Restaurant Impossible - Windseeker Restaurant - CLOSED

Windseeker Restaurant Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits the Windseeker Restaurant in the Dalles, Oregon.

Windseeker Restaurant is owned by Veta Bingman and her husband Ray who bought the restaurant 18 years ago and invested $750,000.

The business was successful until six years ago when the business started to decline.

Veta has just completed treatment for breast cancer when Ray sadly died and ever since she has been trying her best to keep the restaurant open.

Veta is too much of a mother to the staff and as a result they are protected and no one is punished or sacked when they do wrong.

As the stock market declined her savings were lost and she asked former manager Patty back to the restaurant three year ago.

Patty thinks Vita is too soft and will not tackles issues and situations when they arise, which leads Patty to become frustrated.

Veta also puts too much trust in Patty so leaves a lot of decisions to her that she should be making herself.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and notices how beautiful the area around the restaurant is as it is surrounded by a beautiful garden and has lake views.

Inside the restaurant is a bit of a mess inside and Robert meets with Veta and Patty to talk about the restaurant.

Patty thinks that she is a good manager but feels that the restaurants reputation and bad press from the past has come back to haunt the restaurant.

Her paycheck is $40, she doesn't have an idea of what the food cost is, and despite being in charge, she doesn't know what it cost to open the Restaurant daily.

Patty says that she doesn’t know this as Veta won’t let her do all of the tasks she needs to as the General Manager and she also doubles as the head server and bartender.

Patty runs karaoke nights to try draw in trade and she usually spends 10-14 hours day at the restaurant doing everything.

Robert asks to see a service to see how the restaurant runs and he isn’t impressed.

Robert speaks with Doug but he is reluctant to say anything bad about Patty and say what needs to change.

The customers didn’t like the food including dry salmon, canned tasting beef stew and . They didn’t like the tea party/thrift store decor much either.

Server Jenice has worked there 14 months and doesn’t have much good to say about working there and nothing good about Patty.

Robert doesn’t think the food is awful and recognizes there is some good but they need further training to improve.

He orders the crab cakes, medallions, stuffed mushrooms, Dijon honey chicken, niçoise salad and rib eye steak.

The salad is presented well but it is unseasoned, the chicken is cooked well but spoiled by the sauce, the medallions are unseasoned

Robert meets with designer Lynn to talk to her about updating the restaurant from a dated tea room to a modern scenic restaurant.

To begin the transformation the staff help to remove the tables, chairs and decorations and Robert asks Veta to look over it for the last time.

Robert discovers that the garden is faithfully tended to by Veta’s daughter Tiffanie. There is a fractured relationship between her, Veta and Patty.

She had been there for fifteen years until Patty returned and was given full control. They had differences in they way they wanted things to work and couldn’t work there anymore.

She tends to the garden so that she still has her foot in the door at the restaurant but misses working at the restaurant. She wants to be part of it as she may inherit the restaurant one day.

Robert asks her why the staff are reluctant to speak out against Patty and she tells him that if they speak out their wouldn’t be put on the schedule for the next week.

It is clear that the staff are scared of Patty but Robert needs to know why so he calls a staff meeting.

He comes up with an idea to see if the members fear Patty whilst remaining anonymous. Four members of staff indicate that they are scared of her.

With issues between Patty, Veta and Tiffanie it is clear that there are issues with communication.

Robert had thought that Patty was the biggest problem but it is just one of many problems at the restaurant.

The next day, Robert checks in with the design team and is pleased with their progress.

He meets with Veta and Patty to discuss how they can move forwards as Patty is trying to do too much and not doing it well.

Veta should be able to retire and to do so Patty needs to be able to do her job as the General Manager without the additional tasks.

Robert decides to keep the existing menu but to improve the dishes and use seasoning rather than replacing them with new ones.

He explains to the kitchen staff and shows them how to make sure they are seasoning the food to maximize flavour.

Robert suggests that they use an external payroll service for HR and payroll. This will avoid staff borrowing money from Veta.

For the relaunch they are expecting over 200 guests for the evening service so Veta allowed her daughter Tiffanie back in the Restaurant.

The redesigned restaurant is revealed to Veta, Tiffanie and Patty and the difference is incredible.

On relaunch night, the new décor is a huge hit with the diners and they feel that the food is much improved from past visits.



What Happened Next at Windseeker Restaurant?


After a few months, business was up $30,000 but that staff and food costs had increased.

Patty had a more defined job role and was able to run the restaurant better.

The restaurant was listed for sale in November 2013.

Veta sadly passed away in October 2014.

Windseeker Restaurant closed in April 2015.

Reviews prior to closure were mostly negative with complaints on both food and service.


Windseeker Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 5 episode 6 and aired on January 16 2013.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Whiskey Creek Steakhouse

Next episode - Sapori D'Italia

This post was last updated in December 2020.

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