The Emporium - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible The Emporium

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits The Emporium in Hawks Springs, Wyoming.

The Emporium is owned by Dennis Simmons.

The food here is something you typically see in the west.

Dennis has never been in the restaurant business.

He was in the construction business but decided to try something new.

His overbearing management style and inability to listen to his staff are running this restaurant into the ground.

His daughter is close to walking away from the restaurant.

Robert notices that there is nothing for miles and miles on the way to the restaurant.

He meets with Dennis for a brief about the restaurant.

Seeing people smile is what is keeping Dennis going.

Dennis says that his staff believes that he is micromanaging.

Dillon is his daughter and does the scheduling for the staff.

She also does the liquor order, bartending, waitressing, restocking and prepping.

Dillon says she gets paid less than those who aren’t doing as much or being held accountable.

When she graduated college, she was going to start her master’s degree.

Dennis needed help, so she stuck around at the restaurant.

She says she didn’t expect to be here this long but it’s okay.

They have been open for six years but it’s been slow.

Between credit cards and mortgages, Dennis is in $300,000 of debt.

Dennis can’t afford to pay himself or to retire.

If they were to close, he would still owe the bank a lot of money.

He also wouldn’t know what to do for a living.

This isn’t what Dillon wanted to do.

She has given up parts of her life to this restaurant.

Dennis says it’s hard when you’re his age and have this many problems to fix.

Dillon says that if Dennis fails, she will feel like she could’ve done better.

Robert walks into Emporium and isn’t impressed.

The tables are chipped and the walls need to be repainted.

There is lots of clutter and some of the chairs have masking tape on them.

Robert says it looks like whoever did the restaurant forgot to finish it.

Robert calls Dennis to the front of the house.

He tells Robert that last year’s revenue was around $240,000.

The restaurant is close to Mt. Rushmore so should be packed with tourists.

They have six staff members.

Dennis says that without Dillon he probably would’ve given up.

Dennis gets emotional when talking about his daughter.

Robert tries the food before the service.

He thinks that the execution sucks but the ideas he has are great.

The vegetables are awful and the potatoes are sour.

The steaks are cooked beautifully but there is no flavor to them.

The gravy is far too thick.

Robert wants to see the service.

Dennis is disappointed that Robert did not like the food.

Robert realizes how badly Dennis manages his staff.

Seating was restricted to 50% capacity in Wyoming.

There are people waiting but nobody is taking care of them.

Customers have been waiting around thirty minutes for food.

Their frozen product isn’t defrosted so it’s taking even longer to make the food.

There are no systems in place.

Robert calls Dennis and tells him to shut the restaurant down.

He tells the customers the restaurant is closing and apologizes to them.

Robert meets with his design team of Taniya and Lynn to discuss the design concept.

The staff begins taking everything out of the restaurant.

This makes Dillon and Dennis emotional.

Dennis realizes this is a fresh start for the restaurant.

Robert meets with Dillon.

He tells her that her dad seems lost.

She says the staff comes to her with problems.

The staff talks about Dennis behind his back and Dillon has to calm the staff down.

Dillon admits that she resents her dad.

Two years ago, she was getting her master’s degree.

She realized that her dad was struggling, so she came back to help.

She didn’t want to come help him but felt she had no choice.

She says she won’t stay if she knows the outcome is going to be failure.

Robert tells her that when she goes home tonight, he wants her to think about what she wants.

She says she doesn’t want to abandon her dad but if this doesn’t work out she will walk away.

She wants to be valued and to have some sort of stake in the restaurant.

Robert meets with the staff and they admit that they go to Dillon.

Dennis talks down to his staff, which is frustrating.

Dennis says he doesn’t think he is abrasive.

They don’t have standard operating procedures.

They haven’t had a staff meeting in a very long time.

Robert tells the staff to write down the grievances they have so they can have a staff meeting tomorrow.

Robert and Dennis head to the grill.

Robert shows him a quick way to marinate a prime rib.

Robert talks to Dennis about how he needs to learn how to communicate better with the staff.

Dillon gets paid $10 an hour.

Without her, he’d be hurting to find someone that could fill her shoes.

Dennis says he would make her a partner in the restaurant.

Robert tells him to think about life without Dillon in this restaurant and what it means to him.

The next morning, Robert meets with Dennis and Dillon.

Dennis tells Dillon how without her in the restaurant, there would be a void that he wouldn’t be able to fill.

He invites her to become a full partner with him in the restaurant.

He offers 49% of the restaurant to her.

Dillon admits that this makes her feel valued and she signs the papers.

Dillon feels more committed now that she has a stake in the restaurant.

Robert meets with the staff to discover what issues they have with the restaurant.

They say that they want to be taught and not yelled at.

Robert shows Dennis better ways to make the recipes he tried earlier.

They are making the finishing touches to the restaurant.

Robert can’t wait to show Dennis and Dillon their new restaurant.

Robert shows Dillon and Dennis the new restaurant.

They are in love with the changes that they have made.

Dillon says it now looks like a real restaurant.

They invite customers into their restaurant.

On relaunch, the communication is much better.

Things are going smoothly in the kitchen.

Dennis isn’t micromanaging and the customers love the food.

What Happened Next at The Emporium?

A few months later, The Emporium was still struggling due to the pandemic.

Dennis and Dillon are confident that with Robert’s changes they’ll stay open.

They continue to hold regular staff meetings.

Communication between Dennis and the staff has improved.

Dennis and Dillon are working on their new relationship as business partners.

They are optimistic about the future of the restaurant.

The Emporium is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for both the food, atmosphere and service.

The Emporium was Restaurant Impossible season 18 episode 5 and aired on 1st April 2021.

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