Amigo Cafe - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Amigo Cafe

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Amigo Cafe in Kayenta, Arizona.

Amigo Cafe is owned by Julene and Larry Price.

They have run it with their family for around 22 years.

The restaurant is on a reservation in Navajo nation.

They are part of the Navajo nation and try to incorporate it in their restaurant.

It was successful until the pandemic happened.

The restaurant was shut down but Julene kept paying the staff.

This ate into her family’s personal savings.

The restaurant is far from their home and Julene has to drive 4 hours back and forth to work.

She wants her daughter, Heather to take over the business.

Robert arrives and he sees the space is made up of mostly cheap furnishings.

It is tight but has some redeeming elements.

He sits with the owners to discuss the restaurant.

Julene is the main owner while Larry is a silent partner.

They do not know what their net revenue is.

Robert has to work it out for himself and finds out that they are not profitable.

He finds out they do not cut staff when they are not busy and lose money that way.

Even if Heather wanted to sell there are no takers with it being on a reservation.

The service starts so that Robert can see them work.

The manager Billy is working well.

Heather is also doing well in the kitchen but the food is from a steam table and nothing is cooked fresh.

The service is fast but the customers complain that the food does not truly reflect Navajo cuisine.

Robert ends the service and orders from the menu.

While he waits he sits with Heather and has some coffee, which he likes.

Heather is a trained Barista but she is discouraged from stepping into her mom’s shoes.

She feels like she cannot meet her expectations and will let her down.

Robert’s food arrives and all the dishes lack seasoning.

He gives Heather and Julene feedback.

Robert encourages Heather to tell her mom her feelings.

Her mother is shocked to hear her reservations and admits she does not feel that way.

Heather feels a lot better saying her mind and Robert sends them away so he can meet with his design team.

Tom and Taniya arrive almost blown away by the wind and find the cafe small and crowded.

Robert wants a coffee bar with earth and turquoise colours to depict the Navajo culture.

The staff and team empty out the space.

There is a windstorm so they cannot work outside.

There is a risk that their work indoors might be delayed by sand.

Robert leaves his team to get started and he trains Heather and Julene on food costs.

He checks on his team and the space is so much more open.

They are working on the bar area and sampling a mural for the wall.

They are also keeping the old artwork Heather’s husband created as a framed piece for the wall.

They will be using it as a logo so they will not have to make one.

For homework, Robert tells Heather to price a cappuccino and write down her biggest fears.

Julene is to write a letter for her dreams for Heather’s future and also how she will support her.

The next morning, the team is struggling as they cannot work outside with the windstorm.

Robert checks in on Heather, Julene and Larry.

Heather has done her homework and he allays her fears on running the place.

Julene reads her letter, which moves Heather and her to tears.

Julene will be giving Heather a title as co-owner and will introduce her to the staff as such.

Heather is happy with this.

Julene speaks to the staff and says Heather will be more present as she will be stepping back.

The staff reaffirm their commitment to the family and the business.

Robert checks in quickly on his team and they have made a lot of progress.

He then goes to the kitchen to train Heather and Julene on making some new dishes.

The new dishes are Three sisters Burrito, mutton tostada and a Navajo shrimp taco made with blue corn.

They love all the dishes and the innovation as the dishes will put the restaurant on the map.

It is 5pm and the counter has not arrived and there is sand everywhere so the team is behind.

They work hard to get it all together and at sunset the family are taken in to see the new space.

It is warm and open and looks like a proper restaurant with earth colours and the fun mural.

They are all shocked and love the new space and the retained artwork.

On relaunch, they let the waiting customers in and the locals are shocked to see the changes.

Heather is greeting guests and being confident while Julene is supportive.

Food is being cooked with spices so it is flavourful.

The locals love the Navajo dishes as they are loads better than they were before.



What Happened Next at Amigo Cafe?


After the show, revenue went up 53%.

Heather took over scheduling and payroll.

Julene cut her schedule down to one day a week.

Her health is improving.

Larry is planning on opening a second Amigo cafe in Farmington, New Mexico.

Amigo Cafe is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with the odd complaint on the food or service.

Amigo Cafe is Restaurant Impossible season 22 episode 2 and aired on 5th January 2023.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - Island Kine Grinds / Aloha Island Grille

Previous episode - Ranch House Cafe

This post was last updated in August 2023.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are currently turned off due to an influx of spam comments.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter