Restaurant Impossible - Chatterbox - CLOSED

The Chatterbox Windham Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits The Chatterbox Windham in Windham, New Hampshire, to help turn around The Chatterbox.

Chatterbox was bought by Lynn Malone two years earlier after the death of her husband from cancer.

She bought the restaurant with the life insurance money she received but she is now $500,000 in debt after having to invest more money to keep the restaurant open.

She thought the restaurant would bring a reliable source of income for her family and give her sons a place of employment but she is close to closing the restaurant.

Robert arrives and comments that it is a pleasant change as the restaurant is very clean. The decor wasn't awful but it is just a tad boring.

He meets with Lynn who tells him that they are a breakfast and lunch place and introduces her sons Shane and Tristan.

Chef Shane reveals that he was trained on the job and has no formal training and Lynn doesn't know her food costs.

The impression given is that she doesn't want to work in the restaurant and it shows as the staff are not disciplined.

The servers chew gum during service and gather at the counter chatting and gossiping.

Robert observes a lunch service and the customers aren't impressed. One has burnt toast and another thinks the gravy tastes like it is canned.

Robert orders a number of disappointing dishes including a burger made with frozen meat, unseasoned chicken, pastey pancaked and a frozen chatter platter.

He finds the cheese sauce disappointing and discovers it is a cheese slice in milk.

In the kitchen Gordon meets a cook who has 30 years experience but is forced to cook Lynn's recipes as he is not allowed to make changes.

Chef Shane says that he doesn't season food as the seasoning is on the table. Robert is astounded but recognises that he doesn't know any better as he is not properly trained but he must change.

Robert doesn't understand why they don't cook from scratch but Shane says he doesn't have the time or training to do so.

Robert takes some time to speak to her sons - Tristan is upset and wants to help his mum and Shane is eager to learn how to do things properly.

To demonstrate his point Robert does a taste test for the kitchen with seasoned vs unseasoned food and asks him to prepare a new recipe using fresh ingredients.

Robert catches up with his designer Taniya and she wants to focus on a New England theme.

After this his next task is to improve communication between the family and encourages them to be honest.

Shane says that his mum Lynne needs to be at the restaurant during service to manage staff. Tristan wants her to step up as a boss too and Lynn wants her sons to come early to the restaurant.

They however argue that she is only coming into the restaurant early to clean the restaurant as the staff who should be doing it aren't doing it and she isn't disciplining them for not doing their jobs.

Shane reveals his new recipe, a roasted red pepper alfredo and Robert thinks that it is very good.

In order to help with costs Robert suggests to Lynn that they cut bags of ice at $3-5000 a year, advertising at $15000 a year and food costs of $20,000 if they cut food costs just 5%.

He tells her that she must know her costs as she should have known how much money they have been wasting.

Robert reveals the new dining room to the family and they love the new decor.

On relaunch night, there are some mistakes in plating the food and basic mistakes due to lack of training but they pull it around.

The dishes get out to the customers with a small delay and they love the new food and decor.

What Happened Next at The Chatterbox Windham?

After Robert's visit, reviews on Yelp were mixed.

Lynn has said that the makeover was mostly cosmetic and didn't focus enough on managerial skills to help her manage without Robert, which she is now learning on her own.

Chatterbox closed in January 2013 after a truck drove into the restaurant and they decided not to reopen.

The Chatterbox Windham was Restaurant Impossible season 3 episode 2 and aired on February 15 2012.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Moss' Prime Rib & Spaghetti House

Next episode - Anna Maria's

This post was last updated in August 2020.

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