Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Classic American, West Babylon, NY, owned by best friends Colleen and Naomi, they started out as waitresses in the business before buying the restaurant in 2000. They felt that they knew their customers and knew the restaurant so could carry on the success. Colleen made her son the chef and her boyfriend Dom the "manager". The restaurant was doing well at first but now the business has dried up. There are many problems at the restaurant, they often run out of food items and there is no leadership from the owners. Colleen has had to move back in with her parents due to the financial situation at the restaurant and Naomi is constantly in tears at the situation. Gordon arrives and is greeted by Dom who tells him he was in the building industry before working at the restaurant. He sits down with Colleen and Naomi to discuss the restaurant and they tell him that they paid nearly $700,000 for the business and property from the previous owner.
Gordon sits down to order some food, he orders the fried calamari (recommendation of the waitress), the Bomb Burger and Mac & Cheese. Gordon is not impressed with the mac & cheese, noticing straight away that it has been microwaved. He says it is gross and asks the waitress whether it is home made and discovers that it is bought in. The calamari isn't much better as it is chewy and the Bomb Burger is also chewy and lacks seasoning. Gordon sends the burger back to the kitchen for Chef Kevin to try and he agrees with Gordon. Kevin then rates the food as 6/7 out of 10. Gordon then tells the owners his opinions of the restaurant and doesn't hold back! Colleen starts to cry and tells Gordon that neither her or Naomi haven't paid themselves in over a year. Gordon decides to go for a walk to think about where to begin.
Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service. Naomi tells Gordon she thinks she is good with the customers but she spends most of the night in the kitchen. Gordon discovers that the waitresses have to hand write the orders as the computer broke and they can't afford to replace it. The food leaves the kitchen quickly but it is also returned quickly as the customers aren't happy. Halfway through the service they run out of burgers and clean drinking glasses. Colleen feels the pressure and walks out of the kitchen but Gordon goes after her and tells her that she shouldn't give up.
Gordon calls a staff meeting the next morning and gets the staff to anonymously write down a question or problem for the owners to answer. One question asked is why Colleen gets so frustrated with the waitresses and she answers that they are often texting and ignoring the customers, Gordon is not impressed with this. Naomi is labelled too much of a pushover and admits she is in friend mode rather than boss mode. The main issue raised is with Dom and the restaurant constantly running out of menu items, he says as he isn't there every night it isn't clear what they need but Gordon tells him as he is doing the ordering he should check. Dom then walks out swearing and throwing things about in the back room.
For dinner service that evening, Gordon asks Colleen to expedite in the kitchen and Naomi to be from of house. He also introduces a new special of sliders. The restaurant is full but for nearly 50 diners they only have 13 menus available as they couldn't afford to get more printed. Diners have to wait to be able to read the menu and Gordon is astounded by this. As the orders come in Kevin and Colleen struggle to keep up. While the diners love the new sliders special they are not impressed with the old menu items. Gordon notices a plate of broccoli that looks pretty pathetic and tells them that if they are going to serve items like that they might as well close the business. They close for the evening and Gordon tells them he is going to make huge changes from tomorrow. Gordon gives the restaurant a massive overnight makeover, one of his biggest and best to date. The interior is modern, a new computer system is in place and there are enough menus for each diner. The menu also has a makeover with some dishes added and improvements made to their burgers with the new Classic American Burger. Everyone is pleased with the new changes and promise to move forward.
For relaunch night, Colleen is in the dining room while Naomi leads the kitchen. The night gets off to a bad start when the customers arrive and the waitresses are out the back smoking. They soon recover and although rushed off their feet in both the restaurant and kitchen the food begins to leave the kitchen. The diners are thrilled but Gordon is not too sure as they tend to fall apart when they are busy. A few dishes slip through with lower quality but are noticed by Gordon. Overall, the night was a success and Gordon tells them that he is impressed and that they can be a huge success if they don't drop their standards.
What Happened Next?
Gordon revisits and Colleen and Naomi both look much happier. Colleen is in charge of the front of house and Naomi is in charge of the kitchen. Kevin is still cooking in the kitchen and business is up 35%. Dom is still buying the ingredients but is no longer in the kitchen. Gordon orders the meatloaf and thinks it is delicious, a 10.5/10. Colleen starts talking to him and Gordon continues eating so it must have been good! They are both very appreciative of his help. Gordon has a surprise from them both, he presents them with Long Islands Best Burger Award from Good Times magazine.In 2013, the restaurant closed posting on their website
"It is with a heavy heart that I tell you all that Classic American Restaurant has closed.
I would like to thank all of our employees, friends, family and loyal customers for your support and patronage for the last 13 years. It has been our pleasure to serve you!
We will still be offering our catering services and can be reached through facebook."
And on Facebook
"Yes it's true. I would like to thank all of our employees, friends, family and loyal customers for all there support and patronage for the last 13 years. It has been our pleasure to serve you!! Thank you!! We will still be offering catering services and can be reached through Facebook."
Classic American Yelp