Restaurant Impossible - Dinner Bell Restaurant - CLOSED

Dinner Bell Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Dinner Bell Restaurant in Madison, Tennessee.

At Dinner Bell he meets owner Tommy Kirkpatrick, who opened the restaurant four years ago and Robert finds that the restaurant is only days from closure.

Tommy has owned successful restaurants in the past so didn't believe that he would have any problems running this restaurant.

However the restaurant struggled and he was forced to sit down with staff and tell them he was going to close the restaurant 2 days later.

It is only because the production team called the next day to say that they were going to be on the show that the restaurant was able to stay open.

The customers feel that the restaurant is more like a cafeteria and Robert catches a server dropping an ice scoop on the floor and carrying on using it to serve ice.

Robert tells her that she needs to empty the ice and wash her hands but asks if she could serve the drink to the customer.

Robert samples the food and thinks that the meatloaf tastes like dog food and he says there is nothing good on the table.

Tommy is in denial about the quality of the food and thinks that the food is good, despite complaints from customers.

Tommy vents and makes a number of offhand threats and says he will take Robert out back so Robert decides to go out the back, into the kitchen.

In the kitchen the food is stored incorrectly. There is a bag of chicken sitting in blood, the fridge is mouldy and the kitchen needs a deep clean.

Robert gives the kitchen a deep clean and the dining room decor is revamped to give it a more modern feel.

On relaunch night, the customers think that the restaurant looks like a different restaurant, they love the new menu and Tommy is proud.

What Happened Next at Dinner Bell Restaurant?

A few months later, the kitchen remains clean and the staff are responsible for their own hygiene standards.

They returned to their previous menu and previous prices as customers apparently weren't happy with the new prices, even though at the old prices there was very little profit.

Tommy was also critical of the process to local media.

Dinner Bell closed in April 2013 due to rising food costs and the local economy and reviews were mixed prior to closure.

Recipes in this episode

Fried Catfish

Dinner Bell was Restaurant Impossible season 5 episode 9 and aired on February 27 2013.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Nanny Goats Cafe and Feed Bin

Next episode - Maniaci's Italian Bistro

This post was last updated in September 2020.

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