Restaurant Revisited: Gusanoz

by in Shows, August 29th, 2012

Gusanoz

When Robert Irvine arrived at Gusanoz in Lebanon, N.H., husband-and-wife owners Nick Yager and Maria Limon were struggling to keep their six-year-old restaurant afloat. Locals once flocked to Gusanoz to taste Maria’s authentic Mexican food, but growing pains got the best of the restaurant and Maria had all but lost her passion for the business. Robert faced a big and expensive mess to clean up, from the decor to the tired menu. A few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover, Nick filled us in on how the new-and-improved Gusanoz is doing.

After a slow start, Nick reports that sales at Gusanoz are now steadily growing. To improve their bottom line, the owners took Robert’s advice and cut down on labor costs significantly: “Our total labor is approximately 28% weekly, slightly higher than the 27% Robert asked us for, but definitely in the right ballpark,” says Nick.

The owners have also brought down their food costs without sacrificing the quality of the food. Maria and Nick are overseeing the kitchen directly and prepping much of the food themselves. “We have been working seven days a week but it is paying off,” says Nick. “Food quality is at an all-time high and we are very happy with the improvements in the ability of our line cooks.”

Nick and Maria’s daughter Alex continues in her role as lead server, and their son Eddie works the line in the kitchen and also bartends once a week.

As the front-of-house manager and Gusanoz’s only salaried employee, Shannon “has been very effective in working with the staff to maintain a higher level of guest service,” says Nick.

Nick and Maria are thrilled with the new dining room: “We have personalized it a little by adding candles and dimming the lights, but the core of what Lynn, Tom and Robert created for us is still there,” Nick says. “Thank you again to the crew and producers of Restaurant: Impossible. You are not just making television, you are changing lives.”

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Stella’s (August 8)

Italian Village (August 1)

Zandi’s (July 25)

The Main Dish (July 18)

Longbranch Steak and Seafood (July 11)

Horton’s Kids (June 13)

Pollard’s (May 30)

University Grill (May 23)

Ristorante Barolo (May 16)

Pappas (May 9)

Mama Lee’s (May 2)

Pelican Grill (April 25)

Valley View (March 14)

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Comments (115)

  1. momxx4 says:

    Those kids were not good kids, they didn't care about their parents or their job. They were very young, too young to have two kids of his own. I have owned restaurants and if all you want to work is 30 to 40 hours a week, you need to find a different job.

  2. John says:

    Seen it before. They have a mexican restaurant in Destin FL that does table side guac. It really just makes it seem more flashy and is an easy way to give the guac a higher price. The upside is being able to show the customer that you are using fresh guac and other fresh ingredients in the dip.

  3. Rob says:

    I thought the understated Mexican decor was great. Way better than a bunch of gaudy sombreros and loud, clashing colors that many of you seem to be looking for and that seem to find their way into every other cookie-cutter Mexican restaurant.

  4. jkendall says:

    I totally agree with you about the kids. They have no clue what it takes to run a business and "hard work" doesn't seem to apply to them. I was shocked to see how old the boy was – he looks 18. He acts 18. Hopefully with the mother's renewed confidence she'll be able to smack those kids into shape.

  5. Vanessa says:

    It doesn't mean worms…it means maggots in Puerto Rican spanish!! I would never eat there with that type of name.

  6. Gomez Addams says:

    It is OK because guacamole goes bad very quickly and tastes best when very fresh. Caesar salad can be kept around a bit longer and does not require freshness to taste good. In other words the return on investment from table-side caesar salad is minimal.

  7. ricky says:

    rite Tanya is the best she does realygood work

  8. satchulo says:

    I know! I thought the same thing. Terrible name for a restaurant.

  9. satchulo says:

    Really? I actually think he's nicer than Ramsey and is able to articulate without saying the F word several times in every sentence. Personally I like both shows. True, Restaurant Impossible copied Ramsey's concept from Kitchen Nightmares, but I like the way each show transforms restaurants.

  10. Anthony says:

    There's a steak house in Louisanna in which he does the same thing (assuming not the one you're mentioning cause of location) but the reason is that A) Tableside Caesar requires pasteurized eggs to mitigate health law problems B) Often, it's just bottled dressing that a server "adds" ingredients too. C) It's more labor intensive and not as efficient from a cost standpoint D) Impossible for smaller restaurants because it's made on a cart and not AT the table so to speak.

    • AlistZ says:

      I think that Robert bitched out the lady about the Caesar Salad for that reason. They were not actually making a Caesar dressing from scratch, they were using method 'B'.

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