Restaurant Impossible - Estrada's Restaurant - CLOSED

Restaurant Impossible Estrada's Restaurant

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Estrada's Restaurant in Daly City, California.

Estrada's Restaurant is owned by Julio Mercedes and Bernadette Aggen.

Julio bought the restaurant six years ago for $80,000.

Bernadette joined the business three years later and they started dating.

Bernadette has a degree in restaurant management and has been in the restaurant business her whole life.

She thought she could make big changes to Estrada so she decided to become partners with Julio and invested $100,000.

They don’t know why the restaurant is failing and admit that it has never been successful.

They’ve both invested over $400,000 into the restaurant but have never seen a return on their investment.

Estrada’s failure has not only put a strain on themselves but also on their relationship.

He arrives at the restaurant and inspects the interior which calls awful and dirty.

Robert meets with Julio and Bernadette for a brief on the restaurant.

Julio tells him that he was involved in the music business prior to owning a restaurant.

He uses his music as a promotion platform for the restaurant.

Robert tells Julio to let go of his pride so that he can help them, which he reluctantly agrees to.

Robert wants to watch a service to find out what the issues are at the restaurant.

The customers complain that the restaurant’s design is over the top/

They also thinks that the food lacked flavor as the dishes weren’t seasoned well.

Jamie claims the servers have no sense of urgency and they go about their daily activities unenthusiastically.

Some customers wait for over an hour before they’re served.

Martin Bloom, one of the servers, claims that the biggest problem of the restaurant is the lack of teamwork.

Martin says that Julio and Bernadette as leaders are confusing as they both have different styles of management.

Julio is a rather laid-back leader while Bernadette is a proactive leader.

He says that working for them is like working for divorcing parents.

Meanwhile, Bernadette is frustrated with the kitchen as it is cluttered.

Robert angrily calls Julio out and confronts him about the delay in service for a customer who had waited 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Robert is unable to communicate with the cooks due to language barrier but he orders some of the dishes.

The guacamole was the worst dish, the plantains were full of oil and had a burnt bitter taste.

The maduro was cooked with old oil and overall every dish was disappointing for Robert.

Robert calls Julio in to explain why his business is failing, starting with the type of meals been served.

Julio disagrees with Robert but decides to trust his experience as a professional in the restaurant business.

Robert invites with designer Cheryl to talk about the changes needed to the restaurant.

Cheryl feels challenged with the structure of the restaurant and describes It as looking like a flea market.

The renovation begins with the emptying of the restaurant and the staff are called in to help with this.

Bernadette is relieved that the changes she had planned for the restaurant were going to be finally done.

Julio feels it’s a bittersweet situation as he had put in a lot of work into the restaurant but he hopes it’s for the best.

Robert calls in Julio and Bernadette to discuss their memories of owning the restaurant.

They both state that their best memory in the restaurant was getting to meet each other.

Julio feels he has let Bernadette down when she had trusted him while Bernadette begs to differ.

He teaches the pair some essential business skills including accounting for expenses, pricing items for profit and efficiency using a simple formula.

While the design team are working, Robert calls on the staff to tackle the service issues the restaurant had during the service.

The staff say that they do not feel like a team.

They are aware of the poor management and think that Julio and Bernadette are not approachable.

The staff also say that they get conflicting orders from the owners.

The newer staff complain about the lack of training that they were given.

Robert goes to check on the progress of the design and then visits Julio and Bernadette to give them their assignment for the day.

He asks them to write down the things they hate about each other and to be honest.

He also asks them to write down what they think could be better for the restaurant, what they love about it and why they love it.

The next day, Robert checks in with the design team and is pleased but encourages them to speed up to meet the deadline.

He visits Julio and Bernadette to go over their assignments from the previous day.

Julio and Bernadette go over what they want from each other and what they love about the restaurant.

Robert praises their passion for the business but tells them that they need to work together and make decisions together to avoid conflict.

Robert shows Julio and Jorge how to make some new dishes.

They sample them and love the taste of the new dishes.

The design team is behind and there is a lot left to be done before the relaunch.

Robert takes Julio and Bernadette on a marketing exercise to market new Estrada to the public at the city hall, complete with samples of the new food.

The marketing at the city hall was a success.

People loved the authenticity and taste of the sweetcorn that was served and promised to visit the restaurant.

Most importantly, Julio and Bernadette showed leadership skills, teamwork, direction and their passion for the business.

Back at the restaurant, the design team has finished and the new look restaurant is revealed to the owners.

Julio and Bernadette were amazed by how beautiful their restaurant looks and couldn’t contain their joy.

On relaunch night, the customers arrive and are amazed at the new look of the restaurant.

The restaurant is the busiest that it has been for the last six years.

The service is fast and the customers think that the food is fresh, mouthwatering and well-seasoned.

Some of the customers say that it was the best food they have ever had.

Bernadette was amazed at the number of customers coming into the restaurant.

There was a long line of people waiting to come in, even though the restaurant was already full.

Julio is very proud of the new Estrada.

Bernadette reflects that her relationship with Julio and as a partner in the restaurant has taken a new turn for the better.



What Happened Next at Estrada's Restaurant?


After Robert visited sales increased by 30%.

They had begun to repay their debts.

Customers love both the new decor and the new food.

Estrada's Restaurant closed in February 2019 as the owners retired and they sold the restaurant to friends.

Reviews prior to closing were mixed, reviews were either very negative or very positive on Yelp but more positive on Trip Advisor.

Estrada's Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 7 episode 13 and aired on 5th February 2014.

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Previous episode - Hillbillies Restaurant

This post was last updated in July 2021.

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