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Woobie / Kitchen Nightmares

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With all the wackiness and egos many of the resturaunt owners have, it's no wonder their staffs have a few Woobies in them.

  • Peter from "The Seascape". It's pretty clear his mother is more than a little overbearing and his meek mannerisms saw him getting abused by his Jerkass chef, to the point where he was cleaning the kitchen for them, even after a (rather pathetic) attempt to order them to do something. Then he reveals he was a "Well Done, Son!" Guy and even after getting pointers and tips from Ramsay is still clearly a nervous wreck.
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  • The staff from the Mill Street Bistro. Their boss, Joe, is a dictator who constantly talks down to them, mistreats them, and drives away the customers that provide their livelihood. The chef is a talented guy getting hamstrung with mediocre recipes, and one of the waiters even stated that his dad wanted to strangle Joe after witnessing his son's mistreatment. It's not shocking that by the end of the two-parter, some of them eventually left the job.
  • John of Mama Maria's. He establishes fairly early on that he was pressed into the family business at an early age but doesn't really show any resentment toward his parents over this: he's merely struggling to keep the restaurant and his family legacy alive out of love for his parents, and stuck in his ways. Gordon points this out and shows that even his staff know more than him, and helps show him that he can still preserve what he loved about his parents but move on from their methods and style.
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  • Perla, at Mama Rita's, had no experience in cooking food from scratch, only prepping and reheating, and had a limited knowledge of the English language. Unfortunately, she was also the head chef of the restaurant, meaning when dinner service came around she had authority over the cooks and responsibility over the food being served. Perla was so used to the prep-and-reheat method that she drastically undercooked all the meat by applying microwave times to traditional methods. When her co-workers, Gordon, the owner, and the customers started screaming at her to be more competent, she broke down in tears. It didn't help that she was put into a taste competition with the owner and Gordon, where she spent five minutes just staring at her raw chicken, not knowing what to do with it, and her dish was the only one the staff disliked, or that Gordon continued to rant at her as she was crying. It was made clear through the episode that Perla never learned even the most basic of cooking skills, though Gordon never saw that (despite him noticing a severe lack of cooking experience in other prep-and-reheat locations he's visited). Rather than firing Perla, as Gordon suggested though, the owner put Perla back in charge of the catering department, which Perla had made into a success in the past.
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  • Anthony and Frank of Davide. Tony's a recovering addict (painkillers), and has done time in the slammer. But he owns his mistakes and made a serious and honest effort to turn his life around and gave the restaurant 110%. But his brother Frank, who's also the head chef, wouldn't give him any credit or acknowledgement for his effort and just kept beating Tony down. And Frank himself is so burned out and defeated that he's just a shell of the man he once was. And throughout the whole episode, it's clear that Tony only has love and respect for his brother and believes that Frank can be a great chef if he just found his passion again.
  • Rose of Leone's, who was in a coma for two years and came out of the coma to find that her pride and joy had been more or less run into the ground. She had to hold her throat so she could talk and was still on oxygen. OUCH.
  • Mama Mary of Blackberry's, a sweet old woman and excellent baker who put everything she had into her daughter's restaurant, only for her daughter to refuse change, disrespecting both her and Gordon when he tries and fails to help.
  • Daniel of Burger Kitchen, a young adult who had come into a large inheritance from his recently deceased grandfather only to see his parents withdraw his entire trust fund so they could establish their restaurant. Not even having a stake in the family business, Daniel still does his damnedest to support his parents despite the trust that they no longer have, and is constantly stressed by the toxic atmosphere in the kitchen as well as their open disdain for his girlfriend. It's such a bad situation that Gordon is determined to set it right for Daniel's sake.
  • Melissa from Campania's, she's funding her husband's entire business even putting her house on the line and how does her husband thank her? By not taking the business seriously and cheating on her with one of his waitresses
  • Celine in La Frite. Poor girl is trying her best in expediting the kitchen and managing the restaurant, but head chef Martin refuses to acknowledge her existence (even though he has no trouble answering to a man), her brother Alex ignores her to an almost resentful level, and her dad keeps nagging that she needs to work together with him... which isn't easy when he's brushing off every attempt she does at making peace with him. It goes to the point she walks behind the restaurant to cry in secret because of the pressure, and it's heartbreaking. Luckily, due to Gordon's intervention, Alex began coming around and got over his issues with his sister; working together with her in harmony. Martin... not so much.
  • Brenda in Zayna's Flaming Grill. She owns the restaurant with her aunt, knowing that she lacks the experience to do it herself. However, her aunt, Fay, is so afraid of losing the business (which has been her dream for years if not decades) that she insists everything be done her way and becomes incredibly confrontational. At first Fay looks like many of those jerks from other episodes, but further discussion with Fay reveals that she is doing it out of fear - she's so afraid of messing up that she lashes out in anger. (Making her a Jerkass Woobie)

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