Restaurant Impossible - Ducky's Family Restaurant - CLOSED

Ducky's Family Restaurant Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Ducky's Family Restaurant in Kokomo, Indiana.

Ducky's Family Restaurant is currently owned by Bill Duncan.

Bill’s mum and dad opened the restaurant more than 33 years ago.

It's a place that is well known to come and get home cooking, to feel comfortable and have fun.

Ducky's restaurant was profitable for several years after opening.

Bill's father's health started to decline and the business nosedived.

The financial status of the restaurant causes a lot of stress on Bill as they currently owe $230,000.

He has cried many times over the pain of not fulfilling what his Dad had left for him.

He struggles every day because he finds it so overwhelming.

According to his daughter Amanda, Bill will probably be forced to shut the restaurant's door in six to nine months.

She feels like if they are forced to close then a whole lifetime of memories will be gone.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and thinks that the restaurant looks old, untidy and outdated.

He asks the owners to meet him for a brief about the restaurant and to find out about the problems.

The restaurant earns up to $180,000 and has been open for 33 years.

It was Bill’s father who had the dream to build the restaurant and it became the plan for the family.

Robert questions whether Bill has the same passion for the restaurant that jis father had.

He wants to see a service with people who haven’t been to the restaurant before so he has invited some guests.

During the service, Robert is disappointed with the service that he sees.

One customer has ordered a dish and thinks it could be a chicken or tuna salad but isn’t sure what it is.

Server Lauren says it is a chicken salad and reveals that no one keeps to the recipes.

Robert goes into the kitchen and finds that the seal on the fridge is broken.

This means that the fridge won’t be operating at the correct temperature.

This is confirmed by checking with a thermometer.

The fridge is running at nearly 60 degrees, where the required standard is 40 degrees.

This means that any food stored in there could be unsafe to eat.

Robert orders them to throw away all the food that was stored within this fridge.

After being disappointed with the state of the kitchen and the service, Robert asks to taste the food.

Robert orders some of the best selling items from the menu.

He was disappointed by the taste of the items that he sampled, calling them all mush.

After the disappointing food he goes into the kitchen and finds that all of the food is prepared using frozen and canned items.

Robert meets with designers Taniya and Tom to discuss plans for renovating the restaurant.

Tom tells Taniya straight off that a wooden floor would take too long to lay.

Taniya wants to integrate the family history into the space to give it character.

He asks the staff to help empty the restaurant ready for the renovations to begin.

Robert asks Bill and the family to take one last look at the restaurant before the design team get to work.

The design team get to work on the restaurant and Robert calls the staff together for a staff meeting.

Robert gives them a card to write down the name of the person that they think is hurting the restaurant.

Bill's daughter Amanda, the restaurant manager, believes that Connie from the kitchen is responsible for the restaurant's current situation.

If given a choice, she would not hesitate to sack her.

On hearing this, Connie gets angry and packs a bag to leave the restaurant.

She is tired and fed up with being blamed for the situation at the restaurant.

They go after her and ask her to reconsider her decision.

She agrees that she will rethink and asks for a day off to decide what she will do.

Robert checks in with the design team and is impressed with the progress they have made during the day.

He encourages them to keep up the pace in order to be finished in time for the relaunch deadline.

The next day, Robert arrives and checks in with the design team.

He is surprised to hear that they needed to dig the kitchen floor up due to a damaged drain.

As a result the dining room doesn’t look like it has been touched overnight.

The design team starts to re-focus on the dining room whilst there is concrete laid in the kitchen.

Robert is unable to use the kitchen due to the wet concrete and is concerned at having no working kitchen.

After Robert sits with Connie, Amanda and Bill to discuss the events of the previous day.

They have a constructive talk and they all agree that they will change their attitudes.

Connie agrees to stay for a month so that they can see if they can carry on.

The drain has been replaced and the concrete is now dry.

The staff clean the kitchen up and it is ready to be used.

Robert wants to work with Connie and the kitchen staff.

He plans to introduce a menu of dishes created from fresh ingredients.

Connie is given a break and Amanda, Jason and Bill are given some cooking lessons.

They sample the dishes and Bill asks Robert to marry him!

They all enjoyed cooking with Robert and are more confident for the relaunch.

Robert asks the family to join him on a marketing mission for the restaurant.

They go downtown to promote the new menu to the younger generation to try and draw in more trade.

Back at the restaurant the design team have finished with the renovations.

The restaurant is revealed to the family and they are amazed at the work they have done on the restaurant.

The family all break down in tears at the changes that have been made.

They are glad to see the back of the tables covered in advertising and there is a picture of Bill’s mum and dad on the wall.

Robert adds another picture of Donald to the wall by the door.

On relaunch night, the customers love the new, refreshing environment.

They also love the new food and give excellent feedback.

Customers promise to return to the restaurant as they enjoyed the experience.



What Happened Next at Ducky's Family Restaurant?


A few months later, they have doubled their weekly sales.

They have hired additional staff and Amanda has stepped up in her role.

Connie and Jason are running back of house and they have kept the majority of Robert's changes.

They have returned to thicker cut fries but Robert's dishes remain popular.

They are still not using canned or frozen foods in their dishes.

Ducky's Family Restaurant closed in December 2013.

They closed as they were behind on their taxes and their debt was too high.

Ducky's Family Restaurant was Restaurant Impossible season 7 episode 2 and aired on 30th October 2013.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

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Previous episode - Mama Campisi's Restaurant / Mama’s on the Hill

This post was last updated in May 2021.

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