Restaurant: Impossible vs. Kitchen Nightmares

Many television foodie fans were divided between those two TV-shows. There is a lot in common and still they are were different. If your are new to Restaurant: Impossible here are some ideas on why to watch it. Restaurant: Impossible is starring the muscular Brit Robert Irvine. Many of these foodie fans can think that Food Network show Restaurant: Impossible would be a rip-off of the classic Kitchen Nightmares, a brainstorm project of Chef Gordon Ramsey. Both of the series follow a similar format with a renowned and strict host who helps struggling restaurants overcome their issues. The question is, has Restaurant: Impossible been able to be original, or is the new Food Network series just a knock off of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares? The answer just may surprise you!

Facts about “Restaurant: Impossible” and “Kitchen Nightmares”

Restaurant: ImpossibleKitchen Nightmares
Host:chef Robert Irvinechef Gordon Ramsay
Origin:“Restaurant Impossible” is an original American series.Started as a British show called “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” before it was adapted for the American audience.
Budget:Budget of $10,000.There is no set limit to the budget.
Network:Food NetworkFox
Decor:A significant portion of the show is dedicated to Irvine reforming the decor of the restaurant.Decor is often addressed, but the main focus remains on improving the menu, the staff’s cooking skills, and the management of the restaurant.
Approach:Irvine tends to be more disciplined and direct, often using physical challenges to help restaurant owners recognize their issues.Ramsay is typically more fiery and confrontational.
Episode Content:Contains the entire restaurant renovation within a single episode.Often features two-part episodes per restaurant.

Intervention: Both shows have the hosts perform a deep dive into the restaurant’s issues, but aside from identifying the problems, they also provide solutions like retraining the staff, revamping the menu, and renovating the premises.

Long-Term Success: Both series have had struggling restaurants that eventually close even after the intervention, but statistical data suggests that those featured in “Kitchen Nightmares” have a higher closure rate post-show compared to those on “Restaurant Impossible”.

Audience: Both shows have attracted a wide range of viewers from culinary enthusiasts to fans of reality TV, but “Kitchen Nightmares” is more notorious for its dramatic and confrontational moments. Both shows have nevertheless cemented their places in the landscape of reality TV and influenced various other food and restaurant-based reality shows.

First episode of Restaurant: Impossible

The first episode of Restaurant : Impossible opened with a brief history of the return Robert is going to be working with this week, a casual dining Spanish restaurant named Villaries. The restaurant was started by the current owners grandfather. The decor of Villaries was warm but unchanged and old timey at best. In this casual dining environment the waiters were, of course, wearing full blown tuxedo’s!

On the first day, British cook and body builder Robert Irvine met the staff, the owners and started to put together a design plan for the interior of Villaries. In contrast, the opening of Chef Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares usually starts with a brief background of the restaurant in question and then a tasting of the everyday food available for the masses.

Robert Irvine dives right in, making changes after introductions, starting by rearranging the dining area. His design team gave him the biggest problems of the show. It had seemed that he nearly lost control of his own design team, arguing with them about why the design team had painted the nice wooden chairs with a basic white paint. Robert was furious.

On the start of the second day, Robert was determined to find a new chef for Villaries. Robert had several applicants come into Villaries kitchen and cook a dish as their interview. The chosen chef took the job, then promptly quit after talking it over with his wife. In a last minute ditch effort to find a head chef for opening night Robert and the owner ran down the leaving runner-up applicant , who agrees to take the job, and actually followed through.

Menu Overhaul

Before the end of the second day, Restaurant: Impossible‘s Robert Irvine went after Villaries 12 page menu, a menu so vast that when Robert ordered every dish be made and tasted, the chefs had to stop halfway, due to exhaustion! With a new menu in hand, the chefs of Villaries went about making samples for Chef Robert Irvine and the owners to hand out around town, a classic Kitchen Nightmares scheme.

By opening day, remodeling the interior of Villaries was complete, except for one small thing, chairs. The design team botched the repaint of $150 chairs, instead of simply sanding and refinishing the chairs. With the target time for the grand reopening looming and the chairs unfinished to Robert Irvines standards, Robert orders rental chairs from the local rental agency. What he didn’t know was the only chairs available were upscale patio chairs, all of which sat some what low on the tables.

Opening night was packed, partially because of the walk about give-away and partially because the news had spread of the Food Network’s Chef Robert Irvine was in town. The waiters were now dressed in fashionable black satin shirts, the new head chef was the only female in the on the food line, and under the pressure of a full house on her first day in her new kitchen she did indeed fall behind, but before things completely fell apart Robert offered moral support as Villaries new head chef rallied the team and overcame the rush, getting out great food to happy customers. A complete turn-around for Villaries, whom on a Saturday night had a rush of 16 the week before. It’s only a first step, but it seems like Chef Robert has handed them a second chance.

Restaurant: Impossible vs. Kitchen Nightmares

The verdict

In the end, is Restaurant: Impossible a knock off Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares? Yes and no. Yes, because many of the show’s aspects have been done time and time again by Gordon Ramsey. No, because the show revolves the around the idea that Chef Robert only gets a limited budget. Kitchen nightmares works on the idea giving the restaurant what it needs to succeed, even if that means parades, new stoves, or walk-ins.

Is Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network worth watching? I, personally, enjoy Roberts forceful yet not explosive way of changing and organizing the establishment without the anger and frustration that can be caused by Chef Gordon Ramsey’s in your face style. Chef Robert, the Food Network and Restaurant: Impossible has definitely made a fan of me, though I wish they’d change the ridiculous name to something more original, something that reflects more about the style of Robert Irvine than using an old wornout show title.

Check out our Restaurant: Impossible vs. Chopped comparision.

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