Food Court Wars: Casual Comfort vs. Healthy Offerings by Joseph Erdos in Shows, July 21st, 2013
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On Food Court Wars, two teams of aspiring restaurant owners battle it out to win their very own food court restaurant worth $100,000. Through a set of challenges that test their menu offerings and marketability, the team that makes the most sales on grand-opening day wins.
On tonight’s episode at the Wausau Center in Wausau, Wis., two teams with polar opposite food concepts attempted to win over the locals’ appetites and score a food court restaurant. Tyler, chef and owner of a local restaurant, The Black Sheep, and his employee Sarah, the managing waitress, wanted to open up a comfort food spot called Casual Joe’s. Carlie and Brianna, two roller derby girls, wanted to open The Wrap Trap, a healthy eatery that offers salads and wraps. But which team would have what it takes to win the battle in a town with a soft spot for comfort food?
In the first challenge, Casual Joe’s had trouble pinpointing their concept, which was to be casual comfort food. Instead Tyler went the fine dining route and created a dish that the taste testers, made up of mall walkers, found to be disconnected from their brand. Wrap Trap took the win, but the biggest critique was their brand’s name, which could easily be mistaken for “rat trap” — so they were thereafter to be known as Carlie & Company.
For their marketing challenge, Carlie and Brianna proved they had the passion for healthy food while serving their dishes at a kids’ event at the YMCA. Unfortunately, Casual Joe’s had trouble getting their message out at the stock car race where they were serving. Their marketing efforts may have been unimpressive, but luckily their food was well-received. In a state known for cheese and sausages, Casual Joe’s seemed to be the perfect fit, but how would they be received on grand-opening day?
Both teams had their share of challenges during their grand openings. Even with the five minutes of extra time that they had won in the first challenge, Carlie failed to get the food ready in time for their start, and Brianna forgetting to write their signature dishes on the menu board was not helping in sales. And at Casual Joe’s, Sarah had an emotional breakdown when her dad, who had previously been unsupportive of her career path, showed up to support her. By the end, Casual Joe’s managed to outsell Carlie & Company with their menu of Wisconsin-style comfort food that everyone loved.
Watch Food Court Wars on Sundays at 8pm/7c.