Restaurant Impossible - Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill - OPEN

Restaurant Impossible Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill in Auburn, Washington.

Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill is owned by Donel Brinkman.

Donel has been the owner of Spunky Monkey for the last 16 years.

The restaurant is a jungle hut tropical themed diet place.

The restaurant was successful in its early years but begun to decline after the economy declined four years ago.

A lot of people had left the area looking for work and the few left thought of the restaurant as more of a bar.

Donel has tried every marketing strategy she knew to recover the restaurant but it was all to no avail.

The restaurant has seen a huge decline from serving 300 customers a day to seeing barely 40 a day.

The restaurant is making a loss of around $15,000 monthly.

Donel runs the restaurant with her partner, Shannon Fox.

Shannon started as a cook in the restaurant and has been the general manager for the last three years.

Shannon and Donel claim to fight over the business a lot.

Things aren’t smooth even though they are dating and live across the street from the restaurant.

They both realize that the downturn of events in the business has caused a rift in their relationship.

Donel says that she’ll be devastated if the business comes to a close and hopes Robert can save them.

Robert walks into the restaurant and is bewildered by the design of the restaurant.

The restaurant is overly jungle-themed and the booths are dirty and unorganized.

Robert meets with Donel and Shannon for a brief on the restaurant and to find out the issues.

They tell him that they bought the restaurant for $560,000.

The first revenue year of the business was $870,000 while the last year of revenue was $330,000.

Donel explains that the business started experiencing drawbacks eight years ago due to economic downturn.

Robert shows the duo the state of the restaurant calling it a pigsty as it is filled with dirt, dust and garbage.

Robert fires Shannon for her incompetence as the manager of the restaurant.

Robert is angry at the relaxed level and mismanagement of the business.

He believes that he shouldn’t work on saving the business as their behavior would cause the business to decline again.

Robert wants to observe a service and is disgusted by the disgraceful state of the equipment.

The ice machine was clogged with filth and mold, which can lead to salmonella poisoning.

The customers are critical of the restaurant design and think that the floor looks old and smells bad.

The bartender works as a cook while the manager works as a bartender.

The fryer isn’t even in the kitchen.

Robert is appalled by the holes in the wall and the cigarettes on the floor.

There is illegal wiring and the out of place make-shift fan and fryer.

There’s mold on the cloths and generally the kitchen is filthy.

Robert challenges Donel and her lack of interest but she blames others rather than realizing the restaurant is her responsibility.

Donel feels embarrassed as Robert yells at her for her incompetence.

Robert inspects the kitchen and tells the staff to get rid of some of the equipment.

He orders some dishes even though he has decided not to eat any of it.

Donel finds out that Shannon has been cooking different from her what is in her recipe book.

Shannon claims she cooks the way she was taught to.

Robert meets with his designer, Taniya Nayak and Tom Bury who is a construction manager.

They destroy the dive bar, which was overwhelming for Donel as she had put a lot into the bar.

Robert gathers the staff of Spunky Monkey to address the root of the problems the restaurant is facing.

He devises a game where the staff wear a cap for each job they do.

He notes how many are wearing multiple caps and doing three different jobs at the same time, which reduces the efficiency of the staff.

He states how poor management equals disaster for a restaurant.

Robert meets with Taniya, who explains how she plans on changing the design to a fun and cool restaurant.

Robert visits Donel and Shannon to help them solve the issues between them.

Donel explains that Shannon doesn’t do her work well.

Shannon says she does not feel valued for the work she does in the restaurant.

Robert tells them to communicate what they want to change about the restaurant and themselves to each other.

Shannon feels two days isn’t enough time to fix their relationship.

The next day, Taniya fills Robert on the progress of the renovation.

They had a lot of work to do in two days and they had used 50 gallons of paint so far on the restaurant.

Robert urges them to speed up with the work to be ready for relaunch.

Robert next checks in with the owners to see what they came up with overnight.

Donel and Shannon discuss what they want from each other.

Donel apologizes to Shannon for neglecting the business and making her feel abandoned.

They both decide to work and communicate better for the success of their relationship and most importantly, the restaurant.

Robert goes to teach the staff how to cook good food without using the tabletop fryer.

He teaches them his version of their best dish, which they all loved and enjoyed.

He also teaches them some new dishes that Donel calls amazing.

Robert goes to check on the progress of the redesign and according to Tom they are behind.

Robert goes back to talk to the staff.

He explains the importance of division of labour and assigns Donel as the manager and and Shannon as assistant manager.

Donel and Shannon seem more confident in themselves and apologizes to the staff.

After a long day’s work, the design team have finished and it is revealed to the owners.

Donel and Shannon were amazed beyond words at the new restaurant.

On relaunch night, people are waiting in line to see the new restaurant.

The customers are amazed at the change in the restaurant, calling it gorgeous, stylish, and fantastic.

They think that the dishes and service at the restaurant was much better better than what it was the day before.

Every member of staff is doing the exact job they were assigned to do and the experience for the customers was amazing.



What Happened Next at Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill?


A few months later, customers love the new look of the restaurant.

Donel is managing the restaurant better and staff are more looking at the bigger picture.

The relationship between Shannon and Donel is much better.

Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill is open.

Reviews are mostly positive and they have responded to criticism by making a number of changes at the restaurant.

Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill was Restaurant Impossible season 7 episode 11 and aired on 15th January 2014.

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This post was last updated in July 2021.

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