View Full Version : Anyone ever know a restaurant that should be on Kitchen Nightmares?

Mr Slugger
04-02-2009, 12:52 PM
Just curious if anyone knows, has worked for, or work next to a restaurant that should be on Kitchen Nightmares. Don't name names or locations or anything, just the issues you've seen.

The reason I ask this is because of the restaurant next door to one of our store's just surprises me that it's still open. To some extent it's small town politics. The own knows people who are connected to people, who know more people. The part time health inspector shows up like clock work twice a year for a visual inspection, other than that you never see the person. If she finds a problem it's very easy to get out of it. For example one of our food coolers on a visit wasn't running up to par, it started having issues the day the health inspector showed up. It was waiting for repair. She noticed it, we told her we were waiting for repair, she wrote it up on her report, but never returned to check to make sure that we got it fixed.

So anyway the restaurant I know has a leaking roof it leaks everywhere, but it also leaks into one of there cooler, the exhaust fans at the back of the building are covered in grease that has not been cleaned off since I've been there. I mean it drips off the vents at times and ends up in the grease pile on the ground below. There's been numerous grease or sewer backup in which they didn't close for. People sleep overnight in the restaurant. There's a common room in the back. We throw old displays back there because it's really nasty back there. It's somewhat open to the enviorment, rain water ends up there, they push the mop water off their floors into this room, the ceiling is cracking, paint is peeling, etc. Needless to say they've been starting to store food there "to cool" but there's also the bread crumbs that they make that have been back there to days on end, which has really grossed us out, because honestly I'd store food in my basement before this room.

On top of that I mean we both have some of the same problems. We've got a bug problem at times, we've got the leaking roof. We spray for the bugs, and we fix and repair as we can, but we're surviving and making money, where as this restaurant is near closed. So I can only guess that they don't spray, or repair the stuff the customers can't see.

04-02-2009, 01:12 PM
Good thread idea!

My friend worked briefly for a restuarant that would have been perfect for the show, except that it was actually a franchise in a chain. As such, they had good food (as good as chain restaurant food gets, anyway) and plenty of customers. The problem was staffing. The manager was such a raging bitch that the senior waitress had only been there for 5 weeks. They usually experienced 100% staff turnover every few months, although it was more like two weeks for kitchen staff.

My friend quit after a few weeks when the manager called her "lazy and stupid" when she forgot to enter someone's appetizer or something.

It would have been really nice to see Gordon Ramsey tear this harpy a new one.

04-02-2009, 01:40 PM
Fast food establishment.

The cooking floor itself was in good shape, but the store room had a mouse.

They would find mouse droppings on the floor and sometimes the cellophane wrap on the buns would be ripped open, and the buns chewed on.

They threw out the chewed up ones and used the rest.

It shouldn't
04-02-2009, 01:56 PM
The sub place next to our shop (now closed). Ewwww.

It was doing fine fine for years, then it was sold to a new owner. New owners dad started working there. I stopped eating there.
Few things I observed:
He dropped the knife on the floor, pick it up and continue cutting sandwiches with it. No wiping or washing it off.
Knife had mayo/mustard from cutting last sandwich on it. He just wiped on his crusty apron and used it for the next sandwich.
He would put on plastic gloves, make a sandwich, keep on the gloves while handling cash, take out the trash and the go make another sandwich with still the same gloves on.
The cleanliness of the place just went down hill too. Front counter around the self serve soda machine was always sticky. I think they moped the floor once a week. and everything else just started building up a brownisch crud film.

04-02-2009, 03:14 PM
The truck stop restaurant I worked at.

I personally witnessed cooks dropping stuff on the floor and picking it back up and cooking it. I doubt that floor got mopped or swept more than once every few days.

The menus were never. ever. ever. ever wiped down or cleaned.

The tables were never given a good cleaning. All we ever did when bussing/cleaning tables was wipe them down with a wet cloth.

The GM would either sit in the break room chainsmoking and reading Cosmo all shift, or she'd lock herself in the office and sit on the *restaurant* phone all shift. The only times she was seen was when she refilled her beverage and went from the breakroom to the office, and when she went home.

The freezer smelled like baby poop and rotting roadkill. Being from Wisconsin, I know exactly what a bloated dead deer on the side of the road on an 80 degree day smells like.

And the worst manager of all, the one who threw a monkey dish at my head. Maybe Ramsay would appreciate him in a platonic non professional way, but not when customers are involved. Many customers overheard him screaming at servers and pounding his fists on the serving table. At least it made for a lot of pity tips.

04-02-2009, 04:10 PM
The restaurant my poor MIL works at (it's a local Italian restaurant/lounge). a little over a year after I left that same restaurant ( I was the hostess and quit after I got a better paying job) , new management came into town. Since then, (from what I hear) it's been a complete freak show/circus/train wreck. The kitchen has rodents, sometimes customers find a roach or two crawling up the walls and maybe a few would be unlucky enough to find a roach in their food (I'm surprised I haven't heard of anybody suing but they would get their check or a certain item comped) . The worst thing is that the place is expensive and the food is not exactly what the money is worth both in quality and portion, so something that's supposed to be an "upscale" establishment is more like sub-par because the management there has no clue how to run a good restaurant and treats employees like crap. I've never watched Kitchen Nightmares, but I figure that place would be a shoo in for that show.

04-02-2009, 04:18 PM
Does having a manager who would check the eclairs for freshness by sticking her finger into them, licking it and then using the same finger to check ALL of them
without even washing her hands count? If so, then the place I used to work for in CA should be on the list.

Or how about the deli near the kosher butcher shop my Mom worked for that used to buy the chicken from them AFTER it went bad and used it for their fried chicken?

04-02-2009, 04:37 PM
There are two chinese resturants where I live, both have buffets and menus avaliable. They are both strangley in almost identical buildings.
The one down town is wonderful, its so clean it practially shines. Everything is sanitary and clean (that I can see at least), the owners are totally involved in the community, they are super friendly and always chocked full despite the fact they have high prices.

The other place is closer to us, everything is greasy, they have their 7 year old sun seating people, cutlery is put directly on their greasy tables. They take the food for delivery and takeout orders from the buffet that customers serve themselves from. Ive seen the owner sneeze near the buffet and not cover his mouth (let alone wash his hand). They are very stingy with their portions and the food just looks and feels.... off. It has a built up old racid grease smell and we have seen rats around their dumpsters.

We walked in once and asked to look at the buffet area... it was filthy so we walked out (they tried to charge us for the buffet anyway... that wasnt happening). We are regulars downtown when we can afford to eat out. They even have private dining rooms for an extra buck a head.

04-02-2009, 06:46 PM
Being from Wisconsin, I know exactly what a bloated dead deer on the side of the road on an 80 degree day smells like.

Lucky you. I've lived in WI all my life and have yet to experience that smell.

Knife had mayo/mustard from cutting last sandwich on it. He just wiped on his crusty apron and used it for the next sandwich.

Whenever I go to Subway I politely ask them to clean the knife off before cutting my sub. My reasoning? If I wanted whatever the hell that is on the knife on my sub, I would have ordered it that way. Only once did someone get huffy about it.

04-02-2009, 07:57 PM
Oh we have a few of those.

There's a very small restaurant in a nearby town that I had to meet a potential client at. I'm not sure why he wanted to meet there. There was no air conditioning, the tables were dirty (not filthy, but it was clear that no one was wiping them down after each customer), everything looked like it was from 1970, and there were ants all over. Tables, floors, everything basically. I said I had just eaten - couldn't handle the idea of eating anything there. I'd hate to see what the back looked like. Oh and for the record - the business deal didn't work out. Not a surprise I'm sure.

There's a Hawaiian restaurant of dubious quality that I've heard nothing but bad about, taste and cleanliness-wise. (Though to be honest we only have one good Hawaiian place here as far as I'm concerned.) Haven't been in myself.

There WAS an awesome pizza place right next door to me years back. It was a combo pizza / bar place. It was really good and appeared reasonably clean in the areas I saw, but it was shut down for health reasons of some sort :(