Bene Pizza and Pasta - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Be'ne Pizza and Pasta

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Be’ne Pizza and Pasta in Omaha, Nebraska.

Be’ne Pizza is owned by Ginger Lanphier and run with her sons Bobby and Jon.

They had the idea of opening the place with Jon cooking and Bobby restoring old-school arcade games.

Jon went to culinary school when he was younger and Bobby loved arcade games.

The brothers approached their mother to finance the restaurant.

It was successful until the recession and business was never the same.

Bobby was away from the restaurant for over a year due to kidney disease.

He received a transplant from his wife but his ill health has affected the business.

Business is so bad Jon had to move back home with his parents as he isn’t getting paid properly.

Robert arrives at the restaurant and isn’t impressed.

He thinks it looks like a school cafeteria with cheap tables and chairs.

He is surprised to hear the arcade go off in the restaurant.

Robert meets the owners and asks them to turn off all the games.

He learns their story and is disappointed to hear that they rely on the arcade to bring people in.

They do not have much restaurant experience and they all run it together.

Jon and Bobby do not really get along and work opposite shifts.

They all seem act petty with each other.

They set up for service and customers complain of the feel of the place.

They think it is too big and the noise of the games is disruptive.

Robert wants the games switched off and sees no sense in $4 games chasing paying customers away.

The family are so adamant about the games staying and call Robert to defend it.

He has not made up his mind on if the games are beneficial to the business.

Robert heads over to the kitchen and quizzes Jon on the cost per plate, which he does not know.

The food portions are huge and they can’t be making much.

Robert samples the food and the pizzas are not good.

One that he is served has been prepared with frozen mushrooms.

Robert sits with Jon to tell him none of his meals stand out.

He is serving so much that a customer went home with two containers.

Robert meets with his designer and he tells her all he wants to do with the space,

He still has not decided on whether the arcade machines are staying or going.

The staff and family clean out the space and they are nervous but happy the arcade has not been touched.

Robert meets with the family including the wives, who he convinces that change is best.

While the renovation starts Robert asks the family to talk about how their dynamic changed.

Jon’s wife donated her kidney to Bobby saving his life but Bobby was mean to her.

This is the main cause of the friction between the brothers.

Bobby says he teases everyone and he does not single her out.

The brothers soon start bickering in front of Robert.

They both think the other is overstepping in each other’s roles in the business.

The friction between the brothers is affecting the rest of the family, especially Ginger.

Robert asks the sons to do some work overnight figuring out what their roles are in the restaurant.

Robert decides that he will keep the arcade since the family is so attached to it.

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

It is already looking so different, with colours and walls breaking up the space.

They have also figured out how to bring in the arcades into the theme of the restaurant.

Robert sits with the family and Jon has his role in the restaurant ironed out.

Bobby also outlines his own role as front of house with clear boundaries.

Robert appreciates this and gives them some advice on what they need to track and how they will interact with each other.

He also asks Ginger to hand over most of the backroom work she does to the sons so she is less stressed.

Robert sets up a prank on Bobby, a truck arrives pretending to want to remove all the Arcade games.

Bobby sends the truck away getting upset until Robert reveals it was a joke.

Robert takes them to the kitchen to work on their menu teaching them a number of new pasta dishes.

They love the taste and appreciate the need to cook from fresh ingredients.

Robert takes Ginger and the sons to a gym.

He does an exercise to show them how Ginger not delegating is restricting them and the business.

Ginger will be taking her retirement more seriously and taking some time away.

The sons agree they are ready and promise not to disappoint her.

The renovation team have finished and it is time to show the new look to the owners and the family.

They are shocked to see the space better organised with better decor and upgraded decor.

There are pixels on the walls and a dessert bar and it looks like a proper restaurant now.

The arcade section has been partitioned off to keep it separate.

On relaunch, the customers waiting outside are let in.

The food coming out of the kitchen is great quality to the compliments of the customers.

The children are enjoying using the arcade.

What Happened Next at Be'ne Pizza and Pasta?

A few months later, business is up 20%.

The arcade is doing well and the new menu and decor is loved by new and old customers.

Jon and Bobby are getting along and the harmony is bringing the whole family back together again.

Bene Pizza and Pasta closed in July 2015.

They closed after deciding it was time to sell up.

Reviews were more negative after the show.

In June 2021, they posted a cryptic message on Facebook suggesting they may be reopening.

Be'ne Pizza and Pasta was Restaurant Impossible season 10 episode 8 and aired on 18th February 2015.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the few times I side with the owners, when it comes to keeping the arcade. As Robert was born a fair bit before video games as we know it was forming, and that a culture surrounding it would was on the cusp on its formative years.


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