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. Gregory M. Maddox says:

    The Office of Communications for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation affirmed that Hotels and Restaurants Inspectors PERFORMED a re-inspection of the Soup to Nuts Diner prior to the Broadcast Date
    https://www.myfloridalicense.com/inspectionDates….

  2. Vicky says:

    I don't understand either how these people invite Robert to help them then turn right around and go back to their old menu. In looking at comments some have even had the audacity to complain about how he acted or what he did. Hello people you get 10,000 dollars of FREE redecorating. He cleans up your crud and tries to change your menu to food that is edible. To contact food network and say hey come to my restaurant you've obviously seen an episode or 2 at least. He never changes how he acts. Robert is Robert in EVERY show so you should know what you're getting yourself into. He's not mamby pamby. If you're a slob he's going to tell you. When he spits your food out it's for a reason so leave his changes for a while and give them a chance. A LOT of people watch this show so you could end up with new business.

  3. Esteban says:

    Sharon is another person who should not be in the business. She has no clue how to lead or how to run a business. No backbone and no class.. She is pissing away everything Robert and the crew did for her and the palce is pretty much back to the way it was befofre Robert came there. Dirty, bad food and a staff that could care less. Oh and they can not even bother to update their own website or facebook,. I think Sharon is lazy…

  4. Charles Tilton says:

    Resturant — FAIL —– Went to this place before and after the Kitchen Impossible show visitied. Before it was dirty and had a staff that was young and disrespectful to the customers. The owner Sharron was a clueless mean person who seemed to think everything was perfect. I went 1 week after the show and it is back to the way it was. Floor was dirty, food service was poor and even heard the staff in the back yelling at each other while Sharron was up front not doing anything but starring off into space. She seems way out of and doesn't care. Thought the show helped her out but you can't help those who are MORONS !! Sharron please sell this place before you either kill someone with the food or your staff burns the place down.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Just from the comments u gave bwen forewarned and wont go here.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Just from the comments u gave bwen forewarned and wont go here.

  7. pinkhiheels60 says:

    I just watched this episode and talk about clueless. Is the owner bipolar or what? That stupid happy dance thing instead of dancing she should have been cleaning. Never saw such a dirty nasty place. I wouldn't let my dog eat there. A joke………..

    • healthinspector says:

      She acted so stupid. Pure white trash! The toothless wonder got on my nerves too. Why reward laziness? Help people who will appreciate it! This idiot doesn't deserve help! She and the staff looked as filthy and unkept as the diner! I am not watching this show anymore! Gets on my nerves! The diner is probably a front for drugs or prostitution anyway!!

  8. One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment says:

    The Frog team is just stopping by to show some love. We had the great pleasure of working with the Restaurant Impossible crew on this episode. Filming was a lot of fun and truly a different animal from our grind of stainless steel. Hope you saw our shining faces and we're calming our Finance Manager's bruised ego because his face wasn't shown… how you expect a man to get the girls when he can't get his picture on national tv.

  9. Lynne says:

    It didn't take S2N logn to change back to its old way. Decor- changed, menu- changed, staff- changed but still lazy and worthless. And worst of all Sharon doesn't have a clue. I'm betting S2N will be closed by summer.

    • Kristen says:

      It did close in may! She moved back to whatever state she moved here from..I forgot! I would have started with all new staff I went there about 3 weeks after the re-do and we had aweful waiters and there were about 10 of them and we waited for 10 minutes to even order drinks and 25 to get them…we lost track when i came to food…they didnt smile and the owner just sat there and we were sitting next the register and she kept looking at us but didnt say a word! I would have changed staff in a heartbeat! The staff was to busy hanging out with each other and they weren't very friendly!

    • LINDA P says:

      IT DID CLOSE IN JUNE, 2013

  10. Roger says:

    I stopped by S2N not long after the show and spoke with Sharon regarding the show and what everyone saw. I then told her about the experience I had owning and being a General Manager in 2 restaurants. I asked her if she would be interested in hiring me as her NEW G.M. and allowing me to run her restaurant. With my years of experience in the business and knowledge of what it takes to be successful I thought I could make a HUGE difference in helping her achieve her goal of a thriving restaurant. I knew that if it was me in charge at S2N, the problems and attitudes we all saw on the show would NO LONGER be an issue

    • a.s. says:

      Lease the thing now and put your money where your mouth is.

      • Roger says:

        If I had the capital to lease the place I would ,and I'd put my money where my mouth is. However at this time I have my money invested in other interests and don't have the cash to do so. How bout YOU put up the money and I'll show YOU what I'm talking about. There is so much potential at that place it's scary. Just my 2 cents.

    • Scooby says:

      You have all this knowledge huh? What happened to your restaurant ? What happened to the other restaurants u managed? Right, I thought so.

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