The Balanced Chef - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible The Balanced Chef

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits The Balanced Chef in Rome, New York.

The Balanced Chef is owned by Brian Donovan.

He initially started it as a meal prep service before expanding into a restaurant in 2021.

Brian is a trained culinary chef with years of experience.

He has faced numerous challenges, including a brain cancer diagnosis in 2020.

There has also been the impact of the pandemic on his business.

The restaurant is in a dire financial situation, with debts of $300,000.

Robert arrives and is puzzled by the cluttered display by the entrance of the restaurant.

Upon entering, he finds the interior clean and the furnishings pleasing.

To get the full story, he sits down with Brian to discuss the challenges he has faced.

Although Brian has some knowledge of the numbers, he lacks complete information.

Complicating matters, Brian recently learned that his cancer has returned.

He is also in the process of going through a separation.

Robert asks Brian to begin the service.

He quickly sees that the flow of operations confuses customers, leading to long queues.

Brian is spread thin, managing tasks behind the register, in the kitchen and attending to tables.

The staff feels that Brian is overwhelmed and does not allow them to perform their duties.

Robert notices that while some meals are cooked fresh, most of the to-go dishes are simply microwaved.

Brian defends this practice as an industry standard but Robert disagrees.

When Robert orders from both menus, he finds that nothing tastes fresh.

There are overcooked meats and the fish is lacking flavor.

Providing feedback to Brian, Robert encounters resistance and denial.

It becomes apparent that the recipes have evolved over the years due to the input of various chefs.

Kent is supposed to be a chef but he primarily functions as a kitchen manager.

The restaurant also fails to track food costs.

Robert determines it to be at an alarming 90%, indicating poor financial management.

Brian feels attacked, and Robert lets him go so that designer Lynn can assess the space.

Tom is unable to join them due to family commitments.

Lynn finds the design confusing and thinks that the restaurant has failed to achieve its desired goals.

Robert outlines what would work best, and volunteers begin stripping down the space.

Robert assigns Kent to work with his team, learning grocery shopping for the restaurant and other necessary skills.

Robert visits Brian's best friend Ryan, who had previously supported him during his illness.

Ryan shares his attempts to implement proper processes in the business.

Brian's stubbornness and micromanagement hindered progress.

Ryan believes that Brian has lost his way and needs to find his path back.

Robert returns to Brian and his wife Cynthia joins them.

Cynthia sheds light on Brian's life, stating that while he loves their children, he fails to prioritize them.

There is no proper work-life balance for him.

Robert assigns Brian homework, challenging him to answer why he is working at his business.

The next day, Brian meets with Robert and acknowledges that he is squandering his second chance at life.

He realizes that his children are the reason he needs to change, enabling him to spend more time with them.

With just seven hours until the reopening, Robert checks in with Lynn.

He has made progress on the changes, although there is still much to be done.

Robert then brings together Brian and Kent, urging Brian to set aside his ego.

Finally, Brian agrees to accept Ryan's help.

Robert takes Brian and Kent to the kitchen, focusing on the menu and teaching them to prepare new dishes.

They make a couscous royale, chimichurri beef sandwiches, and pan-seared salmon.

He demonstrates costs and emphasizes potential profits.

He leaves them to continue practicing while work on the space continues, still far from completion.

As the reopening approaches, everyone gathers outside, including Brian's two children.

Brian is brought inside first, and he is met with a completely transformed space.

The restaurant has been reorganized.

There is a new kitchen entrance hidden from the customers' view and a dedicated area for ready-to-eat meals.

The design is modern, simple, and clean with new furnishings.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Brian is moved to tears.

Cynthia is brought in to see the revamped space, and she is equally impressed by the changes.

As the doors open to welcome the customers, they are seated promptly.

The confusion that once plagued the restaurant has vanished.

Customers praise the new look, as it now resembles a restaurant.

Kent has now received proper training and cooks fresh meals to order.

The customers are delighted with the improved quality of the food.

What Happened Next at The Balanced Chef?

After the show, the business has achieved stability.

Kent has embraced his role and taken on additional responsibilities in the kitchen.

Brian remains focused on spending more time with his children and making a full recovery.

The Balanced Chef is open.

Reviews are excellent with high praise for the food.

The Balanced Chef is Restaurant Impossible season 22 episode 13 and aired on 23rd March 2023.

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