Restaurant Revisited: Stella’s

by in Shows, August 8th, 2012

Restaurant Revisited: Stella's

In Stratford, Conn., Michael Savoie and his mother Cami needed Robert’s help to keep their 15-year-old Italian restaurant, Stella’s, alive. Despite working exhausting 90-hour weeks, Michael was clueless about food costs and lacked the leadership skills to effectively manage his staff. From management to decor, Robert and his team gave Stella’s a complete overhaul. We checked in with the Savoies a few months later to see how business is going.

In the months following their Restaurant: Impossible intervention, sales at Stella’s are up 20 percent.

Michael is letting his mother have access to the business financials. He now has a better grip on how to manage food costs. As the new general manager of Stella’s, Cami is also handling the catering side of the business and helping to keep costs down.

The new, improved sauces are a big hit, as is the new pizza menu — Stella’s Special and the Popeye are customer favorites. “Now our menu is a combination of Robert’s new dishes and our old menu items, and it seems to have something for everybody,” says Cami. “The menu is still about half the size it used to be, so it’s helping us keep inventory costs down too.”

After Robert helped Michael with his managerial skills, the staff is now under control and more respectful. “The staff has been really flexible as we have gone through changes. The waitresses are happier with bigger tips, and the cooks love the smaller menu,” says Cami.

The Savoies say guests love the new decor: “We get a lot of requests to sit at the booths in the atrium, and the new bar is catching on,” says Cami. They have switched out the tabletops and are now using the ones Robert’s designer Taniya made that weren’t dry for the re-opening.

Overall, the Savoies are thrilled with the increase in sales and are optimistic that the business will only go up from here. “It was a facelift we needed, but couldn’t afford, so we’re grateful,” Cami says.

More from Restaurant Revisited:

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 (174)

  1. sangee says:

    Went to tjis restaurant today to have lunch . The place is designed well and everything has a fine new look but I was dissapointed with the service.There were just three guests including us and the service sucked.we waited for 10 minutes for them to ask for drinks.Water wasnt poured in our glasses and the only thing good was the pizza.It tasted delicious.Honestely for a service like this I would hesitate to go back.we thought things must have changed since Restaurant Impossible was there but NO!!

  2. Flotsam & Whimsy says:

    Sorry to say that Stella's closed in June of 2014.

  3. Faith says:

    Really? Where u seeing the other info?

  4. Reknbal says:

    Just sounds like whining over small stuff. They didn't even know stuff like food cost, that they were losing money on catering, how to put in that 10k bar, why their pasta was so watery, should I go on? And if their old customer base was so big,important and precious why wernt they turning a profit? They had to make an effort to attract a bigger crowd and not keep something on the menu for the 2 old couples that go once a month. That's real life.

  5. dave says:

    ct post paper today

  6. striker says:
    here is the link to the ct post article

  7. Jerry says:

    Try Trip Advisor.

  8. charliesbbq says:

    Reknbal and that is WHY I say listen to your Momma she knows what she is doing ;)

  9. charliesbbq says:

    Not YOUR Momma,,,, Michael and his Momma LOL :D

  10. charliesbbq says:

    "but in the end, your customer base is your customer base, and you need your regulars."

    Read more:… The bottom line if their "REGULARS" supported them they would not have ever called RI to get in their face and if they can't see that they will fail :( I own a restaurant and I would love for Chef Robert to come here but NOT TO SAVE ME but to hang out and drink a beer a talk LOL :D

  11. dave says:

    come on, if the momma knew what she was doing, she'd have demanded to see the books, and calculated it… to much credit given, for someone who was 100k into something

  12. charliesbbq says:

    Dave you are wrong most folks want their kids to make it and will ignore alot of things (but shouldn't grant you that) to see the positives in them ;)

  13. Gail says:

    If these people failed to incorporate and KEEP the changes RI initiated, they DESERVE TO FAIL! Those 'regulars' never kept the place running and for these idiots to go backward and add back those loser menu items is testament that their doors will close soon. I say GOOD! They ask for help and then expect not to continue working to keep the momentum going once the camera crew leaves. That's just dumb. Go open up a McDonald's franchise…that's about all they're competent at…maybe.

  14. Seeing the positive says:

    Ouch! Sounds like someone wasn't hugged enough…….!

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