Restaurant Impossible - Padre Rita Grill - OPEN

Restaurant Impossible Padre Rita Grill

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Padre Rita Grill in South Padre Island, Texas.

Padre Rita Grill is owned by Cathy and Michael Laferty.

Cathy has been running the restaurant for four years.

This area is filled with tourists as South Padre Island is only 25 miles away from Mexico.

Michael is an entertainer and Cathy is a registered nurse.

They have been married for 37 years.

Cathy was Michael’s road manager while he was performing.

The original vision was to have a music venue for customers to be able to listen to fantastic music and eat fantastic food.

Michael thought he owed it to Cathy after the years she spent supporting his dream as a musician.

This restaurant isn’t working for them as neither of them have any restaurant experience.

Cathy says she gets sad about the state of things at the restaurant.

Michael says that Cathy deserves better and that it breaks his heart.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and says the decor needs improvement.

They rent the building and it costs them $80,000 for rent.

It costs them $53 an hour just for the restaurant to be open.

Cathy and Michael don’t seem to know their numbers and they are laughing about it.

Robert tells them to go and get him the numbers.

Cathy thinks that he yells at them just for ratings.

She doesn’t think he is here to help them.

Cathy says that nobody knows these numbers.

She says the way Robert treated them is belittling and insulting.

Michael says that Cathy takes everything personally.

Cathy tells Robert that he’s here just for ratings.

Michael says that this isn’t the woman that he knows and loves.

Robert tells them to get ready for service and they’ll go from there.

Robert says that it frustrates him when owners don’t know their numbers.

The customers admit that they thought this restaurant would be more Mexican because of the outside.

Robert notices that the staff is either pretending to look busy or just standing around.

The kitchen is a mess.

Nothing is prepped ready for service and no one is running the kitchen.

There is no strong manager in the kitchen, leading the staff.

This causes low quality dishes and long wait times for customers.

The menu is too big physically and it has too many items on it.

The customers don’t like the food and say they wouldn’t come back to the restaurant.

Cathy is taking everything to heart and is struggling to cope.

Robert orders a few items off the menu to try.

Robert says the guacamole sucks.

The chicken tastes like gum.

Robert puts a napkin over his head and screams.

Robert tells Michael and Cathy that this is a representation of their business.

Robert tells them to gather all of the staff.

He tells the staff that if they don’t want to work here then now would be a good time to walk out of the door.

The staff say that the restaurant is failing because of the owners.

Cathy says that she feels like she’s being thrown under the bus.

Robert meets with his design expert Lynn Kegan.

Robert gathers the staff and tells them to take everything out of the restaurant so they can begin the remodel.

They want to make this restaurant a casual beachside cabana.

Cathy is resentful of the staff after they confronted her and Michael.

Robert gives Cathy homework to be completed that evening.

She is to write three things that made her fall in love with Michael and to write about her dream job.

Cathy says she is emotionally exhausted.

The next day, Robert’s biggest priority is finding out where this restaurant is losing money.

Robert checks in with the design team and is impressed with the progress that they have made overnight.

Robert meets with Michael and Cathy and asks them about their homework.

Michael says he can’t let being a musician get in the way of this business succeeding.

They discuss where all of the missing money has gone.

Their food cost is around 50% but they thought it was around 30%.

Their labor cost was around $600,000.

Robert says with those two alone they are already bankrupt.

Robert meets with the owners and the cook to show them how to properly make the foods he tried yesterday.

It will also help them save money on food costs.

Yesterday, the whole restaurant was cluttered.

Now, the restaurant is more open and brighter.

Robert wants to try to market the restaurant.

They go to the beach with beachballs.

They go around the beach with the balls and give them to people and advertise their reopening.

Robert meets with the staff to discuss how their previous behavior will not be tolerated once they reopen.

He tells them he will be stepping up as general manager.

When the staff misbehaves, they have three chances to correct it before being punished.

The design team makes the finishing touches to the restaurant.

Robert says he can’t wait to show Cathy and Michael the new Padre Rita Grill.

Michael says that they have learned a lot about themselves and have come to terms with their mistakes.

He also says that they can make this work.

Cathy says that today she has hope.

Michael says that they will not let this business fail because it’s what Cathy wants.

He is going to work until he drops to make her dream come true.

Robert shows Michael and Cathy their new restaurant.

Cathy says that it looks so clean and nice.

She never would have thought that Robert could pull this off.

Michael and Cathy are in tears.

Padre Rita Grill opens up for the first time since remodel.

On relaunch, the customers say that there is a lot more color in the building.

They think that the menu is very simple and easy to follow.

Food is coming out quickly and it looks well presented.

The customers love the food and promise to return to the restaurant.

Cathy is especially proud of her staff.

Michael is proud to be the owner of this restaurant.



What Happened Next at Padre Rita Grill?


A few months later, the staff are glad the salad bar was removed.

They returned some of the old menu items at the request of customers.

However, the menu is still much shorter than when Robert first arrived.

Michael is now the general manager at the restaurant.

Padre Rita Grill is open.

Reviews are mixed.

Negative comments seem to focus on poor service received and hit and miss food.

Padre Rita Grill was Restaurant Impossible season 9 episode 11 and aired on 6th October 2014.

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This post was last updated in March 2022.

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