Dodge City - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Dodge City Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Dodge City in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Dodge City is owned by Doug and Debbie Krick and they have owned the restaurant for over 30 years.

They bought the restaurant as they wanted to get out of the corporate world.

For the first twenty five years they were highly successful but in the last five years business has declined significantly.

Doug has tried to keep the restaurant afloat by investing his retirement fund in order to keep it open.

They need to make changes and if they don’t they will be closed in just two months.

Robert arrives and thinks that the sign on the road advertising the restaurant looks old and out of date.

Inside the restaurant he sees a Wild West theme with tacky statues, taxidermy animals and ugly wallpaper.

Robert meets with Doug and Debbie who tell them that they chose a western theme as Doug had access to themed items.

Doug and Debbie have consistently been losing money every month for the last five years and need to make a profit.

So far they have managed to cover the losses though using their savings, cashing in their retirement accounts and maxing out credit cards.

They are currently $600,000 in debt and there is no more money available to them.

They have made a number of changes to try and save the restaurant.

They have added an new all day menu and the restaurant now has nine different menus as Doug continues to add new dishes.

Debbie admits that Doug is stubborn and won’t listen or take advice from anyone.

She is hopeful that he will take advice from Robert, being a restaurant expert.

Doug was once passionate and energetic about the restaurant but after thirty years and the decline of the restaurant this has also dwindled.

He has spent most of his life in the restaurant working long days and hours and feels he has put his family through a lot.

Robert wants to see a service and he isn’t impressed and neither were the customers.

The customers in the restaurant are confused by the decor and the large amount of choice on the menu.

They should be able to turn the tables over three times during service but they are losing money as they barely turn over one service.

Robert hates the plates that the food is served on and finds the food to be bland, greasy and canned, frozen or from a packet.

As they have so many menu items it means that they have to keep a large inventory of items.

It is for Doug to keep the menu manageable for the kitchen staff to be able to cook and with so many menus they are struggling.

Robert also notices that Doug doesn’t like to delegate in the kitchen and prefers to do things himself rather than giving the tasks to others.

The dishes across the various menus are all of his own recipes.

Robert encourages Doug to drop the years of micromanaging the restaurant and let the staff work on their own.

The staff can’t fully learn their jobs unless Doug lets them learn and grow in their positions.

Robert asks the staff to gather in the dining room to show them his plan to rescue the restaurant.

He asks for the owners cooperation as he plans to make big changes to the restaurant.

Robert asks the kitchen staff to create a selection of dishes from each of the menus.

They discuss that many of the dishes will need to be eliminated from the menu as they can’t continue with so many items available.

Robert meets with designer Taniya and the rest of the design team.

He tells her that she needs to transform the restaurant with just $8000.

He plans to spend the other $2000 on new plates and improving the signage for the restaurant.

The staff get to work helping to remove the furniture from the restaurant so that the design team can get to work.

Robert wants to create a new menu with dishes from the Wild West era but with a modern twist.

He teaches the kitchen several new dishes that will be served on the new menu.

Robert know he has a lot of work with making Doug change and he needs to see that he can’t control everything and can still lead the kitchen.

Robert asks the kitchen staff to prepare steak the next day to see if Doug will give up control and gives the owners the challenge of cutting down the menu.

Robert checks in with the designers at the end of the day and is impressed with their progress.

The next day, Robert arrives and is concerned about the new flooring.

The glue takes hours to dry and no one can work on anything else whilst it is drying.

Despite following the instructions they don’t have enough glue to finish the floor and Robert makes a call to get glue to the restaurant ASAP.

Meanwhile, the design team start concentrating on finishing the designs on the walls.

He checks in with the kitchen and sees Doug cutting steaks instead of delegating the task to the kitchen staff.

Robert is fed up and gives the kitchen staff a number of tests to show Doug that the kitchen staff can handle the duties.

He asks them to create different dishes that they will take out on a marketing trip.

The cooks were happy to show Robert and Doug what they could do but Doug struggled with Robert doing this.

Robert and Doug go on a road trip and it gives them a chance to speak away from the restaurant.

He assures Doug that he has his best interests at heart.

The pair go into the city capital to promote the restaurant with the dishes the cooks had prepared.

The customers loved the food and promised to come to the restaurant.

Robert returns to the restaurant and checks in with the design team.

The design is progressing well and he is happy with the progress they have made during the day.

He speaks with the kitchen staff and praises them for the food they prepared for their marketing as the public loved them.

The feedback was great and he thinks that is enough to persuade Doug that the kitchen staff are more than capable.

He agrees that it is clear that he can delegate more of the cooking and prep to the cooks.

Outside the new signage is revealed to the owners and it looks so much better.

Inside the transformation is complete and it is time for it to be revealed to the owners.

They also lightened up the walls, put down new flooring, added a new divider and took down most of the bull horns, statues and the tacky road sign.

He also changed the name of the restaurant slightly to Dodge City Steakhouse to dispel the reputation of the Wild West Theme.

The makeover is revealed to Doug and Debbie, who love the new look of the restaurant and Doug even falls to the ground in shock.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new bright and open decor and the new direction of the restaurant.

The kitchen slightly struggled with the pressure of a full restaurant.

They were able to cope and push out quality food that is well received by the customers, who promise to return.



What Happened Next at Dodge City?


Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews are mostly good since Robert visited the restaurant.

Some customers were left confused by the partial makeover.

They later completed the renovation by completing the bar and banquet room themselves.

They kept Robert's menu in place for dinner with some slight tweaks and name changes to some of the items.

Robert Irvine returned to the restaurant a year later and was impressed with the restaurants progress and the food he was served.


Dodge City Revisited 2019

In May 2019, Robert Irvine revisited Dodge City Steakhouse.

He visited owners Doug and Debbie back in 2011 for season 2.

Doug says it was hard to admit that they had so much debt.

Doug and Debbie had a lot of stuff in the restaurant that has been there for around thirty years.

He was sad that the stuff was being taken out of the restaurant and that Robert wanted to downsize the menu.

Doug says that one of his most prized possessions from this makeover was the recipe book that Robert left for them.

Doug says that he could never have done this without Robert.

The bond that developed between him and Robert is one of the best things that has happened to him.

Robert says that doing these transformations is one of the best feelings ever.

Robert says that going back to meet them again is exciting but also nerve-wracking.

Robert walks into the restaurant.

He loves it and it looks exactly like it did when he left.

The restaurant is clean and Doug is wearing the old cowboy outfit as joke.

Robert says he believes in both Doug and Debbie.

Doug admits that he still has issues with control.

Robert inspired Doug Jr to be a chef and he works for them.

Doug still works 12-hours a day but it’s much more enjoyable for him now.

Doug says that last year they made $1.2million.

This year, they are already 20% ahead of that.

Doug Jr. is in the kitchen cooking.

Everything in the kitchen is labeled and dated.

Robert tries a few items from the menu that he left on there eight years ago.

They turned his taco into a burrito.

Robert is very impressed with how well everything is going.

Robert tells them that he invited 40 people to the restaurant, on top of the normal customers.

He wants to see if they can handle it.

The kitchen is handling it all very well.

They’re very satisfied with the food.

Some customers ask for a specific waitress every time.

Robert tells Doug that he thinks they’ve done well.

Robert is happy that this transformation is still very successful.


Dodge City was Restaurant Impossible season 2 episode 1 and aired on July 6 2011.

This post was last updated in February 2022.

2 comments:

  1. Any time we go through Harrisburg, PA we stop at Dodge City. So delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have lived in the Harrisburg Pa area all my life. Actually across the river and then some. So it takes a good 30 minutes to get to Dodge City Steakhouse. BUT, its worth the drive. I will admit that sometimes when we want a steak dinner we may choose something closer but when we want a good steak dinner we choose Dodge City Steakhouse every time. We also have had many special family occasions celebrated at this restaurant. It is family owned and they take pride in what they do. They often come out and ask how your meal is. The decor is very comfortable and welcoming. I usually get a filet with mashed potatoes. Their demi sauce is amazing so I always ask for extra on the side. Everything they serve is good so you can’t go wrong no matter what you order. So if you’re looking for a new place to try or think you may be in the Harrisburg Pa area stop in and have a meal, you won’t be disappointed.

    ReplyDelete

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