Restaurant Impossible - Urban Roots - CLOSED

Restaurant Impossible Urban Roots

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Urban Roots in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Urban Roots is owned by Micheal and Chaya Fletcher.

The couple opened the restaurant four years ago because it was always Chaya's dream to own a restaurant.

The couple has been together for 18 years after being high school sweethearts.

Chaya had the opportunity to go to culinary school and finished her degree about two years ago.

When they first opened, people visited the Urban root for the entertainment.

The restaurant was always fully booked and filled with customers.

They were doing $700,000 worth of sales but when there was no entertainment there were no customers.

They lost sight of the core of the restaurant, the food side of the business and focused on the entertainment.

The couple knew that the restaurant would be hard work but they weren’t prepared for how many hours they would need to work.

Chaya wants to step away from the restaurant and spend more time with the children.

She feels that they have sacrificed a lot in their dream of opening a restaurant.

Chaya feels that if the restaurant isn’t successful then she will be devastated and that thought scares her.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and thinks that it looks unfinished.

He calls the owners for a brief and to find out more about the restaurant.

Chaya explains that it was her dream and she wanted to own a restaurant due to her culinary training.

She wanted to create a place that both served food and was a place known for jazz music.

This was due to the influence of jazz and the significance of jazz in the neighbourhood.

The restaurant used to be a jazz club before they took over the space.

The couple invested $40,000 of their savings and borrowed another $200,000 from the bank, family and friends.

Chaya has experience as she has run a few restaurant and has been a chef and dining manager.

Michael has never worked in the trade and is a full time barber.

Customers only come to the restaurant because of the live music events that they hold on Fridays.

They don’t come for the food and as a result they are losing $1500-2000 a week.

Robert doesn’t think that Chaya cares that money is flying out of the door and he can’t see her passion.

Chaya agrees that she is struggling with having passion for the business as she is emotionally exhausted.

Robert asks to see a service so that he can see the problems at the restaurant for himself.

He notices that despite being a trained chef Chaya chooses to work the front of house instead of the kitchen.

He also notices that three hands touch the food between the kitchen and the customers in the dining room.

Robert is hard on Chaya in his feedback as he can see her lack of passion and brands her performance lackluster.

He wants her to take charge of the disastrous service.

Robert wants to taste the food and is disappointed with the dishes that he tries.

The chicken was overcooked and the cheese hasn’t melted.

He doesn’t think that this is the type of food that would make a customer want to return.

Robert challenges her to get her passion back and get into the kitchen to make him a dish that shows her passion.

She goes back into the kitchen and cooks Robert a dish that he brands as delicious.

Robert meets with his designers Cheryl and Tom to discuss ideas for the restaurant.

He asks Chaya and the staff to help empty the restaurant for the design team to be able to get to work.

Robert visits Michael at his day job to talk about the restaurant.

He has to work his day job to be able to pay their bills.

After talking about the restaurant Robert discovers that they used to have a manager at the restaurant.

Zulu was popular with staff and customers, trustworthy and was good at running the restaurant.

Robert plans to try and get him back at the restaurant so the day to day running can be taken from Chaya.

This will give her more time to be able to spend with her husband and children.

It will also take a lot of the pressure of the restaurant off of her.

The next day, Robert checks in with the design team and is impressed with the progress they have made so far.

He asks Chaya to call the staff together for a staff meeting.

Robert reveals that he has asked their previous manager to return and they are pleased to see him.

He will be taking back over as manager of the restaurant and taking over management of the staff.

This will reduce a lot of the pressure on Chaya.

Robert thinks that Urban Roots needs to be known as a restaurant first and a music venue second.

He needs to make the food a priority and plans to introduce a new menu.

In the kitchen he teaches the staff how to make dishes that will make them money.

They loved the training session and found it interesting and informative.

The staff taste the food and are impressed and feel more confident ahead of the relaunch.

The design team are finished with the transformation of the restaurant and it is time to reveal it to the owners.

They are overwhelmed by the changes that have been made and love their new restaurant.

On relaunch, the customers are loving the new decor at the restaurant.

The service is excellent as is the food and the customers promise to return to the restaurant.



What Happened Next at Urban Roots?


After the relaunch, revenue is up 15%.

The customers love the changes to both the food and the decor.

Some of the front of house staff were fired for not getting on board with the changes.

Zulu is still at the restaurant, allowing her to take more time off.

Urban Roots closed in June 2015 following fundraising efforts to keep the restaurant open.

They weren't able to raise the $15,000 they had hoped.

They were raising money after their rent had been increased following the sale of the building.

Reviews after Restaurant Impossible were mostly positive.

Urban Roots was Restaurant Impossible season 8 episode 6 and aired on 9th April 2014.

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Previous episode - Gratifi Kitchen and Bar

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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