Bar Rescue and Restaurant impossible - anyone watching these?

I have been trying to get into this show and Restaurant Impossible for a while now.

While I enjoy parts of both of them, I also find them very formulaic, which I guess is to be expected.

John Taffer, of Bar Rescue, is the host/driver of the show. He claims he is one of the worlds leading expert on turning bars around, and I don’t have any reason to doubt it. And he has an approach and a personality which would lead me to believe that if he is a Bar Rescuer, he’s a good one. However,

I can’t look at him… his massive head, his bulging, somewhat independent eyes moving around in that huge skull, and his mouth (which is the first mouth that has ever reminded me of the famous Dangerfield line “the last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it.”

Anyone else have this experience watching the show? His big head and freakishly ugly face, combined with his booming voice and massive size, intimidates people. In short, he is just a bully. And watching a bully berate people is an odd way to spend an hour. So even though I find the basis of the show interesting, and the types of things he finds amazing (the stupidity of the owners always baffles me), I find myself looking for the show less and less.

Similarly, Restaurant Impossible is almost the exact same show, with a restaurant being the star instead of a bar. Robert Irvine is the show’s star, and instead of being an overweight blowhard like Taffer, he’s an incredibly vain muscle-buffed flaming homosexual (who is apparently so far in denial and in the closet that The Food Network is broadcasting his wedding). For the entire hour, he wears the same skin-tight clothes, which is quite strange. In fact, I can’t remember seeing him in anything but a pair of ass and nut-hugging blue jeans with a size-too-small polo shirt.

Again, he’s a smart guy, and he clearly knows his stuff. But the way in which he presents himself, along with the very predictable formula for the hour-long show makes it hard to watch long term.

I love Bar Rescue, but I thought Season 1 was better than season 2. Season 2 feels more confrontational for the cameras.

I’ve watched Restaurant Impossible, and I don’t like it as much as by forcing their turnaround in that show’s limited funding/timing format I think they’re building to failure. I can’t see how most of those guests aren’t eating in a restaurant that reeks of fresh paint and you have to wonder about the rushed quality of construction. Still, part of my loves watching the destruction of egos that thought they knew how to run a restaurant simply because they wanted to run one.

I agree with you regarding Restaurant Impossible. The paint and chemical smells alone would kill a diner, so it always mystifies me why the big push at the end is always shown. To realistically open, I would think the paint smell at a minimum would have to go, and beyond that, any varnish they put on tables, or glue on the floor and walls.

R.I. is exactly the same show every week, with the restaurant changing and the people changing. Otherwise, the show follows the same format, including the internal squabbles, the inability to get things done in time, and the miracle save and opening at the end.

B.R. is the better of the two shows, I think, but not by much, simply because I can’t stand the host. Like I said, he’s a bully, and I think it’s easy to look like a hero for the tv show, and then leave town, with the wake of problems he can leave behind. Still, I think he is angood business man, so I like watching it from that perspective. The show (like all reality shows) is just too staged and phony.

One thing that both of these programs have done, though, is make me fearful of eating out, as some of those kitchens are just unbelievably disgusting. Even the clean ones are filthy.

It also makes me realize that utter morons can make money in the business. How some of these people were able to getma loan to open.a door on a bar or restaurant when they know nothing about pricing and ordering food, for example, is beyond me.

Finally, it strains the imagination to believe that the chefs, cooks, bartenders, and wait staff can all shape up and pick up the pace from what they have been doing. Especially in the kitchens, where people who are often not trained formally, are not going to be able to learn what they need to in two or three days.

I understand that they only have an hour, and the reality shows all have the same format (clip of them at work, side interview afterwards explaining what happened), so I know they are limited, biut I wish the shows were just less formatted.

I used to watch Dinner Impossible obsessively! I LOVE Robert Irvine.

Haven’t watched much of Restaurant Impossible, but he and a crew were here re-doing a local restaurant about a year ago. He insisted the owner put a few fancy-schmancey items on her menu, but it’s a casual down-home kind of place and they didn’t go over that well.

I haven’t watched Bar Rescue. I imagine any services that could improve business in a bar are desperately welcomed. Between the economy, no-smoking, and drunk driving laws, bars are taking a big hit.

The shows are actually pretty good. What amazes me (having worked in several restaurants) is the absolute pig-headedness of owners-the are in a money losing situation, and just keep blindly going along. It takes someone from the outside to look at the situation, analyze it, and offer solutions.

I’ve just started watching Bar Rescue and Impossible. Do they always remodel the bar at the end of the show? Because, if I owned a bar, the best thing about being on the show would be getting a free remodel. In fact, I think I would tend to ignore the advice and hope for the remodeling to start bringing in the customers again. Yes, yes, your advice is good but let’s talk about the new lighting and sound system I’m going to get.

I’m not much of a reality TV guy, but I have seen one episode of the restaurant overhaul show. I just wanted to chime in to say that I thought it was funny when the owner had a secret recipe for BBQ Sauce, and it was… a huge bottle of BBQ sauce from the grocery store; with some other ingredient mixed it like ketchup or brown sugar or something.

I’ve never seen Bar Rescue, but I have seen multiple episodes of Restaurant Impossible (along with most every episode of Kitchen Nightmares). What I can’t understand is why the owners and chefs need the help from these shows; the advice is almost always the same. (Simplify the menu. Don’t serve frozen or pre-made food. Clean the kitchen and dining room.) And, also, here is an article about what happens when Restaurant Impossible leaves town. (Short answer: A lot of time, the owners change the menu back.)

But his wife is the hottest of MILFs.

I like the show. I think he should ease back on the yelling. He seemed more restrained on Season 1 (and his wife made more appearances).

What always irritates me is the artificial time table. “I have 4 days to turn this business around!”

There is no way in hell that construction happened overnight.

I like watching Bar Rescue. I’m amazed of the stupidity of some of the owners. The worst one I watched was the Pirate Bar episode, he turned the place around and a couple of months later the owners when back to the Pirate theme.

The host reminds me exactly of one of the owners of a restaurant I use to work at. When this guy came in. Everyone, and I mean everyone starting looking really busy. Nothing got by this guy which made it a successful restaurant. He owned several in the City.

Yelling is a normal way to get things done in most restaurants I’ve worket at. It shouldn’t be foreign to these people.

Given the busy atmosphere of restaurants if you have a line cook eg. who’s hung over and isn’t up to busting their ass off during a busy shift and is falling behind dragging everyone else down with them. Going over and have a calm little pep talk hoping it gets them in gear in a middle of a rush isn’t as effective as " GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER !!! " by the head chef at the top of his/her lungs while hurling a pan across the kitchen.

I liked ***Restaurant Impossible ***the few times I watched it, but I always wondered whether the restaurants that got “fixed” actually succeeded afterward.

SOME of my curiosity was satisfied by this piece:

Bottom line: it’s a very mixed bag. Sometimes, ***Restaurant Impossible ***helps, many other times it either makes no real difference or even HURTS business. And that’s NOT necessarily a negative reflection on Robert Irvine.

Let’s face it, the restaurant business is tough, and even if you do EVERYTHING right, your chances of going bust are high. Maybe the location is hopelessly bad. Maybe the demographics of the city or neighborhood mean you can’t attract the kind of clientele you need. Maybe it takes TIME to build a customer base, and you just can’t afford to wait that long.

In any case, by the time a restaurant owner calls Robert Irvine for help, things may be VERY far gone. Irvine and the TV show may give the place a temporary shot in the arm, and a little publicity, but the problems may still be impossible to overcome.

But one interesting story in the Times article I linked involves an Italian restaurant in Missouri that changed its menu and made all the food much higher quality, at Irvine’s recommendation… but before long, they went back to serving the crappy food they always used to serve, because their clients PREFERRED canned sauces and frozen Sysco pasta! The restaurant was losing its old clients, because they didn’t LIKE fresher ingredients and higher quality food! And financially, the owners couldn’t afford to push away their old cleints in hopes of attracting hypothetical new clients who might or might not ever show up!

Robert Irvine talks like he just got his new teeth and hasn’t quite figured them out yet. They get in his way. My daughter likes the show, but I usually leave the room.

The problems with Resturant Impossible (which was NOT the case on the the show it ripped off: Kitchen Nightmares) are:

  1. As talented as Irvine’s builder and decorators are, everything they do looks blandly identical. They were at a historic (ok–not really “historic” but old and beautiful) seafood place that was covered with old hardwood walls. It was shabby but potentially gorgeous and could have been a major high-end restaurant. And they painted the walls red, white and blue–right over the wood. :rolleyes:

  2. The phony deadlines and the phony money crunches. Why 72 hours? Why not a week and really take the time (even off-cam) to teach the owners about POS systems, to train the sous-chefs. To teach the head chef how to run a kitchen?

  3. For all that Irvine plays a tough guy, he’s gotta be the biggest sissy I’ve ever seen. Dude. EVERY kitchen can’t be “The worst kitchen I’ve EVER seen. < puke >” Seriously–every other episode (roughly) he does that routine. Dude. You puke more than a 10 year old girl with a weak stomach on the Teacups Ride at Disneyland. It doesn’t make the kitchen look bad, it makes you look like a wuss.

  4. Stop with the fucking family psychodrama. I don’t care about the disfunctionality of the family. I care about the restaurant aspect.

  5. You, Irvine, after falsifying your resume and blatently lying about your credentials, have absolutely no grounds to stand on to tell people that they have to be honest with you.

  6. You sound like an idiot when you’re screaming at your builder for not doing something within a phony time-frame AND when you’ve made things worse by taking a sledgehammer to random walls, despite your designer saying slamming hammers into stuff makes more work for him.

If you’ve never seen the British version of Kitchen Nightmares, it’s well worth your time to seek it out. It’s what the Americann version of Kitchen Nightmares should be and what Resturant Impossible ripped off poorly.

He seems to have a hearing disorder. If you look at his ears he’s got some sort of hearing aids in both.

This season, RI has been downplaying the oh-my-god-we-only-have-6-hours-until-opening schtick, and focusing more on the disfunctional restaurant owners, which is where the real entertainment is.

Oh sweet Og, I think it was this one. The second picture shows the horror. That ranks right up there with Hildi gluing straw to the walls in Trading Spaces.

His hearing is fine. They’re earpieces for communications from the producer, etc.

I much preferred Dinner Impossible to Restaurant Impossible, but both are gimmicky shows with a limited shelf life.

I’ve also noticed he stresses price points and food costs more now than in previous seasons.