With minor exceptions (like the host, Robert Irvine, throwing up while cleaning a putrid kitchen or having to deal with an owner who asked him to be there, then takes umbrage at his well-founded criticisms), the show is formulaic: Find an old restaurant that with out-dated menus and decor, chefs who don't know what they're doing (or worse, come close to poisoning their customers!), uncaring serving staff, and managers who are totally clueless as to their own business' accounting, and make it a success in only 2 days with a mere $10,000 budget for re-decorating.
Sometimes, however, it doesn't go far enough. For example, one small, family, restaurant owner alleged that he paid a contractor $500,000 for "renovations", which Robert said (and I agree) was grossly overpriced and with underwhelming results. Why didn't he sic lawyers after the contractor?
Another negative is that, during the early seasons, each show ended with a few lines on the screen indicating the results of the restaurant a few weeks later. Naturally, the vast majority seemed to be doing well. However, later seasons changed that to a blurb by the chef telling viewers to go to the Food Network site to see how the restaurants are doing. This should have been anathema to the chef, whose basic philosophy is to not make customers wait! In other words, why in the world would I want to take the time and trouble to do something they could have told me in 10 seconds, possibly while the credits roll? Worse that you have to search for the restaurant or show, which the Food Network does NOT make easy!
Having said all that, it is interesting to see what Robert is up against, and how he handles it all, especially with proud and hostile owners/managers/chefs/staff. It's good human drama, even though it is predictable.
I really love this show. Chef Irvin is positive and energetic! I see a difference between Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant Impossible. Chef Irvin teaches and does not humiliate those that he helps. He may speak roughly to them, but he explains to them what he's doing. When I watch his show - it makes me get up and work on my personal projects! I am inspired to go online and try some of his dishes. I never felt like that with Kitchen Nightmares or F Word. Also, Chef Irvine does charity work!!!! He is awesome!
I agree with Skaizun. The show suffers from being a clone of Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" and it boils down to (no pun intended) whether you like the guy or not. When I first experienced this fella, it was on "Dinner Impossible" (worth a watch) and I really didn't like his abraisive manner but I warmed to him and seeing as Ramsay is suffering with a serious case of celebrity-itus, Irvine can fill the gap when it comes to this type of show.
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!