Ranch House Cafe - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Ranch House Cafe

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Ranch House Cafe in Ash Fork, Arizona.

Ranch House Cafe is owned by Felicia.

She describes the restaurant as a Mom n Pop style place with simple cuisines.

The customers are mostly made up of truck drivers, people on the way to Las Vegas and locals.

The restaurant first opened in 1994 and Felicia’s parents worked there before she did.

She entered into an agreement to buy out the cafe.

The first year was great but the preceding years were bad.

Business declined as the local mines closed and a lot of locals left the area to find other work.

She lives off tips and works long hours including weekends.

Felicia has taken loans from friends and owes taxes to the state.

Her husband works far from home, only returning home on the weekends.

Her children help at the cafe so they can spend time with her.

Robert arrives and he sees it is mostly dilapidated and unorganised with clutter everywhere.

The restaurant is filthy from the walls to the fridge and condiment bottles.

Robert calls for Felicia and they sit to talk about the restaurant.

She tells him her story and how she has owned it for 10 years.

Felicia has not finished her paperwork since 2020 because she is scared of the outcome.

She owes 4 years of back taxes.

Felicia does not have a POS so she has no idea how her menu sells.

She gets emotional talking about her family and Robert is lenient with her because she is stressed.

He has her start a service so he can observe her work.

There is no passion in greeting and serving the customers and service is slow.

Robert engages with the locals who call the restaurant a dump.

No one has anything nice to say about the place.

It is hard for Felicia to hear and Robert shuts down the service.

The staff give Robert the low down about Felicia driving over 2 hours to shop for food for the restaurant in Phoenix.

Robert orders from the menu and it is mostly inedible.

He gives feedback to Felicia and the cook Estella.

Estella explains she was instructed to not put seasoning in the food.

Felicia reveals the menu is from the old owners and she did not change anything.

Felicia has not put herself in anything in the restaurant from the decor to the food.

She likes to bake but she has no time to do so and it's not offered on the menu.

Robert tasks her with finding herself.

He meets with his design team of Tom and Taniya.

They see Felicia’s office where she stores her paperwork in trash bags.

Robert gives them the mandate to make the space look pretty and appetising.

He feels like anything is better than what it currently is.

Staff and community come to help empty out the space including the banquets.

Robert sits with Andres, Felicia’s oldest son.

He says his mom had to be absent but he tries to be present for his younger brother in place of his mom.

Robert decides to demonstrate to Felicia how she is losing time and money travelling so far to shop for food.

She is losing almost $7000 a year on this weekly shopping trip and over 300 hours she could have spent on holiday or with her kids.

Felicia is emotional and guilty and she goes into a corner to cry.

Robert tries to console her and tells her she still has time to change.

Robert checks in on his team who have started work and have a clear idea of what they will be doing.

At the end of the day Robert gives Felicia an assignment to bake with her children and think about who she is.

The next morning, she and her kids have made a mayonnaise chocolate cake and Robert was excited to taste it.

He loves it and encourages her to sell it in her restaurant.

She had fun making it and spending time with her children.

She feels different, happy and optimistic.

After this she is taken through a rigorous training by Robert and his team.

They are trained on handling staff, costing her food and a new POS system.

Robert trains her and Estella on making a pan-seared rib-eye, chicken green chilli and a Barramundi fish sandwich.

They love the dishes and think that they taste delicious.

The team pushed it to the deadline and completed work on the space a few minutes after the reopening time.

By sunset, Felicia is taken into the space.

It has been modernised and looks more like a restaurant than a diner.

There are proper tables and chairs with privacy areas.

There are new lights, ceiling and fans with a warmth and intimacy customers will enjoy.

Felicia is so happy she cannot believe it is the same space.

She lets customers in and the locals are shocked at how inviting it is.

The orders come through and staff use the new POS system.

Estella is cooking from the new menu and Felicia is welcoming.

On relaunch, the customers love the new food on the menu and have nothing but compliments.

They say that they would go out of their way to eat there now.

Andres is proud of his mom and is hopeful for the future.

What Happened Next at Ranch House Cafe?

After the show, sales are up 15%.

Felicia has rediscovered her confidence and passion.

She has more time for her sons taking them fishing and attending their sports games.

Ranch House Cafe is open.

Reviews are mostly positive with praise for the staff and some minor complaints about the food.

Ranch House Cafe is Restaurant Impossible season 22 episode 1 and aired on 29th December 2022.

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