Restaurant Revisited: Gusanoz

by in Shows, August 29th, 2012


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 (114)

  1. Geo says:

    Please stop watching, I love the show and would like to know the ratings numbers. Bet there going higher. As a small buisness owner, watching the passion Mr. Irvine gives is VERY inspirational, owning a buisness is extremely difficult. He gives these owners a chance, it's up to them to sieze the opportunity! Having the right mind set in a buisness is critical. The daily problems in any buisness can take a lot out of you , especially in these trying economic times. Could not disagree more. PS. I got the hots for Tonya.

  2. gail and john says:

    Have eaten at Gusanos intermittently for many years.

    Revisited last night to see what all the attention has done to it:

    great dinner (they changed menu back toward what it used to be from the more restrictive menu suggested by "experts")
    nice decor – better than the past with a touch of their old flare without the harsh lighting suggested by the "experts"
    great service
    reasonable price
    recommend even more so than in the past

    ps. the location is certainly not ideal but hopefully the rent is low

  3. kwiltinguy says:

    My wife and I had Lunch here today and it was wonderful! We had the guacamole and Maria herself came to the table to make it … wonderful! My wife had the lunch chimichunga and I had the lobster taco. Both were fresh, full of flavor and .. well … wonderful! The service was fast and we loved the look. It was fun to be able to see first hand a restaurant we had seen on TV! We will definately come back again.

  4. Local Mom says:

    I go to Gusanoz at least twice a month. They always have the tableside guacamole. It's always consistently delicious. My favorite meal before the renovation was the Chile Relleno Burrito. It's just so much better now. The Lobster Taco and a cold beer on a hot day is the way to go.

    Lunch service is so much better. Often we had to wait, but now we're in and out and back to work in our alloted lunch hour. And there was actually a wait to get in the other night! So happy for Nick and Maria.

  5. suzqu says:

    Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics? Thank you so much!

  6. Very interesting details you have noted , appreciate it for posting .

  7. Youre so right. Im there with you. Your blog is surely worth a read if anybody
    comes throughout it. Im lucky I did because now Ive obtained a whole new view of this.

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  8. Renae Vittek says:

    I’ve been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours today, but I by no means uncovered any interesting post like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my look at, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent information material as you possibly did, the net will most likely be much more useful than ever before.

  9. Gusanoz seems great… I'll take a visit to it…

  10. Bev says:

    Just watched a rerun of this episode. I am not a huge fan of Mexican food, however after watching this episode, I am putting this restaurant of places to visit when I travel! The restaurant looks great and the food, fabulous! Please don't change a thing until I can get there!

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