J's Restaurant - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible J's Restaurant

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits J’s Restaurant in Waveland, Mississippi.

J’s Restaurant is owned by Louis Fouquet III and his best friend Jeff Bui.

J’s is a steak and seafood restaurant.

Louis runs the front of the house and Jeff does most of the cooking.

Jeff says the food is very good and that he loves to create good food.

Jeff and Louis grew up together.

They have been best friends since they were 12 and grew up in the same neighborhood.

In 2000, Louis opened his own shipping company and it was very successful.

In 2009, he filed for divorce after being with his wife since he was 16.

This broke Louis’ heart and Jeff says this made Louis crazy.

Louis sold his shipping company.

He began doing drugs, drinking and gambling.

He lost his cars, house, everything.

Louis didn’t talk to his daughters for two years.

One night Louis called Jeff crying for help.

Jeff took Louis in and saved his life.

Jeff has been cooking since he was ten-years-old and is passionate about cooking.

Louis knew about Jeff’s ambitions, so when he saw J’s was for sale he asked him if he wanted to go for it.

J’s has been there since 1987 and was a success.

They purchased it in May 2019.

It was very successful for them in the beginning.

Now, they are losing between $4,000 and $6,000 a month.

Louis and Jeff are in around $350,000 debt.

This has created tension between Louis and Jeff.

If nothing changes, they will have to close in around three months.

Louis says that Jeff is set in his ways so he isn’t sure that he is willing to change.

Robert arrives at J’s Restaurant.

He says the restaurant smells old like there are dead things there.

There are stains on the carpet and are leaks in the ceiling.

The banquet chairs are also old.

Robert says that the restaurant is a box with chairs in it.

Robert calls Louis and Jeff into the restaurant for a brief.

Louis doesn’t know the numbers.

Jeff and Louis don’t know how to find out the food costs.

Louis thinks that people can’t really see the restaurant so that is why they are failing.

Jeff says they need more publicity.

They still owe the original owners for buying the restaurant.

If they miss one payment, they lose the restaurant and still owe the money.

Louis says he was at rock bottom but he had a second chance and doesn’t want to blow it.

Robert says he wants to see the service.

They can only seat to 75% capacity due to state restrictions.

Tons of to-go orders are ringing in and the speed of the kitchen is great.

However, this is because they microwave a lot of the food.

Louis is asking Jeff when an order will be ready but Jeff ignores him.

Robert wants to try the food.

He decides to try the food outside due to the smell of the carpet.

The steak isn’t edible and the potato is salty.

Robert won’t even touch the onion rings.

The shrimp and cheese sticks are frozen.

The BLT has precooked bacon.

The pasta is overcooked and the shrimp is dry.

The gumbo tastes both like dishwater and wallpaper paste.

Robert says this is cooking at its worst and he is not impressed.

Robert tells Louis and Jeff that the food is so poor that cooking it is a big waste of time to him.

Jeff is upset with Robert’s words about the food because he takes pride in what he puts out.

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

The staff begins taking everything out of the restaurant so they can get to work.

Robert meets with the staff to uncover what goes on behind the scenes.

The staff tell him that Jeff doesn’t trust them and he is a hoarder.

Robert goes to look in the freezer.

There are sixteen large boxes of crab.

Robert says this is dead money.

Jeff buys cases and cases of toilet paper.

Robert sits down with Jeff to tell him how dead money sitting there isn’t good.

Robert tells Louis about the stockpiles of crab and toilet paper.

He says there must be checks and balances in place to keep Jeff from over ordering.

Robert gives Louis homework for that evening.

Louis must tell Jeff everything that he’s grateful for.

He must also tell Jeff everything he needs to work on.

Louis says he is scared that Jeff won’t change.

The next morning, Louis reads out his homework.

Louis says Jeff should trust the employees more and not buy so many supplies.

Jeff says he will change and that he must change.

Jeff says that what Robert showed him the previous day really helped open his eyes.

Robert shows Louis and Jeff recipes he believes will sell well on the new menu.

Louis and Jeff love the dishes that he has made.

They begin making the finishing touches on the restaurant.

The tables are being set ready for the service.

Jeff says that yesterday was brutal.

He was in total shock from what Robert had to say and accepts that he needs to make a change.

Robert takes Louis and Jeff into their new restaurant.

Jeff asks if they are still in the same restaurant.

Louis says he didn’t think they could do anything like this to their restaurant.

There is no bad smell when you walk through the door.

Jeff and Louis invite the customers into their new restaurant.

On relaunch, the customers say that they love the decor.

The orders are coming through quickly and leaving the kitchen quickly.

The customers love the new food.

Jeff is trusting his staff and communication is great.



What Happened Next at J's Restaurant?


A few months later, Louis and Jeff have seen a 400% increase in sales.

Jeff continues to delegate tasks to his staff and cook without microwaves.

Louis is holding Jeff accountable.

It has made their relationship even stronger.

J's Restaurant is open.

They kept their old menu and added some of Roberts new dishes.

Reviews are very positive about the food and the staff.

J's Restaurant is Restaurant Impossible season 19 episode 6 and aired on 24th June 2021.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Big Tom's Backyard Grill and Bar

Previous episode - Deraney's Two City Tavern

This post was last updated in June 2023.

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