For some strange reason, CNBC has made the fifth episode of “The Profit” unavailable on their website unless you have a cable TV subscription. That’s frustrating since I only watch TV online. Fortunately, Hulu had the episode, “LA Dogworks,” available for viewing. Marcus Lemonis tries to turn around a dog daycare center but walks away when the verbally abusive owner refuses to change. One of the reasons why I love watching this show is that Lemonis isn’t afraid of walking away from a bad deal.
Hulu followed that episode with the episode of “Nightmare Kitchen” that featured Gordon Ramsey walking away from the verbally abusive owners of Amy’s Baking Company. I’ve heard about this episode when I read news articles about the owners that are still having a social media meltdown, facing legal issues and retaliating against the critics months after the show aired. As I watched the episode, I couldn’t believe the number of F-bombs that the owners tossed at everyone who disagreed with them. I’m surprised that a “South Park”-styled counter wasn’t keeping track of how many times the F-bomb got mentioned.
If you watch enough episodes of “Restaurant Impossible,” where celebrity chef Robert Irvine spends $10,000 USD to turn around a failing restaurant, most owners are people who never worked in the restaurant business, paid too much money for their restaurant and have no clue on what to do next. There’s more to running a restaurant than opening a new store front, hiring staff and cooking food. Many of these people would have been better off investing their money into a stamp collection.
No surprise that Amy’s Baking Company falls into this all too familiar pattern.
The husband, Samy, a former house builder who gets out of the business long before the housing bubble popped in 2007, asks his wife, Amy, what they should do next. Her dream was to open a restaurant. He sunk a million dollar into the new business. She ran the kitchen, he ran the front desk. Somehow they managed to keep the business going for many years until a blogger writes a bad review that accused them of serving frozen pizza and business falls off dramatically.
Expecting Ramsey to use his reputation to fix their reputation from the “online bullies” boggles the mind. The frequent F-bombs at customers, stealing tips from the staff and serving undercooked frozen foods aren’t something that a celebrity chef’s reputation can paper over. As the cameras revealed on “Nightmare Kitchen” and other reality TV shows, the problems that business owners face are not always external. If they can’t look in the mirror to see the true source of their problems, they and their business will never change for the better.