Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Robert Irvine & Restaurant Impossible Teach Quality of Life

From a teacher's view, Robert Irvine and his show Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network is one of the best television shows available for educating people about how to live.  Having watched the show fairly regularly for the past year or so, I am so impressed with how effectively Irvine teaches people not only how to run a restaurant but how to manage their lives and see the world as ripe with opportunities to simply be better.  The key for the show is its emphasis on quality, and the basic premise is to encourage not only the restaurateurs but also the audience to not settle for mediocrity.  This country is really filled with just so much .... crap.  People are willing to eat practically anything out of convenience or habit, and they have no expectations of quality or service or sanitation or really anything.  And it's truly shocking to see and hear what people are willing to accept.  Yet, Irvine and the nearly magical crew at Restaurant Impossible are able to show them the light ... with $10,000 ... and roughly forty-eight hours.

This evening Robert Irvine and Restaurant Impossible celebrated their fiftieth show by taking a look back over all their episodes and experiences.  It was quite the retrospective, especially with Irvine returning to some of the more interesting - and notorious - restaurants.  As a testament to the value of what Irvine does, he revealed that nearly nine out of ten restaurants they refurbish actually remain in business and profitable.  That's a remarkable success rate - and it speaks to Irvine's ability to teach people a better way - and most importantly leave them with the skills and knowledge to do it on their own.  Of course, many are critical of Irvine's style, especially his tendency to steamroll people and spare no feelings.  Certainly, it is a version of tough love, and he is committed to making his budget, deadline, and goal.  Thus, sometimes people need to be dealt with .... sternly.  Yet, ultimately they appreciate it in the end, as evidenced by the "Revealings" - those moments when owners and workers see the remodeled restaurants.  There's rarely a dry eye.

Robert Irvine is really the Dr. Phil of the restaurant business, and his show Restaurant Impossible really reflects and develops a teacher's view of the culinary world.

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