The restaurant owners featured on Fox's "Kitchen Nightmares" are desperate for help. Their eateries are filthy. Their menu items are in great need of culinary repair. Sometimes, the staff members themselves are the issue. If you've been paying close attention to the reality program, you'll realize that the show's star consultant Chef Gordon Ramsay has his hands full. But if you're really paying attention, then it becomes painfully obvious that Gordon is more than just an expert lending a helping hand. His intense tirades aren't unjustified; clearly these people have problems that run a lot deeper than empty dining rooms and dirty deep freezers. Check out the many hats that Chef Gordon wears during any given episode of "Kitchen Nightmares."
Marriage & Family Counselor
Many of these restaurant owners are husbands and wives, or related in some way. As Gordon digs through the issues within the restaurant, he usually uncovers a disturbing family dynamic that is ultimately responsible for the problems the restaurant is having. Husbands and wives reveal marriages that are crumbling under the strain of business failure. Brothers and sisters drown in sibling rivalry. You name the family issue, and Gordon has been charged with diffusing it for the sake of saving a flailing business.
He's a top-notch chef. But he's also a businessman. More often than not, Gordon discovers that these restaurateurs are in dire straits; if they don't turn the business around soon, they are in danger of losing not only their eateries, but also their life savings, and even their homes. Gordon doesn't exactly revamp the entrepreneurs' budgets. But he does show them how to get the best return on the investment they've made in the business.
Gordon employs some rather interesting (and sometimes sneaky) ways to determine what the public thinks of a restaurant's food. Most often, he goes directly into the street, asking past diners what they think of the establishment. One of his avant-garde tactics included standing before an entire room of customers and advising them that the restaurant's "fresh" lasagna special was actually fresh one week ago. His methods for getting to the truth aren't always pretty. But the eye-opening tactics are usually effective in showing the owners how customers really feel about their dining experience.
Gordon Ramsay often discovers that the Nightmares are not reserved for the Kitchen. The dining room itself is just as nightmarish. Outdated wallpaper, filthy ceiling fans, and "busy" decorations are just a tip of the proverbial iceberg. Ramsay not only helps management to run things more smoothly, he also helps to redesign many of the bland and dated dining rooms. If you're going to serve haute-quality cuisine, it should probably be served in a dining room that doesn't look like an adult Chuck E. Cheese.
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- Kitchen Nightmares
- sibling rivalry