Jalisco Cafe - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Jalisco Cafe

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Jalisco Cafe in San Diego, California.

Jalisco Cafe is owned by Maria Ozuna.

Maria is a former server at the cafe who saved up to buy the restaurant.

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

She thought since she was making money as a server she would be making more as an owner.

She was unprepared for the expenses that the restaurant would have.

Maria had to learn on the job.

Her husband is unable to work due to an injury so she is the breadwinner.

Robert arrives and can see that it is busy but thinks it is smelly.

The furnishings are also worn and ugly.

He sits and orders from the menu immediately and asks for feedback from the staff.

He runs into Maria, who is microwaving food.

She says that is how it has always been done.

Robert walks around the kitchen.

It is dirty with uncovered food and dirty spills on the floor.

There is also mould and Robert insists they need to throw all the food out.

He then goes to tell the customers about the state of the kitchen so they would stop eating.

Robert walks out because he is upset about it all.

He finally goes back in to see the plates but they do not look good.

He can tell they were not prepared well.

While washing his hands in the bathroom it is smelly and there is a dead cockroach.

He sends all the customers out of the restaurant.

Maria blames the former owners as she just continued what they did.

Quizzed on the numbers, she cannot tell Robert anything.

She bought the business without anyone assessing it.

She tells Robert her story so he understands her motivations.

Robert then brings in his design team and they find the place is so dark.

There are too many elements and want to get rid of everything.

There are some small colourful dolls that they want to incorporate into the design.

The space is emptied and he makes Maria video the restaurant empty.

She had never seen it that way before.

The first focus is deep cleaning the kitchen and Rueben the cook is not interested and walks out.

Robert complains to Maria and she is not bothered.

She says he will come back the next day.

He is shocked she is so complacent as a leader and tells her to find a different cook.

After hours, they are still cleaning and Robert cannot take Maria through some training because of this.

He calls in his executive chefs to help with menu prep.

Robert checks in on the restaurant space, which is smelling better.

Tom and Lynn break down their plans for the space, which Robert approves.

By evening, Reuben comes back and apologizes and joins the cleaning effort.

By the end of day one, Maria is still cleaning.

Robert can see she is a hard worker but she needs to learn to manage her business.

The next day, he goes straight to the kitchen.

Not all of it is clean as the grill is still dirty.

He calls an emergency meeting with his team to call for a professional cleaning crew.

They set up a new kitchen elsewhere as they still have to train.

This will allow them to do the relaunch later that evening.

After giving instructions he meets with Maria and takes her through an exercise.

They discuss the money she thinks she is making and all of the expenses.

This demonstrates she is in the red and some business strategies need to change.

Robert works on her leadership skills as she needs to be more assertive.

She talks to her staff and asks them to convince her they want to keep their job with her as a boss and not their coworker.

Robert is happy with her speech and resolve.

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

Robert takes Maria and Rueben through the new menu of Mexican dishes with surprising ingredients.

The ingredients are pre-made and it is put together on the plate.

The dishes taste great.

The design team uses the remaining hours to get the restaurant together.

Robert continues to train Maria on managing the business end and even quizzes her.

For the relaunch, the kitchen is still not ready so the tent is where the sample dishes will be served.

The design team makes the deadline and Maria is taken in to see the space.

It is brighter, colourful, modern and classy.

There is also a nook for her mugs and other items she sells organised on shelves.

She is moved by the changes that they have made.

Maria happily asks customers to come in.

Most are returning customers and are shocked to see the new look.

Robert announces the peculiar situation and asks them to come back when the kitchen is fully open.

For now they can enjoy some sample meals.

The outdoor station prepares the meals and all the customers love the taste.

Maria is greeting guests and praising Reuben for his good work.

What Happened Next at Jalisco Cafe?

After the show, Maria got a new professional team who was able to complete the cleaning.

The restaurant is fully functional and the staff are cleaning regularly.

Sales increased by 20%.

Jalisco Cafe is open.

Reviews are now mostly postive.

They were more mixed shortly after the show with both complaints and compliments on the food and service.

Jalisco Cafe is Restaurant Impossible season 20 episode 4 and aired on 16th September 2021.

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