If you’ve seen Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay doesn’t hold back when it comes to berates and profanity – which may explain why some restaurants featured end up closing as a result.
Many of these restaurants are run by confident restaurateurs who disregard Ramsay’s advice.
Gordon Ramsay makes his way to Campania Restaurant in Fair Lawn, New Jersey that was featured in Kitchen Nightmares back in early 2007. Joe Cerniglia purchased Campania only 18 months before and it had quickly fallen into debt; with employees treating it like an informal frat house environment; drinking on the job jokes being told around them while they worked and food that was subpar at best.
Due to his problems, Joe was on the verge of losing his business and having to close down. To stem further losses he needed serious changes and thought Gordon would be the perfect person to implement them; unfortunately things did not go exactly according to plan for Campania.
Ramsay went straight to the heart of the matter by visiting Cerniglia’s home to speak with his wife and children, as well as visiting Todd Kuehm, whose family owns the farm where his restaurant obtains produce from. Ramsay’s brutal honesty has become one of the hallmarks of his famed show and amassed millions of viewers.
Erwin took an aggressive and direct approach, telling Joe his restaurant was on its way downriver and that he lacked any understanding of business management. Furthermore, his staff had become excessively drunk at work while their prices for food exceeded market norms.
After an emotional meeting, Gordon promised Joe he’d help turn his restaurant around. First he taught the staff basic cooking techniques; he then helped them craft a menu more suitable to their vision for Campania; cut portion sizes so customers wouldn’t take away half their meals; and introduced an innovative new dish which he thinks could bring fame to Campania.
Campania is home to some of the finest seafood cuisine in Italy, from traditional fried preparations such as cuoppo to dishes like soups and stews featuring added seafood. It can also be enjoyed as an antipasto or served alongside pasta dishes at many restaurants throughout Campania.
Bazzini Restaurant in Ridgewood, New Jersey was featured on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares in 2010. Owners Paul and Sharyn shared a passion for pasta while facing difficulties running their business – losing money every month while dealing with staff that lacked expertise on food topics.
After Gordon Ramsay visited the restaurant, he made adjustments to their menu and trained their staff in how to create different dishes. Following that visit, the restaurant relaunched with an updated look – which pleased its owners; however it wasn’t enough to keep business alive – soon thereafter the business closed despite this new look; their website is no longer active and Facebook page taken offline.
Though most restaurants featured on Kitchen Nightmares don’t fare too well after airing, some have managed to survive and thrive post-show. Perhaps most notable among them is Chappy’s Diner in Nashville which gained notoriety for poor service and overpriced food before its episode airing; after which its owner changed their ways and the restaurant thrived again.
Purnima in Chicago also faced difficulty attracting customers due to long wait times and bland food, leading to its closure two years post-episode airing. Furthermore, Peter Pellegrino who owned it had connections to the Bonanno crime family.
Even though the restaurant in Ridgewood, New Jersey did not last very long, it did find success. Chef Ramsay visited Lisa’s Mediterranean Cuisine a second time; unfortunately however, its owners refused to speak to him and accused producers of creating drama solely for television. While this episode may be lacking substance compared to others on Food Network site such as Season 1, you can still catch an interesting moment from Ridgewood when viewing its original episode on Food Network website!
Adele and Bill Csepi retired successfully after running a diner, yet were soon drawn back by Florida and its tropical surroundings. So after three years they opened Flamango’s in Whitehouse Station; taking its name from combining Florida and mangoes. Though intended as an elegant dining experience for their staff it proved far less so; poorly run with Cheryl not respecting workers at all while even shouting insults at them and telling them she was cursed!
Gordon Ramsay featured the restaurant on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and helped revamp both its menu and dining space, successfully drawing in new customers while the owners went back to old habits. Unfortunately, in January 2014 the restaurant closed down – however The Rail at Readington has since opened in its place.
Kitchen Nightmares’ most contentious episode involved an ongoing feud between mother and daughter owners and their staff over food quality and decor issues, which lead to Gordon being brought in as mediator to resolve it and reopen their restaurant with much better reviews from customers.
Kitchen Nightmares episodes featuring female-owned restaurants are not an exception; Anna Vincenzo’s in Boca Raton, Florida is one such restaurant. When they purchased it, CeCe and her partners overextended themselves financially and tried unsuccessfully to heed Gordon’s advice in getting it back on track before eventually closing its doors in April 2010.
This episode showcased another family dispute among two generations of restaurant owners – this time mother and daughter owners were at odds over finances of their business, despite receiving positive reviews for years prior to airing of this show; eventually it closed after airing and has since been replaced by Nino’s of Boca.
Pantaleone’s Restaurant in Denver, Colorado was opened by Pete and Paulette Fafalios in 1985 and quickly proved itself successful during its early days, winning multiple awards and receiving rave reviews; however, recently their ratings have begun declining dramatically; owners Pete and Paulette Fafalios fear closing it altogether and therefore approached Gordon Ramsay for help in creating a makeover plan.
Gordon arrived at the restaurant and was welcomed by Paulette and Pete. He learned that Pete hails from an island in Greece and learned pizza cooking techniques in New York. Gordon was impressed with its pizza, yet noted several limitations to their business – for instance, closing on Sunday and Monday due to Pete preferring football games for viewing, as well as not offering delivery service.
Restaurant had above-average customer reviews prior to appearing on Kitchen Nightmares, yet Pete’s old attitude problems surfaced when he was asked to make pizza. Josh wasn’t working well together with Pete; there was miscommunication throughout. Ramsay gave them both verbal admonitions and forced them all to work as one team.
Customers were extremely complimentary after the makeover; many raved about how amazing the crust was and loved all of the fresh ingredients and friendly service. Pizzas now use mozzarella imported directly from Italy for maximum variety; pasta dishes, meatball hero plates, and linguini with clams are now also on offer at this restaurant!
Kitchen Nightmares may have ended, but Pantaleone’s owners continue to struggle with their ratings and sales. Their aim is to improve these metrics while increasing sales; to do this they need to implement appropriate changes such as hiring more staff members, altering marketing strategy and offering free samples of pizza to attract new customers; in addition to this they should advertise via social media and make their website more appealing.