On last night’s episode of “Restaurant: Impossible,” Robert Irvine traveled to DeFuniak Springs, Fla. For this episode titled “Drowning in Debt,” Robert was called in to “Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant” by Carolyn Cuneo and Lisa Pitts, the mother and daughter who run the restaurant. Dad was George, who passed away six years ago from lung cancer. They owned the restaurant since 1988 and it has been those six years since they recal seeing a profit.
Carolyn will not let her daughter, Lisa look over the books, even though she is a bookkeeper for a local high school. They are at least $100,000 in debt and face being closed by the IRS at any moment.
Robert observed a service and observed that the customers were not thrilled with the food, although she is ready to deny it. Each customer received a salad with their entree, but very few ate the salad. Robert wants to find out why so much is being wasted. Robert ordered several items, but although not bad, were not great.
When Cheryl came in to observe, it was a mish-mosh of walls and a feel of a funeral parlor, rather than a restaurant. As they emptied the place, several emotions were apparent as George’s memory was being stripped from the restaurant. Robert met with the staff to find out that so much free food was being given away to anyone who claimed it was a birthday or anniversary. The food costs were not properly calculated either.
Cheryl got to work customizing the hostess stand; the first thing customers see when they arrive. Robert got Carolyn to spotlight the top six best sellers and explained how to cost these out. Carolyn is stubborn and not easily adaptable to change, but Robert is the voice of reason.
On the second day, Carolyn was outside crying because the cooks were baking the bread in the same manner George used to. Robert went over Carolyn’s homework assignment to cost out the entire menu. All items were kept. Robert pointed out that there are numerous churches throughout the area and by opening on Sunday, they could be out of debt very quickly. Robert also pointed out how they could save thousands of dollars yearly by just changing the amount they give away, spend for ice, bread and pre-portioned meats.
When Carolyn and Lisa got to see the finished restaurant, they were awestruck and loved the change of the entire interior. Cheryl and Tom did an awesome job. The crowd outside could not wait until the grand opening and welcomed the change. All the plates came back empty from happy customers, thanks to Robert and his crew of “Restaurant: Impossible,” who week after week, do such an awesome job.
At the end of each show, Robert tells viewers to check his link to see how the restaurant is doing since his visit. Feel free to add your comments, especially if you have visited the restaurant.
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