Franco Di Roma - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Franco Di Roma

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Franco Di Roma in Middletown, New York.

Franco Di Roma is owned by Franco and Karen.

They are a husband and wife team.

Franco is Italian and developed a passion for cooking from an early age.

He met his wife Karen while in the business.

They have a son whose sexual orientation makes Franco uncomfortable.

The restaurant has faced difficult times and Franco is stretched thin.

He is currently taking on almost every responsibility.

He complains that Karen doesn't show up enough.

She handles a significant portion of the paperwork.

They brought in their son with the hope of modernizing the business.

They clashed so much that he left after a year.

When Robert arrives, he notices several cringe-worthy items like plastic gimmick decor and Christmas trees.

The restaurant's ambiance doesn't reflect its Italian theme.

Robert sits down with the couple to hear their story.

They were initially successful but Franco blames the recession.

Karen points fingers at her husband's processes.

Franco admits that he often clashes with his son because of his sexual orientation.

It's evident that there is tension in the marriage.

Robert can't fully address it at that moment, so he asks them to begin service.

Robert observes how they work together.

While Karen manages the front of house effectively, the kitchen is in chaos.

There are incomplete and incorrect orders causing frustration among the staff.

Customers frequently send food back with various complaints.

Franco is given direct feedback.

He offers excuses and rejects the information when Karen relays it to him in the kitchen.

Robert decides to order from the extensive 135 item menu list.

Unfortunately, the food he tastes is rubbery, overcooked, and lacking in flavor.

The feedback Robert gives to the couple becomes personal, leading to bickering between the pair.

Robert brings in his design team of Tom and Lynn.

They evaluate the space and find that there isn't much worth keeping.

The space is swiftly emptied out by staff and volunteers.

During this time, the couple continues to argue.

Robert examines their finances and discovers that their costs are in line with where they should be.

The revenue is impacted by the poor quality of the food and the tension between the couple.

Robert has a conversation with Franco Jr. to gain further insight into his parents' relationship.

Franco Jr. reveals that he has moved on from his father and is running another restaurant successfully.

To test Franco's resistance to change, Robert prepares a new meatball recipe and presents it alongside Franco's.

Karen serves as an impartial judge and tastes both versions.

Franco concedes that Robert's dish tastes significantly better, which nudges him towards accepting change.

Afterwards, Robert leaves them to check on the progress of his team's work.

He takes the couple through an exercise where they write lists of each other's faults and confront them, committing to change.

It's an emotional process that ends with the couple embracing.

Robert assigns them a task.

The next morning, Franco Jr. is brought in to witness his parents completing the assignment.

It becomes clear that the couple have taken a step back after all the progress made the previous day.

Robert is frustrated and asks Franco Jr. to mediate.

Franco reads a heartfelt letter of apology to his son.

He struggles and Karen steps in to help him finish.

The emotional apology brings Franco to tears.

Franco Jr. remains indifferent but accepts the apology.

Franco also has a note for Karen, who is also moved to tears.

Robert checks in with his team, who have begun working on major changes to the restaurant.

He trains the couple on preparing an Italian Beef Pizza, Lamb Rigatoni, and Pork Parmesan.

The couple is delighted by the taste of the dishes.

Karen even does a happy dance in the kitchen.

The staff is then gathered for a pre-service meeting while the final touches are being made to the space.

The couple addresses the staff, apologizing for the tension.

He assures them that they will work together more effectively, seeking their support.

Robert returns to his team to wrap up the remaining tasks.

The couple focuses on revamping the menu, streamlining it to a manageable size.

By late afternoon, the community has gathered at the restaurant.

The couple is invited in to see the completely transformed space.

It now exudes warmth, openness, and a cohesive Italian theme, complete with a wine cellar.

They love the changes and together open the doors to the awaiting crowd.

On relaunch, orders start pouring in, and the front of house operates excellently.

The kitchen proves itself by preparing and sending out dishes promptly.

The couple remains polite and supportive of each other throughout the evening.

The customers thoroughly enjoy the improved food quality.



What Happened Next at Franco Di Roma?


After the show, there hasn't been a significant change in sales.

The food and management have greatly improved.

The couple is still committed to improving both the business and their marriage.

Franco Di Roma is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for the food and service.

Franco Di Roma is Restaurant Impossible season 22 episode 12 and aired on 16th March 2023.

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Next episode - The Balanced Chef

Previous episode - Leah's Korner Kafe

This post was last updated in August 2023.

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