March 15, 2013 08:33 PM by Stephanie Gustafson
There’s more than one Greek debt crisis — and one of them is taking place right in America! On Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay treks to Seattle to help fix a once-popular Greek restaurant that’s two decades behind.
It’s a complete shock for many dining enthusiasts to find that Yanni’s is being featured on Kitchen Nightmares. This Greek restaurant has a long history of success, but sadly, has been falling apart in the last few years. The consensus among the family creating and serving Yanni’s is that the current problems stem from owner Peter’s refusal to change. The neighborhood isn’t what it used to be and it appears that Peter is reluctant to move into the 21st century. Peter, on the other hand, feels that the problem lies with his wife Karen and his two daughters. They completely disagree with him, accusing Peter of yelling too much and being way too controlling.
Peter is very confident in his cooking abilities and tells Chef Ramsay that if his food isn’t worth a 10 out of 10 rating, it at least qualifies for a 9. But when he has Gordon try out some of his favorite recipes, the result is a bit of a letdown. Peter’s food is accused of having too much garlic and being too greasy. But most of all, Chef Ramsay thinks the food is dated, thus confirming what his daughters said about changing. On a positive note, Gordon does like the pita, which comes as a bit of a surprise.
The evening shift arrives and customers are just as disappointed as Chef Ramsay was earlier in the day. He heads over the the pantry for an inspection and is disgusted at what he finds, including raw meat sitting next to cooked meat, sticky chicken and moldy boiled beef. All the refrigerators include a mix of old food and fresh food, which means that the fresh food is no longer all that fresh. It turns out that, in this particular case, the culprit is not Peter but his daughter Alyse. But she’s in complete denial. Looks like she gets that trait from dear old dad. Speaking of dear old dad, Peter freaks out when he finds out just how long food has been sitting around in storage. But why wasn’t he aware of how fresh the ingredients were?
Peter decides that the food is of bad enough quality to necessitate shutting down the restaurant for the night. They decide to compensate customers for whatever they’ve paid already in addition to giving them drinks on the house. The customers look very unhappy about this development, but it’s worth it to ensure that nobody ends up with food poisoning.
A new day arrives and despite having had to close the restaurant the night before, Peter and Alyse still refuse to take responsibility for the spoiled food. After a nasty fight, Chef Ramsay decides he can’t deal with all the denial and says he’s going to leave. But before that can happens, Peter finally gives in and asks for help. He’s told that, if he wants to move forward, he needs to stop living in the past. What’s more, he needs to be less negative. Peter accepts the challenge.
Chef Ramsay gives the family an assignment: cut down on the menu. Throw out the things that aren’t selling and cut back to a manageable number of items. At first, Peter is reluctant to trim the menu, but he finally realizes just how much it includes. The family ultimately cuts back from over 60 items to just 21.
Also getting a makeover is the decor which is just as stuck in the past as the food. A new paint job and custom china really refreshes the interior and the new POS system is bound to improve the service. Peter is reduced to tears, but for once in this family, they are tears of happiness. With a huge smile on his face, Peter announces that it’s a new day at Yanni’s, and even more incredibly, thanks Chef Ramsay.
As you can expect from the successful design reveal, the re-opening is incredibly successful. The customers are happy with the new look and even happier with the food! It looks like the future is bright for Yanni’s.
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Photo Credit: Kitchen Nightmares