Restaurant Impossible - The Main Dish - CLOSED

The Main Dish Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible, Chef Robert Irvine visits The Main Dish restaurant in Meridian Ville, Alabama.

The Main Dish is owned by Ken and Lynn Tverberg, who always wanted to own their own restaurant because of their passion for cooking.

Six years ago, Ken was working in a recycling facility and The Main Dish restaurant came up for sale.

As the restaurant was located close to their home they decided to purchase the restaurant.

They soon discovered that owning a restaurant is more demanding than they thought and it needed a total commitment.

They have been working every day with no days off and practically living in the restaurant.

Their two daughters, Maggie and Abby have been working with them for the past six years sacrificing their career plans to help out their parents.

They have spent a quarter of a million dollars and haven't taken a salary for six years.

Ken thinks the restaurant can only last the next six months.

Robert arrives at the Main dish restaurant to see Lynn dressed as a hotdog, trying to draw people's attention to the restaurant.

She welcomes Robert who promises to find out and solve their problems and she asks Ken to join them for a meeting.

They thought they were both great cooks and decided to give it a try but Robert points out that being a great home cook doesn't mean you can be a restaurant cook.

They reveal that before buying the restaurant Lynn was a school teacher while Ken was into garbage business.

They don’t really know their finances but believe monthly revenue is $18,000 and the rent is $2,500. The food costs are 40% and labour is 20%.

The Main Dish restaurant doesn't have a Point on sale system and instead they track things with tickets.

Maggie tells Robert that most of the food is frozen and it is revealed that they don’t know their costings for their catering business.

Robert observes a service and sees that there is poor communication between the family.

Ken and Lynn have been too busy trying to fix the restaurant that they have neglected being a family.

Robert does not have only to relaunch the Main Dish restaurant but he has to fix the family too.

Robert asks for a meeting with the whole family as he wanted Ken to understand how his daughters feel.

They reveal that the arguments and frustrations between the parents have taken a toll on the daughters.

Ken apologizes and tells them that he started the business because of the family and he is determined to make it work for their daughters.

Chef Robert goes to the kitchen to order different dishes from the menu to taste the food. None of the food was good but he is sure that he can turn it around.

Robert meets with designer Taniya to discuss updating the outdated decor and she has some ideas on how to modernize the space.

On the second day, Robert returns to fix the problems at the restaurant and he notices that despite the restaurant being on a busy road no one was coming to the restaurant.

He organizes an event with monster trucks, bouncing castles and free food samples to advertise the restaurant and help bring locals in.

Robert tells the family that they could do this once or twice a month on a Saturday to create buzz about the restaurant and appeal to locals.

They will give out leaflets and menus and encourage people to make bookings at the events. As a result of the day many locals came to the restaurant and promised to return.

Robert introduces the new menu and teaches them the fresh steak and seafood dishes they will be serving.

The designers did an excellent revamping the new Main Dish restaurant into a modern, sophisticated yet comfortable restaurant with a new bar.

Robert led the family back into the restaurant with their eyes closed and there were many tears as they couldn't believe and describe the sudden transformation.

Ken thinks it's a new beginning and promised he won't ever let his family down again.

On relaunch night, the customers arrive and are astounded by the new makeover and love the new food on offer at the restaurant.



What Happened Next at The Main Dish?


Robert revisits a few months later and sales are up, most customers are happy with the new changes.

They are cutting back the catering until they can control the costs, using only fresh produce and most of Robert's menu remains.

The reviews after Robert visited appear to be average.

They sold the restaurant in February 2013 after receiving an offer that was too good to turn down and it became Jojo's Restaurant and catering with average reviews.


The Main Dish was Restaurant Impossible season 4 episode 2 and aired on July 11 2012,

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Longbranch Steak and Seafood

Next episode - Zandi's Grill

This post was last updated in December 2020.

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