Walters Gas & Grill - Restaurant Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Restaurant Impossible Walters Gas & Grill

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Robert Irvine visits Walters Gas and Grill in Opelika, Alabama.

Walters Gas and Grill is owned by Penny.

She also runs the only gas station in the area.

Penny's journey is deeply personal as she married Robert and merged their families together.

After experiencing a tragic loss of one of their sons, Penny sold her previous business.

After a period of healing, she and Robert decided to purchase the place, combining a gas station with a restaurant.

Despite their efforts, the business is struggling and Penny's micromanagement is taking a toll on her health.

When Robert arrives at the restaurant, he is bewildered by its remote location.

The space is dated and has a store-like feel, with shelves of products, many of which are empty.

The restaurant area is in disarray with stained furnishings.

There are half-working lights and improper storage practices, such as bleach near the food.

Robert is shocked by the condition of the establishment.

He sits down with Penny and Robert to hear their story.

The restaurant primarily serves farmers and truckers from the area.

Penny enjoys cooking and meeting people, also runs a farm and engages in canning.

Despite owning the business for nine years, Penny has no understanding of the financial numbers or how the previous year went.

She opens up about her previous business failure due to the loss of their son.

She has current heart issues, which are exacerbated by the stress of running the restaurant.

As the service begins, Robert wants to see how it runs.

He is initially impressed until he witnesses Penny bickering and micro-managing her staff.

He also notices several food safety issues stemming from poor cleanliness and improper ingredient storage.

When Robert confronts Penny about the state of the kitchen, she becomes defensive and leaves to gather herself outside.

Robert follows her and engages in a conversation to address her lost passion for cooking and her failure to hold her staff accountable.

To transform the business, Tom and Lynn are brought in to rework the space.

They recognize the unique challenge of combining a gas station, store, and restaurant.

They propose separating the areas, bringing the restaurant to the forefront and relocating the store to the back.

With their quick actions, the space is cleared out efficiently.

Robert challenges Penny to rediscover her passion for cooking by preparing a meal at home with him.

An hour later, Penny presents a homemade meal that impresses Robert and rekindles her love for cooking.

During their conversation, Robert emphasizes the importance of setting up systems and trusting her staff.

He assigns her an exercise to demonstrate that she cannot do everything herself, using a stack of bricks on tomatoes to represent her health.

Penny appreciates the lesson and is given the task of identifying what she knows and what she needs to delegate.

The next day, Robert checks in early with Penny, who has completed her assigned homework.

He promises to help her navigate the areas she's unfamiliar with.

They discuss the challenges with the manager Vanessa and address the need for more freedom and autonomy.

Vanessa presents a list of new vendors that can help the business save money.

Robert leaves them to work out food costs and demonstrates the proper calculations on a whiteboard.

They proceed to train the cooks on recipes and costs while the rest of the staff cleans the kitchen.

Robert takes the cooks outside to showcase the preparation of a Brunswick stew, collard green pasta, and southern cutlet chicken.

The staff loves the taste of the dishes.

Robert checks in with his design team, who have worked tirelessly throughout the night.

Despite their struggles, Robert is pleased with the progress made so far.

In the evening, everyone gathers for the grand reveal. Penny is shown the transformed space.

It features open and brightened areas with rustic furnishings that align with the community's aesthetic.

The store section is now neatly tucked into its own area and looks great.

When Penny's husband is brought in, he also expresses his delight with the changes.

Penny enthusiastically invites the customers in, who are amazed by the beauty of the revamped space.

Vanessa settles into her role as the manager.

Penny steps back to focus on the bigger picture, tasting food, and engaging with customers.

On relaunch, the customers are thrilled with the dishes coming out of the kitchen.

They promise to return to the restaurant.

What Happened Next at Walters Gas & Grill?

After the show, sales have increased by 15%.

Vanessa thrives in managing both the restaurant and store.

Penny now takes two days off a week to spend time with her grandchildren.

Walters Gas & Grill is open.

Reviews are very positive, albeit there being few available online.

Walters Gas & Grill is Restaurant Impossible season 22 episode 7 and aired on 9th February 2023.

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