by Maria Russo in Shows, September 12th, 2012
by Maria Russo in Shows, September 5th, 2012
At Paliani’s Restaurant in Burton, Mich., Robert Irvine found a decades-old Italian eatery in desperate need of a Restaurant: Impossible overhaul. He had only two days to tackle the filthy interior and disorganized kitchen at Paliani’s, and help give owner Marina Bufalini the tools to improve her management. We checked in with Marina to see how Paliani’s is doing a few months after its Restaurant: Impossible renovation.
Marina is happy to report that since the transformation, sales at Paliani’s have increased. In June and July, the restaurant saw year-over-year growth of 46 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
Paliani’s has seen a mix of returning and first-time customers coming to see the makeover and taste the new food. While some longtime diners have struggled to adapt to the updated decor and menu, many new customers are pleased, as is Marina. Of the restaurant’s fresh look, she says, “I love the decor and how the light panels on the wall brighten everything and give the room more dimension.”
by Sara Levine in Shows, August 29th, 2012
When Robert Irvine visited Frankie’s in Three Rivers, Mich., he found a dusty, outdated restaurant with dangerous levels of food safety and a kitchen stocked with more microwaves than pots and pans.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.
by Mallory Viscardi in Food Network Chef, Shows, August 22nd, 2012
When Robert Irvine arrived at Gusanoz in Lebanon, N.H., husband-and-wife owners Nick Yager and Maria Limon were struggling to keep their six-year-old restaurant afloat. Locals once flocked to Gusanoz to taste Maria’s authentic Mexican food, but growing pains got the best of the restaurant and Maria had all but lost her passion for the business. Robert faced a big and expensive mess to clean up, from the decor to the tired menu. A few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover, Nick filled us in on how the new-and-improved Gusanoz is doing.
After a slow start, Nick reports that sales at Gusanoz are now steadily growing. To improve their bottom line, the owners took Robert’s advice and cut down on labor costs significantly: “Our total labor is approximately 28% weekly, slightly higher than the 27% Robert asked us for, but definitely in the right ballpark,” says Nick.
by Cameron Curtis in Food Network Chef, Shows, August 20th, 2012
Food Network superstar chef Robert Irvine will be live-Tweeting the 50th episode of his hit show, Restaurant: Impossible. Tune in and Tweet along with Food Network and Robert Irvine starting at the show’s all-new time: 9pm/ 8c. Follow @FoodNetwork and @RoberIrvine1 and share your commentary using the hashtag: #RestaurantImpossible.
by Sara Levine in Shows, August 8th, 2012
In honor of the 50th episode of Restaurant: Impossible, “Behind the Impossible,” Robert Irvine sat down with us at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival at Caesars Hotel & Casino (where he spent time as their culinary director at the beginning of his career) to share some of his most memorable moments from past seasons. While he did have a party in Philadelphia to celebrate the milestone, he’s already filming future episodes saying, “it’s 50 and then we keep on going.”
1. At The Main Dish in Meridianville, Ala., Robert turned a sad and neglected restaurant into a comfortable, sophisticated eatery, and gave a new lease on life for Lynn and Ken Tverberg. Check out how the restaurant is doing now in our Restaurant Revisited.
Get Robert’s top four moments
by Sara Levine in Shows, August 1st, 2012
In Stratford, Conn., Michael Savoie and his mother Cami needed Robert’s help to keep their 15-year-old Italian restaurant, Stella’s, alive. Despite working exhausting 90-hour weeks, Michael was clueless about food costs and lacked the leadership skills to effectively manage his staff. From management to decor, Robert and his team gave Stella’s a complete overhaul. We checked in with the Savoies a few months later to see how business is going.
In the months following their Restaurant: Impossible intervention, sales at Stella’s are up 20 percent.
Michael is letting his mother have access to the business financials. He now has a better grip on how to manage food costs. As the new general manager of Stella’s, Cami is also handling the catering side of the business and helping to keep costs down.
by Sara Levine in Shows, July 25th, 2012
At Italian Village in Milmont Park, Pa., Rob Mellon Sr. and his son Rob Jr. desperately needed Robert Irvine’s help to return their 30-year-old restaurant to its early glory days. It was a big job: Robert and his team not only had to overhaul the menu and dark interior, but also remedy long-standing issues between father and son that were hurting the business. We checked in with the owners a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible intervention to see how the restaurant is faring.
Since Robert and Restaurant: Impossible visited, sales at Italian Village are up 18%.
The owners took Robert’s advice and reduced the number of menu items to about 30. Robert’s recipe for Drunken Penne remains on the menu and is a big hit: “Almost every night, somebody orders it,” says Rob Sr.
by Sara Levine in Shows, July 18th, 2012
At Zandi’s in Millersville, Md., sisters and co-owners Evette Aponte and Yvonne Zandi were just a few months from closing down when Robert Irvine showed up. He was discouraged to find not only lackluster food, poor service and tired decor, but a lack of passion on the part of the owners. A few months after their emotional Restaurant: Impossible makeover, we checked in with Evette and Yvonne to see how business is going.
Since Robert’s Restaurant: Impossible intervention, sales at Zandi’s are up 39%. They’ve gone from roughly 30 customers per day up to 70. Evette and Yvonne are slowly catching up on their debt and will soon be able to start paying their mother back.
by Sara Levine in Shows, July 11th, 2012
When Robert Irvine arrived at The Main Dish in Meridianville, Ala., owners Lynn and Ken Tverberg were in desperate need of help. They bought the restaurant five years earlier because Ken loves to cook, but with no restaurant experience at all, the couple found themselves in debt and working 80 hours a week. We checked in with Lynn and Ken a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover to see how the restaurant is faring.
Lynn and Ken have seen a strong increase in sales since Robert’s intervention. “The new menu and decor has brought in old and new customers,” says Lynn. “Some customers don’t like change, and I have made sure that I explain to them that change sometimes is hard but necessary. For every one customer that is not happy, we have three new tables that come in and love the new menu.” Read more
Robert Irvine arrived in Fayetteville, Ga., to help owner Lisa Howard revive Longbranch Steak and Seafood, the restaurant her husband Lindsay gave her two years ago as a wedding gift. Robert and his team raced against the clock to clean up the kitchen, get the staff into shape and give Lisa the confidence and tools to run a successful business. We checked in with the Howards to see how things are going a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover.
“We must admit, it was somewhat of a culture shock to our regulars,” says Lindsay Howard. To help longtime customers adjust, the Howards added back a few of their old favorites alongside Robert’s new menu items, a combination they believe will help them succeed. “We feel confident that we can make our restaurant a place where people want to continue to come and bring others as new patrons,” says Lindsay.