List of memorable people from Kitchen Nightmares.
Gordon RamsayTropes pertaining to Gordon Ramsay go here.
Notable Restaurant Personnel
The head chef of the restaurant.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Judging from her various internet meltdowns, high turn-over rates and countless other delusional transgressions, some believe that she has Schizophrenia, or at the very least untreated Bipolar Disorder.
- Bad Boss: Holy shit, yes. No one is safe when Amy is out on the warpath.
- Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: "You little weenie! Keep walking!"
- Body Language: Amy clearly can't hide hers. Ramsay even calls her on her shaking her head "no" when he informs them he is here to help them. She also keeps shaking her head "no" or rolls her eyes every time she is given criticism.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the episode, we even get to see the crew tearing down. Amy herself makes it clear she knows she's being televised.
- The Caligula: Lets face it, Mean Boss is an understatement for them since their abuse is not limited to their employees, it extends to their customers where they even threaten to send the police on them, just to have their way.
- Can't Take Criticism: Amy, Amy, Amy. Even suggesting to Amy that she can't take criticism is enough to go on a tirade.
- Catchphrase: Amy has "(Insert food item that Ramsay complains about) I have customers telling me it is the best (insert food) they have ever eaten!" Also "I've never had a problem with that (insert food)" and "They're just not used to eating food that doesn't come from a can".
- Death Glare: Holy shit.
- Entitled Bastard: Amy seems to fully believe that it was her destiny to be a cook, and that this automatically means all her food is excellent. People on Yelp, Reddit, and Facebook however, hold a radically different opinion. Actually, the entire damn Internet seems to believe just the opposite, really.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Amy could not understand why her server was crying after she just fired her for no good reason.
- Evil Chef: Amy attempts to poison one of her customers after he dares to complain about his meal.
- False Rape Accusation: After the show Amy starting to tell everyone that during the shooting Gordon would attempt to sexually assault her and Sammy stated this was the "real reason" they "kicked him out". Unusual for this trope though, absolutely nobody believed them. Considering literally everything though, this makes sense.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: She goes berserk even if a server asks her if she's sure which table needs to be served.
- Insane Troll Logic: She tells Gordon Ramsay that her staff don't deserve tips because she doesn't believe that they work just as hard as her husband does...all while giving her staff minimal work, prohibiting the more qualified staff workers from even using the till as part of their job, and leaving Samy to work on his own outside the kitchen.
- There's also how Amy insists on cooking food for one customer at a time, which becomes the main reason why so many of her customers are left waiting for more than an hour of service. When they complain that they've been waiting for so long without food? Amy assumes that "they're full of shit" and are really just there to stir up trouble.
- Jerkass: To use the C word would usually be considered overkill, but for Amy it's pretty much the best description for her. Plus if you take a look at her Kick the Dog section you will suddenly understand why the majority of the Internet is hating her guts if they aren't laughing at her expense.
- It's All About Me: Not enough words for how well this describes her.
- Kick the Dog:
- The owners had a customer who, after waiting over an hour for a single pizza, decided to leave rather than wait any further. As the customer was on the way out the door, they demanded that they pay for the pizza they never got. Not only that, they hurled abuse towards him, told him to leave, and even threatened to call the police, simply because he dared to tell them that he's still waiting for his order.
- Another customer had their food poisoned in the hopes that he would get hurt, as Amy proudly states.
- Worth mentioning that in Arizona, tampering with food and drink in an attempt to cause physical harm is a felony that can get you twenty years in prison. Great job admitting to this on camera, Amy!
- Not to mention that the owners admitted to stealing the servers' tips for themselves.
- After firing a worker for asking a question, Amy tells her again after working hours that she can go. The girl tries to leave and Amy tells her to come back. The reason? To tell her that she's not allowed to come back and is fired. Ouch.
- After firing Katy because of her 'poor attitude' (which was actually asking a simple harmless question), Amy picked up the habit of following Katy's name with 'little' to demean her ever since.
- Constantly talked back at Gordon Ramsey when he made it clear that he wanted to help her business. After the episode, she then made a False Rape Accusation towards him with her husband and continued to speak ill of him in the follow up episode.
- Mood-Swinger: Amy can start laughing, crying, and flying into a rage at the drop of a hat, and often shifts between extreme moods at breakneck pace.
- Never My Fault: Perhaps the absolute worst case of this in the series; she had the nerve to suggest Ramsay left because "he knew they did not need his help" even after he condemned their inexcusable behavior towards their staff and customers.
- Nightmare Face: Hers is absolutely terrifying once she feels provoked; her thick eye liner just makes it even more unnerving.
- Psychopathic Man Child: Amy has the attitude of a spoiled teenager, calling everyone who (rightfully) disagrees with her "haters" and "bullies" and throws (often violent) temper tantrums when things don't go her way.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Amy's insanity was evident early in the episode when she was talking about her "haters" on Yelp. Ramsay wound up walking out of their restaurant because they would not listen to him. At the start of the episode, Amy and Samy praise Ramsay for his years of experience, and by the end, they are talking down to him. Chef Ramsay is World-class, has twenty years experience of being a head chef, he's got at least 14 Michelin stars, and they believe they are so much better than him. This is a textbook example of Small Name, Big Ego.
- Straw Feminist: Amy shows some signs of this in the Bonus Material revealed in "Return to Amy's Baking Company". She gives the reason she doesn't have any men in the kitchen is because she views them all as being too egoistical, being lazy, or being perverts, which she happily shares to Gordon Ramsay, without any realization that she's basically insulting him right to his face.
- Tranquil Fury: Let's face it, she's got a lot of anger constantly but keeps it low key to a certain extent. Of course, until someone presses her buttons or even so much as talks to her, then she erupts.
- Villainous Breakdown: Amy's sanity slippage can be seen throughout the entire episode. At first she is sweet and cheerful, but as the show goes on she gets more and more irritated to the point at the end of the episode it looked as if her eyes were about to pop out of her skull. One sign of this is her hair; it becomes steadily more unkempt as the episode progresses.
- You Are What You Hate: A completely irrational version. Amy refers to Katy as a 'poisonous little viper with a serious attitude problem', simply because she was asked "Are you sure?" by Katy when making sure that the orders were correct, all while completely unaware that those claims describe Amy herself perfectly.
The owner of the restaurant and Amy's husband.
- Henpecked Husband: Samy sometimes comes across as this, as he's reluctant to inform his wife about customers sending food back due to her inability to take criticism, and his attempted defense of Katie when his wife fired her for asking a question. Though he's significantly less sympathetic than most examples, given that he treats his servers like idiots while taking their tips, and harasses customers who don't like the food.
- Jerkass: He is prone to shouting obscenities at the top of his lungs when arguing with people - usually customers - and he takes tips for himself rather than let the waitresses have then, even saying that they don't deserve them. And of course, he enables his wife's even more outrageous behavior.
- Pet the Dog: To his credit, albeit very small, he does try to console a worker and calls out his wife for firing Katy over Katy simply asking Amy a question, which inadvertently elicits a childish tantrum as a response.
- Villainous Breakdown: Samy himself goes through one in the "Day Before" footage. When the first complaint comes in, he smugly dismisses the customer as an ignorant twat who doesn't know what he likes to eat. As the complaints and rejections pile up, however, he gets increasingly erratic and angry, culminating in him screaming a Cluster F-Bomb at a customer and almost getting into a fistfight with said customer.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: He's of Israeli descent, but it seems to be mixed with some Italian as well.
- Yes-Man: Samy is one to his wife: despite the fact that she can't really cook and the business is failing, he can't bring himself to ever criticize Amy or pass along customer complaints. This has only fueled her self-delusions, as she is able to easily claim that no-one has ever complained about the food to her. From a Certain Point of View she may be right, as Samy tends to do his utmost to prevent those comments from reaching her, and Gordon even calls them out on this in the additional footage in "Return to Amy's Baking Company".
The owner of the restaurant.
- Cutting Corners: Zigzagged. The restaurant is under financial difficulties, which led Marc to fire the head chef and cook the dishes himself, along with his staff. The entire restaurant shows this attitude as well, with poor decor and wasted ingredients on bland food, but Marc's own inexperience is also damaging the business even further. Which means that while the owner is trying to save as much money as he can, he's also letting a lot of it become useless due to the subpar service. Even Gordon's way of convincing him and his wife to step up to the plate is to point out the financial losses the eatery's going through thanks to his waste of ingredients in their dirty, unkempt freezer.
- Only Sane Man: Unlike his wife or brother-in-law, he doesn't fight with Gordon or defend himself for very long over the poor decisions they made and listens.
Marc's wife and the co-owner.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: For someone who claims her husband needs help running the restaurant and that she wants to help him, her attitude certainly shows different from it. The introduction shows the staff cleaning the place while Lisa is calmly looking at her phone sat on a table, she often flat-out abandons service to head down to the beach, and she even has the audacity to make a nationalistic comment at Gordon's expense as he evaluates their dishes.
Lisa's brother, the bartender for Barefoot Bob's.
- Aesop Amnesia: Gordon points out one of the problems with the restaurant being the Tiki room decor, which he promptly changes with the revamp, as well as changing the menu to something slightly upper-class to draw in more customers from the neighboring towns. Robby objects to the changes and argues with Gordon over them, but seems to relent by the end. Come the aftermath, Barefoot Bob's goes back to the tiki decor and old menu, and is eventually forced to shut down, even despite Ramsay warning him that this would happen if they returned to the old ways.
- Skewed Priorities: He cares more for the potential loss of their average customers than the fact that clearly said usual customers weren't making them enough money for most of the year. Gordon has to step in and remind him it's not his restaurant and that if he doesn't help out then it goes under and his sister's marriage could be ruined.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: His opinion of the new decor once Ramsay reforms the restaurant. He complains out loud that the bar has become a "hoity toity little yacht club" and that the changes have cost them their average consumer base of drivers and beach-goers who come to watch sports on their TV.Robby: We get people drunk and we feed people, we're not a five-star restaurant!
The restaurant's owner and head chef.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Unlike most of the other Pointy-Haired Boss owners on the show, Paul actually was a technically proficient cook in his own right, and after some pushing managed to create a fresh pasta dish that really impressed Gordon. In addition to not really being able to run a brigade, however, he refused to open the restaurant for lunch services, effectively cutting his income in half. With that attitude, it was no surprise that the restaurant didn't last until the revisited episode.
- Complexity Addiction: Insisted on serving complex, multi-course meals that were more suited to a Manhattan restaurant than one in small-town New Jersey, and didn't react too kindly to Gordon's suggestions to serve simpler meals.
- Jerkass: While he was generally quite respectful toward Gordon, he could be much more short-tempered with his restaurant's staff. Sharyn seemed to get it the worst, despite being clearly the most competent person working there.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Got a low-grade one from Gordon right before he left, with Gordon making little secret of the fact that he considered Paul one of the worst owners he'd seen on the show, and based on his stubborn personality and how quickly the relaunch fell apart after Al bailed out, Gordon didn't think Paul could make the restaurant work. Which he ultimately couldn't.
Paul's sous chef.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After getting over-stressed in the relaunch night he walked out of the restaurant, managing to do it so subtly that it wasn't even caught on camera.
- The Silent Bob: Never actually said or did anything of note for most of the episode. Odds are the first time that most viewers actually knew he was supposed to be there was when it suddenly turned out he wasn't there.
The pastry chef (and occasional line cook) at Bazzini.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Not that Paul was entirely untalented, but Sharyn managed to produce consistently good dishes throughout the episode. By the time of the "revisited" episode she had left the restaurant and was now running a highly successful confectionery business, which Gordon visited in lieu of not being able to visit the since-closed restaurant.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While she stuck around until the end of Gordon's visit, it was revealed in the epilogue that she had since quit the restaurant in order to set up her own business after falling out with Paul one time too many.
Owner of the restaurant.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Her chitlins. Good God, her chitlins. The look, smell, and taste were so foul that Ramsay ran off to vomit.
- Dissonant Laughter: Had a very bad habit of this, showing virtually no concern for the very legitimate observations Gordon and her staff bring forward in the kitchen.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Was a highly successful caterer before founding Blackberry's.
- MayDecember Romance: Was engaged to her general manager James, who was thirty years old at the time while Shelly was well into her forties. Gordon notes how young he looked and was shocked at their engagement.
- Never My Fault: Tried to accuse Gordon of sabotage when he found a dead mouse by the front door.
- No Indoor Voice
- Pride: Refused to see that there was anything wrong with her food, and was convinced that it was top quality despite evidence to the contrary.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Leaves in the middle of dinner service on relaunch night and refuses to acknowledge Gordon when he comes to say goodbye, openly disapproving of the changes made to her restaurant; she eventually comes around after he leaves, but letting him go without so much as a "Thank you" is still pretty dickish.
Shelly's mother, and the one responsible for Blackberry's dessert stand.
- Mama Bear: Does her damnedest to support her daughter's restaurant despite her age and financial troubles resulting from Shelly's poor practices.
- Only Sane Man: Takes every one of Gordon's criticisms seriously and becomes angry when Shelly tries to tune him out.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Delivers a simple yet epic one to Shelly when she becomes so hostile to Gordon's critiques that she tries to shut the restaurant down.
- Supreme Chef: Cooked most of the desserts at Blackberry's; Her red velvet cake was by far Gordon's favorite dish.
Blackberry's general manager and Shelly's fiancee.
- Kayfabe: He and Shelly accuse Gordon of this when a dead mouse is found at the restaurant's doorstep, claiming he and his crew planted it there to generate more conflict for the show. Gordon nearly stops the episode then and there, as he'll not help someone who calls him a liar for the sake of viewership.
- MayDecember Romance: Was engaged to Shelly at a mere thirty years of age.
- Yes-Man: Is this to Shelly when she accuses Gordon of planting a dead mouse in the front door. He eventually comes to his senses though.
One of the three owners of the Black Pearl, and easily the worst one.
- Bad Boss: Was highly ineffective at running his own restaurant, often butting heads with the staff and often letting his ego get in the way. Fittingly enough, the restaurant that followed in the wake of the Black Pearl's closing has proven much more successful.
- Blatant Lies: Anyone in the Black Pearl will say this is all he can say, such as his claim that the Canadian-bought lobster was actually from Maine. Gordon shot him down repeatedly for this.
- Establishing Character Moment: Besides what we see of the staff talking about him in the intro, he walks into the restaurant during Gordon's first visit with a pair of shades on and an absolutely smug walk towards him. Gordon takes that as the first sign to not trust him.
- Jerkass: He immediately derides Gordon on nearly every change and recommendation he makes to the restaurant.
- Never My Fault: Treats the closing of Black Pearl like it was Gordon's fault and that everything else had nothing to do with him. Even before this, he counters arguments against him by shifting the blame towards others and pointing out others' flaws.
- Smug Snake: Gordon's first impression of him is this, and he proves it true soon enough. Anytime he talks to Gordon or someone else with a complaint, he does it dismissively and with exceeding condescension, less like a manager and more like a politician, which Gordon mentions to his face. Even the customers aren't exempt from this, as his brief time as receptionist has him make unfunny jokes at one guy's name and just leave him to find his own table.
- Sore Loser: Unsurprisingly, his restaurant shuttered in spite of Gordon's intervention; half of his closing announcement consisted of him badmouthing Gordon, and wishing the worst for the man who attempted to help him.
- Ungrateful Bastard: The examples above are testament to this, not to mention selling the unique lobster tank Gordon donated to the place just to score a final quick buck.
The second of the three owners.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: He had the most interest in running the place properly, but his approach was still very hands-off and he didn't show up as often as necessary to do his job because of the constant disagreements between him and the other two owners. When Brian is dismissed and Ramsay starts leading them to take charge properly, he becomes slightly more competent in handling the restaurant and can actually expedite the dishes properly.
- Nice Guy: The staff speaks well of him, at least in comparison to the apathetic David and the inactive Brian, but he does take Gordon's advice to heart and does his best to show he can do things right.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is the most competent of the three owners and is the most reasonable with Gordon.
The last of the three owners, and the least active.
- The Load: Was singled out as the most ineffective of the three managers and thus was allowed to go back home on the night of relaunch while Gordon reevaluated his place there.
The owner of the restaurant.
- I Resemble That Remark!: Near the end of the episode, she accuses Tim of being a liar and a fantasist. Subsequently, she would claim through the press that she never did anything wrong running her restaurant, and that Tim was actually an actor who duped her into hiring him and then deliberately screwed up the restaurant so that Ramsay could come in and save it. Never mind the fact that she had admitted in the episode that she was already having trouble before Tim came along, and even if her claims were true, she'd be effectively admitting that she hired Tim without even bothering to check whether or not his references were legitimate.
- Never My Fault: To this day, she refuses to admit that Bonapartes' going under had anything to do with her management, and even threatened to sue Gordon and the show's producers for loss of earnings. Not only did that not happen, he successfully sued the paper that printed her side of the story for libel.
The restaurant's head chef.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Okay, "awesome" is probably being generous, but his dishes were really more suited to London rather than a working-class town in Yorkshire.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Judging by the Valentine's Day meal, he evidently can run a kitchen successfully when he's properly supervised and not using overly-complex recipes. Unfortunately, Sue proved far too hands-off, and within less than a week he'd fallen back to his previous lax standards, ultimately resulting in his being fired at the end of the revisit. Gordon still saw enough potential to offer him an internship in London, but Tim passed it up in favour of trying to get a job in TV.
- Lethal Chef: Managed to set the bar incredibly low for chefs who would subsequently give Gordon samples of their food, by serving up expired scallops which caused him (and Tim himself) to be sick.
- Self-Deprecation: After being fired, he said that it was unbelievable how stupid people can be. The director asked if he was referring to Sue, but he clarified that he was talking about himself.
- Skewed Priorities: On his trip to Leeds Market, he was evidently more interested in shopping for clothes and footwear until Gordon gave him a push towards the butchers' section.
- Small Name, Big Ego: A mild case; he was nowhere near as bad as a lot of the show's latter chefs in this regard, but at the start of the episode his ego clearly needed to be brought down a notch or two.
One of the owners of the restaurant.
- Abusive Parents: He's dismissive of Daniel, stealing $250,000 from his trust fund to open the restaurant.
- Bad Boss: Completely oblivious to the plights of his employees, especially Chef David, whose talent and ideas he ignores; and Daniel, who's on the verge of a breakdown due to the stress of operating Burger Kitchen.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: When he tries to cook his own burger to impress Ramsay (And one up his own head chef), it turns out to be no better than any of the other burgers on his menu, all of which are noted to be flavorless and improperly cooked when he's in command.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Averted. He mentions a couple of times that he had a poor relationship with his father because he "Didn't want to join his business". What he doesn't mention is that his father was Abe Saffron, who was a notorious Australian gangster known as "Mr. Sin". His businesses included strip clubs, gambling, and prostitution.
- Didn't Think This Through: His cluelessness about the culinary field was brutally evident in his burgers, and ultimately his ill-conceived business bit the dust in spite of Gordon's intervention.
- Epic Fail: Makes his own burger in an attempt to outdo his own chef, only for Ramsey to declare it hideous.
- Hypocrite: Alan treats his son and his fiancee like shit, yet in his book he describes his own father as a monster.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Prides himself as a "meat sculptor", but it's clear he knows nothing on how to prepare a proper burger, let alone an edible one.
- Never My Fault: Is totally oblivious as to the reason why Daniel is so resentful towards him even after admitting he stole his own son's money. When Gordon expresses a dislike of the burgers, he blames David even though he himself came up with the recipes. Finally, he is convinced the negative reviews from Yelp were some sort of orchestrated conspiracy to kill the business. Even after Gordon introduced him to some of these reviewers in person to set the record straight, Alan continued to blame them for the restaurant's struggles after Gordon left.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: He bounces between his native accent and a non-descript American accent.
- Skewed Priorities: He spent money on frozen wagyu beef because he thought it'd be give a better product. Ramsay tells him his priorities are wrong, because the fancy names doesn't mean it will necessarily make a better burger.
- Turn Out Like His Father: After Ramsay reads a transcript from his own book, Alan realises this is the case.
Alan's son and one of the owners of the restaurant.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: His parents don't support his relationship with his girlfriend, since she's someone who calls them out on their mistreatment of their son and general incompetence.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He acts indifferent and uncaring to what happens in the restaurant and seems constantly at the verge of a breakdown, but given his parents' attitude towards him and the business, this is entirely justifiable. Once he finally admits everything to Ramsay and they talk to his parents, he acts a lot more open and friendly towards him.
- Nice Hat: He constantly wears a trillby.
- Only Sane Man: Despite being slightly abrasive, Danny is the only one in his family who realizes that the restaurant is in deep trouble.
The restaurant's head chef during the first half of the two-parter.
- The Determinator: After getting fired, he refuses to leave the building until he's given a check covering all the wages he's owed.
- George Jetson Job Security: Makes an off-the-cuff threat to hit Daniel during the middle of service, and gets fired on the spot. Granted, he should have shown a lot more tact given what Daniel was going through, but it seems harsh to fire him just as he'd proved himself to actually be quite competent at his job.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He's got a pretty short fuse when it comes to dealing with the owners, especially Jen.
- Hidden Depths: When given the money to buy ingredients to make his own burger from scratch, he manages to produce one that really impresses Gordon. Sadly, he doesn't hold onto his job long enough to see it implemented in the kitchen.
- Ignored Expert: If Gordon's reaction to David's burger is anything to go by, he's a competent chef, but he's forbidden from implementing his own ideas by Alan, despite Alan's own recipes and methods being inexperienced and unpopular with customers.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He's not really approachable and his attitude can put some people off, but there's no denying he was a seriously competent chef when left to his own devices, and his complaints about the restaurant were all equally valid in face of how it was being run. But as pointed above, even if his "threat" towards Daniel wasn't serious, he should've shown a lot more professionalism given the situation.
- Name's the Same: His full name's David Blaine, the same as the magician, which he and Gordon lampshaded more than once.
- Actually, if you look at his Chef's Jacket, his full name is really John David Blaine, but he goes by David.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Finally becomes fed up with the owners and demands his paycheck before storming out.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He clearly thinks that he's this with the owners, if not necessarily the rest of the kitchen staff.
Alan's wife, Daniel's mother. Has a bone to pick with Chef David and will favor her husband's cooking.
- Abusive Parents: She goes along with her husband stealing money from their son and verbally abusing Daniel's girlfriend in front of him.
- Bad "Bad Acting": Coughs (or very poorly pretends to cough) after tasting Chef David's burger so that she can freely criticize it while praising her husband's burger.
- Bad Boss: Kept Chef David's paychecks on the backburner and constantly criticizes his food while praising her own husband's food... even after Gordon comes in and instatly declares David's burgers to be better. To say nothing of her employment and treatment of her own son, which follows the same beats as Alan.
- Catchphrase: "I'm 63 years old...", usually preceded or followed by laments about her problems with the restaurant or excuses as to why she behaves the way she does.
- Death Glare: She gives a brief, almost threatening look when Gordon tries David's burger and prefers over her husband's.
- Ignored Expert: As much as Yelpers can be called experts. She fell asleep while Gordon was presenting actual Yelpers to the family to show how they're actual people with actual complaints, and not a conspiracy against the restaurant.
- Never My Fault: Usually claims her old age is the reason why she doesn't do some things or tries to improve the restaurant or her own behavior.
- Playing the Victim Card: Also a common thing she does after bringing up her age again or complaining about Chef David.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Attempts to just get up and leave after Gordon Ramsay gives David props for his burger and dislikes Alan's recipes.
- Yes-Man: To Alan, which means any point Gordon has about the restaurant will be refuted by both Gen and her husband.
A line cook during the first half of the two-parter, who later gets a hasty promotion to head chef during the second half.
- Non-Indicative Name: While you might think from his nickname that he's a hot-tempered person, he was probably the calmest, most rational person at the restaurant. He also doesn't appear to be of Hispanic descent.
- You Are in Command Now: After David gets fired, he's installed as head chef just for the lack of any other readily-available candidate, and Daniel likely realising that they'd have trouble recruiting someone new due to the George Jetson Job Security of the position.
Terry and Carol
The husband and wife owners of Cafe 36.
- Can't Take Criticism: Terry got very aggravated when his head server Brian offered his rather unflattering opinion of Pinto and of Terry's management style, and told Brian not to go any further with it.
- Happily Married: The two have been together since high school and even in their situation their devotion to each other has never wavered.
- Took a Level in Badass: They acted on Gordon's advice to stay on top of what goes on in both the dining and especially the kitchen, after having been reluctant to take too much of a hands-on approach to how their individual chefs performed.
- Workaholic: Terry does much of the work in maintaining the restaurant, which has often left his employees short of work after service.
The head chef of Cafe 36.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Easily the most arrogant and unreliable member of the kitchen staff, with his terrible leadership leaving the waiting staff in a constant struggle to encourage the customers who had to wait unreasonably long times for their food.
- Insistent Terminology: Called all of the food he served "fresh frozen", which like with other chefs has never gone over well with Chef Ramsay. Pinto however was one of the worst offenders, feeling that the quality of the food remained the same regardless of its time spent in the fridge.
- Lazy Bum: To sum up how slow he was at service, one impatient customer joked that "I think they have to catch the shrimp first".Brian: Pinto has one speed, and that speed is "Fuck you".
- The Load: Was highly inefficient in the kitchen and often served subpar food; the head server thought so little of him that he told him to his face that he needed to be fired. Gordon was especially critical of his culinary abilities and constantly had him in his crosshairs. Unsurprisingly, he was finally let go from the restaurant the day after its relaunch.
- Never My Fault: He never saw the error of his poor work ethic and thus was reluctant to act on any of Gordon's input.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Was not intimidated by Ramsay and was very confident in his abilities; the staff however had no faith in his ability to lead the kitchen, only staying silent because Terry felt otherwise.
BrianThe head server at Cafe 36.
- Brutal Honesty: When confronted on the dysfunction of the kitchen, Brian said Pinto needed to be kicked out and that Terry needed to take a more hands-on role in the dining room. Terry warned him not to speak out of turn again.
- Only Sane Man: Was thoroughly frustrated by Pinto's incompetence and was the most honest about the situation in the restaurant. The fact that Pinto's inability to get the food out forced him into such a bad position with the customers is what prompts his outburst above.
BarneyThe sous chef, later head chef, of Cafe 36.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: He wasn't the best chef around, but he was easily more competent than Pinto and did his damnedest to keep things running as smoothly as possible in the kitchen.
Keith and Lisa
The husband and wife owners and "managers" of Cafe Tavolini.
- Abusive Parents: Keith regularly took his frustrations out on his stepson whenever he called him out on his unwillingness to work.
- Bad Boss: Neither did anything to hold up their end in managing the business, but Keith was easily the worse offender. The two had the nerve to order food from their own kitchen and eat it from the privacy of their van outside the restaurant during dinner service.
- Blatant Lies: Keith tells Gordon that he's usually on deck during the restaurant's seven-day work week. This didn't work however as his son had already told Ramsay in private that this was far from the truth.
- Didn't Think This Through: To say this of their decision to buy the cafe on the fly would be an understatement, to say the least, with neither of them having any prior experience in the restaurant industry; Lisa was a hairdresser by trade, and Keith owned a wine shop.
- Fat Bastard: Keith's a bit on the heavy side, and absolutely did not deserve all the help so graciously given to him by Gordon.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management
- Henpecked Husband: Considering his laziness and his disrespect towards his wife and staff, odds are you won't feel bad for him when his family and Gordon call him out for it.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Their decision to buy up the restaurant ultimately led to the end of not only their business, but of their marriage as well. To make matters worse, the family fell into foreclosure as their fortunes went under.
- Lazy Bum: Keith is a defining case of this, preferring to watch the activities of the restaurant via camera from the comfort of his couch at home and to sleep through the afternoon rather than have to show up and assume any of the responsibilities of the restaurant. Lisa openly hated having to step foot into the place, with both retreating to the solitude of their van while Gordon and the staff struggled to keep service going.
- The Load: Once again, Keith, so much so that his own general manager could not name one thing that Keith regularly oversaw in his own business.
- My God, What Have I Done?: This is their reaction when Gordon boards up their restaurant and forces them to see for themselves what will happen if they do not change their ways, and tearfully promise to adhere to whatever advice Gordon gives them. Sadly, the message didn't stick for long.
- Never My Fault: Keith never took responsibility for his restaurant's problems, constantly blaming his wife who at least made the effort to show up.
- Returning the Wedding Ring: As their troubles at the restaurant worsened, things got so bad between the two that Lisa seriously considered divorcing him altogether. Surely enough, when the restaurant failed, that's exactly what they did.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Probably the kindest thing that could be said about Keith considering what happened after Gordon left.
VanLisa's son and Keith's stepson, and a server at Cafe Tavolini.
- Brutal Honesty: Personally took Ramsay aside before he even stepped foot in the restaurant and told him of what kind of managers his parents really were, and was constantly calling out Keith for doing nothing to support his own business.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Having had to deal with his parents' constant neglect of the restaurant, he had to become this to keep the business afloat; That said, even with the odds stacked against him, he was clearly a far more competent manager than either Keith or his mother.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: He clearly was not close to his stepfather, and deeply resentful of how much he was neglecting the restaurant. Often it was Van who assumed much of the work when his parents retreated from the dining room. Ultimately his mother divorces Keith.
- Only Sane Man: Was constantly frustrated by his parents' laziness and arguing, and unlike them was full aware of what would happen if their family-owned business could not turn around. With his sister Joli, he did his damnedest to bring some sanity back to the restaurant.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives ones to his parents when he discovers they ordered dinner for themselves during service. Disgusted at their selfishness, he doesn't even bother to get them silverware before going back inside.
MichaelThe head chef of Cafe Tavolini.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: He often picked up the slack when Keith and Lisa refused to do their part, and he singlehandedly saves the dinner service when the two of them have retreated from the dining room. He showed himself to be far more competent at running the kitchen than the owners; especially impressive considering the surprisingly small kitchen he had to work from.
DeniseThe owner of Cafe Hon. ...For better or worse.
- Can't Take Criticism: Like you wouldn't believe. In the first dinner service, certain dishes getting negative reviews leads her to immediately remove them from the menu (also known as 86'ing), leading to her throwing away over $700 worth of perfectly useable ingredients in one night.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Cafe Hon is still open for business when Ramsay comes for the revisit, and Denise is noticeably kinder and in better spirits with the staff, customers and the Baltimore community, although her infamous trademark attempt is still very much talked about.
- Face of the Band: In-Universe, of Cafe Hon, but in a more negative example. A local radio host even mentions that you couldn't talk about the restaurant without mentioning her.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: A Beehive hairstyle, feathered boas, and leopard-print clothes makes up her "Honderful" outfit.
- Kick the Dog: Aside from trademarking the word "Hon," she goes after anyone who uses the word, sending them a "Cease and Desist" letter.
- Must Make Amends: When she sees the citizens of Baltimore express how they feel about her trademarking the word "Hon," she announces that she is removing the word from the registry in order to get back in their good graces.
- Only in It for the Money: The only possible justification for her trademarking the word "Hon" in the eyes of many.
- Took a Level in Kindness: The revisit shows that her attitude has significantly improved and she gave up on the trademark attempt, which resulted in the majority of the community forgiving her and giving her improved Cafe a boost in business.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Tries to make herself to be the victim by telling Gordon that she was a victim of a smear campaign and receiving death threats over trademarking the word "Hon." Conveniently leaving out the aforementioned Kick the Dog moment, which he soon does mention.
Jim and Jeff
The owners and head chefs of Capri, and identical twins.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Both of them started as inexperienced overgrown children who had very little activity in the kitchen and cooked sub-par food with stale, expired, frozen or pre-made ingredients. But the second their morale was lifted and they received a new look and guidance, the two produced high-quality food on their own and had one of the most solid relaunches in the show. Tellingly of their talent, their restaurant is still open for business to this day with favorable reviews.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Jim wears a cap during service hours when working on the kitchen.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Jeff when he starts crying.
- Manchild: Both of them, albeit different types each. Jeff can't handle much pressure and breaks down crying at the slightest opposition, while Jim is the aggressive type that acts defensive when criticized or questioned. Fortunately, both of them lose this trait by the end.
- Never My Fault: Part of Jim's immature behavior, as he goes on confessional cam to say Gordon won't stop "whining about every little thing", and acting like the expired food isn't a big deal. He thankfully grows out of it.
- Took a Level in Badass: They grew out of their manchild behavior fast under Gordon's instructions and managed to start making good food from scratch with fresh ingredients. Their restaurant is one of the few that are still open and following Gordon's advice, with great reviews online and still allowing them enough space to joke a bit with their customers while serving quality lunch and dinner.
- Twin Switch: They pull this joke on Gordon when he first arrives at the restaurant.
The owner of the restaurant.
- Extreme Doormat: The main reason why she put up with Erick's crap for so long was because she was too scared of the prospect of having to find a replacement. It was only when Gordon pointed out that had nothing to lose by trying Drew in the job, as he couldn't possibly be any worse than Erick, that she finally plucked up the courage to fire him.
The restaurant's first head chef.
- Catchphrase: "What can you do?" Which was usually his excuse for his laziness when confronted with his subpar food.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: His signature dish was a deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwich coated with powdered sugar. With that approach, he didn't even make it until the halfway point of the episode before getting the bullet.
- Jerkass: Said that he didn't give a rat's ass what Gordon thought of his food, and clearly didn't give a damn about doing a good job. Even when Nylah fired him, he walked away angrily muttering about how he'd been screwed over.
- Lazy Bum: Took well over an hour to deliver Gordon some of the absolute worst food ever seen on the show, at a time when Gordon was the only customer in the restaurant. This, along with only managing to serve food to 2 out of 23 customers in the service that followed, saw him fired by the end of Gordon's first day at the restaurant.
- Medal of Dishonor: Ranks among the extremely small number of people Gordon has met whom he deemed completely beyond help; the only advice he could give to Nylah was to fire him, which she eventually took.
- Money, Dear Boy: As Gordon pointed out, clearly the only reason why he even bothered to show up to work. And most of the time, showing up was about all he did.
The restaurant's second head chef.
- Adorkable: Granted, anyone would come across as a Nice Guy compared to Erick, but he clearly relished the opportunity to head up a kitchen for the first time in his career, which makes it all the sadder that he couldn't pull it off in the end.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Subverted. While he was definitely more competent and had a better attitude towards his work than Erick, he ultimately proved not to be up to the job of head chef, and was fired himself some time before the revisit.
The restaurant's third head chef.
- You Look Familiar: Ramsay said this word-for-word after meeting him in the revisit. He actually first appeared as part of the kitchen staff of Sebastian's in that episode. After he lost his job in the wake of the restaurant closing, Nylah contacted him and offered him the job of head chef at Casa Roma.
The co-owner and head chef at the restaurant.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: While working he combined a normal-looking chef's jacket with polka-dotted pants that consisted of five or six different colors. It didn't do a whole lot to convince Ramsay of his professionalism.
- Jerkass: Treated his staff poorly, refused to take any criticisms or suggestions from Gordon, and wasn't above arguing with his customers.
- Lazy Bum: Had a strong contender for the absolute filthiest fridge seen in the show's entire run, including mayonnaise that was three years out of date, and mould that had engulfed entire racks on the interior. On top of that, he fried meat and seafood in the same pan in order to save time, despite Gordon pointing out that many people are pescatarians and would likely take issue with this (to say nothing of people with shellfish allergies).
- The Napoleon: Likely experienced short man syndrome, due to wearing the same type of ludicrously tall chef's hat made infamous by Hell's Kitchen contestant Craig during that show's fourth season. Like with Craig, Ramsay forced him to get rid of it.
- Never My Fault: When Ramsay called him out on how bland his food was, he tried to claim that it was only because the locals couldn't handle the full spiciness of his New Orleans cuisine. After the episode aired and his restaurant was shut down for failure to pay taxes, he predictably tried to blame Gordon's changes, even though nearly everyone who worked there said in the episode itself it had been struggling for some time.
- Percussive Maintenance: Pounded the hell out of Ramsay's filet, despite it being well-known as perhaps the most tender cut of beef.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Got several from Gordon during the course of the episode, to the point where by the end of the episode Gordon was openly wondering whether his visit had just been one huge waste of time. Probably the only reason he isn't one of the more notorious owners from the show's run is the fact that his was the episode immediately before Amy's Baking Company.
Chappy's wife, and the co-owner of the restaurant.
- Logic Bomb: Said that there was nothing really wrong with Chappy's food, it just needed modernizing and revamping. Something that Ramsay pointed out was actually kind of a major problem.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: A mild example, as Chappy was by far the heavier of the two and the height difference was magnified by her heels, but on-screen she looked noticeably taller than him.
Tatiana1/3 of the owners of Charlie's with her mother and sister Val.
- Hypocrite: Doesn't want to fire Casimiro because he has a family, despite treating her own family like crap despite all they're doing to help her.
- Jerkass: Shown to be very disrespectful to Val, and is shown to berate a server for crying.
- Playing the Victim Card: When decisions in regards to running the restaurant (or lack thereof) come back to bite her. Gordon rightfully points out that she only has herself to blame for the mess she got herself (and her mother and sister) into.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Doesn't make any changes to improve the restaurant, despite going through two previous owners. She doesn't seem to even have a clue about what goes on in the restaurant. Gordon even asks her, "What Were You Thinking?".
- Title Drop: After Gordon was not impressed with the food, she says that they have a real Kitchen Nightmare.
- Ungrateful Bitch: As mentioned above, she treats Val horribly. Despite the fact that she's one of the reasons (the other being her mother) why she has the restaurant in the first place, even putting up her house on the line.
CasimiroHead Chef at Charlie's for 15 years.
- Can't Take Criticism: After Gordon calls him out for his overall mediocre performance, he refuses to cook. Leaving the other chefs to perform service on their own.
- Creator's Pet: In-Universe. Tatiana intentionally keeps complaints of the food from reaching him, despite everyone from the servers to the Sous Chef saying that he's horrible. After the below Epic Fail moment, Tatiana assures him that he's still a good chef.
- Epic Fail: He's unable to make a meatball despite working in an Italian restaurant for 15 years.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: The staff could barely tolerate his poor work ethic, as it constantly frustrated matters in the dining room.
- Jerkass: See Can't Take Criticism. During Gordon calling him out, he laughs off said criticism. And when Tatiana fires him - something that she did not want to do but had no choice - he refuses a hug from her.
- The Load: He firmly cemented himself as such with his apathy towards his work and his preference to "work slow" in the kitchen. The only reason Tatiana couldn't bring herself to fire him ages ago was because of their long partnership, which she finally realized wasn't working in her restaurant's favor.
- The Quiet One: Combined with his thick accent, he was barely coherent in the kitchen. But Gordon heard more than enough to know he didn't give a damn about doing his job well.
- What Were You Thinking?: Is on the receiving end of this from Gordon, as he says he prefers to work slow, as in doing only one table at a time, and constantly making excuses for when the dining room got backed up. Gordon was having none of it.
IsraelThe restaurant's co-owner.
- All for Nothing: In the end, nothing he did in improving the restaurant really mattered, nor was it ever going to — his landlords had already decided to evict him from the premises before Gordon ever showed up, even if they didn't alert Israel to this until in-between Gordon's initial visit and the revisit.
- Skilled, but Naïve: Said almost word-for-word by Gordon near the end of the episode; he may have been able to toughen up and get his restaurant working in the right way, but his naivety about actually owning and running a business had seen him unknowingly talk his landlords into evicting him before Gordon arrived in the first place.
- Stepford Smiler: Tries to put on a brave face during the revisit despite the fact that, as Gordon points out in his narration, he's now facing virtually certain bankruptcy, and probably the loss of his and Tara's house. When the latter is weeks away from giving birth, no less.
- Took a Level in Badass: Finally toughened up and fired Dave near the end of Gordon's initial visit.
TaraIsrael's wife, and the restaurant's other co-owner.
- Out of Focus: Though she was apparently involved much more in the restaurant's management in the past, she had taken more of a hands-off role during the episode, as she was heavily pregnant.
DaveThe restaurant's general manager.
- Jerkass: Shows absolutely no respect to Israel or Tara, nor does he take any responsibility for his screw-ups when managing the restaurant.
- The Load: By later on in the episode, it's blatantly obvious that he's by far the biggest problem with the restaurant. It eventually causes him to completely tank the relaunch service, getting him fired, and only avoiding dooming the restaurant completely because it had been doomed even before Gordon arrived.
PhilippeThe head chef of D-Place.
- Blatant Lies: Tries to claim that a batch of deep-fried potatoes are actually roasted. Even Israel, who doesn't have any culinary expertise, immediately spots that something is off about them, and Gordon wastes no time ripping him a new asshole.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Clearly has skills as a chef, but at the start of the episode he clearly isn't giving it his all, and constantly resorts to shortcuts.
- French Jerk: A mild case; for much of the episode he's kinda lazy and confrontational, but he starts putting the attitude to one side as the episode progresses, and admits during Gordon's re-visit that he needed a wake-up call.
- Karma Houdini: A low-grade example, since Dave was more directly at fault for the restaurant's troubles, but despite his lazy habits and confrontational attitude, he had actually found himself a better job at the end of the episode, being hired as the head chef for the hotel in which the hotel was based.
Co-owner and manager of Down City and its next-door hotel with Rico.
- Blatant Lies: Lies to Gordon about the quality of her food from the hotel service not even five minutes after he sets foot inside the restaurant proper.
- Can't Take Criticism: Even with clear evidence that her food is rotten being put right in front of her, she refuses to listen to Gordon and even starts a verbal fight with him over it.
- Control Freak: Easily one of the worst examples in the show's run. Nothing gets through to her in terms of suggestions or criticism, and any deviation from her norm is enough to cause a scandal, even out in public in front of the customers. Her compulsiveness is so big that she starts to talk back at Gordon even before he orders any food in the main eatery, just because he's going against her agenda.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Another owner who denies being in denial to Ramsay's face.
- Insane Troll Logic: Gordon arrives at her restaurant and asks her to rate the quality of the food, and she responds, unwavering, that it's a 10 out of 10. This is despite the fact that there are bills accumulating, fewer people are coming to the restaurant and Gordon Ramsay was called there to solve what is clearly a major problem.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: To a worrying degree. Any complaint or counterargument is enough for her to talk back, rant and lash out at customers and staff members alike, and even after the restaurant is helped by Gordon, the revisit shows this trait hasn't quite gone away, as she now screams more at Rico than the employees.
- The Napoleon: She's shorter than Rico and most of the staff in Down City, and blows up at the slightest provocation.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Clearly nothing is wrong with the restaurant and Gordon is just talking out of his rear when it comes to preparing quality food and managing a restaurant. She has enough ego and anger in her to scream at Gordon point-blank, even after a literal pile of evidence that her service is faltering is put in front of her.
Co-owner of Down City with Abby.
JakeOwner and head chef of El Greco.
- Abusive Parents: Inverted, if anything he's the one laying down constant verbal abuse on his own mother and aunt.Gordon: They're not your friends, it's your mom! And your aunt!
- Calling the Old Woman Out: Jake is severely argumentative with his mother Athena, and has been ever since the restaurant hit a downward period in service and money. When Gordon confronts the family about this, Jake finally explodes on them (when his mother was trying to stop a fight between him and his aunt, no less) and tells both women to leave the place and not come back. You can tell by Gordon's face he's holding himself back from screaming a storm back at him for so much disrespect to his own family.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Aside from his preference to simply microwave everything in his kitchen, there was his dreadful stuffed zucchini dish, drowning in cream sauce and described by Gordon as looking like "two grenades waiting to explode". Understandably, his own staff hated what they were obligated to serve.
- Easily Forgiven: Years of volleying insults and screaming at his own mother and aunt, showing very little passion for the business he's trying to run, he finishes blowing up at both and telling them to leave... Only to pull an immediate 180 and say he doesn't mean it and earning his mother's forgiveness, and the episode goes on with the restaurant's relaunch process as if nothing else happened afterwards.
- Lazy Bum: Coupled with Stopped Caring, the financial plunge his restaurant's in has made it so he lost passion for cooking and keeping the place running, as he shows up late for work, barely even stays at work, and is seen avoiding it to either play video games or drink. Both Gordon and Athena bring up how lazy he is and his aunt even tells him he should just close up the place if that's how he really feels about it.
- Never My Fault: Treats his mother's complaints about the failing business as "constant nagging" and thinks she has no right to talk back to him as his apathy lets the business fall apart around them.
- Small Name, Big Ego: For someone who barely did anything in the kitchen as the head chef, he gets really angry when his "work" is criticized, getting defensive when Gordon accuses him of cooking with a microwave ("reheating", as he corrects it).
- Taking from Lazy Bum listed above, once Gordon begins the relaunch, his apathy then becomes this trope and his ego now makes him control the entire kitchen and stop expediting to his staff, thinking he can do everything on his own, which slows down the food being sent out. Gordon has to step in and tell him to rein it back, which he does.
AthenaCo-owner of El Greco and Jake's mother.
- Extreme Doormat: To her son Jake, who constantly belittles and insults her.
- I Have No Son!: She gets into so many arguments with Jake that she even tells Ramsay that once the money was gone, "so was her son", and constantly begs him to "bring her son back".
- My Beloved Smother: Jake sees her as this, and to his credit, if she's not chastising the kitchen staff for the poor food quality, she's hurling criticism and/or insults at her son with help from his aunt - who also works there - in a regular basis. After Jake finally gets angry enough to tell them off, Gordon calmly tells her the constant complaining does need to stop if they want to work together properly once more.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Has a heavy Greek accent. When she gets angry enough, she slips back into a proper Greek dialect.
The microwave, which is used so often that the restaurant employees refer to it as "Chef Mike.".
- Companion Cube: The microwave is used so often the restaurant employees treat it like a member of the staff.
- Disney Villain Death: Gordon throws it out of a second story window, to the staff's intense glee.
- I Call It "Vera": The staff jokingly named the microwave "Chef Mike" because it does more of the cooking than the cooks themselves.
The manager of the restaurant.
- Captain Oblivious: Didn't seem to think there was anything at all unusual about having his fridge stocked with enormous amounts of ready-made food — including a garbage can filled with refried beans — all sitting out in the open, completely unprotected. Subverted when Ramsay finds the kitchen's cockroach infestation, which Vic admits that he did know about, but didn't bother addressing.
- Didn't Think This Through: He really should have cut his losses after the failure of his earlier restaurant.
- Epic Fail: The restaurant had been open only eighteen months by the time Gordon arrived, and the master chef was mindblown to learn that the place was already almost a million dollars in debt when he was called in. His family's frustration with him over this disastrous investment on which they staked everything is quite justified.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Yolanda was, at best, tolerant of him, and Patti and her husband really didn't think too much of him at all, with Patti's husband nearly coming to blows with him at one point.
- Henpecked Husband: A rare example where this trope was pretty justified, as Vic's poor practices had jeopardized his family's financial well-being, so much so that his wife wasn't sure their relationship would last if they could not save the business.
- History Repeats: Was the owner of a restaurant called Fiesta Garibaldi prior to its failure and the opening of Fiesta Sunrise, even keeping the menus and decor left over from when it closed. It's pretty safe to assume that the poor practices that sank Fiesta Sunrise were also left over from that restaurant.
- Hypocrite: Tried to accuse his stepdaughter's husband of being unemployed and lazy, even though the man had been the one keeping him afloat at the behest of his wife and it was Vic's own lack of business sense that was tanking the restaurant.
- Perpetual Frowner: Rarely ever smiled and seemed very detached from everything around him. Even on the night of relaunch Gordon had to urge him to smile when telling him the dinner service went well.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Played with; while Vic himself certainly wasn't the brightest bulb in the box, he was surrounded by an indifferent serving staff, and quite possibly the most incompetent kitchen brigade in the show's entire history, with even Vic being stunned at their level of incompetence during what was meant to be the night the restaurant bounced back.
- The Quiet One: Never raises his voice and was prone to talking almost at a whisper, which is quite remarkable for someone who had completely take charge of a restaurant that he was not the true owner of on paper.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gordon gave him one hell of a verbal lashing after finding the kitchen full of rotting, expired food, accusing him of being unfit to run a bath, much less a restaurant. The following day, Gordon had to give him another such speech, after all the rotting food was cleaned out, which had the side-effect of exposing the restaurant's cockroach infestation.
- Broken Bird: By all accounts, she kept herself together remarkably well through the restaurant's mounting problems, but it was clear how much it was also taking a toll on her marriage to Vic. She also blamed herself for destroying her daughter's credit by convincing her to invest in the restaurant's launch, a decision she openly regretted.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: After Vic's kitchen brigade managed to overcook the rice into mush, Yolanda jumped onto the line and managed to get a decent batch of rice out relatively quickly. Unfortunately, the chefs proceeded to screw everything else up, meaning that it didn't count for much.
- Tempting Fate: Was frustrated by the state of the restaurant, and after Gordon uncovered cockroaches in the kitchen, she said she wasn't sure how it could possibly get worse. Sadly, after the successful relaunch a stabbing incident took place at the site of the restaurant some time after Gordon had left. Needless to say, this probably proved the last straw as the restaurant soon after went bankrupt.
- What Were You Thinking?: She did not take well to Gordon's discovery of just how bad the kitchen was, and was disgusted that Vic did nothing about the cockroaches.
The owner (on paper, at least) of the restaurant, Yolanda's daughter, and Vic's stepdaughter.
- Funny Background Event: Can be seen visibly laughing her ass off in the background any time Gordon is giving Vic a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, especially when the bucket of beans got involved.
- I Warned You: She had been trying to warn Vic of the restaurant's low hygiene standards for quite some time, and found it very amusing when Ramsay proceeded to royally tear Vic a new asshole over the matter.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite being reduced to an in-name-only position at the restaurant, she fully supported Gordon's attempts to revamp the restaurant, finding every single one of his critiques of Vic's practices justified. She also tried to entice her frustrated husband to lend what support he could to the relaunch despite knowing how much he was at odds with Vic.
The restaurant's co-owner and primary manager.
- Bad Boss: Frequently swore at her employees when she was frustrated or became defensive.
- Berserk Button: She [[Understatement hated]] Gordon's makeover of the restaurant, and made no secret of it to anyone after the unveiling; clearly she was still bitter over the loss of her business' poorly-received tropical setting.
- Can't Take Criticism: Was very defensive and unable to hear her employees or Gordon out, especially when it came to the restaurant's questionable decor.
- Captain Obvious: "I don't like fish, it tastes fishy."
- Happily Married: To Bill, despite their conflicting views of the restaurant.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Of the building variety, as she filled the tropical-themed restaurant with expensive and kitschy decorations and fixtures that soured many people's views of the restaurant, making the entire place come off as a leftover from the seventies, as Gordon observed.
- It's All About Me: The kindest thing that can be said about her attitude when Gordon tried to help her modernize the business, as she fought to keep the tropical decor and took it very personally when Gordon had it removed; she even convinced her husband to come out of retirement to help run the business, a decision he was reluctant to make.
- Never My Fault: She absolutely refused to accept that the tacky tropical decor that she loved so much had anything to do with the restaurant's declining business, and was resistant to any serious effort to modernize it or the food to attract new customers.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Although she didn't quite go through with it, she clearly wanted to bolt from the newly redesigned restaurant in protest of the new theme and menu, only to be talked out of it by Bill.
- Skewed Priorities: She put so much stock into preserving the tropical decor she adored so much that she refused to hear out any effort to modernize the restaurant to better service her customers. Gordon told her flat out that if she continued to rely on nostalgia as she had been doing that she should go ahead and shut the place down.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Her first instinct after Gordon remodeled the restaurant was to badmouth every solitary change he made to it, right down to the color of the walls. She even had the audacity to complain about the new menu right in front of the customers who were offering praise for how good it was.
The restaurant's co-owner and general manager, as well as Adele's husband.
- Extreme Doormat: He had shades of this, but still did his damnedest to keep the business afloat.
- Happily Married: To Adele, though they still would butt heads over the direction of the restaurant.
- Henpecked Husband: He was content to retire after many years of running several successful restaurants, but at the urging of his wife helped her open Flamango's, a decision that was clearly taking a toll on his physical well-being.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Was a highly successful restaurateur for most of his life, and was well off when he and Adele first retired. Then Adele decided to launch Flamango's, and her vision for the restaurant quickly rendered it a huge liability to them both, with Bill losing much of what he had invested into his retirement.
- Only Sane Man: Between himself, his wife and his daughter, he was the only one of them to see everything Gordon had to say about the restaurant's failing business.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He was open to just about everything Gordon had to say of the business and even tried to talk sense to Adele when she slammed the restaurant's rebranding on relaunch night simply because she felt slighted by the changes.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Gordon gives Bill the pleasure of cooking his homemade meatloaf as part of the restaurant's relaunch, which he happily accepted as it was very dear to him and it got him out of pushing the trolley cart.
- Workaholic: Personally tackled a lot of the maintenance around the restaurant, much to the chagrin of his employees who could see he was too old and tired to do it himself.
Adele and Bill's stay-at-home daughter and a manager at the restaurant.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She had a hard time seeing what was wrong with the restaurant and seemed way too peppy in the face of how badly it was doing. She does get better though.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Again of the building variety, having personally had a hand in the restaurant's over-the-top tropical theme.
The restaurant's executive chef.
The restaurant's owner and manager.
- Broken Bird: Probably one of the most emotionally-crippled owners Gordon has ever encountered.
- Captain Oblivious: Had no idea how bad the food in his kitchen was, or the extent of his apathetic staff's incompetence.
- Happily Married: About the only thing he had when Gordon arrived was the unwavering support of his wife.
- Manly Tears: Was often on the verge of breaking down due to stress.
- Took a Level in Badass: The closing montage suggests that he finally found his mojo as a manager after overhauling the work ethic in the kitchen.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Was constantly on the receiving end of his father-in-law's criticism, who saw him as the main reason the restaurant was struggling. Mitch took it all in stride, but anyone could see how it further brought down his spirit.
- Workaholic: Was very hands-off a lot of the time and often didn't focus on his duties in the kitchen, instead focusing on the upkeep of the rest of the restaurant when his leadership was most needed elsewhere.
Mitch's wife and co-owner of the restaurant.
- Only Sane Man: Tried to keep things civil between her father and Mitch, and was the most pro-active in implementing Gordon's changes when she saw for herself how bad the conduct in the kitchen was.
- Undying Loyalty: Was frustrated by her husband's poor management, but was determined to save her business and with it her marriage to him. She also tried to temper her father's harsh criticism of Mitch, seeing the toll it was taking on his self-confidence.
Maureen's father and co-owner of the restaurant.
- Da Chief: Well, yeah.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Gordon calls him this several times in the episode, saying that it's only because of Chief's hard work that the restaurant isn't in an even worse state, and openly wishing in his closing monologue that he was 30 years younger.
- Pride: Being from Ireland, he took great pride in the restaurant and was determined to make his family's business work, usually assuming many of the responsibilities himself when Mitch did not.
The head chef of the restaurant.
- Epic Fail: His effort at Gordon's shepherd's pie definitely counts as one.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: It is shown that he and his staff were easily distracted from their work, sometimes goofing off which often led to backups at dinner service.
- The Load: Was one of the most apathetic cooks in the kitchen, and was one of the first to be laid off after the restaurant's relaunch.
The general manager and head waitress at the restaurant.
The owner of the restaurant.
- Badass Biker: Was an avid motorcycle enthusiast, which the restaurant is themed after.
- Badass Mustache: His thick handlebar mustache.
- Can't Take Criticism: Whines about Gordon's treatment of him and talks back at him regularly as he keeps elaborating on the restaurant's issues.
- Character Development: On Gordon's second visit, he's far calmer and more confident and downright friendly with Gordon, freely admitting that he was wrong and Gordon was right and happily credits him for helping them turn things around.
- Didn't Think This Through: A construction worker by trade, he clearly didn't quite see the scope of running a restaurant when he first bought up the place, despite its early success under his watch.
- Downer Ending: The restaurant was closed sometime after the revisit, and Billy sadly passed away in 2015 of cancer.
- Happily Married: His love of his wife eventually convinced him to return to the restaurant after having earlier threatened to sell it.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: Was blissfully unaware of the slipping quality of the food or even of his head chef's apathy towards her job.
- Heel Realization: Finally puts aside his grudge against Gordon when he watches the dinner service completely disintegrate due to the chaos in the kitchen, to the point where customers turned on each other. He said it was the worst thing he'd ever seen in his restaurant.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Frequently retreated to the bar when escaping his woes in the dining room.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tried to pull this several times when confronted with the issues of the restaurant; even on relaunch night, he left in a huff. He did eventually come to his senses and went back to the kitchen.
Billy's wife and co-owner of the restaurant.
- Parenting the Husband: She loved her husband, but was clearly the more responsible one between the two and struggled to help Billy see the sense in Gordon's input.
- Took a Level in Badass: When Billy very nearly deserted his business, Carolyn resolved to assume leadership and told Billy that she would make it work with or without his help.
The head chef of the restaurant.
- Didn't Think This Through: Seized on the opportunity to take on the job as head chef when the position happened to be there; she made no secret of her regret for that decision.
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Of the kitchen variety; she openly resented her position in the kitchen, and never missed an opportunity to badmouth her own food.
- Only in It for the Money: Perhaps the only reason she stuck around doing a job she detested.
- Perpetual Frowner: Rarely ever smiled during her job, only letting out a laugh when joking about how awful her own food is. With Ramsay's help, however, she does start smiling a bit more later.
- Took a Level in Badass: Under Ramsay's tutelage, she finally found her passion in the kitchen.
- Workaholic: Had a hard time delegating to her cooks and tried to take on the entirety of the work herself, with predictable results. At Gordon and Billy's urging, she finally trusted them to help her with the workload.
One of the restaurant's two co-owners.
- Broken Bird: Openly regretted buying up the restaurant with Brian as a partner, and is only mildly more effective running it.
- The Eeyore: Usually wore a perpetual half-smile on his face, but it's clear that he wasn't happy with the state of affairs at the restaurant.
- Those Two Guys: Has been a friend of Brian's since the two started out as servers under the prior owners.
Chris' partner and co-owner of the restaurant.
- Captain Obvious: Ramsay walks in with a full bale of fresh apples from a local market and shows them to the staff. Before he can even start explaining his plan for the menu, Brian pisses him off by pointing out "They're apples". For Gordon, this was just more evidence towards his lack of passion in the kitchen.
- Dull Surprise: He has a complete lack of passion, even when...
- Epic Fail: Storing cooked meat next to raw meat is always a Berserk Button for Gordon and a major health hazard, but Brian's lack of concern when he puts raw and cooked chicken IN THE SAME TRAY was a masterpiece of incompetence that brought one of the chef's most brutal shutdowns.
- The Load: Pretty much sums up his entire presence in the restaurant, never delegating to his staff and not maintaining the walk-in fridge.
- Manchild: Was effectively a kid trapped in an adult's body, and unable to come to terms with his own failings at the restaurant.
- Never My Fault: Constantly blamed Ramsay's verbal abuse for his lack of motivation, even though it was in part because of this that the restaurant was already in trouble.
- Older Than They Look
- The Quiet One: Never actually raised his voice despite the hammering he took from Gordon over his apathy in the kitchen. If anything, it only further emphasized his lack of passion behind the counter.
- Tranquil Fury: A variation of this as he never actually becomes angry, but at the same time is still reluctant to listen to Ramsay due to the man's usual cutting manner.
The general manager and the father of one of the co-owners, with 30+ years in the restaurant business.
- The Alcoholic: Uses the restaurant as his personal watering hole. Even in the interview segments, he's obviously drunk and slurring his words.
- Liquid Courage: Downs a big shot of ouzo before talking to Gordon for the first time.
- The Load: In spite of his experience, AJ was essentially a waddling rock that did nothing to help with service, leeched off his son and his friends' money by earning $100,000 paychecks every month, and in fact delayed service by frequenting the bar and socializing with the customers when he was needed someplace else to make sure things were running smoothly. The three owners came to accept that he needed to significantly reduce his presence in the dining room and, sure enough, he eventually was asked to resign from the restaurant altogether.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Often used his decades of experience to excuse his declining performance on the floor. Even when he finally relents to resignation, he speaks in the confessional they'll realize "how much he's done".
- The Unintelligible: Due to his thick Greek accent and constant intoxication.
Scott, Jim & Tanner
The three owners of the restaurant, all of which are bodybuilders.
- The Big Guy: All three of the owners are bodybuilders and frequent the gym often, Scott being the biggest out of them.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: They do have enough competence to run a restaurant, plus enough experience with business to make the right decisions, but they were still very relaxed on their approach and needed a proper push to get things done correctly.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Tanner is AJ's son, having taken the restaurant from him to own with his friends, but his father is a freeloader who uses the excuse of working for such a long time in the business to chat with the clientele and leech money off the establishment. After business picks up and AJ is forced to cut his time and money back to the Waterfront thanks to Ramsay's help, Tanner does build up the courage to finally tell his father to go home.
- Character Tics: Scott's head often leans to his right when he's relaxed or talking to someone.
- Face of a Thug: Gordon berates Scott for this, partially as a joke, but he also mentions how his appearance, coupled with his demeanor and constant expression of anguish, has put off clients who enter the restaurant, something he was already having trouble with. To fix this, he places Scott on reception duty during the second dinner night, and he does improve his attitude with a bit of a push.
The head chef of the Waterfront.
- Ignored Expert: He does try to take action to make sure everything runs smoothly in the kitchen, but even with his insistence, the cooks just can't be bothered to do their service right and the head chef ends up as a complete non-presence in his own kitchen.
- Nice Guy: Dedicated to his job and genuinely wants things to change so the restaurant can improve. Also, while he's direct with his issues and as honest as he needs to be, he never once speaks out of line to Ramsay or the owners and is genuinely happy to receive tips for new dishes to prepare.
- Only Sane Man: Inverted when he's with the owners, since AJ is the only person in that group who doesn't do much to help, but it's played entirely straight with the rest of the kitchen staff, since they can't be bothered to answer to him or follow his orders like they're supposed to.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He's overall a decent professional and invested in his job, but this doesn't really do him well when the rest of the kitchen staff are as inept as they shown to be, ignoring Aaron's orders and taking smoke breaks during dinner service.
The Fry Cook
A cook at Waterfront.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Is very satisfyingly put in his place by Scott towards the end of the episode. It's also mentioned that as soon as the owners give Aaron the power to fire people, he quickly fires the fry cook.
- Jerkass: Openly back talks Aaron throughout most of the episode.
- Lean and Mean: Tall, skinny, and extremely disagreeable.
- No Name Given: His name never gets mentioned through the episode.
- The Slacker: Takes a smoke break whenever he feels like it and doesn't care at all that it screws up service.
Dr. Una Morris
Owner of Kingston's Cafe and a former Olympic athlete for Jamaica.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Her staff served salad in martini glasses.
- Control Freak: To the point she'll be unsatisfied if the tablecloths aren't properly set-up by measure. Her son Keone will be sure to mention how much she micromanages the place, and the employees all state she does pretty much everything but the cooking.
- Can't Take Criticism: Like many owners before her, with the same claims. Obviously the world-renowned, Michelin star-awarded chef doesn't know international cuisine (Jamaican in this case).
- Doctor Jerk: A physician, and she's also lacking in humility in several ways. Even her own son is treated like he's still a child who doesn't know any better.
- Hypocrite: Coldly stops her son from talking about the problems with the restaurant to let Gordon talk, only to interrupt Chef Ramsay herself three times in a row to defend herself.
- Insistent Terminology: Even in the kitchen, she'll insist in being called "Dr. Morris" by staff and her own son.
- Small Name, Big Ego: True, her doctorate and Olympic career are nothing to diminish, but she definitely doesn't hold up to the ego she boasts when working as an owner, and even has the gall to stop Gordon from talking to "let her finish". Thankfully she did come around at the end.
- Verbal Tic: "Let me finish."
The owner and head chef.
- Aesop Amnesia: Ramsay spent virtually his entire first visit drilling into his head the importance of serving high-quality local produce (the restaurant being located in southern Spain). So of course, by the time of his second revisit Lawrence had decided to build his menu around pasta dishes instead. While Ramsay was able to put him back on track again, it evidently didn't stick, and the restaurant closed two years after the second revisit.
- Complexity Addiction: Took foods that would likely have worked well on their own, and added bizarre twists on them such as serving prawns with chocolate sauce, and chicken stuffed with banana. The locals and holidaymakers alike were not impressed.
- Despair Event Horizon: Temporarily gets pushed over this after the restaurant is robbed during filming, forcing Ramsay to give him a pep-talk to get him back in the game.
- History Repeats: Inverted; he's essentially a prototype version of Sebastian, as both men have upper-class English forenames, as well as backgrounds in the entertainment industry rather than the culinary world, Never My Fault tendencies, and a belief that it's more important to be unique and stand out than it is to serve traditional, quality food. The main difference is that Lawrence usually attempted bizarre takes on fine-dining dishes instead of Sebastian's menu full of mass-produced junk, and that while Lawrence could be a little cocksure, his ego wasn't anywhere near as rampant as Sebastian's was.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe; he had trashed his reputation with the local expat community — which are vital for the survival of any restaurant over the winter months — by holding a charity gala for a local donkey sanctuary, only to serve up an awful meal consisting of chicken stuffed with bananas, and then fail to actually donate the proceeds from the meal to the sanctuary.
- Skewed Priorities: Repeatedly claimed that he didn't want his food to be boring, even though Ramsay himself pointed out that merely serving quality local produce would help him stand out from the abundance of greasy spoons in the area.
The grill chef, later reassigned to preparing salads.
- Butt-Monkey: It was immediately obvious that Gordon didn't have too much respect for him, and Lawrence was just too stressed and burned-out to do anything about his awful cooking. By the relaunch night, Gordon had demoted him to preparing salads, and decided that the restaurant's dish washer could do a better job of working the grill (which he did).
- Cloud Cuckoolander: With shades of Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, as he repeatedly referred to his grill station as his "dungeon," and the barbecue as a "meat torturing device."
- Lethal Chef: Served raw meat and day-old kebabs. He was lucky not to be fired outright instead of just being relegated to handling food that he couldn't poison anyone with.
- Put on a Bus: Had returned to the UK as of Ramsay's second revisit.
- Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: Granted, he wasn't helped by Lawrence's over-complex menu and poor delegation, but he really had absolutely no clue how to properly grill meats, and was better-suited to preparing cold salads.
The owner of the restaurant at 28 years old, having gotten it from a loan from her father when she was only 23.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: She was completely unaware of what happened in the kitchen and the restaurant in general, taking a very lax approach to most of it and not truly knowing how to properly manage it. But as the episode goes on, it's clear she just needed a bit of guidance and a proper push from someone experienced like Gordon, because when she does get more active and participating, she reveals just how much potential she had.
- Character Development: A very straightforward example. She was lazy and didn't realize how much she had to do to keep a restaurant working. By the end of Gordon's visit, she has nothing but success coming her way and is properly grateful for it.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Does a complete 180 on her priorities with the restaurant and becomes more active during service. This, coupled with a motivated staff and better kitchen brigade is one of the reasons why her restaurant is still active, open and successful.
- Percussive Therapy: The restaurant's old POS system was one of the biggest problems with the place, delaying servings and food preparation by a mile. To begin improvements, Ramsay took it to the table and pulled out a baseball bat so they could vent out their frustration with the thing. Lisa was very happy to oblige.
- Running Away to Cry: When Gordon pointed out the problems with her restaurant, her first instinct was to lock herself in the bathroom and cry, unable to face him or the staff.
- During the revisit, it seems she's doing it again when Gordon arrives, but it turns out she was just using the bathroom, scaring him for a second.
- Took a Level in Badass: When Gordon arrived, the place was unkempt and dirty, suffering from poor communication between the wait staff and the kitchen due to an obsolete POS system, with lazy chefs and food that was mediocre at best, with Lisa herself being rather lazy about the management. It's amazing how well Gordon got to her: not only is the restaurant still open, it has several positive reviews online, and Lisa has started her own wine brand which is going pretty well.
Owner of Mama Maria's, taking the restaurant from his parents ever since his mother's passing.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: After the lobster incident at dinner, he tries to ask the camera crew directly to stop rolling.
- Broken Bird: He was so unable to cope with the loss of his parents that he refused to change anything about the family business as he feared that he would unravel their legacy. It takes a good cry and Gordon's words of encouragement to help him finally come to terms with what had made him so afraid to give the restaurant the modernization it desperately needed.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After finally getting over his loss and a well-earned refurbishing of the restaurant and menu, the eatery has a good relaunch and John is a much happier man. The place is still open and reviews are positive.
- Glory Days: Didn't change the menu or the decor in his restaurant even years after his parents' passing in an attempt to keep their memory alive in some form. After a long and arduous push from Ramsay, the restaurant is finally reworked so it can look and sound fresher while still being a tribute to his parents.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: After Gordon's first critiques towards the food and his restaurant nearly killing a customer with rotten food at dinner, he quickly heads to the bar to down a shot and try to calm down.
- Manchild: John started working on the restaurant at a very young age, ever since his parents' time as owners, but was mostly delegated to making the pizzas for the adjacent pizzeria. So when they passed away and he was left in charge, the force of habit added to the stress and grief he still had from his loss made it so he couldn't run the place properly, as well as not changing the menu or the decor due to trying to keep their memory alive. When Gordon tells him that he needs to keep up, first he selfishly defends himself with his nostalgia, then changes into nearly giving up entirely out of a fear of changing what was once perfect in his eyes.
- Manly Tears: When he finally opens up about his parents. You will become misty-eyed along with Gordon when you see just how lost he felt without them.
- My God, What Have I Done?: It's slow, but the realization of how far he's fallen hits him hard when a customer has to be taken away to a hospital after eating a lobster tail rotten enough to reek of ammonia. It's from this point on that his process of recovery really begins.
- Stopped Caring: Zigzagged. He does care about his restaurant, but he's so emotionally drained that he couldn't keep up with the most basic needs of the place, such as cleaning and maintaining the tables and fridge and restocking the food, just sending everything to be frozen and reused later, which results in a freezer disgusting enough to send Gordon running to the trashcan (and nearly proves to be fatal for a customer at dinnertime). And when confronted about it, he just decides to take all the complaints against him, figuring it's easier than trying to argue.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He refused to change the decor and had a menu so outdated that even the specials listed in it stopped being specials after 40 years, all to keep the memories of the parents he worked hard to please alive. Gordon's main argument towards him was to plead for him to quit this mentality and let go of the past, which he thankfully does.
Head chef of Mama Maria's.
- Brutal Honesty: Not once does he try to hide from Ramsay how bad their situation is, and is openly confrontational with John about the lowering food quality. Unlike most examples of this trope in the show, however, he's a lot less angry and explosive with his boss about it, but still firmly enforces that things need to change.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To the completely detached John. Not only is he a capable, professional chef but he seems to be excellent at managing a kitchen during the busy dinner service of Kitchen Nightmares. He routinely expresses embarrassment at the antiquated ways in which he's forced to cook.
- Ignored Expert: Has been warning John again and again about what needs to be changed for the restaurant to recover, but his nostalgia makes him constantly shoot down the requests in favor of keeping the past "alive".
- This Is Gonna Suck: In his own words, "I think that Chef Ramsay's gonna have a heart attack when he sees what goes on around here." He later comments of the spaghetti and meatballs (which he himself labels disgusting) that "I would say enjoy, but I know better." He's under no illusion of what's going to happen when Ramsay critiques the food and is fully prepared for it.
Owner of the restaurant.
- Argumentum Ad Nauseam: Literally her only defense she uses when criticized for her food is "I think our food's good" and nothing else.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Her Italian restaurant has a drive-thru.
- Bad Boss: Has a terrible habit of venting her frustrations at her kitchen staff, Trevor in particular.
- Can't Take Criticism: She walked out at the end of part 1 when all the customers pointed out her food was below standard when Ramsay asked them.
Julie's daughter and Mangia Mangia's co-owner.
- Jerkass: While her dislike of Trevor is reasonably justified, it in no way excuses the fact she's told Trevor several times he'd be better off dead while laying the blame of pretty much everything wrong with the restaurant on his shoulders. He's nowhere near a saint, but her attitude is no less abrasive and forceful. Not only that, but she'll frequently hurl insults and jabs at the staff for talking back at her, something that should be handled in a far more adult manner than verbal fighting, especially by a manager.
- The cherry on top has to be when Trevor is finally fired from service. A tense moment, with Gordon having promised to help him with his rehab and it's clear that his anger isn't entirely his fault... And Janelle is smiling while he's in tears.
- Playing the Victim Card: Every time Trevor criticizes her abuse towards him, she repeats the fact he swung at her even when it's made clear the abuse had been going on even before that incident.
- It doesn't apply just to him, either. She takes a defensive stance anytime someone brings up a complaint against her or her mother, shielding herself behind the others' flaws while trying to keep her own hands clean of her own faults.
- Yes-Man: To her mother, hurling insults and blames at the staff that aren't directly caused by them, such as blaming Trevor for the microwaved food when it's actually her mother's idea.
The restaurant's head chef and a recovering crystal meth addict.
- Drugs Are Bad: The episode becomes An Aesop of this when his drug past is brought up, which Janelle constantly uses to belittle and abuse him with. Granted, he showed up high to work before and Janelle insists he once attacked her because of it, not to mention throwing restaurant items at the wall, but this is still no excuse to say he should die right to his face or hurl insults at his direction regularly. By the time of the episode, his anger and apathy are a result of both his past and the current mistreatment from the owners, and it reflects on how poorly he operates on the kitchen. He's undoubtedly fired for this, but Gordon himself states he'll pay for his rehab as long as the owners at least reconsider hiring him back once he's done.
- Jerkass: Condescending, passive-agressive, and mistreats his own co-workers. However...
- Jerkass Has a Point: Given Julie and Janelle frequently team up on him whenever things go wrong, whether or not it's his fault, his attitude towards them is somewhat understandable.
- Stopped Caring: Admits to Ramsay he used to care about the restaurant, but doesn't anymore because of what he's gone through.
- Only Sane Man: Even though he has no experience, it's clear he cares more than anyone else about keeping the restaurant open.
MikeCo-owner, now owner of the business founded by him and his father.
- The Alcoholic: Had a bad tendency to drink beer while working in the kitchen.
- Broken Bird: The death of his father affected him tremendously, and he struggled to run the restaurant alone without his presence.
- Control Freak: Described as one by his daughter upon her initial meeting with Gordon.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: His steak tips were burned so thoroughly that they tasted like charcoal. Again another sign of how badly his depression had affected his cooking.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: The restaurant fell into extreme disrepair under his watch.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Ran a highly successful business with his father, who was also his business partner. After his father's passing he became emotionally crippled and soon lost sight of what was needed to uphold the family business.
NellieThe deceased co-owner of the restaurant and Mike's father.
- Posthumous Character: Has sadly passed away long before Gordon arrived at the restaurant. It was clear to many how much his absence had affected the business.
JoeOwner of the Bistro and a ranch near it. To this day considered one of the angriest, most stubborn owners in the show's run.
- 0% Approval Rating: It's truly a wonder how anybody in his employ could justify staying even if only for the sake of a paycheck; All of them listened with absolute glee when Gordon attacked his egotistical management style head on. Unsurprisingly, several of those present for Gordon's visit had quit not long after the restaurant's relaunch.
- Bad Boss: His response to one of his employees complaining to him about how horribly he treats her is that she should find a new place to work. Surprisingly, she's among those who leave in the Epilogue.
- Berserk Button: Gets unreasonably furious about Gordon handing him back the raw micro-carrot he had used as a garnish on one dish.
- Blatant Lies:
- Claims to be "self-taught by the greatest European chefs." Gordon seems to brush off the oxymoron in that statement, but it becomes clearly apparent when Gordon actually tries the food.
- Convinced Gordon, at the beginning, that all of the meat cooked at his restaurant comes from his personal ranch, but Gordon soon fails to find any of it in the kitchen's storage.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Took great pride in his fresh and locally grown elk dishes, the most notable one being an elk quesadilla. When Ramsay tried it, it turned out about as well as you'd expect.
- Was royally ripped a new one when Ramsay discovered he was sticking raw onions in his French onion soup, something Joe's own chef confirmed was inappropriate practice at Gordon's urging.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "His [Ramsay's] verbal bullshit is just a bunch of bullshit."
- History Repeats Itself: It was not long before Joe retook control of the kitchen, something Gordon explicitly warned him against before leaving. Worse still, Joe ran the next restaurant he opened in virtually the exact same manner as before. Unsurprisingly, that restaurant has also shuttered.
- Humiliation Conga: Undergoes possibly the most brutal conga in the series, and it's well-earned. Gordon seems to take every opportunity to humiliate Joe, including sending every dish back after one bite, leaving the restaurant out to eat elsewhere, constantly ridiculing him in front of the same staff Joe had spent all his time debasing, and even at one point *kicks him out of his own kitchen*. While he initially tries to put up a fight, it's obvious Gordon has the upper hand at all times, and by the end his ego has been so torn down that all he can do to maintain some scrap of dignity is keep quiet and listen to Gordon.
- The Millstone: It's outright stated that he's the biggest reason why the restaurant is in the state that it is in. Gordon even tell him that him being in the kitchen will hinder any hope of the restaurant improving. During the epilogue of the episode, which revealed that he was once again a chef, even the narration states that the future of Mills Street Bistro was uncertain.
- One employee even mentioned that potential customers would go somewhere else if they saw his car in order to avoid him.
- Never My Fault: After being confronted with the complaints of his stressed out staff, he still had the audacity to imply that they were part of the problem while "accepting" the blame for the things he stood accused of by them. The looks on his staff's faces said it all.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Insists that his restaurant is the best cooking anywhere between Los Angeles and New York. He plants fake positive reviews of his restaurant online. He fails to see anything that's wrong with his cooking, despite him making amateurish mistakes. His food is deliberately overpriced because he wants to feel upscale. He expects Ramsay to go around town promoting the restaurant because he feels the only problem it has is lack of publicity. When Ramsay presents to him complaints about the food from customers, Joe becomes sarcastic (though he never badmouths customers in front of them). Joe considers himself an equal to Gordon Ramsay. When it becomes clear Ramsay refuses to give in and do as Joe pleases, Joe suddenly goes quiet as he's cooking and ignores Ramsay. Not learning a thing after Mill Street Bistro closes down, he opens another restaurant with an identical approach.
- Tranquil Fury: Reaches his limits with Gordon Ramsay about halfway through. After an hour of top-of-lungs yelling between Joe and Gordon (this was a two-parter), Joe suddenly, and unnervingly, becomes completely silent and reverts back to how he cooked before Gordon arrived, ignoring anything Gordon tried to tell him and walking around Gordon like he was a mannequin. You can tell from Joe's scowl that he's overflowing with rage.
The owner and head chef, known by her nickname as "Momma Cherri".
- Nice Girl: By far one of the most affable, laid-back owners in the show's history.
- Skilled, but Naïve: Her initial meal got by far and away the best-ever reaction from Gordon in the entire history of the show; the only one to even come close in that regard was the one he got at La Riviera/Abstract, and even then he noted that it was over-complicated and too expensive. Unfortunately, she didn't really have much of a clue when it came to actually running the restaurant, and Gordon had to teach her a lot. It eventually paid off, and she managed to move to a bigger restaurant before closing due to financial recession. Thankfully, she's still shown cooking on her YouTube account and eventually opened a new restaurant with a partner.
NinoThe co-owner and general manager of the restaurant.
- Bald of Awesome: He most definitely was not this when Gordon first arrived; by the night of the relaunch however, he seems committed to becoming this.
- Blatant Lies: Insisted that he kept his restaurant tidy and that he had done so before Gordon arrived, even trying to prove this with photographs of him cleaning. Gordon wasn't convinced however, and said his excuses didn't begin to address the other problems in the kitchen.
- Can't Take Criticism
- Disappeared Dad: Played with; his father was the restaurant's original founder, but by the time of Gordon's arrival had been battling Alzheimer's for several years and was no longer actively involved in the business.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: His own family couldn't stand him, and were in unanimous agreement that he was the weakest link in managing the family business.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management
- Lazy Bum
- The Load: His family saw him as this, especially his brother, and it was for this reason that his aging mother, brother, and sister all had to pitch in to help their business survive.
- Manchild: Definitely came across as one to Chef Ramsay for his inability and unwillingness to manage in the restaurant, and frequently made rude and immature statements when confronted with criticism of either the food or his lack of commitment.
- Tranquil Fury: He never actually became angry or aggressive, but still took criticism from Gordon and his own family very poorly.
MichaelCo-owner of Nino's as well as Nino's younger brother, often serving as a manager in Nino's stead.
- Brutal Honesty: He was absolutely merciless in his criticism of Nino when Gordon was first introduced to the family, immediately cluing the chef in on the severity of the family drama that was affecting their business.
- Large Ham "HELLO! MY NAME'S NINO!!!"
- Only Sane Man: Seemed to genuinely want to save the business and was constantly at odds with his brother's inability to manage it. For the most part, he was Gordon's greatest advocate in the restaurant; And then came relaunch night...
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He had many misgivings about Gordon's overhaul of the restaurant and could not let go of the longstanding hostility between himself and Nino even after the latter had finally found his rhythm during service. Gordon felt Michael was resistant to change, and that accusation was enough to send him leaving in a huff. It is mentioned later that even as the restaurant began to bounce back, Michael became much less involved in its day-to-day affairs.
- We Used to Be Friends: It is clear that his relationship with Nino has degraded significantly over the years due to the latter's laziness. By the time Gordon had revamped the restaurant, Michael was still unable to make amends with him.
IngeFounder and co-owner of Nino's and the mother of Nino, Michael and their sister Carina.
- Brutal Honesty: She was under no illusions about Nino's lack of management in the restaurant, and admitted to Gordon that he was undependable in the role.
- Cool Old Lady: As frustrated as she was by Nino's lack of commitment, she remained supportive of her family and did not let her age slow her down in trying to save what her and her husband had built up over fifty years prior.
- The Determinator: Fought to keep the family business alive in the face of Nino's laziness even though she is clearly ready to settle down and retire so she can tend to her husband's progressing Alzheimer's.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Played with; she committed to Gordon's plan of showing Nino what would happen to the restaurant if they didn't act fast to improve the state of affairs there, confronting her son in front of the boarded up building as Gordon waited to gauge Nino's response. It finally guilts Nino back to his senses and he becomes serious about saving his mother's legacy.
MoeOne of the owners of the restaurant, along with his brother Rami.
- The Alcoholic: It's not explicitly stated, but anytime Moe has to deal with frustration or anger, he goes straight to the bar to drink off his problems, and during the relaunch service, his behavior all but screams he's drunk off his rear.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Easily loses his temper at the slightest opposition, and takes almost every critique of Gordon's as both an insult and a lie. It's easier to count the times it didn't look like he was about to attack Gordon right then and there.
- After seeing the true state of the kitchen and the restaurant is forced to close early for the night, he starts screaming like a lunatic towards the cleaning staff to get the place cleaned up while throwing chairs off the tables and onto the ground.
- He tells Gordon he will accept the decor changes Gordon makes... Unless he dislikes them, at which point he claims he will "send them back to British with a black eye."
- Malaproper: Says "British" to mean "English" in regards to the language. Also says "British" instead of "Britain."
- Never My Fault: Once the problems become too apparent to ignore, he blames his brother and the head chef entirely. Rami is quick to call him out on it.
- Oh, Crap!: Realizes how bad things really are as Ramsay shows all the wasted food. He doesn't take it well.
RamiOne of the owners of the restaurant, with his brother Moe.
- Brutal Honesty: The whole way through. He breaks ranks the second his brother and the chefs start lying to Gordon and just keeps on going.
- Motivational Lie: Tells his brother that "busy idiot" is "a compliment in British" to get Moe to stop obsessing over the insult and get back to work. He admits he knows it's an insult and that it's true but that unless he lied Moe would never let it go.
- Nice Guy: At least what's shown of his behavior to the audience. He truly does mean well for the restaurant, he just has quite a bit to put up with regarding his brother and the staff.
- Only Sane Man: To an exceptional degree even as Only Sane Men go on this show; he acts as Gordon's advocate for most of the episode.
- A good example would be something that very few other people during the show's run has ever done: reminding the staff that Gordon is there to help them. Not to mention his honesty, which is sharp through the entire thing.
Oceana's executive chef.
- Blatant Lies: The crab cakes are not frozen (they are). He does not know when the duck was cooked (off site sometime within the last month).
- Character Tics: Has a habit of blinking one eye at a time whenever Gordon confronts him for lying.
- Fat Bastard: He's overweight, and not an ounce of him is honest or competent enough to cook.
- Lethal Chef: Highly inept at his job, having wasted thousands of dollars worth of food that he cooks and then freezes before simply warming them back up for service; by the time Gordon has arrived, the majority of it is hopelessly expired. Moe let him go almost immediately after the restaurant is shut down.
- Never My Fault: A customer sends food back? Clearly they have bad taste buds because nothing is wrong with the food. As he puts it, there no bad food. Only "bad opinions." And later, after it turns out how disgusting the refrigerator is, he blames the staff. Both brothers have had enough and call him out as being the one responsible for how the food is stored.
- Small Name, Big Ego: The chef who lied to Gordon's face a dozen times and served nothing but expired, disgusting food takes on Gordon's challenge to cook a certain dish thinking he can come out on top.
The owner and manager of the restaurant.
- Badass Boast: Got defensive at one point about the clearly-bad food Gordon uncovered in the kitchen, saying a little too defiantly that they serve the stuff Gordon's raising such alarm about; this very quickly backfires on him when Gordon orders the kitchen closed.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Never gives Ramsay a straight answer on the condition of the restaurant, often contradicting himself. He also had about thirty years' worth of antiques and other junk littered throughout the dining hall and in his office, which he was reluctant to part with.
- Einstein Hair: Not as wild as most examples, but it definitely qualifies.
- Happily Married: He and Alexa started out in the restaurant as servers during their college years, and have remained inseparable since.
Co-owner and executive chef of the restaurant.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Not as bad as Randy, but she once maintained a store mannequin named Fiona in the front entrance to greet the customers. It freaked out Chef Ramsay the second he walked in.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Was known to add lots of cream to most of her dishes. One even came with a barbecue cream sauce. Understandably, Gordon is completely baffled.
- Nice Hat: Often wore a white baseball cap to work.
- Pride: Like many previous chefs took great pride in her food and failed to see what was wrong with it. That all changes, however, after Ramsay shows her the state of the fridge and its contents.
Alexa and Randy's eldest son and part-time manager of the restaurant.
- Only Sane Man: Not a fan of his father's hoarding tendencies but still does his best to support the family business. He wastes no time shutting down the kitchen after witnessing the horrors in the walk-in freezer.
The owner and manager of the restaurant.
- Captain Oblivious: Until Gordon pointed it out to her, she didn't notice anything unusual at all about the fact that the restaurant had clearly been opened for lunch, and he was sat there with a bucket containing hundreds of euros in cash.
- It's All About Me: Didn't give a damn at all about the fact that her giving up on the restaurant had put India out of a job, and left her father hundreds of thousands of pounds out of pocket. As far as she was concerned, she felt a lot less stress not having to run the restaurant, ergo it was the right thing to do.
- Medal of Dishonor: Ramsay has branded her the single worst owner in the UK version's run — and with the possible exception of Sebastian, and definitely Amy and Samy, the worst overall in the series' history — for not even making an effort to make her restaurant work, despite being given every opportunity to do so.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: By the time Ramsay showed up for his revisit, she had decided that running the restaurant wasn't worth the stress. She pulled this trope again when Ramsay called her out on her selfish attitude, and stormed out of the interview.
The restaurant's second head chef, bought in by Rachel's father late in the episode.
- Distaff Counterpart: Gordon clearly saw her as a younger, female version of himself, and the success she's had in the industry suggests he wasn't wrong about that.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After losing her job courtesy of Rachel's laziness, Ramsay sets her up an internship at one of his restaurants. She was subsequently offered a permanent position there, but decided against it in favour of returning to her native Scotland, where she's since enjoyed a highly successful career as a chef.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: It's clear that she could have made the restaurant a success had Rachel properly backed her, as shown by her subsequent track record.
The restaurant's owner and primary manager.
- The Alcoholic: Was often seen at the bar drinking during dinner service.
- Bittersweet Ending: Gordon helps him to find his way in the kitchen, but he ultimately made the difficult decision of selling his beloved brother's former eatery to return to his former occupation in construction.
- Broken Bird: It's clear how much his brother's death impacted him, and how lost he felt without him and his guidance.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: He was so despondent during dinner service that he would take every opportunity to retreat to the bar and drown his sorrows with a drink. When he wasn't drinking, he acted oblivious to the restaurant's ongoing problems through feigned optimism.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Was a highly successful man in construction before assuming ownership of his brother's steakhouse; his chronic depression over his brother's passing tremendously affected his ability to manage.
- The Load: His apathy to the everyday operations in the kitchen frustrated even his wife.
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Admitted to his lack of kitchen experience in assuming ownership of his late brother's former business, and it showed in his management skills, or lack thereof.
- Never My Fault: He failed to take ownership of the rancid state of the walk-in freezer, which his wife was quick to call him out on.
- Oh, Crap!: Seeing Gordon's expose on the public's opinion of his restaurant proved a major wake-up call to him.
Joe's wife, the restaurant's co-owner and its primary "hostess".
- Broken Bird: PJ's untimely death was just as devastating to her as it was to Joe, and she could only watch as her husband fell apart in his struggle to cope with his loss.
- Happily Married: To Joe, in spite of their financial troubles at the restaurant. In fact she supported the decision to inherit the restaurant after PJ's passing, which otherwise would've been sold off to new owners.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: A less extreme example than so many others, but she had a bad tendency to disappear from the front counter due to feeling intimidated and out of place in her role. Even worse, she didn't know anything about her own restaurant's menu.
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: She fully owned up to her aforementioned inexperience in running a restaurant, a job she expected Joe to live up to when they purchased the restaurant.
- Only Sane Man: While her inexperience and her fear of criticism at the restaurant hampered her ability to assist Gordon, she still fought hard for some hope that the family business could be saved and fully supported Gordon even as her husband remained distant.
The head chef of PJ's Steakhouse.
- Bald of Awesome: Subverted, as he proved highly ineffectual at his job despite his enormous confidence in himself.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Gordon had nothing nice to say of his food, and was quite critical of his use of canned coolie mango sauce on his crab cakes. And that wasn't the half of it...
- Epic Fail: His performance in the second dinner service definitely qualifies, where nearly every single one of Gordon's Mixed Grill specials cooked by him had been sent back for being cold and undercooked. After that, Gordon and the owners had finally had enough.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: His kitchen staff were constantly frustrated by his inability to guide or even talk to them during service.
- Lethal Chef: Gordon found bits of plastic in his crab cakes, the first dish served to him upon his arrival. He was quick to deny the presence of any plastic in his kitchen when this was pointed out to him. And this was before Gordon had even stepped foot into the walk-in freezer, where among many other things, he found black salad among its spoiled contents.
- The Load: So much so that Gordon wasted no time in singling him out and pushing the owners to cut him loose when he failed to step up his game.
- My Greatest Second Chance: Was given an ultimatum by Gordon to make sure he delivered on the second dinner service he observed. He was quick to waste it and for this he was promptly shown the door.
- Never My Fault: He failed to see just how poor his food actually was and constantly made excuses, never losing his overconfident outlook when confronted.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Promptly closed the kitchen when everything he cooked was sent back in the second service and then retreated entirely. He was finally let go shortly thereafter.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He had a very high opinion of the food he served, but was never able to deliver on the quality he always boasted of.
- Too Dumb to Live: Was seen laughing and eating popcorn during Gordon's expose on the negative word of mouth surrounding the restaurant. This quickly rubbed Joe the wrong way and probably helped convince him in his eventual decision to fire Eric.
Joe's deceased brother and the former owner and namesake of PJ's Stakehouse.
- Big Brother Instinct: Joe mentions that he very much had this, and Joe credited a lot of his success in life to the example set by his elder brother.
- Posthumous Character: He passed away some years before Gordon arrived at the restaurant. His death profoundly affected his brother, to whom he had been very close. It also affected the success of the restaurant due to Joe's struggle to effectively lead it while struggling with his own depression.
The restaurant's owner.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: While he keeps advocating for the carvery to stay because of the numbers that it pulls in, Gordon points out that no-one's showing up because of the quality of the food, it's because of the 50% off vouchers printed in the local press, meaning that the carvery actually operated at a loss.
The restaurant's general manager, who later takes over as head chef.
- Only Sane Man: Whereas Scott was clueless about the industry, and Toby just plain inept, Matt was a talented chef in his own right, and seemingly the only person at the restaurant who knew what they needed to do.
- You Are in Command Now: After Toby's repeated screw ups, Ramsay demotes him to sous chef and puts Matt in charge of the kitchen.
The initial head chef at the restaurant, later demoted to sous chef.
- Fat Idiot: He lampshades his weight by saying that you should never trust a slim chef. A point that might have gone over better if not for the much slimmer Matt (to say nothing of Gordon himself) being a far superior chef.
- It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: While having to cook the exact same stuff every day for the restaurant's carvery certainly didn't help motivate him much, if anything he was even worse at cooking the new menu that Gordon came up with.
- Lazy Bum: Had allowed the kitchen equipment to fall into such a disgusting state that Gordon had to have it all junked and replaced.
- Lethal Chef: By the time of the revisit, he'd managed to get himself fired for trying to serve expired chicken.
- The Load: While Scott's bad decisions could be explained away as a combination of his conservative personality and unfamiliarity with the industry, Toby was simply flat-out incompetent.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Stormed out of the kitchen after losing control of the line in the middle of the relaunch night. This was the final straw for Gordon, who ordered that he be reduced to sous chef and Matt to take over the kitchen.
- Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: The first person on the show to be told that they're unfit to run a bath, much less a kitchen, an insult that Gordon would use several more times (most famously with Fiesta Sunrise owner Vic) throughout the show's run.
The owner and general manager of the restaurant.
- The Eeyore: Rarely ever smiled or exerted the positive or confident energy needed to inject some pride back into his restaurant; the recent loss of his father probably still weighed heavily on him.
- Extreme Doormat: Had a hard time exerting control over his own kitchen, leading to a severe lack of quality control by his careless chefs.
- Workaholic: Often stepped in to do the jobs that were to be entrusted to his chefs, almost solely because he didn't have the nerve to tell them to do their jobs properly without Gordon to prod him on.
The executive chef of the restaurant.
- Blatant Lies: Claimed that he and the staff worked religiously to maintain the kitchen and its contents; instead Gordon found it to be possibly one of the filthiest kitchens he's ever come across, with even the walls caked in crud.
- Humiliation Conga: Gordon showed him no mercy after seeing firsthand the atrocious state of his kitchen, and finally got Peter to work up the nerve to fire him before the restaurant's relaunch.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: His thirty-eight years in the business unfortunately do not show in just about any of his conduct in the kitchen, which he could not be bothered to maintain properly on top of his subpar food. He outright refused to taste Gordon's pan-seared bass, insisted he "knew what one tasted like"; this proved to be one insult too many for Gordon.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Rarely ever listened to anything Gordon had to say, citing thirty-eight years of restaurant experience whenever anyone commented on the poor quality of his food.
- Smug Snake: Tried to no-sell any argument Gordon had against him or his service out of an inflated ego generated from (supposedly) thirty years in the business. Not to mention just how condescending and stubborn he could be, even with evidence of his lack of ability shown right to his face.
The sous chef of the restaurant.
- Epic Fail: He burns a piece of fish in a pretty low stress service. Gordon is quick to take him to task for being an experienced enough sous chef but not being able to cook a simple piece of fish.
- The Load: Was little more effective than Doug and blissfully unaware of just how bad things were in the kitchen. Gordon pushed Peter to fire him along with Doug before carrying on any further with his effort to save the restaurant.
- Those Two Guys: Worked closely with Doug and was just as bad at running his own work station.
The owner and head chef of the restaurant.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The most generous interpretation of Sebastian's confusing menu. Only Sebastian himself really thought it was awesome, though, and it didn't help that he was using substandard ingredients.
- Berserk Button: Just about any time in the episode where his batshit insane menu (pardon me, the batshit insane "concept") was challenged or threatened.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: All of the entries in Sebastian's "unique" menu were just mixtures of ingredients that made no sense at all together, without concern for flavors or consistency, just caring about looking cool or different. After twenty minutes of trying to understand the menu through the waitress, Gordon just asked her to serve the best they had. He was not amused.
- Hollywood New England: His Boston accent shows when he's angry.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Gordon angrily told him that 95% of his menu was made up of "disgusting, bought-in crap." Sebastian protested that the figure was really more like 80%.
- Manchild: Sebastian shows several signs of being emotionally immature. He's naive to the point of delusion about the restaurant's prospects, takes any criticism very personally, clings to his old menu out of petty ego despite it being an obvious failure, throws a temper tantrum in the middle of relaunch night after Ramsay gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech (in response to him switching back to the old menu), and later tries to tell Ramsay off with childish insults. Even during his tearful breakdown, he continues to insist that he can cook when he obviously can't, demonstrating a fundamental lack of self-awareness.
- It also doesn't help that his wife is the one financing the restaurant and shouldering all of the financial burden (and clearly resents it), implying that Sebastian contributes little to no financial support himself and is just living off of her money.
- Never My Fault: Went on local culinary websites and posted anonymously to badmouth Ramsay after his restaurant failed. The other posters immediately realized it was him and called him on it.
- Lesson: When trashing somebody and trying to stay anonymous, don't mention bad breath.
- Pretender Diss: A truly special case after listening to him talk about franchising around the world: "You haven't got fucking one right so far, how can you think about two?"
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gordon gave him quite a scalding one:"I'm forty years of age, and I've gone to a lot of restaurants, but I've never, ever, ever, ever met someone I believe in as little as you."
- For context, keep in mind that this episode came about four seasons before the infamous "Amy's Baking Company" incident.
- Skewed Priorities: Is more concerned about whether a menu is "unique" than whether if its actually good or doable. He also flat-out admitted to Gordon that he considered promoting the restaurant's brand and making a name for himself to be more important than actually serving quality food.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Openly doesn't care if the food served is good or the ingredients are fresh, all he wants is to make a name for himself and be "different" in order to stand out.
- It even extends to his acting work. In the episode he bragged about how he'd had a film career... By which he meant that he'd had a bit part in an Olsen Twins film seven years prior.
- Tantrum Throwing: Takes out his frustration with Gordon by smashing a vacuum cleaner.
- You Keep Using That Word: Sebastian insists that "Sebastian's" doesn't have a menu, it has a "concept"! It's "unique", which seems to be more important in Sebastian's mind than being delicious.
Sebastian's sous chef.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Was clearly the person who Sebastian should have delegated the actual day-to-day running of the restaurant to, as she was not only a naturally talented chef, she had a much better idea of what would go down well with the locals.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Not in the episode itself, but when fellow cook Q later reappeared on the show in the "Casa Roma Revisited" episode, he says that Lou-Bertha quit after falling out with Sebastian one time too many, and everything totally fell apart after that, leading to the restaurant closing not long after.
One of the line cooks at Sebastian's.
- Chekhov's Gunman: During this episode he doesn't get all that much screentime beyond occasionally badmouthing Sebastian and showing off his skills in the relaunch. That little bit of screentime was evidently still enough to impress Casa Roma owner Nylah, who employed him as her restaurant's head chef ahead of the revisit episode.
One of the waitresses at Sebastian's, and the one who serves Gordon his first meal there.
- The Ditz: Made a big show of delivering a dish to Ramsay, while not noticing the very slight fact that she hadn't bought a knife and fork.
- Everybody Has Standards: While she was easily the staff member most supportive of Sebastian, even she refused to lie to Gordon about the seafood being frozen.
- Only Friend: Whereas most of the staff clearly didn't like working with Sebastian, she actually seemed to get on reasonably well with him, to the point of supporting his decision to switch back to the original menu in the middle of the relaunch service, though it's unclear whether she genuinely thought he was doing the right thing, or was just being a Professional Butt-Kisser.
Darryl and Ellen
The husband and wife co-owners of Zeke's.
- Bad Boss: Darryl was known to be condescending towards his employees, with his two chefs in particular feeling like they had zero input in the kitchen they had worked in since before he had ever owned the place. Worse still, they had forced their staff to take a pay cut and were able to make time for multiple vacations while their staff and their restaurant struggled to make ends meet.
- Can't Take Criticism: Darryl was extremely defensive of the food he was putting out and of the ill-advised practices he enforced for the sake of cost effectiveness. Ellen later became no less hostile when confronted on how their management style had destroyed morale among the staff.
- Control Freak: He insisted on dictating nearly every aspect of the kitchen and the food, and didn't trust his two head chefs to put out quality food that didn't follow his own design.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Their chicken and oyster dishes that carried their namesake were considered among the restaurant's worst entrees. Special mention goes to their chicken-fried steak, where Gordon discovered a fatty slab of skin he compared to a deep-fried giraffe's tongue.
- Cutting Corners: The big reason for why the restaurant struggled under his leadership, as Darryl drastically reduced the portions of food served in his efforts to drive up profit; instead it led to a severe drop in quality of the food and put off many of the restaurant's most loyal patrons.
- Insistent Terminology: You can tell how much these two care about money by the fact that Darryl will always call the dishes they serve "a good product".
- It's All About Me: In stark contrast to the restaurant's previous owner, they didn't seem especially concerned about the happiness of their customers. They even had the audacity to name dishes after themselves.
- Happily Married: Both of them are clearly cooperative to each other and stick to each other's beliefs. The problem is that those beliefs are themselves, the bottom line and nothing else. In other words, they might be happy together, but anyone else around them is miserable.
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: They were utterly oblivious as to how their cost-cutting practices were driving away business, and generally failed to do anything beyond insisting that the staff do things the way only they saw fit.
- Only in It for the Money: Given their fixation on money and cutting costs, it's not terribly shocking that pretty much their entire staff felt that this was their sole motivation in keeping and maintaining the restaurant.
- It's easier to tell by their approach towards the food itself. Darryl in particular will repeat ad nauseum that the food they serve is a "good product", and separates the food to be used in a dish in transparent plastic bags, at one point revealing he actually measures how much shrimp to use for a portion. His Insistent Terminology is right, they DO see the food as a "product", and nothing BUT a product. They don't care about making it taste or look good, they care about serving it and getting it over with to get paid after service, as coldly and "efficiently" as possible.
- Small Name, Big Ego: They named several dishes after themselves, the most notorious of which was the Oysters Cortello platter. They were quick to disparage Gordon's opinion that the dish was actually terrible.
- Tempting Fate: Ellen challenged Gordon's concern that the kitchen was serving week old lasagna and actually implied the customers would be pleasantly surprised to find that their old food was as good as it was when first cooked. When Gordon told her he would inform the dining room of his discovery, she laughed it off. She finds herself in the hot seat when the customers react negatively to Gordon's announcement.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Gordon reforms the restaurant as a donation, does his damnedest to improve the menu and get more people into the place, tries his hardest to encourage the staff to be more open about their lack of satisfaction, and how do these two return the favor? Selling the restaurant after Gordon leaves them, figuring the additions Gordon put would get them more money.
Emil and Jason
The restaurant's two head chefs.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The two are best friends and worked in the restaurant together for a very long time, being virtually inseparable.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Gordon saw how much Darryl and Ellen's inflexible management style had impacted their work ethic, and so he gave them both the chance to prove to the owners that they could both cook some amazing dishes without their input or interference; they quickly proved themselves to be way better chefs when finally left to their own devices.
- Supreme Chef: When not bogged down by Darryl's unreasonable demands, they are both this. Their southern-style salmon dishes amazed both owners who were surprised to learn that Gordon was not the one to cook them. Additionally, their bread pudding was easily Gordon's favorite dish when first tasting the food.
- Those Two Guys: Have been working together since first coming to work for Zeke's original owner; they even both wore caps while on the clock.