Southern Grille of Ellendale - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Southern Grille of Ellendale

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Southern Grille of Ellendale in Ellendale, Delaware.

Southern Grille of Ellendale is a southern cuisine restaurant.

The restaurant is owned by Ronald White.

It is run by him and his grandson Laymere.

Ronald has worked there since he was 9 and decided to purchase the restaurant when it was for sale.

After many years of running the restaurant, he is now struggling.

He works all hours of the day but is still making a loss each month.

Ronald is losing $20,000 a month and is also in debt.

Laymere is only 20 years old.

He is also a full time student alongside managing the restaurant.

Robert arrives and he loves the floor and the building itself.

The decor is very dark and dated with old booths and tables.

There are cleanliness issues with flies everywhere.

Robert sits with Ronald and discovers that he has a full time job in a school.

After he finished there he comes to the restaurant afterwards.

His wife is sick with lupus and they have expensive medical bills.

He needs to work as much as he can and is currently working 18 hour days.

Ronald bought the restaurant 8 years ago and invested $130,000 in it.

He is currently in around $130,000 of debt.

He gets emotional talking about his debt and the amount of money he is losing each month.

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

The service is bad with food left piling up at the window.

The servers do not know where the food is going and customers are left waiting for food.

There are live flies in the restaurant, both in the front house and in the kitchen.

The pastry case has a dead fly in it for all to see.

Ronald looks like he has lost his passion in the kitchen.

Robert has the customers give their feedback to Ronald.

They have complaints including over seasoned food, over cooked meals, soggy bread and more.

There are some compliments for some of the dishes and particular servers.

The service is shut down and Robert speaks with Ronald and staff.

Robert wants to try the food for himself due to the inconsistency of the feedback.

Some of the dishes are not available as they don’t have the ingredients.

The dishes he tries are bland with nothing special about them that would bring people back to the restaurant.

Robert tells Ronald his food lacks passion and the dumplings that he is so proud of are not even ordered often.

He meets with his design team of Lynn and Tom.

They call the space cute but think that it needs a lot of work with the theme of a farmhouse.

The staff and volunteers come in to empty out the space, ready for the design team to get to work.

Their first job is sanding the floor to make it lighter.

Robert sits with Laymere to find out why he is a General Manager.

He can’t see how he keeps his job when he is barely expediting in the restaurant and not portraying any authority.

He said the role was given to him but his real passion is nursing.

Ronald has no idea that is how he felt about his role.

Robert checks on his design team and the floor is already brightening up the space.

The farmhouse look that he wants for the restaurant is starting to come together.

Robert goes back to Ronald to work on reigniting his passion for cooking.

He asks him to make the best dumplings he can using the ingredients they have in.

They are different and Robert is intrigued and loves the taste.

He says that they are fresh and flavourful and should be added to the menu.

The next day, Robert arrives and wants to meet with server Claire.

She received such high praise from the customers that Robert wants to find out more about her.

He is also confused as to why she hasn’t been promoted to GM instead of someone who doesn’t even want the job.

She has been with Ronald and the business for a very long time.

The only reason she is not GM is that he wanted to keep the restaurant in the family and she understood this.

Robert tells her that the right people have to be in the right positions and he makes a note to work on it.

Robert checks in with his design team.

They are going ahead with a black and white colour scheme that Robert isn’t keen on.

Tom has found the source of the fly problem.

It turns out that most of the doors and other openings did not close properly.

He has fixed them and this should stop the problem of the flies getting in from outside.

Robert sits with Ronald and his grandson to talk about the future of the restaurant.

Laymere reveals that he wants to leave to pursue his training in his chosen career.

Ronald is not happy with the news and Robert promises he has a solution.

First, he takes him to the kitchen to prepare some new dishes from the new menu.

Ronald loves the look and taste of all of the new dishes.

Robert checks in on the design team quickly and is pleased with the progress.

Ronald shares the news to his staff that Laymere will now be expediting as he will be going back to school.

Claire will be the new General Manager of the restaurant.

He inspires them with his speech and they are happy with the news.

Ronald is happy his grandson is more relaxed and happier than he has been in a while.

They speak privately with Ronald giving his blessing for his plans.

The team finishes up all the final details in and Ronald is taken in first to see the new space.

Ronald is almost speechless at the changes they have made to the restaurant.

It is now a modern brighter space with rustic tones.

There are new furnishings and new lighting.

Ronald’s wife is let in with Laymere and they both love the changes.

On relaunch, the customers are let in.

One of the first things they notice is the absence of flies in the dining room.

Claire is working well front of house with Laymere expediting in the kitchen.

The service is great and customers are complementing the food.

Ronald even has time to speak with his customers and get direct feedback.

What Happened Next at Southern Grille of Ellendale?

Two months later, their sales are up 40%.

The flies are still absent from the restaurant.

Claire is still managing the restaurant.

Laymere is pursuing other interests with the support of Ronald.

Southern Grille of Ellendale is open.

They didn't keep Robert's menu and have mostly positive reviews.

The few complaints are on service received and of the behaviour of the owners brother Aaron.

Southern Grille of Ellendale was Restaurant Impossible season 16 episode 1 and aired on 26th December 2019.

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