On last night’s episode of “Restaurant: Impossible,” Robert Irvine went to The Dalles, Ore. to meet with owner, Veta Bingman of “Windseeker Restaurant” on the banks of the Columbia River. She has been trying to keep the business together since her husband’s death and her bout with cancer. Veta asked former manager, Patty Taylor to return to help her three years ago. She feels that Veta does not deal with issues, and she leaves everything to Patty. Both women care deeply for each other, but Patty has to be the tough one for Veta.
When Robert arrived, he was already mesmerized by the scenery, but when he walked into the restaurant, it felt like grandma’s parlor. The restaurant has been going downhill for about eight years. Previously, it was as Patty referred, “a den of thieves.” There was drug trafficking going on, which has since been cleaned up, but the reputation continues to haunt the place.
Patty has no clue how much it costs to run the restaurant. As a general manager, she has no idea about the everyday costs because she does everything at the place but manage it. When Robert asked the servers how they liked their jobs, he received silence for an answer. When he asked the customers about the food, they had nothing too nice to say about it.
Robert ordered food, and the waitress did not have anything good to say about Patty. Robert’s food was not bad, but it lacked seasoning. Robert then met with Lynn, the designer, and they had lots of ideas on how to make it a better place.
Tiffany, Veta’s daughter is the landscaper that does an awesome job. She used to work inside the restaurant, but Patty did not think it was a good fit. Because the restaurant will be hers one day, she would like to work there at least a few times a week to keep an eye on the place and stay in contact.
Robert found out from Tiffany, that anyone who went against Patty had fewer shifts; no wonder they did not want to talk about her. Now is the time for Robert to have a staff meeting. Tiffany had problems with Veta long before Robert came there. When she spoke up, Veta said that her affiliation with bad people when she was a bartender years ago, is still being held against her. She then got in her car and left immediately.
Patty does not seem to be the entire problem. Veta has to let Patty manage the restaurant. Patty told Robert that Veta was a sucker for a sob story, and one of the employees owes her $38,000. Patty was in tears because she truly cares about Veta.
On day two of the mission, Robert created a new menu, met with Patty and Veta. Robert took a bunch of hats labeled with jobs, and Patty did all of them. Now she must throw away the hats and do her job of general manager. Veta needs to relax and let Patty do her job.
Robert then went to the kitchen to prepare his version of the foods they have been making. Both Patty and the chef were excited with the new foods.
The first thing Robert wanted was to employ a payroll company for the restaurant. This way, Veta would not be the ATM for employees who wanted to borrow money.
Robert talked to Tiffany and wants her working in the restaurant. When Patty and Veta saw the finished restaurant, they were in shock. The place was awesome. New floor, a faux fireplace, the entrance was as gorgeous as the scenery outside. When Lynn and Tom came in, the women were so grateful for their hard work.
The crowd outside was anxious to come in, and the food was a big hit. Tiffany was serving and doing a great job with a new attitude, thanks to Robert and his crew of “Restaurant: Impossible.”
At the end of each show, Robert asks viewers to check his link to see how the restaurant is doing since his visit. Although many of the comments are in a negative vein, Robert and his crew’s hard work is a tribute to the fact that all problems cannot be solved with a facelift. Feel free to add your comments, negative or positive.