Sample Business Paper on Restaurant Impossible Season 1 Episode 1


Restaurant Impossible is a TV show that chronicles the attempts by chef and restaurateur Robert Irvine to restore restaurants are performing poorly and at risk of being closed down. Robert Irvine uses his knowhow in restaurant business to help restaurant owners to transform their businesses by adopting new business models, refurbishing their restaurants, and recruiting the right personnel for the business operations. He does so with minimal capital and with little time, largely relying on his fearless, creativity and resourcefulness to achieve the necessary changes. This essay will discuss the first episode of Restaurant Impossible, highlighting various details including the status of the restaurant prior to Irvine’s intervention, his recommendations, and the success of the intervention. The discussion will also provide a Christian-worldview justification for Irvine’s intervention.

The first episode of the TV program aired on January 19, 2011. This episode follows the story of Villari’s a lakeside restaurant in New Jersey that is on the verge of demise. The family-oriented restaurant had been in existence for 60 years but had fallen out of favor with the locals due to factors like outdated décor, a confusing menu, poor management practices, and a dreadful kitchen. Irvine observed that the Villari family insisted on keeping the deco, due to the significance it had to the history of the restaurant and the family. However, this deco did nothing to give the restaurant the liveliness necessary to attract customers. Irvine also noted that the restaurant’s menu was so broad that it was bound to confuse customers. Upon analyzing the restaurant’s staff, Irvine noted that there was not a proper chain of command. The restaurant also lacked a head chef, which made it impossible to guarantee that the quality of food was up to standard. He also challenged four of the chefs to cook a similar meal and noted that the meals lacked consistency. All these factors contributed to the struggles of the restaurant.

With just 2 days and $10,000 to turn the restaurant around, Irvine came up with radical procedures for turning the restaurant business around. Irvine provided no conditions in this investment plan. He began by recruiting two designers to change the face of the restaurant. He removed the deco which he felt made the atmosphere gloomy, including family portraits. These were converted into modern-looking murals which were later pasted on the large walls. He also changed the furniture, replacing the dull-looking wooden chairs and tables with crisp white furniture. The result was a warm and welcoming interior deco. In the kitchen, he cut down on staff and recruited and executive chef who would ensure that the highest standards were maintained. He also recruited a manager who would be the ultimate authority in the restaurant. Establishing a chain of command would make it possible to maintain good service standards as there was someone responsible for leadership and authority.

Multiple challenges were experienced as the plan was being rolled out. For instance, the head chef (from Villari’s family) was reluctant to give up his kitchen responsibilities. There was also a general resistance to change across the restaurant staff and had Irvine not been strict and fearless, there is a chance that the plan would not have worked. Perhaps the greatest challenge experienced in implementing the plan was the unwillingness by the team of designers to cooperate. While they did a good job in transforming the interior deco of the restaurant, they did not cooperate when it came to changing the look of the chairs. They insisted on painting them but doing so did little to give them the modern look that was desired. In the end, only a few of their chairs were used and even these would give customers problems during the day of opening.

The intervention was successful in turning the business around. This was evident from the feedback of the customers who turned out in numbers on the day that the restaurant was re-launched. The look of the restaurant was transformed, the menu was narrowed down, the quality of food was improved, and even the staff were happy with the changes. The happiest people were the Villari’s family who enjoyed every bit of the new-look restaurant. From a Christian point of view, this intervention plan was justifiable. The plan aligns with the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan who offered to help a stranger, despite coming from a different ethnicity. In Irvine’s case, he selflessly offers his expertise to help a restaurant owner whose business has no hope of surviving. The fact that he offers this help with no condition justifies his good deeds. He helped the business to survive, not just in the short-term but in the long-term so that it would be possible for the family’s legacy to survive through generations.

In conclusion, using transformative leadership techniques is helpful in changing the business model of businesses that are struggling to survive. It takes the skill of a fearless, yet resourceful and creative individual to recognize challenges and to deal with them accordingly (Shields, 2010). As proved by this TV episode, it is important that business owners sustain hope but that they also engage the right strategies to ensure the success of their businesses.




Shields, C. M. (2010). Transformative leadership: Working for equity in diverse     contexts. Educational administration quarterly46(4), 558-589.