Restaurant Revisited: Frankie’s

by in Shows, September 5th, 2012

Robert Irvine at Frankie's on Restaurant: Impossible

When Robert Irvine visited Frankie’s in Three Rivers, Mich., he found a dusty, outdated restaurant with dangerous levels of food safety and a kitchen stocked with more microwaves than pots and pans. After meeting owners Jay Woehrmyer and Tina Wyman, however, he realized that poor management and a lack of leadership were their biggest problems. Robert had just two days to turn around this 13-year-old restaurant and attempt to fix Jay and Tina’s failing partnership. We checked in with Jay and Tina to find out how they and Frankie’s are doing a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible experience.

Since Robert left, sales at Frankie’s have risen 39 percent, and Jay and Tina report that the makeover is attracting new customers. Both count the new open layout of the restaurant among their favorite parts of the decor.

The kitchen staff is adjusting well to Robert’s popular new menu, and Frankie’s is now serving daily specials. They’re no longer serving the mussels, rib-eye and walleye as customer demand wasn’t high enough to keep ingredients fresh.

The owners have taken Robert’s food-handling suggestions to heart. They now ensure that their products are fresh and that raw and precooked items don’t mix. Though the restaurant still uses the pizza oven to prepare many of its dishes, it is no longer as dependent upon its collection of microwaves, relying on them mostly “to keep food warm” and to cook burritos.

Perhaps most importantly, Jay and Tina have taken steps to improve their professional relationship. As Jay’s wife, Debbie, told us, “they still have their ups and downs. But they are communicating with each other instead of intentionally ignoring one another. Robert did a good job pointing out that working together is what is needed to keep the restaurant running.” The pair now meet twice a week to discuss the business, and both owners say that Restaurant: Impossible has changed their partnership for the better.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Gusanoz (August 29)

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 (77)

  1. Julie - Florida, says:

    Because the show aired on September 5th, that is when most of the original comments where made.
    Click on the replies to get more current responses. If you look at the dates on the replies you can tell when the last response was.

  2. steve says:

    I'm surprised that a chef of 25 years didn't notice that Frankie's wasn't using a 700 df oven.

  3. Bearhugs says:

    Since the 2 guys have been doing the decor, I think it looks awful! I would rather go to a cemitary!!

  4. Kristi says:

    Get rid of the spam comments!!!!!!!!!

    • cjb says:

      I agree 100%. Is anyone monitoring these comments? Or is this a free-for-all, anyone that can't type gets posted kind of place? I like watching the show, and used to like reading the comments. Now I',m afraid of infecting my computer with this crap. Food Network gets a big FAIL. Oops, wrong show.

  5. I am not spam says:

    I see one real post and 90 spam posts. Robert should do a makeover on this crappy site.

  6. The Count says:

    Good Show, Rober Irvine!!!

  7. Shetts says:

    The restaurant is over 35 years old, 13 under the current management!

  8. diane says:

    Doesn't Michigan have licensed food manager courses that are required? Minnesota does!

    • Dave says:

      Michigan does have a required Food Safety Course that ALL restaurant managers must take. It is called Serv Safe and I think it is a national course. It is 8 hours long and has an extensive exam that you must pass.

    • Angel J. says:

      Yes, Michigan does have inspectors. However, here in St. Joseph County they are beyond incompetent. They are far more concerned with foods being labeled within 7 days than silly little things like cross contamination and time and temperature abuse. Any moron can change the date on an open ranch dressing, but it takes brains and just a little bit of humanity to know that raw and cooked don't mix. I have worked at almost every restaurant in and around Three Rivers and found almost every restaurant to be disgustingly unsanitary. I'm from Chicago where the vast majority of restaurants are clean and the food is safe. I must say that, after working only one day at Frankie's, it was (pre-makeover) one of the cleaner places in the area. I still eat there, and that says a lot because I do not eat at most of our local restaurants. We have a Mexican restaurant on Michigan Ave and because the owners are from Cicero, IL I eat there and feel safe. Cicero is just outside Chicago, in the same county and I'm certain that they know food safety. Also, Brewster's is in pretty good shape. I worked there, too and never saw any serious problems. I eat there every Sunday.

  9. Shawn Culver says:

    Awesome! Glad that their relationship is improving. I can't believe they would work together but not speak to each other. Life is short, so just be happy!

  10. Texas Owner says:

    About Frankie's…2 friends owned for 13 years….Started out grossing $750k….good. Female ran with a manager for 10 years….Then started downhill….Male stepped in to try and help and all I heard from Robert was HE didn't train her!!! She didn't learn anything in her first 10 years????Give me a break!

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