Giovanni's Italian Restaurant - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Giovanni's Italian Restaurant

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant in Sylacauga, Alabama.

Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant is a family-owned business currently run by Chrissy.

Her parents opened the restaurant and named it after her grandfather Giovanni.

She was originally a cosmetologist and had a salon.

She sold her business to help her father out once his health started declining in 2007.

She helped out while her father did the background work which she did not pay attention to.

When her father’s health got even worse, he retired.

She took over running the business in 2014.

Sadly, she lost her sister Amy in 2020.

She runs the restaurant with her husband and daughter who stepped up to help her.

With all the loss she has suffered she has dropped the ball.

The business is suffering and it has got her into a lot of debt.

Robert arrives and he notices a smell in the dining room.

There are mismatched chairs, tables and pictures.

The furnishings are worn and things are stored improperly in the kitchen.

The kitchen is also in need of a clean.

He calls in Chrissy, who tells him the history of herself and the business.

She is driven to succeed by her family and history.

Robert tells her preliminarily what needs to change for her business to do better.

Chrissy feels guilty she let her family down.

She cries with her daughter after the meeting.

The service begins and Robert observes it is way too quiet.

The process seems to be designed to frustrate them.

The kitchen is unorganised and slow and sends out large portions.

Robert shuts down the service and sits with Sophie, Chrissy’s daughter while he orders food from the menu.

She breaks down in tears while talking about her mother and the restaurant.

It is not her dream to work at the restaurant.

She feels obligated to help her mother out so she has sacrificed her dreams.

The food arrives and Robert does not like any of the dishes.

He feels like there is no feeling in it or in the space.

Chrissy tells him what she hoped to achieve with her food and the space.

She wanted to replicate a home style family meal but it has none of that atmosphere.

Chrissy’s husband joins them to discuss the restaurant.

Robert tells them the space, food and menu are too old fashioned.

He feels that they need to let go of the past to grow the business.

He also lets them know that their practice is bringing the business down.

It is also stealing Sophie’s youth from her.

Robert takes them to see all the leftover food from the service they scraped together.

It is all presented on a table like a banquet.

It brings home to Chrissy how much she is losing by serving large portions.

The design team of Tom and Lynn are brought in and they agree on what they are going to do.

The staff and volunteers are brought in to empty out the space.

Robert notices there is a salon next to the restaurant and spontaneously asks Chrissy to cut his hair.

She is passionate and does the work confidently without thinking too much, smiling and laughing.

Robert points out that is the passion he wants her to have in the restaurant.

He sends her home to have a much needed family dinner.

Before he leaves he checks in on his team who have an outline of what they want to do.

Robert joins Chrissy at home at their family dinner.

He gives Chrissy an assignment to write a letter to Amy and hopefully it can serve as closure.

He then takes Sophie aside and asks her to round up friends and family to make videos talking about Chrissy.

The design team works all night.

The next morning, Robert meets with Chrissy to hear her read her letter to Amy.

She promises to honour her sister by bringing life back into the restaurant.

Robert checks in on the space and it does not look promising with just the walls done.

They have a lot more to do in the restaurant.

He takes Chrissy to watch the videos Sophie compiled.

Everyone is so positive she is moved to tears.

She is motivated and she is able to pass on this energy to her team in a pep talk.

Robert takes Chrissy and her husband through a lesson on using less ingredients to make adequately portioned meals and make more money.

He shows her some new easy and quick to make dishes with a good profit margin.

They make an italian cheesesteak, steak oreganata and a orecchiette Pasta.

Their selling point will be family style servings.

Robert checks in on the team who have caught up and completed all of the murals.

The family are gathered outside by nightfall.

Chrissy and her husband are taken into the newly renovated space.

The restaurant been modernised with more colour and a theme of red.

There is a mural of her grandfather on one wall and the Italian skyline on another.

The children are brought in afterwards to see the space and they are equally as pleasantly surprised.

Amy’s photo is brought in and ceremoniously hung up on one of the walls as well.

Chrissy brings in the customers to see the new restaurant.

Chrissy’s other sister Lisa breaks down in tears seeing the space and Amy’s picture.

On relaunch, Chrissy becomes a leader, directing her staff and mixing with the customers.

The kitchen is working seamlessly, sending out great food quickly.

It is a far cry from their initial service.

The customers are finishing all the food as it is properly portioned and there are no leftovers.

Robert video calls her father and mother, who are retired to tell them about the changes.



What Happened Next at Giovanni's Italian Restaurant?


After the show, sales are up 20%.

Chrissy’s passion has been reignited.

The family now eats together more often.

Sophie is following her dreams of going to school to be a nurse.

Giovanni's Italian Restaurant is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for the food.

Giovanni's Italian Restaurant is Restaurant Impossible season 21 episode 4 and aired on 19th May 2022.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Sweet Potato Cafe

Previous episode - Forks and Flavors

This post was last updated in July 2023.

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