Mom & Dad's Italian Restaurant - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Mom & Dad's Italian Restaurant Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine visits Mom and Dad's Italian Restaurant in Funiak Springs, Florida.

Mom and Dad's was bought by George and Carolyn Cuneo 24 years ago.

Sadly, George passed away after six years ago due to being diagnosed with lung cancer two years earlier.

Carolyn now runs the restaurant with her daughter Lisa.

Carolyn was working in a restaurant in Tallahassee when she met George, they married and later bought the restaurant.

George made the bread and sauces whilst Carolyn handled the employees and customers.

But since George’s death the business has gone downhill.

Carolyn hasn't changed anything in the restaurant, the food and the decor is the same.

Carolyn tells us that she is now six months behind with payments to the Internal Revenue Service.

The restaurant is nearly $100,000 of debt in total.

Robert arrives through the front door and says that the restaurant looks more like a funeral home with white panel walls and old pictures hung up.

He also thinks that the dining tables have seen better days.

Robert meets with Carolyn and Lisa who tell him they owe $40,000 to the government, $40,000 on credit cards and a loan from a fiend of $15,000.

Lisa tells Robert that she didn’t know the restaurant was in debt until two months ago.

George was responsible for the paperwork for the restaurant and Carolyn has struggled with doing this herself.

Lisa tells Robert that her mom can be stubborn, opinionated and she can be resistant to change.

Robert observes a service at the restaurant and can tell by the customers reactions how they feel about the food.

They aren’t impressed, leading to many dishes being returned to the kitchen.

Robert is impressed with the clean kitchen and how calm they are during the service.

But it is clear where they are losing their money as the portions are huge and much of it ends up in the bin.

Robert thinks if she cuts down the portion sizes they will be able to make money.

Robert samples the menu and overall, he thinks it isn’t bad but it is pretty average.

He plans to improve and update the menu to bring in new customers.

Robert meets with his designer Cheryl to discuss the revamp of the dining room and he encourages her to think outside of the box.

The team empties the restaurant and Carolyn finds it difficult watching the restaurant being stripped out but is ready for a new beginning.

Meanwhile, the d├ęcor needs a complete overhaul by Robert's designer Cheryl.

Robert needs her to think out of the box to change the restaurant.

Robert gathers the staff for a meeting to discuss the restaurant and he asks them to write down the failures of the restaurant.

One says that too much food is given away for free.

There is a lot of waste and customers are given free slices of cake if they say it is their birthday or anniversary.

The menu is always underpriced and unappealing so Robert asks Carolyn for the top six dishes she would like on the menu.

Carolyn chooses her top six items that she wants to keep. They are the dishes she thinks are good and that the customers like.

Robert has no problem keeping them if they can be tweaked to make her more money.

He wants to avoid underpricing the menu so teaches Carolyn how to be able to cost a dish.

He wants to make sure she makes a good profit and asks her to cost the dishes she chose.

Robert has noted that there are around 25 churches a 5-mile radius of the restaurant.

If they open on a Sunday she could serve 150 to 200 people and a potential $120,000 a year in revenue.

That would help to pay Carolyn's debt off.

She shows her reluctance to change and responds with a maybe to his suggestion but wants to think about it.

Robert checks on the designers progress before calling it a night.

The next day, Robert arrives and Carolyn is crying outside. She reveals that they have been using store bought bread since George died.

Seeing the staff baking bread it sets her off crying as it brought back happy memories for her.

Inside they meet and discuss her homework and all dishes will make a profit and she agrees to opening on a Sunday.

It is less than 2 hours before the restaurant opens and the design team are working hard to finish their design.

Robert sits with Carolyn to reveal how she is losing more than $40,000 per year.

She loses $3024 giving away free cake, spends $4320 buying ice, gives away $6720 in free meals and spends $12000 on bread.

By cutting the giveaways, reducing waste, leasing an ice machine and buying prebaked bread, they will cut much of this down.

In the dining room the tables are set and look beautiful.

There are bright colours on the walls, new flooring and the server station is hidden.

Carolyn and Lisa are led with eyes closed into the new dining area.

They both loved the new dining room and the new bright decor.

On relaunch night, the customers are full of compliments for the new look restaurant and also compliment the newly improved food.

What Happened Next at Mom and Dad's Italian Restaurant?

Mom and Dad's Italian Restaurant is open.

Yelp reviews are good and they have expanded their opening hours.

After the show was filmed, business was initially up 70%.

This slowed but they were still able to begin repaying their debt and generally the changes were well received by customers.

Mom and Dad's Italian Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 6 episode 4 and aired on May 12 2013.


  1. We had a really nice restaurant here in DeFuniak Springs, Florida " Mom and Dad's. Restaurant Impossible came in and revamped everything, the restaurant serves Italian food, the decor this man chose looks like a cheap diner, gone were the Italian decor, the nice table cloths, good food (which now is frozen portion packed), it now looks like every diner in town. What a horrible job he did.

    1. I just finished this episode. And no way does it like a diner.. It's beautiful. What it looked like before was a outdated and just yuck. And if it's now portion that is on the owners. Just gross

    2. We all know that Robert doesn't use frozen food so if that's what you had it's on the owner. It certainly looked better and like a nice Italian place after it was done so any bad decor is on the owner too. A lot of times they change things after he's gone.


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