Eat - Restaurant Recovery Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Recovery Eat

In this Restaurant Recovery episode, Todd Graves visits Eat in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Eat is owned by Natalie Young.

Las Vegas closed for business in the early stages of the pandemic.

As the city slowly reopens, COVID-19 social distancing requirements means restaurants can operate at only 50%.

For small, locally owned restaurants like Eat, the odds are not looking good.

The restaurant opened in 2012 with the help of a $225,000 loan from a city revitalization project.

Eat was such a runaway success that Natalie had the loan paid off within a year.

Todd is here to place his bet on Natalie.

He knows that with a little help, she’ll be back to her winning ways.

Natalie has been cooking for her entire life.

She’s never had another job.

Natalie says that she has had her struggles being both a woman of color and gay.

She was a drug addict and an alcoholic.

Natalie says that you can get sober in Vegas but it isn’t easy.

She says that she’s overcome a lot to get where she is.

Pre-COVID, Eat was doing very well.

On a busy day, they were serving over 400 people.

When COVID hit, they shut down for two months as required by the state.

Natalie says that they are good for around six months with the level of business they are getting right now.

She says it would be devastating if the restaurant was forced to close.

Todd says that he has to talk to Natalie so he can develop a solid plan to help her out.

Natalie brings out all of her favorite menu items for Todd to sample.

Todd says that the food is absolutely delicious.

Eat still has lines outside the restaurant.

Natalie is not paying herself as she can’t afford it with the levels of current business.

She prioritizes her venders and her employees over herself.

She has been sober for 20 years.

Natalie says she is so grateful for everything she has achieved.

Todd says that Natalie is involved with a great local program called Core Academy.

Natalie says that she would hold out for as long as she can before closing Eat.

Todd says that now he will take a look around the restaurant.

It will help him see some solutions to help her out through the current crisis.

Eats patio could be a really great space.

However, the old tables and benches are just not going to cut it.

Fixing this situation is a high priority for Todd so they can expand their outdoor dining.

Natalie gives the keys to Todd and the restaurant closes for 48 hours.

To get this job done in the next 48-hours, Todd brings in AJ Kumaran.

AJ runs his business with him.

They will use the parking spaces as space for extra seating.

Creating a dining space in a parking garage is something Todd never thought he would have to do.

The first thing the customers are gonna see doesn’t look good.

They will build some walls to completely reinvent the space.

Two days later, Todd is excited to show Natalie her new restaurant.

Natalie takes a look at her new patio and she is impressed.

She says that people are going to love this and will enjoy the outdoor dining.

Todd shows her the parking garage.

Natalie says that this is awesome.

She says you don’t expect people to be so giving and caring.

Todd donates $10,000 to the charity that she supports.

The money will help over 125 families get through school.

Todd says it is time to get the restaurant back open.

Todd says it is great to see the customers enjoy the new dining space.

The customers are enjoying themselves and the changes they have made.

Natalie is grateful for Todd and his crew and that she isn’t Todd’s last stop.

She says it’s been an amazing experience and she doesn’t want it to be over.

What Happened Next at Eat?

Eat is open.

Reviews are very positive.

The truffle egg sandwich and chicken fried steak are highly reviewed.

Natalie said that Todd did more than she was ever expecting.

She wasn't expecting two new dining areas to improve her earnings.

She expected equipment and help towards staffing costs.

Shortly after the show, Natalie was so busy that she had to buy new equipment to expand the capacity of their kitchen.

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