Perella's Ristorante - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Perella's Ristorante

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Perella’s Ristorante in Warren, Rhode Island.

Perella’s Ristorante is owned by Lou Perella.

Lou is also the head chef.

They opened in 1995 and he won a pasta challenge in 1996 using his mother’s recipes.

He was stuck in his ways from the old days.

His staff and family say it is hard for him to change.

Lou gave up a 20 year career, sold his house and cashed in his 401k to get the restaurant and keep it running.

He also borrowed money from friends and family to keep the restaurant open.

Robert arrives and he sees lots of wood, making it look like a barn.

There is diner styled furniture in contrast with it being an Italian restaurant.

Robert meets Lou and he learns about his ownership of the restaurant for 25 years.

He also learns the menu has not changed in 25 years.

He tells Robert that his son used to work there but left due to the stubbornness.

Robert wants to see a service to find out the issues at the restaurant.

The servers collect lots of orders at one time and slam the kitchen.

The customers are left waiting for more than 15 minutes.

Lou is not receptive in the kitchen and there is no system in place.

It takes 30 minutes for the first dish to leave the kitchen.

A lot of mistakes are made and it is chaotic.

An hour and a half in and Robert sees a lot of to-go boxes being taken away from the restaurant.

The service is shut down as Robert has seen enough.

Robert decides that he wants to sample the food.

The meatballs are good but the tomato sauce is watery.

The clams are salty and the marinara is too garlicky.

The lasagne is huge and it is no wonder people are taking food away.

The steak is charred and pungent and the chicken parm is not seasoned properly.

Robert gives Lou all of the feedback from and about the service.

He defends it saying the customers complained too much.

Lou thinks they can flavour the food with salt and pepper themselves on the table.

Robert thinks that Lou is living in the past.

Roberts design team will be Taniya and Tom.

They are brought in and are confused about the space.

Lou is brought in to meet them and he says he is attached to the decor but knows that change is necessary.

The community volunteers and staff come in to empty the space.

Lou is not happy at this and he tears up, wishing his son was with him.

Work starts in the space so Robert meets with Lou offsite.

Robert serves him the large portions of food that he served to the customers.

Lou struggles and Robert points out the portions are too big.

They are losing money because there is no space to upsell sides, desserts or entrees.

They skip courses and extras as they know the appetisers are so big.

Robert tells him he needs to review his menu so people just don’t order for the large portions.

Robert meets Lou’s son Louie, who is working in another restaurant.

Louie tells him how difficult his father is.

He is now a fully trained chef but fears nothing has changed at his fathers restaurant.

Robert is served from Louie’s menu and he loves the food.

He also asks Louie to find a way to help his father and come see them the next day.

The next day, Robert meets Louie in the restaurant kitchen.

He is preparing a new meal he believes his father would like.

Louie has decided to consult for them as the restaurant is part of his family.

He wants to help his father as much as he can.

Robert checks in with the design team and sees that work has progressed.

They are happy with the changes they have made so far.

Robert meets with Lou and introduces that a consultant will be joining the restaurant and he tastes the food made.

Lou loves the meal saying it is his favourite dish and it is well prepared.

He is surprised to see that it was made by his son and that he is the consultant.

Robert leaves them to talk together.

He sets up a challenge for Lou and Louie with three of the top selling food items from different restaurants in the area.

He presents the dishes and Lou is astounded to hear how well the dishes are selling.

His dish falls far behind in revenue and look compared to the others.

Robert tells him they do not need change but to modernise the dishes to compete and earn more money.

Robert is happy with how Lou is being more receptive to changes he is promoting.

Robert demonstrates some dishes from the new menu that have been modernised, including the chicken parm.

The team work hard to meet the deadline.

Lou and Louie are taken in to see the space.

They are happy to see the new space that has been modernised with an Italian theme.

Almost everything in the restaurant is brand new.

They love it all and hug Taniya and Tom when they are introduced.

On relaunch, customers are let in and the regulars love the look of the space.

There is a new process put in place for the servers.

This ensures they know their sections and do not overwhelm the kitchen.

Lou and Louie are cooking together and the food they send out is great, with customers paying compliments.

What Happened Next at Perella's Ristorante?

After the visit, Lou and Louie have weekly strategy meetings.

However, the menu change has not led to any serious sales increase.

Perella's Ristorante is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for the atmosphere.

Perella's Ristorante was Restaurant Impossible season 16 episode 4 and aired on 16th January 2020.

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