Restaurant Revisited: Feathers Fly at Ducky’s Family Restaurant

by in Shows, October 30th, 2013

Robert IrvineFacing nearly $230,000 of debt, 33-year-old Ducky’s Family Restaurant in Kokomo, Ind., desperately needed Robert Irvine‘s help if the business was to have any chance at future success. Not long after Robert arrived, he realized that poor-quality canned food was among the largest issues plaguing Ducky’s, as was its drab interior decor akin, which Robert’s designer, Taniya Nayak, deemed “a cafeteria nightmare.” Together with Taniya and the rest of his Restaurant: Impossible team, Robert re-launched Ducky’s after two days of work on a $10,000 budget, and he helped owner Bill Duncan and Bill’s family learn essential skills for managing their family-run eatery. FN Dish caught up with Bill to find out how his business is doing a few months since the show filmed.

“Since the shooting of our episode, we have doubled our weekly sales,” Bill said. “Everyone loves the remodel.”

Ducky’s has brought on additional team members who “are doing a wonderful job,” according to Bill, who added that “Amanda has stepped up to the plate, working longer hours and putting organization to the business in just about every area.”

Once Robert left, Connie and Jason began to oversee “back of house” operations, according to Bill, who added, “This seems to be working very well.” Additionally, the restaurant has established regular meetings with the staff, including “weekly manager meetings and monthly mandatory store meetings that give [Ducky's] grounds for improvement,” Bill said.

Although Ducky’s is now offering thicker-cut french fries, they are still serving the dishes that Robert created, Bill notes. “The biggest surprises are the blackened catfish and the turkey sliders …. The reviews are mostly favorable,” he said, adding that they’re no longer relying on canned or frozen goods.

More from Restaurant Revisited:

Mama Campisi’s Restaurant (October 23)
Aponte’s Pizzeria (August 25)
Benner Street (July 28)
Hurley’s American Grille (July 21)
Kalico Kitchen (July 14)
Angelo’s (June 23)
Pier West Restaurant (June 16)
Pinehurst Country Lodge (June 9)
Bryan’s Smokehouse (May 26)
Wagon Wheel Family Restaurant (May 19)
Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant (May 12)
Smitty’s Restaurant (April 28)
Old World Italian Restaurant (April 21)
Joe Willy’s Seafood House (April 14)
Sweet Tea’s Restaurant & Catering (March 24)
Soup to Nuts Diner (March 17)
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)

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Comments (137)

  1. Julie says:

    I wonder if there were any attempts to draw up a contract where an investor/s would pay the back taxes, in return for a very small percentage of the profits, until the investor/s were repayed. Win-Win

  2. Keep an Open Mind says:

    It is so sad on how people hate on the family, show, and even the govt. Robert and the show are aware of the risk each time they do the show. I'm very sure that the restaurants on the show are aware that they won't be in the black (profit) overnight. In the local news article, Mr. Duncan doesn't blame the show. Remember, the debt hadn't accumulated overnight so it wouldn't disappear overnight. Also, in the case of ownership, it was a family business. I understand and believe the locals point of view of who was in the restaurant but I do question some of those locals and ask them did you live on their home as well to know how they will pass on the restaurant? I'm very sure there have been some successful restaurants that the show has turned but we can't expect all to be that way. Lastly, do not fault the BUSINESS owner if he has the right mind to sell a newly renovated restaurant for top dollar.

  3. ejpattison says:

    I would have DEFINITELY let that snotty lady in the pink keep walking…Good bye crank box know it a;;!!! I was yelling at the tv, "No, don't go after her, let her go" Ugh, I would say something to a crabapple like her if I saw her and was a customer.

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