Restaurant Impossible - Soup to Nuts Diner - CLOSED

Soup to Nuts Diner Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible, Chef Robert Irvine visits Soup To Nuts Diner in Tavares, Florida.

Soup To Nuts Diner is a nineties inspired diner, owned by Sharon Whitmore who bought the diner about nine years ago.

She wished to use the restaurant to fund her retirement but instead of making money she is losing it.

Sharon raised three sons and has been running the restaurant for nearly 10 years on her own.

She runs the restaurant seven days a week, spending 100 hours of hard work because she considers the diner to be her life but it is on the brink of closure.

Sharon currently lives with her parents and never expected to be in that position but she saves money on housing costs.

To help his mother out, her son Alan sometimes comes and helps her in the restaurant.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and immediately notices the filthy entrance mat and the dirty floor.

Robert challenges Sharon and her manager Jeanie for not taking good care of the restaurant. They tell him that Jeanie has been the manager of the restaurant for three years.

Sharon explains that she noticed the business started dropping about four years ago. She's losing about $10,000 monthly.

She feels people aren't coming because it's an outdated restaurant that needs the younger people to be able to survive.

Robert tells her that the restaurant looks good from the outside but it goes hill once you get inside.

Jeanie wishes they could be clean but say the staff don’t respect her due to her age and see her as another server.

Chef Robert confesses that the restaurant's interior is the worst he has seen in his entire career and Sharon disagrees.

Robert wants to see a service and asks Sharon to get her people together and invite some guests to come to the restaurant.

The chef Debby came with the Diner when Sharon bought it nine years ago.

Robert doesn't know what Debby knows about cooking but he is not impressed by the food set out on the side and not properly refrigerated.

One of the guests called Robert over to complain about seeing bugs on her table and around where she was seated and Robert asks her to tell Sharon about them.

Sharon is embarrassed and accuses Robert of putting bugs on the table! Robert is insulted at the accusation and tells her he doesn’t sabotage restaurants.

Robert orders that the kitchen is shut down as he won’t allow further food to be served until the place has been cleaned.

He brands the diners as the dirtiest diner Robert has ever seen as the dining room is dirty and covered in cobwebs the kitchen is filthy too.

Robert inspects the kitchen and finds a moldy fridge, the kitchen equipment is caked in grease and raw meat is stored incorrectly.

Robert asks who is responsible for the kitchen and an argument breaks out between Sharon and Debby.

No one wanted to be held responsible for the state of the kitchen.

Robert calls a staff meeting where he puts forward the idea that Deby should take charge as she is the longest serving kitchen member.

She says that she has tried in the past but she has failed to get respect from the staff so she hasn’t been able to take control.

Robert is not happy with the staff, who are taking their pay without carrying out their jobs properly.

He tells them they need to apologize to Sharon and he tells them to give the kitchen a deep clean alongside professional cleaners that he will hire.

Whilst most of the staff are happy to muck in, one of the dishwashers Andrew was being disrespectful to Jeanie and Robert fires him on the spot.

It seems he was not a popular member of staff as both Sharon and other members of staff are happy to see him go.

Robert meets with his designer Cheryl and tells her that he will be giving her $800 less as he has spent this on professional cleaners.

The next day Robert arrives and is pleased with the progress in the dining room and with the cleanliness of the kitchen.

Robert invited Sharon to see the brand new kitchen. She jumps up happy, seeing a transformed kitchen and couldn't believe her eyes.

Sharon says that she will fire Debby if she doesn't clean the kitchen. If they don't clean, they shouldn't get their pay cheque.

It is clear that Sharon was interfering with every area of the restaurant when she should be delegating tasks to the staff.

It is wrong for Sharon to work so many hours, the most someone should be working should be 50-55 hours, at a maximum.

Robert wants her to reduce her hours and choose people to be in charge of the restaurant and kitchen so she can delegate.

Robert wants to change the menu and teaches Sharon and Deby some new dishes. They think they are delicious and will keep the customers coming back.

Sharon decides that she still wants Jeanie as the manager even though some of the staff don't respect her.

Robert reminds them all that they must have mutual respect and reminds them who is now in charge.

The new kitchen is revealed to Debby, who is invigorated and excited for the evening service.

The new restaurant is ready to be revealed and Sharon and Alan are patiently waiting outside.

They are led in and the restaurant is revealed. Alan gets teared up as he is happy for his mom and deserves to have a nice restaurant.

Sharon is overwhelmed by the changes to the restaurant.

Robert reinforced Jeanie's role, and the crew is ready for service. In the back of the house Debby loves the new kitchen equipment.

On relaunch night, the customers are wowed by the change and the new food is a big hit. Sharon does a happy dance in the dining room.


What Happened Next at Soup to Nuts Diner?

Soup to Nuts Diner closed in May 2013.

They closed due to a poor reputation for food hygiene, high taxes and struggles to keep up with the mortgage payments, which led her to decide to move closer to family.

Reviews seem to suggest that the food quality and service had improved after the makeover, although shortly after the makeover reviews were negative, possibly whilst they adjusted.

They kept some of Robert's menu alongside their previous menu and they finished off the renovation.

There was a short term boost in sales of around 40% before the customers dwindled to around a 20% increase.


Soup to Nuts Diner was Restaurant Impossible season 5 episode 12 and aired on January 02 2013.


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This post was last updated in December 2020.

1 comment:

  1. I lived in Florida in the 90s. Soup to Nuts was a regular stop. It was heartbreaking to see how horrible it had become.

    ReplyDelete

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