Cave Inn BBQ - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Cave Inn BBQ

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Cave Inn BBQ in Winter Garden, Florida.

Cave Inn BBQ is owned by Buzz Klavans.

Buzz was a musician for over 30 years and on a whim, he decided to open a restaurant.

His family members were struggling to eat because of the price of food and they started using cheaper turkey parts.

Buzz called in his younger brother and they had the idea of opening a restaurant.

For two years his brother was not on board on the idea of opening a restaurant.

However, nine months ago he came on board with the idea.

The theme of the restaurant is prehistoric with animal skins and prints.

There are also fake rocks on the walls and props from prehistoric movies.

Skip works in the restaurant as the executive chef.

He is also an actor and writer and is back and forth between his home on the West Coast.

When he is back home, Buzz struggles to run the restaurant on his own and things fall apart.

The business was busy for the first two or three months.

The business has declined so much that there are some days where they have no customers.

The restaurant is currently losing $10,000 a month.

Buzz is having to use money from his daughters college fund to cover costs at the restaurant.

Despite working hard Buzz has lots of worry on his shoulders and Skip thinks that he deserved to success.

Buzz is scared of failing his children and it will be devastating if the restaurant fails.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and thinks that it looks like a movie set.

Some of the tables don’t look like they are useable and the floor has footprints on it.

It looks to him that someone has tried to do something unique with the space and has failed.

Robert doesn’t understand the restaurant and decides to talk to the owners for a brief.

Buzz tells him that they bought the restaurant about nine months ago and came up with the theme.

Skip attended culinary school for a year and works as the Executive Chef.

Buzz and Skip don’t know anything about payroll or the food or labour costs.

They built the restaurant to a cost of $500,000 and in total have invested around $630,000.

Most of the money came from Buzz’s in laws along with loans and their savings.

Before seeing the service he wants to see the restaurants food.

He asks Skip to make him five different dishes and he is disappointed with all of them.

Robert doesn’t think that Skip is qualified to be the Executive Chef at the restaurant.

During the service, Robert sees that the restaurant is overstaffed.

There is a kitchen manager, executive chef, general manager, many cooks, three servers, a bartender and an assistant manager.

Robert also suspects that the labour costs of the restaurant are very high and are higher than their revenue.

He can see that Skip is clueless about running a restaurant and they cannot continue the way they are.

Robert can see that Buzz is trying his best but it just isn’t working.

Robert meets with his designer Lynn and they discuss ideas for the restaurant.

The design team will have just 48 hours and $10,000 to turn around the restaurant.

Robert asks the staff and the owners to help remove the furniture from the restaurant so that the design team can get to work.

Robert has never seen a restaurant with so many managers and so few customers.

He asks the staff to assemble outside of the restaurant and shows them that too many managers is confusing the staff and the customers.

Robert asks to speak with Buzz and Skip as they are going to have to make some difficult decisions.

He wants Skip to make the choice between staying there with Buzz to make the restaurant a success.

This will mean that he will have to not return to LA and focus solely on the restaurant.

Buzz also needs to find roles for all of the staff and let go of any extra staff that they don’t need.

The next day, Robert arrives and checks in with the design team and is impressed with their progress.

Next, he meets with Buzz and Skip to see what they have decided about the restaurant.

Skip has decided that the will walk away and allow Buzz to take over the leadership role of the restaurant.

Robert tells Buzz and Rich, the restaurant manager to look at the costs and revenue to see where they are losing money.

He tells him to work out the revenue first and before scheduling as he thinks that they are scheduling too many people to work at the restaurant.

By bearing the revenue in mind Richard will be able to schedule smarter.

Robert asks Skip to join him in the kitchen and shows him the new menu.

The new dishes are creative and will be a great draw for customers.

They cook the dishes together and love the taste of the food when they try it.

The kitchen staff feel much better about the relaunch after they have mastered the dishes.

The design team are finally finished in the dining room and it is time to reveal the new restaurant to the owners.

They loved the new look of the restaurant and are overwhelmed by the changes.

On relaunch night, the customers loved the new look of the restaurant.

The customers commented that the food is excellent along with the service.

They also promised to return to the restaurant.

What Happened Next at Cave Inn BBQ?

A month later, revenue is up by 10-18%.

They have kept most of Robert's menu but returned some customer favourites.

Rich has a lot more freedom in the kitchen.

Skip has taken a step back and has very little input.

By butchering their own meat they are making use of all of the meat with specials to generate more income.

Cave Inn BBQ closed in October 2014.

The restaurant closed suddenly with just a days notice.

Reviews were very mixed after Restaurant Impossible.

Cave Inn BBQ was Restaurant Impossible season 8 episode 9 and aired on 21st May 2014.

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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