Restaurant Revisited: Soup to Nuts Diner

by in Shows, March 17th, 2013

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleSoup to Nuts Diner in Tavares, Fla., was in such poor condition when Robert Irvine arrived that he promptly deemed the restaurant “dangerously dirty” and refused to let anyone eat the food coming out of the kitchen. Littered with bugs and coated in dust, this 1950s-style eatery featured a cluttered dining room with tattered seating, but unfortunately for owner Sharon Whitmore, even more serious problems were in the kitchen. There, Robert found tools and equipment caked with grease, raw meat being kept at unsafe temperatures and a complete lack of management among the cooks.

For the last four years, Soup to Nuts has struggled with decreasing business, and Sharon admits that prior to Robert’s visit she was losing nearly $1,000 per month, which resulted in the foreclosure of her home. With a $10,000 budget and only two days to work, Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team reworked all aspects of her restaurant, deep cleaning every surface in the front and back of the house, demonstrating the how-tos of making a fresh menu and restructuring Sharon’s schedule so that she’d be able to abandon her 100-hour workweeks. At the end of what Robert called “one of the most-ambitious projects we’ve ever tackled,” Soup to Nuts reopened to hundreds of customers with in-control management at the helm. We checked in with Sharon a few months after the renovation to find out how her business is doing.

She tells us that in the weeks immediately following filming, Soup to Nuts was “overwhelmed with” a 40 percent increase in business, and now the restaurant is “up consistently about 20 percent over last year.”

While they’ve made a few tweaks to the decor like additional paint, new blinds and adding “a door from the front counter area and a wall so the kitchen is no longer seen by the dining room,” Sharon, the staff and much of the customer base have been wowed by the other changes at the eatery.

Employees are now washing the restaurant each night, Sharon tells us. “I have had to get on the cooks for poor closes a few times, but Alan is closing five nights a week to reinforce a proper, clean closing.”

In terms of management, Sharon has interviewed several applicants, but she’s yet to hire a full-time lead cook. Jeanie is still working at Soup to Nuts, as Sharon believes that she “grew from the experience,” explaining that “she is not as hotheaded.” Sharon adds that “several of the people who gave [her] the most grief are not [t]here anymore.”

Soup to Nuts is still serving its original offerings but with additional dishes from Robert’s menu, including fried green tomatoes, disco fries, salmon burgers and roasted chicken.

For the most part, Sharon is sticking to the schedule she developed with Robert. “With Alan staying and riding his bike home, the restaurant has guidance and supervision,” she explains. “I am very thankful for the privilege to have been picked for this experience,” she adds, looking back on the renovation. “I am happy personally and with my restaurant’s makeover and volume.” She is no longer living with her parents and is looking forward to what the rest of the year brings to her business.

More From Restaurant Revisited:

Caseyville Cafe (March 13)
Maniaci’s Italian Restaurant (March 10)
Dinner Bell Restaurant (February 27)
Nanny Goat’s Cafe & Feed Bin (February 20)
Sapori D’Italia (January 23)
Windseeker Restaurant (January 16)
Whiskey Creek Steakhouse (January 2)
Rising Sun Bistro (December 19)
Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri (December 9)
Bronk’s Bar and Grill (December 5)
Rohrer’s Tavern (November 28)
Poco’s on the Boulevard (November 21)
Oleander Bar and Grill (October 17)
Valley Inn (October 10)
Whistle Stop (October 3)
The Maple Tree Cafe (September 26)
Michele’s (September 19)
Paliani’s Restaurant (September 12)
Frankie’s (September 5)
Gusanoz (August 29)

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Comments (300)

  1. Mary says:

    My family ate there in March. The floor was dirty. Food was poor. French fries tasted like the fish.

  2. cody says:

    this restaurant is now closed

  3. Steve says:

    I was grossed out watching the owner in denial of filth and slippery floors. Management was not loyale to her "Really, I wonder why" and the business was not loyale to the customers "Dirty dishes/food" Places like this will never succeed. I don't understand why RO invested in to a nasty place as such. Just one solution to counter filth is to have common sense. Please do not go west and open a restaurant here in Oregon. We have routine inspections over here which identifies dirt prior to filthy grease. The dishwasher boys over here respect females bosses. We ain't scrawney and whiny. SO LONG!

  4. Jill says:

    I don't know when they revisited the restaurant because it closed down not long after the re-vamp!! :(

  5. Chelsea says:

    It's reopened now different name but the same people that worked there before.

    • Ed L says:

      No it's not the same people as before. I just ate there this morning. It's owner is a Greek. None of the wait staff is from Soup to nuts. The problem with Soup to Nuts is Irvine didn't do anything with the menu. Same old when reopened. The interior design was hedious! And this was done by a pro? Irvine really failed on this oen and I wonder how many more he's failed on. Really, I don't think he knows what he's really doing.

  6. Paula says:

    Soup and nuts went out of business. There is already a new one in it's place.

  7. bobusch1 says:

    Sad thing is for me seeing that Soup to Nuts has been sold, I was ready to pack up and head there to help out and start my new life there, what Robert did was awesome, and living near a place he fixed and then they went back to garbage(FRANKIES) I just don't get it, you got a chance and then go back to losing money, wow ….wake up, not everyone gets that chance and for people to go back to why you called him is just braindead. Just want you to know Sharon, I wanted to help you. just a note here for all do not hire anyone under 35 yrs old, they don't care about anything until its too late. I Wish you the best , Sharon, and wish I could have worked with you. I wish you the best life ever

  8. bobusch1 says:

    would love to talk to you, Sharon, but know that will not happen, just sad to see SOUP TO NUTS go away before I could help to try and save it…… but know it happens

    • bobusch1 says:

      if you want to respond, Sharon, The Owner of Soup To Nuts, its patternless12@yahoo.com and I am not one of those, I am a cook and looking for a place that is upscale and think you got caught in a place that many get caught in the business, but it can work

  9. Gregory M. Maddox says:

    The Soup to Nuts Restaurant is under new ownership as of this month: Their last inspection was twelve months ago. https://www.myfloridalicense.com/inspectionDates….

  10. pretendernx01 says:

    Poe's Law states, "without a clear indication of the author's intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between sincere extremism and an exaggerated parody of extremism"

    What you posted wasn't clearly different to the average reader than what the owner accused Robert of doing, therefore it was difficult to tell if you were using sarcasm or not.

  11. Foofie says:

    I got the sarcasm… and thought it was funny! Some people are just too brain dead to get it. :)

  12. Abalone25 says:

    The best sarcasm is for those with above-average intelligence. Who cares about the average reader getting it?

  13. DoctorGNYC says:

    How come I had no problem seeing it was sarcasm?

  14. Bob says:

    SOMETIMES they do…but they also 'revert to their best known and comfortable behaviors over time' if not constantly reassessing…of all the restaurants I've seen on the show, this one, the Dinner Bell, and the crab house with the two hoarders were the ones where I thought 'There's no way these guys are gonna make it…first, they are filthy pigs, and two, there's a touch of psychosis going on there, and you can't fix that.'

    The owner of 'Soup to Nuts' was bipolar at least, psychotic at worst. I don't eat there no matter which she is. Her son was a weirdsmobile, too.

  15. Epic Fail says:

    I live in a major metro area that has successful Mom and Pop diners that don't serve snob foods like salmon cakes. And some of them have been on DDD.

    And for the record, I'd rather eat Spam than salmon cakes as would many others shown by it's long time popularity.

  16. Paul B says:

    Way to turn a food show into political commentary, moron.

  17. MissGlam67 says:

    I have very little patience for wimpy business owners. The staff is rude and uncaring because they can get away with it. The owner won't do anything about it. I wouldn't be suprised if she re hired that dishwasher than Robert fired. Her staff doesn't respect her and neither do I for that matter.

  18. ahughes798 says:

    Stay classy, a-hole.

  19. Nan says:

    Richard was not being political at all, Paul. Where do you see anything political there? He is talkiing about the way parents are raising their children nowadays. That young man who was the dishwasher needs someone to teach him how the world works and how to act when you are at your place of employment, with the public, your boss and your fellow employees. Since his parents didn't teach him, he will have to learn from the school of hard knocks. He will keep losing jobs because of his attitude unless he learns from his mistakes. One is never too young or old to improve themselves.

  20. Pete says:

    Typical response from a clueless liberal.

  21. Fitz says:

    Both owner and manager are to blame. I have always worked with staff showing that I will do what it is
    expected … by being a good example and work along side with them. When you hire young adults they'll need strong guidance and after a while … comes naturally and they will just do. However it comes from routine and not letting up cause you want to be popular …. Your their Boss not their BFF ( Best friend Forever)

  22. guest says:

    Hey, NYC:

    Before you congratulate yourself on your alleged superior understanding of sarcasm, you might try for a minimal understanding of grammar; it's not YOU'RE, it's YOUR. LOL

  23. Sara H says:

    Richard took a jab right at the end with the "clueless lib" comment.

  24. ritgar says:

    The wacko spinners must be bored if they are even cruising the Food Network for places to put obnoxious posts!

  25. HankHs_Dad says:

    Yes Hank they are 90% successful and you have probably not accomplished anything in your life. But hey keep putting people down because that makes you feel better. Good luck in your mom's basement, do you get good cable?__LOL_Chris

  26. ritgar says:

    Who is Hank?

  27. Clueless Lib says:

    Maybe they could rename the place the "Tea Party" and have it stuffed with fat losers on disabilty. Bet that would make for a great place!

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