an "executive chef" though.
1st Mar '17 5:47:50 PM supergod
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* BerserkButton: Robert has several:
** Canned or frozen food. One of the quickest ways to tell when a restaurant is in trouble is if it's overusing frozen food; it's cost ineffective (fresh food is generally cheaper), rarely, if ever, of good quality, and is frequently used as a crutch by chefs who either don't know how or are unwilling to make things themselves. He looked like he was going to have a stroke when he realized that one chef's "family recipe" barbecue sauce mostly came from a bottle.
** Oversized menus as well. He always seems to cut the menu to one page or maybe two. One establishment had 400 (!) items on its menu. Another restaurant had over 200, including 32 different steak dishes
** Filthy kitchens. [[CatchPhrase "YOU'RE GONNA KILL SOMEONE!"]] In the El Bistro episode, he was so outraged at the sheer filth of the entire restaurant - which was just about as bad as Rascals or [=McShane's=] - that he was literally on the verge of [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere walking out and refusing to do the mission]].
** Do not imply that Robert intentionally messes up your restaurant for show. He will be very quick to correct you.
** Certain design elements always get Robert's goat: carpets, tablecloths, fake plants, and Christmas lights are always among the first things to be torn down and thrown out during the design phase. They went to ''town'' incorporating every single one of his pet peeves into the set design for the 100th episode special.
** Another one is owners not knowing their finances at all, which is amazing really. Robert was particularly astonished when this was the case with Grace's Place Bagels and Cafe, whose co-owner, Eddie, is a math teacher; and at Scrimmages, which kept no organized records of money despite one of the co-owners being a professional accountant.

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* BerserkButton: Robert has several:
** Canned or frozen food. One of the quickest ways to tell when a restaurant is in trouble is if it's overusing frozen food; it's cost ineffective (fresh food is generally cheaper), rarely, if ever, of good quality, and is frequently used as a crutch by chefs who either don't know how or are unwilling to make things themselves. He looked like he was going to have a stroke when he realized that one chef's "family recipe" barbecue sauce mostly came from a bottle.
** Oversized menus as well. He always seems to cut the menu to one page or maybe two. One establishment had 400 (!) items on its menu. Another restaurant had over 200, including 32 different steak dishes
**
Filthy kitchens. [[CatchPhrase "YOU'RE GONNA KILL SOMEONE!"]] In the El Bistro episode, he was so outraged at the sheer filth of the entire restaurant - which was just about as bad as Rascals or [=McShane's=] - that he was literally on the verge of [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere walking out and refusing to do the mission]]. \n** Do not imply that Robert intentionally messes up your restaurant for show. He will be very quick to correct you.\n** Certain design elements always get Robert's goat: carpets, tablecloths, fake plants, and Christmas lights are always among the first things to be torn down and thrown out during the design phase. They went to ''town'' incorporating every single one of his pet peeves into the set design for the 100th episode special.\n** Another one is owners not knowing their finances at all, which is amazing really. Robert was particularly astonished when this was the case with Grace's Place Bagels and Cafe, whose co-owner, Eddie, is a math teacher; and at Scrimmages, which kept no organized records of money despite one of the co-owners being a professional accountant.



* LighterAndSofter: Of ''Series/KitchenNightmares'', to a degree. Robert tends to take a gentler approach than Creator/GordonRamsay, though he can definitely go to town on a luckless restaurant owner or staff member if something pushes a BerserkButton (as seen in other entries here). Also, Robert has a livelier sense of humor than Gordon, who tends to be very intense and serious, and doesn't swear ''nearly'' as much.

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* LighterAndSofter: Of ''Series/KitchenNightmares'', to a degree. Robert tends to take a gentler approach than Creator/GordonRamsay, though he can definitely go to town on a luckless restaurant owner or staff member if something pushes a BerserkButton (as seen in other entries here).BerserkButton. Also, Robert has a livelier sense of humor than Gordon, who tends to be very intense and serious, and doesn't swear ''nearly'' as much.
1st Mar '17 5:42:28 PM supergod
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* [[ViewersAreGeniuses Customers Are Geniuses]]: One Latin fusion restaurant Robert visited mistakenly believed this, with a menu that was authentic but virtually indecipherable due to the large number of technical and obscure ingredients listed. Robert pointed out that while he, as a trained chef, could read it, there was almost no chance that the average customer could be able to tell what the food was without a good deal of explanation.


Added DiffLines:

* ViewersAreGeniuses: One Latin fusion restaurant Robert visited mistakenly believed this, with a menu that was authentic but virtually indecipherable due to the large number of technical and obscure ingredients listed. Robert pointed out that while he, as a trained chef, could read it, there was almost no chance that the average customer could be able to tell what the food was without a good deal of explanation.
1st Mar '17 5:39:12 PM supergod
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** Mama E's was previously featured on ''Series/DinersDriveInsAndDives'' during its glory days. Robert points this out numerous times (and even mentions that Guy would rip down the poster of him that hangs in the restaurant if he could see the current state of the place.)
7th Feb '17 5:52:28 AM supergod
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* IncompetenceInc: Good Lord, how do some of these places stay in business?
** The chefs at Del's would cook their marinara sauce, then cool it by dumping ice into the pot. Not only is this unsafe (as ice machines harbor the kind of bacteria that would grow voraciously in a tomato-based sauce) but it also renders the sauce bland and tasteless. Of course, these are the same "chefs" who would prepare "chicken parmesan" by taking a pre-breaded, precooked chicken patty, adding cheese and their watery sauce, then ''microwaving'' it.
** A big problem with a lot of places seems to be the chef being reluctant to add salt and pepper to their dishes. When called on it the typical response is that they don't want customers who don't like salt or pepper complaining, while ignoring the fact that the food comes out bland and tasteless.
** The owner/chef at Pollard's in Memphis used a sauce that was handed down from his father. The first ingredient? ''Bottled barbecue sauce''. And to boot, not only did he feel his sauce was better than Robert's in a blind taste test (his wife and daughter picked Robert's), he'd been stubborn enough to keep using it even though his business had been struggling ''for the past 16 years.''
** The "chefs" at both Sweet Tea (of Chapin, South Carolina) and Salt Works II (of Wilmington, North Carolina) made everything - and we mean ''everything'' - from cans and mixes. Robert had to spend parts of both episodes showing them how to make basic stuff like chicken stock and white gravy, because they didn't know how. Of course, their reliance on cans and mixes had rendered the food both expensive and tasteless. Robert even had to tell a proprietor of Sweet Tea that a drinkable "Ginger Iced Tea" does ''not'' include whole pieces of raw ginger in the glass!
*** Proving true incompetence, the Sweet Tea "chef" apparently went right back to serving out-of-the-freezer food.
** Averted with La Stanza in Philadelphia. Lucia came off this way at first, but it was more a case of not knowing what running a restaurant entailed, and her horribly overworked head chef never complaining. Robert spent much of the episode teaching her what she needed to do and how to equitably divide the work with her head chef. The result was a HappyEnding.
*** Same thing at The Chatterbox Cafe in Windham, New Hampshire, where the owner (previously a stay-at-home mom) had absolutely no idea how to manage a staff or run a business, while her oldest son/head chef clearly resented having to run both the kitchen and the front. Robert walked her through how to split responsibilities, hold her staff accountable, and reduce unnecessary costs.
** The cooking staff at Heather's Country Kitchen get by mainly microwaving frozen packets of food. They have so little knowledge of fresh food that Robert's voice-over narration, when he's showing them new menu items, has to specify he chose recipes that can be done with "their level of skill."
** Almost all the restaurants you see now have a fair amount of this - about 80-90% of them are making the same mistakes, even though they should have ''seen the show'', and know some of the basic things to look for. The fact that Robert keeps finding dirty kitchens wherever he goes is incredible. If you watched the show, let alone had Robert ''coming to visit'', wouldn't one of the first things you would do is to make sure the kitchen was clean? "Thy kitchen shall always be clean" is only Robert's first, second, and third Commandment.
** Oddly frequently, the food Robert tries at these restaurants are incredibly bland, with no salt added whatsoever, or in extreme cases like Heather's, no spices at all. Like with Gordon Ramsay in ''Kitchen Nightmares'', Robert once inquired why they do this but has since stopped asking, as the responses are the same again and again: Either they get a vocal minority who complain about the presence of salt or they themselves have been eating bland food for so long that it's what they're used to.
** Subverted at Mamma Lucrezia's. The customers enjoy the food, and Robert said that Maria's pizza was among the best he's ever had in his life. The service is reliable and fast. The restaurant's decor is not great, but at least clean and acceptable. The location is a busy main road. This puzzles Robert deeply as he initially fails to find a reason the restaurant is failing. [[spoiler:The reason is because the owner's brother, Mike, had driven a wedge between her and their sister ''and'' was insulting their customers from across the street -- in other words, they were sabotaged and demoralized.]]
5th Jan '17 9:23:46 AM Gimere
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Really, it pretty much is. There are a few differences... Robert has a much tighter time constraint, being about two days, versus the week Gordon Ramsay would typically spend at a restaurant. Robert also has a strict budget of $10,000 as opposed to Gordon spending either no money at all or as much money as the show's producers would allow. In the earlier seasons, Robert also didn't get ''quite'' as into helping the staff with their personal problems, apparently figuring if the restaurant started doing well the rest would sort itself out. Later seasons have changed this aspect, with Robert playing counselor to the dysfunctional families/staff. And so, [[StrictlyFormula the formula is almost identical]]: the celebrity British chef shows up to a failing restaurant, remarking on the terrible decor when he does. He tries the food, and with near-certainty finds that absolutely everything is dreadful, and usually is either frozen or comes from cans. Upon checking the kitchen, he will almost invariably find it filthy and staffed by people who have either never cooked well, been strangled by incompetent managing, or simply lost their passion and drive. Robert tackles the problems, freaking out along the way. (As opposed to Gordon's [[ClusterFBomb swearing a blue streak]], Robert generally prefers to freak out by throwing up his hands and [[{{Angrish}} letting out an exasperated yell]].) Now has its own imitator following it directly on the same network, ''Series/RestaurantStakeout''.

to:

Really, it pretty much is. There are a few differences... Robert has a much tighter time constraint, being about two days, versus the week Gordon Ramsay would typically spend at a restaurant. Robert also has a strict budget of $10,000 as opposed to Gordon spending either no money at all or as much money as the show's producers would allow. In the earlier seasons, Robert also didn't get ''quite'' as into helping the staff with their personal problems, apparently figuring if the restaurant started doing well the rest would sort itself out. Later seasons have changed this aspect, with Robert playing counselor to the dysfunctional families/staff. And so, [[StrictlyFormula the formula is almost identical]]: the celebrity British chef shows up to a failing restaurant, remarking on the terrible decor when he does. He tries the food, and with near-certainty finds that absolutely everything is dreadful, and usually is either frozen or comes from cans. Upon checking the kitchen, he will almost invariably find it filthy and staffed by people who have either never cooked well, been strangled by incompetent managing, or simply lost their passion and drive. Robert tackles the problems, freaking out along the way. (As opposed to Gordon's tendency to [[ClusterFBomb swearing swear quite a blue streak]], lot]], Robert generally prefers to freak out by throwing up his hands and [[{{Angrish}} letting out an exasperated yell]].) Now has its own imitator following it directly on the same network, ''Series/RestaurantStakeout''.



* BigOMG: Robert's reaction upon learning that the chef at Frankie's in Three Rivers, Michigan cooks pizza with ''raw beef''.
* BlatantLies: Like ''Series/KitchenNightmares'', when someone says the kitchen's cleaned regularly or that lots of people come in for some dish Robert's just slagged. Robert actually [[WhatTheHellHero calls one of the owners on this]] when she claims that people come just to eat the mac'n'cheese, and Robert asks her why, if people come to eat it, the restaurant's failing. She does a rather good impression of a fish trying to come up with a reply.
* BoredomMontage: Robert in one episode where he had the owner read the restaurant's [[LongList 180+ item menu]] aloud in order to hammer home the point of why an outsized menu is bad for customers. It took the owner over ''20 minutes'' to finish reading it.

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* BigOMG: Robert's reaction upon learning that the chef at Frankie's in Three Rivers, Michigan cooks cooked pizza with ''raw beef''.
* BlatantLies: Like ''Series/KitchenNightmares'', when someone says the kitchen's cleaned regularly or that lots of people come in for some dish Robert's just slagged. Robert actually [[WhatTheHellHero calls called one of the owners on this]] this]]: when she claims claimed that people come came to her restaurant just to eat the mac'n'cheese, and Robert asks asked her why, if people come came to eat it, the restaurant's restaurant was still failing. She does did a rather good impression of a fish trying to come up with a reply.
* BoredomMontage: Robert in one episode where he had the owner read the restaurant's [[LongList 180+ item menu]] aloud in order to hammer home the point of why an outsized menu is bad for customers. It took the owner over ''20 ''over 20 minutes'' to finish reading it.



* BrokeTheRatingScale: In the Sweet Tea (in Chapin, South Carolina) episode, Robert rates the liver pudding a -10 on a scale of 1 to 10.

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* BrokeTheRatingScale: In During the Sweet Tea (in Chapin, South Carolina) episode, Robert rates rated the liver pudding a -10 on a scale of 1 to 10.



* FollowTheLeader: Just as ''Series/RestaurantImpossible'' was inspired by ''Series/KitchenNightmares'', several other shows have adopted the same format of "celebrity X saves failing Y", including Creator/SpikeTV's ''Series/BarRescue'', the Travel Channel's ''Hotel Impossible'', and the Creator/FoodNetwork's own ''Series/RestaurantTakeover'', ''Series/RestaurantStakeout'', ''Series/MysteryDiners'', ''Series/RestaurantRedemption'' (focusing on Asian restaurants), and most recently, ''Series/SaveMyBakery''.



* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: One of the cooks at the Wagon Wheel, who is the owner's grandson, quits because he's lost his passion for working there. He's been habitually late -- by as much as 2 1/2 hours -- for his shifts. He'd gotten away with his constant tardiness because his grandmother wasn't able to separate family from the business (her daughter and granddaughter also work there; the daughter decided to stick around when faced with a similar decision while the granddaughter is studying business in college anticipating taking it over someday).

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* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: ScrewThisImOuttaHere:
**
One of the cooks at the Wagon Wheel, who is the owner's grandson, quits because he's lost his passion for working there. He's been habitually late -- by as much as 2 1/2 hours -- for his shifts. He'd gotten away with his constant tardiness because his grandmother wasn't able to separate family from the business (her daughter and granddaughter also work there; the daughter decided to stick around when faced with a similar decision while the granddaughter is studying business in college anticipating taking it over someday).
19th Jul '16 11:02:29 PM LadyNorbert
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Really, it pretty much is. There are a few differences... Robert has a much tighter time constraint, being about two days, versus the week Gordon Ramsay would typically spend at a restaurant. Robert also has a strict budget of $10,000 as opposed to Gordon spending either no money at all or as much money as the show's producers would allow him to. In the earlier seasons, Robert also didn't get ''quite'' as into helping the staff with their personal problems, apparently figuring if the restaurant started doing well the rest would sort itself out. Later seasons have changed this aspect, with Robert playing counsellor to the dysfunctional families/staff. And so, [[StrictlyFormula the formula is almost identical]]: the celebrity British chef shows up to a failing restaurant, remarking on the terrible decor when he does. He tries the food, and with near-certainty finds that absolutely everything is dreadful, and usually is either frozen or comes from cans. Upon checking the kitchen, he will almost invariably find it filthy and staffed by people who have either never cooked well, been strangled by incompetent managing, or simply lost their passion and drive. Robert tackles the problems, freaking out along the way. (As opposed to Gordon's [[ClusterFBomb swearing a blue streak]], Robert generally prefers to freak out by throwing up his hands and [[{{Angrish}} letting out an exasperated yell]].) Now has its own imitator following it directly on the same network, ''Series/RestaurantStakeout''.

Like the UK version and later seasons of the U.S. ''Kitchen Nightmares'', each episode ends with a short epilogue of how the restaurant was doing after the episode. These are usually rather vague, though, often merely saying that business is "on the mend" or somesuch, or that the restaurant closed (but not why). The honesty of these is somewhat questionable. One example is the Sweet Tea Restaurant, which according to online reviews went back to having bad service and jacked up their prices ''the day after'' Robert left, soon went to a buffet, and eventually closed, none of which is mentioned in the original ending blurb or edited in reruns. Eventually, the epilogues were replaced by pointers to the website, which usually contains follow-up interviews with the owners along with a longer update. For what it's worth, Robert himself has said their success rate is around 75%.

to:

Really, it pretty much is. There are a few differences... Robert has a much tighter time constraint, being about two days, versus the week Gordon Ramsay would typically spend at a restaurant. Robert also has a strict budget of $10,000 as opposed to Gordon spending either no money at all or as much money as the show's producers would allow him to.allow. In the earlier seasons, Robert also didn't get ''quite'' as into helping the staff with their personal problems, apparently figuring if the restaurant started doing well the rest would sort itself out. Later seasons have changed this aspect, with Robert playing counsellor counselor to the dysfunctional families/staff. And so, [[StrictlyFormula the formula is almost identical]]: the celebrity British chef shows up to a failing restaurant, remarking on the terrible decor when he does. He tries the food, and with near-certainty finds that absolutely everything is dreadful, and usually is either frozen or comes from cans. Upon checking the kitchen, he will almost invariably find it filthy and staffed by people who have either never cooked well, been strangled by incompetent managing, or simply lost their passion and drive. Robert tackles the problems, freaking out along the way. (As opposed to Gordon's [[ClusterFBomb swearing a blue streak]], Robert generally prefers to freak out by throwing up his hands and [[{{Angrish}} letting out an exasperated yell]].) Now has its own imitator following it directly on the same network, ''Series/RestaurantStakeout''.

Like the UK version and later seasons of the U.S. ''Kitchen Nightmares'', each episode ends with a short epilogue of how the restaurant was doing after the episode. These are usually rather vague, though, often merely saying that business is "on the mend" or somesuch, some such, or that the restaurant closed (but not why). The honesty of these is somewhat questionable. One example is the Sweet Tea Restaurant, which according to online reviews went back to having bad service and jacked up their prices ''the day after'' Robert left, soon went to a buffet, and eventually closed, none of which is mentioned in the original ending blurb or edited in reruns. Eventually, the epilogues were replaced by pointers to the website, which usually contains follow-up interviews with the owners along with a longer update. For what it's worth, Robert himself has said their success rate is around 75%.



* ICallItVera: Robert refers to his sledgehammer as "Robert's Rabble-Rouser".



* ICallItVera: Robert refers to his sledgehammer as "Robert's Rabble-Rouser".



** The "chefs" at both Sweet Tea of Chapin, South Carolina; and Salt Works II of Wilmington, North Carolina made everything (and we mean ''everything'') from cans and mixes. Robert had to spend parts of both episodes showing them how to make basic stuff like chicken stock and white gravy, because they didn't know how. Of course, their reliance on cans and mixes had rendered the food both expensive and tasteless. Robert even had to tell a proprietor of Sweet Tea that a drinkable "Ginger Iced Tea" does ''not'' include whole pieces of raw ginger in the glass!

to:

** The "chefs" at both Sweet Tea of (of Chapin, South Carolina; Carolina) and Salt Works II of (of Wilmington, North Carolina Carolina) made everything (and - and we mean ''everything'') ''everything'' - from cans and mixes. Robert had to spend parts of both episodes showing them how to make basic stuff like chicken stock and white gravy, because they didn't know how. Of course, their reliance on cans and mixes had rendered the food both expensive and tasteless. Robert even had to tell a proprietor of Sweet Tea that a drinkable "Ginger Iced Tea" does ''not'' include whole pieces of raw ginger in the glass!



** Subverted at Mamma Lucrezia's. The customers enjoy the food, and Robert said that Maria's pizza was among the best he's ever had in his life. The service is reliable and fast. The restaurant's decor is not great, but at least clean and acceptable. The location is a busy main road. This puzzles Robert deeply as he initially fails to find a reason the restaurant is failing. [[spoiler:The reason is because the owner's brother, Mike, had driven a wedge between her and her sister and insulting their customers from across the street--in other words, they were sabotaged and demoralized.]]

to:

** Subverted at Mamma Lucrezia's. The customers enjoy the food, and Robert said that Maria's pizza was among the best he's ever had in his life. The service is reliable and fast. The restaurant's decor is not great, but at least clean and acceptable. The location is a busy main road. This puzzles Robert deeply as he initially fails to find a reason the restaurant is failing. [[spoiler:The reason is because the owner's brother, Mike, had driven a wedge between her and her their sister and ''and'' was insulting their customers from across the street--in street -- in other words, they were sabotaged and demoralized.]]



** While both physically and mentally intimidating, Robert is quite friendly with children (even if they're disruptive to the dining experience). Also, see the Christmas episode. It's this for the owners as well, as he really does want to help the restaurant succeed, and acting the way he does is the only way he can make enough of an impression in only two days to stand a chance of effecting lasting change.

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** While both physically and mentally intimidating, Robert is quite friendly with children (even if they're disruptive to the dining experience). Also, see the Christmas episode. It's He's this for the owners as well, as he really does want to help the restaurant succeed, and acting the way he does is the only way he can make enough of an impression in only two days to stand a chance of effecting lasting change.



** This has cropped up in a few episodes. Oddly grandchildren seem to be the more common recipients of this than children.
* NeverMyFault: Many restaurant owners refuse to accept the issues of the restaurant as their fault, instead blaming them on the staff or other circumstances. For example, the owner of Paliani's has a tantrum as she complains that the staff should just accept their jobs and stop complaining, and is outright offended that she has to take her two-year-old son elsewhere. The issue is that A) everyone agreed that she took ''no'' leadership, causing mayhem in the kitchen, and B) her son Nico was loud, disruptive, and an annoyance to the customers, mostly because she left him completely unattended.

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** This has cropped up in a few episodes. Oddly Oddly, grandchildren seem to be the more common recipients of this than children.
* NeverMyFault: Many restaurant owners refuse to accept the issues of the restaurant as their fault, instead blaming them on the staff or other circumstances. For example, the owner of Paliani's has a tantrum as she complains that the staff should just accept their jobs and stop complaining, and is outright offended that she has to take her two-year-old son elsewhere. The issue is that A) everyone agreed that she took had ''no'' leadership, leadership skills, causing mayhem in the kitchen, and B) her son Nico was loud, disruptive, and an annoyance to the customers, mostly because she left him completely unattended.



* OhCrap: The looks on the design team's faces when Robert grabbed a sledgehammer and put a large hole in a wall he wanted removed, and that they'd told him was full of plumbing and electrical equipment. One designer actually ''screamed''- understandably, though.

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* OhCrap: The looks on the design team's faces when Robert grabbed a sledgehammer and put a large hole in a wall he wanted removed, and that they'd told him was full of plumbing and electrical equipment. One designer actually ''screamed''- ''screamed'' - understandably, though.



* Retool: Starting in Season 12 the show changed format, with Robert & co. "ambushing" owners by showing up to the restaurant unannounced.

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* Retool: {{Retool}}: Starting in Season 12 the show changed format, with Robert & co. "ambushing" owners by showing up to the restaurant unannounced.



** This has happened more than once, especially for servers/staff very low on the totem pole, have already decided that they're not cut out for the industry long before Robert ever shows up or just doing the job for supplemental income and decide that Robert's berating or putting up with the restaurant's poor management just isn't worth sticking around for. Since these low-level people aren't the type of staff the show's going to feature or interview individually, it's mostly noticeable by paying attention to which faces disappear between Day 1 and when everybody gathers for the Big Reveal. Comparing the episode with the restaurant's "About" or "who's who" web page if available will often reveal this too.

to:

** This has happened more than once, especially for servers/staff very low on the totem pole, have already decided that they're not cut out for the industry long before Robert ever shows up or just doing the job for supplemental income and decide that Robert's berating or putting up with the restaurant's poor management just isn't worth sticking around for. Since these low-level people aren't the type of staff the show's going to feature or interview individually, it's mostly noticeable by paying attention to which faces disappear between Day 1 and when everybody gathers for the Big Reveal. Comparing the episode with the restaurant's "About" or "who's who" web page page, if available available, will often reveal this too.



* SiblingRivalry: Mamma Lucrezia's was getting torn apart by Maria and Stefania, two sisters and co-owners who had different ideas of how to run the place. On top of that, their brother Mike opened a restaurant across the street seemignly solely to spite them.

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* SiblingRivalry: Mamma Lucrezia's was getting torn apart by Maria and Stefania, two sisters and co-owners who had different ideas of how to run the place. On top of that, their brother Mike opened a restaurant across the street seemignly street, something he apparently did solely to spite them.



* SocialSemiCircle: If there are two or more people Robert wants to have a private chat with, they will collectively occupy three-quarters of a table's perimeter with the camera occupying the fourth.

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* SocialSemiCircle: If there are two or more people with whom Robert wants to have a private chat with, chat, they will collectively occupy three-quarters of a table's perimeter with the camera occupying the fourth.



** The owner of Rascal's in New Castle, Delaware, who had an obvious hoarding problem. Robert worked with him, dunged out his horrid back patio and spent thousands to get his disgusting kitchen properly cleaned. [[UngratefulBastard The owner responded by telling local media that Irvine had planted fake mouse droppings in the kitchen]] (while not bothering to deny the ''thirteen'' dead mice Robert's cleaning crew found). Several months later, the hoarding problem returned and the Health Department shut the place down.
** There are four owners of Scrimmage's, a restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware, only one of whom is at the restaurant more than once per week. Two of the others are simply investors and the last an accountant, under the impression that if they just throw enough money at the restaurant, everything should fix itself. The accountant was somehow not keeping track of how much money was going in and out of the restaurant and was given advice from Robert, of whom accounting is far from his best talents, on how to do so--prior, he was simply guesstimating. By the end of the episode, the lesson learned from the investors? Visit the restaurant once per week and [[ObstructiveBureaucrat have more meetings]]. The owner who was at the restaurant every day (and had been before Robert showed up) was the only one who learned any cooking or serving techniques.

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** The owner of Rascal's in New Castle, Delaware, who had an obvious hoarding problem. Robert worked with him, dunged out his horrid back patio and spent thousands to get his disgusting kitchen properly cleaned. [[UngratefulBastard The owner responded by telling local media that Irvine had planted fake mouse droppings in the kitchen]] (while not bothering to deny the ''thirteen'' dead mice Robert's cleaning crew found). Several months later, the hoarding problem returned and the Health Department shut the place down.
** There are four owners of Scrimmage's, a restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware, only one of whom is at the restaurant more than once per week. Two of the others are simply investors and the last an accountant, under the impression that if they just throw enough money at the restaurant, everything should fix itself. The accountant was somehow not keeping track of how much money was going in and out of the restaurant and was given advice from Robert, of for whom accounting is far from his best talents, on how to do so--prior, so; prior, he was simply guesstimating. By the end of the episode, the lesson learned from by the investors? Visit the restaurant once per week and [[ObstructiveBureaucrat have more meetings]]. The owner who was at the restaurant every day (and had been before Robert showed up) was the only one who learned any cooking or serving techniques.



** ''Wedding Impossible'' also qualifies for this designation - Robert took charge of the arrangements for his own wedding, to professional wrestler Wrestling/GailKim.

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** ''Wedding Impossible'' also qualifies for this designation - Robert took charge of the arrangements for his own wedding, to professional wrestler Wrestling/GailKim. It was both beautiful and entertaining; plus, fans got to see Robert visit with his two daughters, who flew to America to be their new stepmother's bridal attendants.



* WellDoneSonGuy: From Country Cow, Kerry's negative faults turn out to center almost entirely around him attempting to erase the guilt from his now-deceased father's upbringing. Growing up, his father was always MovingTheGoalposts with working around the farm--any amount of effort Kerry made, his father rejected it and made him work harder. This turned him into a workaholic and an introvert, spending his days at his restaurant trying to do as much of it as he could by himself and furious that other people don't step in to help him without him having to tell them. He ''really'' started feeling bad when he was unable to attend his father's funeral and had since decorated the interior with various keepsakes of his father's.

to:

* WellDoneSonGuy: From Country Cow, Kerry's negative faults turn out to center almost entirely around him attempting to erase the guilt from the way his now-deceased father's upbringing. father raised him. Growing up, his father was always MovingTheGoalposts with working around the farm--any farm; any amount of effort Kerry made, his father rejected would reject it and made make him work harder. This turned him into a workaholic and an introvert, spending his days at his restaurant trying to do as much of it as he could by himself and furious that other people don't step in to help him without him having to tell them. He ''really'' started feeling bad when he was unable to attend his father's funeral and had since decorated the interior with various keepsakes of his father's.
29th May '16 9:00:00 AM RaiderDuck
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Added DiffLines:

** A liquor-infused variation of this with the proprietress of Cray Eatery: She had enjoyed infused liquors while visiting bars in southeast Asia and had done the same thing in her bar, except her "infusions" consisted of putting food items like garlic and rosemary into a big container of liquor and letting them sit there for YEARS at a time. Even her employees thought they tasted disgusting. When Robert emptied out the containers, most of the added ingredients had long since rotted and/or grown moldy (consumer-strength liquor retards mold growth but does not prevent it). Part of Robert's upgrades consisted of showing her how to properly infuse flavors into liquor and store the resulting concoctions.
5th Mar '16 10:19:52 AM KevinKlawitter
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* Retool: Starting in Season 12 the show changed format, with Robert & co. "ambushing" owners by showing up to the restaurant unannounced.
15th Feb '16 4:35:54 PM Gimere
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Really, it pretty much is. There are a few differences... Robert has a much tighter time constraint, being about two days, versus the week Gordon Ramsay would typically spend at a restaurant. Robert also has a strict budget of $10,000 as opposed to Gordon spending either no money at all or as much money as the show's producers would allow him to. In the earlier seasons, Robert also didn't get ''quite'' as into helping the staff with their personal problems, apparently figuring if the restaurant started doing well the rest would sort itself out. Later seasons have changed this aspect, with Robert playing counsellor to the dysfunctional families/staff. And so, [[StrictlyFormula the formula is almost identical]]: the celebrity British chef shows up to a failing restaurant, remarking on the terrible decor when he does. He tries the food, and with near-certainty finds that absolutely everything is dreadful, and usually is either frozen or comes from cans. Upon checking the kitchen, he will almost invariably find it filthy and staffed by people who have either never cooked well, been strangled by incompetent managing, or simply lost their passion and drive. Robert tackles the problems, freaking out along the way. (As opposed to Gordon's [[ClusterFBomb swearing a blue streak]], Robert generally prefers to freak out by throwing up his hands and letting out an exasperated yell.) Now has its own imitator following it directly on the same network, ''Series/RestaurantStakeout''.

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Really, it pretty much is. There are a few differences... Robert has a much tighter time constraint, being about two days, versus the week Gordon Ramsay would typically spend at a restaurant. Robert also has a strict budget of $10,000 as opposed to Gordon spending either no money at all or as much money as the show's producers would allow him to. In the earlier seasons, Robert also didn't get ''quite'' as into helping the staff with their personal problems, apparently figuring if the restaurant started doing well the rest would sort itself out. Later seasons have changed this aspect, with Robert playing counsellor to the dysfunctional families/staff. And so, [[StrictlyFormula the formula is almost identical]]: the celebrity British chef shows up to a failing restaurant, remarking on the terrible decor when he does. He tries the food, and with near-certainty finds that absolutely everything is dreadful, and usually is either frozen or comes from cans. Upon checking the kitchen, he will almost invariably find it filthy and staffed by people who have either never cooked well, been strangled by incompetent managing, or simply lost their passion and drive. Robert tackles the problems, freaking out along the way. (As opposed to Gordon's [[ClusterFBomb swearing a blue streak]], Robert generally prefers to freak out by throwing up his hands and [[{{Angrish}} letting out an exasperated yell.yell]].) Now has its own imitator following it directly on the same network, ''Series/RestaurantStakeout''.






* AsianRudeness: Robert ran headfirst into this at Spicy Bar & Grill, where the Jenny and Natalie made snarky, defiant remarks at Robert--at least until Robert forced the owners to fire Jenny, which got Natalie in line.

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* AsianRudeness: Robert ran headfirst into this at Spicy Bar & Grill, where the employees Jenny and Natalie made snarky, defiant remarks at Robert--at least until Robert forced the owners to fire Jenny, which got Natalie in line.



** Filthy kitchens. [[CatchPhrase "YOU'RE GONNA KILL SOMEONE!"]] In the El Bistro episode, he was so outraged at the sheer filth of the entire restaurant - which was just about as bad as Rascals or [=McShane's=] - that he was literally on the verge of walking out and refusing to do the mission.

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** Filthy kitchens. [[CatchPhrase "YOU'RE GONNA KILL SOMEONE!"]] In the El Bistro episode, he was so outraged at the sheer filth of the entire restaurant - which was just about as bad as Rascals or [=McShane's=] - that he was literally on the verge of [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere walking out and refusing to do the mission.mission]].



* BoredomMontage: Robert in one episode where he had the owner read the restaurant's [[LongList 180+ item menu]] aloud in order to hammer home the point of why an outsized menu is bad for customers. Reading it took the owner over ''20 minutes''.

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* BoredomMontage: Robert in one episode where he had the owner read the restaurant's [[LongList 180+ item menu]] aloud in order to hammer home the point of why an outsized menu is bad for customers. Reading it It took the owner over ''20 minutes''.minutes'' to finish reading it.



* {{Catchphrase}}: Robert has a few:

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* {{Catchphrase}}: Robert has a few:{{Catchphrase}}:



* ChefOfIron: Robert is a Royal Navy veteran. On top of it all, he's [[HeroicBuild buffed and cut enough to look like he could kick your ass with ease]].

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* ChefOfIron: Robert is a Royal Navy veteran. On top of it all, he's [[HeroicBuild buffed and cut enough enough]] to look like he could kick your ass with ease]].ease.



* {{Deconstruction}}: Mama Della's New York Pizzeria seems to be what would happen if there was a ''real'' [[Series/{{Seinfeld}} Soup Nazi]][[note]]The Soup Nazi in ''Seinfeld'' is, in fact, based on a real eatery, but it was exaggerated for the show; Mama Della's embodies those exaggerations[[/note]]--the owner's drop-of-a-hat temper, his inflexibility (bad for pizza when you cannot customize, ignoring even health or religious reasons), and his ControlFreak personality scares away most of his potential customers and caused his son to resent him so much that the two split apart as mutual enemies. His restaurant wound up struggling because he was unable to compete with pizzerias that have popped up more recently offering better service and because he has been repeatedly slammed online for his attitude problems. His staff has also dwindled as they could not put up with him as their boss, leaving him doing most of the work by himself (and, being one person, the dining area is left dusty and dingy). His food also used to be good, but they've taken a nosedive due to a combination of pride and lack of drive.

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* {{Deconstruction}}: Mama Della's New York Pizzeria seems to be what would happen if there was a ''real'' [[Series/{{Seinfeld}} Soup Nazi]][[note]]The Nazi]][[note]]While the Soup Nazi in ''Seinfeld'' is, in fact, ''is'' based on a real eatery, but it was exaggerated for the show; Mama Della's embodies those exaggerations[[/note]]--the owner's drop-of-a-hat temper, his inflexibility (bad for pizza when you cannot customize, ignoring even health or religious reasons), and his ControlFreak personality scares away most of his potential customers and caused his son to resent him so much that the two split apart as mutual enemies. His restaurant wound up struggling because he was unable to compete with pizzerias that have popped up more recently offering better service and because he has been repeatedly slammed online for his attitude problems. His staff has also dwindled as they could not put up with him as their boss, leaving him doing most of the work by himself (and, being one person, the dining area is left dusty and dingy). His food also used to be good, but they've taken a nosedive due to a combination of pride and lack of drive.



* DysfunctionalFamily: The La Susas at Mike La Susa's--Mike is supposed to be the owner and head chef but has his hands tied by his mother Mary, who runs the place from behind the scenes with an iron fist while Mike's father Pat is Mary's YesMan. Mary hates having any changes to the menu and resists everything Robert tries to propose. Both of them threaten Mike on a daily basis of shutting the restaurant down if he goes against their ways. Due to years of this psychological abuse, Mary and Pat had pulverized out of Mike his confidence and his passion for cooking (he had previously gone to culinary school and was an executive chef before this restaurant). Robert's only way of solving this restaurant's problems was to separate Mike from Mary and Pat, as there was no way Robert could rekindle Mike with his parents present.

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* DysfunctionalFamily: DysfunctionalFamily:
**
The La Susas at Mike La Susa's--Mike is supposed to be the owner and head chef but has his hands tied by his mother Mary, who runs the place from behind the scenes with an iron fist while Mike's father Pat is Mary's YesMan. Mary hates having any changes to the menu and resists everything Robert tries to propose. Both of them threaten Mike on a daily basis of shutting the restaurant down if he goes against their ways. Due to years of this psychological abuse, Mary and Pat had pulverized out of Mike his confidence and his passion for cooking (he had previously gone to culinary school and was an executive chef before this restaurant). Robert's only way of solving this restaurant's problems was to separate Mike from Mary and Pat, as there was no way Robert could rekindle Mike with his parents present.



* IncompetenceInc: Good Lord, how do they even stay in business?

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* IncompetenceInc: Good Lord, how do they even some of these places stay in business?



* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: While both physically and mentally intimidating, Robert is quite friendly with children (even if they're disruptive to the dining experience). Also, see the Christmas episode. It's this for the owners as well, as he really does want to help the restaurant succeed, and acting the way he does is the only way he can make enough of an impression in only two days to stand a chance of effecting lasting change.
** Robert ran into two cases at the Green Berets Cafe: Mikki, the owner of the restaurant; and the colonel, who oversaw the premises the restaurant was on. Both of them were rather frosty to Robert for the same reason: They were afraid the ''Restaurant Impossible'' crew would not pay the Green Berets proper respect. Robert earned the colonel's respect by attending the following morning's physical training exercises as a demonstration of his dedication, and Mikki was overjoyed that Lynn, the interior designer, put up a monument in the corner dedicated to the Green Berets who have trained in the area, past and present. For the case of Mikki, it was not entirely clear why she disliked Robert so much until she saw the monument.

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* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
**
While both physically and mentally intimidating, Robert is quite friendly with children (even if they're disruptive to the dining experience). Also, see the Christmas episode. It's this for the owners as well, as he really does want to help the restaurant succeed, and acting the way he does is the only way he can make enough of an impression in only two days to stand a chance of effecting lasting change.
** Robert ran into two cases of these at the Green Berets Cafe: Mikki, the owner of the restaurant; and the colonel, who oversaw the premises the restaurant was on. Both of them were rather frosty to Robert for the same reason: They were afraid the ''Restaurant Impossible'' crew would not pay the Green Berets proper respect. Robert earned the colonel's respect by attending the following morning's physical training exercises as a demonstration of his dedication, and Mikki was overjoyed that Lynn, the interior designer, put up a monument in the corner dedicated to the Green Berets who have trained in the area, past and present. For the case of Mikki, it was not entirely clear why she disliked Robert so much until she saw the monument.



* SpiritualSuccessor: Of ''Series/DinnerImpossible''
* TooDumbToLive: This, and IncompetenceInc.

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* SpiritualSuccessor: Of ''Series/DinnerImpossible''
''Series/DinnerImpossible''.
* TooDumbToLive: This, and IncompetenceInc.TooDumbToLive:



* VerySpecialEpisode: One year, at Christmastime, Robert's team renovated not a commercial restaurant but the struggling kitchen of a homeless shelter, more than doubling the number of meals they would be able to provide to the local needy.

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* VerySpecialEpisode: VerySpecialEpisode:
**
One year, at Christmastime, Robert's team renovated not a commercial restaurant but the struggling kitchen of a homeless shelter, more than doubling the number of meals they would be able to provide to the local needy.
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