Sandra Dee's - 24 Hours to Hell and Back Update - Open or Closed?

Sandra Dee's 24 Hours to Hell and Back

In this 24 hours to Hell and Back episode, Gordon Ramsay visits Sandra Dee’s Barbecue and Soul Food Restaurant in Sacramento, California.

Sandra Dee’s has been around for about twenty years and is owned by Sandra Dee.

She runs it with her daughters Lena and Tateyanna, who are the evening and daytime mangers.

The business was booming in the beginning and had customers booking even before they opened.

They have now stopped making profits and business has declined in the past year.

The staff think Sandra is a bully and Tateyanna has an attitude as bad as her mom.

The staff also know that the food is poor from the customers complaints and just by looking at it.

Sandra is close to shutting the restaurant down and she has not even told her daughters of the state of the restaurant.

Gordon gets in disguise and is going in undercover as a construction worker with four other hungry workers for lunch at the restaurant.

Gordon notices the exterior is in tune with the theme of soul food.

The inside is tired looking with lots of plastic plants, dust, leopard print and badly constructed brick walls.

They order all staple soul food dishes that the restaurant should be known for.

The ribs taste microwaved, the calamari is soggy and greasy, there is mystery meat in one dish and the mac and cheese and beans taste canned.

When Sandra is given the feedback, she stops by their table and gives them attitude while comping their meals.

Gordon takes his disguise off and goes to the kitchen to shut down production and gives them feedback in the dining area.

He points out Sandra disrespected him as a customer, but she denies it.

Gordon takes them all to the Hell on Wheels truck to view secret video footage of the restaurant that has been recorded by their cameras.

They see unsanitary cooking, unsanitary food storage and the kitchen staff microwaving chicken.

Tateyanna is shown disrespecting staff and customers and Sandra is shown berating staff.

Sandra feels attacked with the videos and that Gordon has been sneaky recording the videos.

She is in denial about the footage and says she feels awful and embarrassed.

Gordon starts the clock to countdown to the relaunch, has the staff send messages to their families and return to the restaurant.

Back in the restaurant Gordon reads online reviews to the staff.

The reviews say the place has deteriorated, the food is horrible and disappointing.

Customers say that the restaurant is not soul food and the servers are rude, both in person and over the phone.

The irritable server is traced to Tateyanna who says she is not irritable, but the staff are quick to correct that.

Sandra comes to her defence and she is angry they don’t have her back.

Everyone says they are committed and they get to work removing the furniture and cleaning out the bar.

Gordon inspects the kitchen and the staff claim the kitchen was cleaned the week before.

But Gordon finds grease in the hood of the fryer and old fish that was served to customers.

There is a smell in the walk-in from dried congealed blood and bits of meat behind the shelves gone bad.

There is meat stored in bags in their blood, grease in the smoker and gas bottles and bleach stored next to food, which is a major hazard.

The staff are tasked with cleaning up the kitchen and equipment.

Gordon then pulls Sandra away to talk to her about how she let things get so bad.

Sandra is tearful that she let so much slip and she explains she knows her daughter is negative.

She admits that she wanted to fire Tateyanna a year earlier but her husband talked her into giving her a chance.

Sandra has put in $300,000 in the business, re-mortgaged her home to keep it running and has put in too much for it to close.

Gordon takes the kitchen staff to his truck to show them the new menu.

They will be improving on the dishes they already offer and he shows them the prepared dishes.

They taste the food and they love it.

Gordon takes them through making a trout dish and Sandra seems unimpressed, making rude comments.

Gordon then leaves them to be trained on the new menu by his chefs.

Gordon back to the restaurant to tackle Tateyanna.

She says she is protective of her mom and she is there to help her as she is the strong one between her and her mom.

Gordon doesn’t believe her and shows her footage of her negativity and rudeness.

In the video she is rude to customers and doesn’t care, even when her mother reprimands her.

Gordon makes her see she is the one sinking her mother’s business as most of the complaints online are about her.

She tears up and decides to go apologise to her mother at the truck in the middle of her training.

It is a tearful moment for both as they end in a hug to the surprise of the staff who witnessed it.

In the truck, the kitchen staff are then tested on cooking the same trout dish Gordon demonstrated.

They do well but David the line cook shines knowing all the terms and cooking confidently.

Mary, Gordon’s assistant, gives him feedback on how the staff did.

Back at the restaurant with 6 hours to go the staff visit the truck to see the new menu the kitchen staff have prepared.

They dig into the food they have prepared and love the dishes.

The staff are taken back to the restaurant and even though it is not finished yet, they appreciate the changes as it is lighter and brighter.

The kitchen staff are shown the new kitchen with new equipment and tools.

There is a restocked walk-in unit and a less cluttered smoking area.

There is a new POS system from TouchBistro with iPads for all the servers.

They are trained quickly on how it works while the final touches are done.

As the final seconds run by the restaurant is opened to the customers who think the new space is amazing.

The brick wall has been kept with a mural of the restaurant name.

The other walls have been given colour and a wall of shutter doors as an art installation.

In the kitchen, the staff are drained especially Sandra when the orders start coming in.

She steps up to expedite and Lena is sent to get her energy up.

Tateyanna is professional and respectful to customers and they are complimentary of the food especially the mac and cheese.

In the kitchen, the staff are proud of the food they are putting out and the relaunch is a success.

Gordon calls the ladies together to say goodbye to them.

What Happened Next at Sandra Dee's BBQ?

After the show, Gordon reached out to Sandra but received no response.

From what was posted online Sandra kept the renovations but reverted to her old menu a few days after Gordon left.

Yelp Reviews were mixed, either very positive or negative and many appear to be fake reviews, which often happens after the show has aired.

Sandra Dee's closed in July 2019 to focus on the catering side of the business.

Sandra Dee's announced they were closing on Facebook, posting the below -

After careful and thoughtful consideration, we have decided to close our restaurant but will continue to offer catering service...

Our last official day will be July 20, 2019. During our final month of business, we are offering 20% off to celebrate twenty wonderful years of business.

July 19th - 20th will be customer appreciation days that will include additional specials and discounts...

Sandra Dee's Bar-B-Que and Seafood is 24 Hours to Hell and Back season 1 episode 8, was aired on August 15 2018 and was filmed in December 2017.


  1. You knew this was going to happen about 30 seconds into the episode didn't you?

    1. Duds: Yup. I don't think she ever changed one bit.

    2. Totally agree. Especially the end. And, she acted like she didn’t know the food was spoiled kitchen was dirty. Yet she was running the place.

  2. Sandra had such a terrible attitude and was so incredibly ungrateful. She deserved to fail.

  3. Agreed. Gordon should’ve told her to step down & let her positive daughter be in charge then let David, the cook, run the kitchen like he did to another restaurant.

    1. Absolutely. The older daughter was pleasant and professional and David was interested in his work and professional as well.

  4. Her attitude makes me not want to root for her at all. She basically threatened everyones jobs saying if they didnt have her back she didnt have theirs. As if the footage didnt speak for itself. Just cant bring myself to want success for her, she is a bully.

  5. I hope the catering business is doing well. A shame she did not keep Gordon's menu...

    1. With that attitude going back to her old ways was inevitable.


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