Restaurant Impossible: Back in Business and Robert Irvine want to help restaurants affected by the pandemic reopen safely
Sign up for our PoliticsNY newsletter to get the latest coverage and stay informed of the 2021 elections in your district and across NYC
A new spin on a popular Food Network show aims to help restaurants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Restaurant Impossible: Back in Business” first aired on the Food Network on July 30th. This time, host Robert Irvine is traveling with a small crew to help restaurants previously saved in Restaurant: Impossible and help them reopen safely after COVID-19.
“I sat at home and got calls home and Zoom calls with people asking how to fight, what’s going on and how to help,” said Irvine. “I called the Food Network and asked, can we do something?”
Irvine couldn’t travel with the crew he’s used to for Restaurant: Impossible. He rode two six-person tour buses around the country to help out restaurants he previously saved on the original show, with which Irvine has established ties since it appeared on Restaurant: Impossible. ”
“Hearing someone on the phone is different than in real life. To see a family suffer is very intense, ”said Irvine.
The show visits some of the recent restaurants from recent seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, including Drake’s Place in Ferguson, Missouri and Edgar’s Restaurant in Akron, Ohio. For those whose restaurants weren’t featured on the show, Irvine says they can use the tips Irvine and his crew use in the episodes to start their own business.
According to Irvine, one of the biggest hurdles to running Back in Business has been that COVID-19 restaurant restrictions are changing not only from state to state, but also from county to county.
“While we know what the CDC wants, different states and even counties want different, ”Irvine said. “While some counties may have dinner inside, across the street this may be reduced to 25% or there may be no indoor dining at all. How do we increase their earnings based on what they have lost? And for those who don’t eat outside, you have to get really creative. “
As a restaurant owner himself, Irvine recognizes that eliminating community fears over dining is an important part of our safe reopening.
“In one episode, we helped the owner of a restaurant who wanted to reopen, but one of their servers died due to COVID,” said Irvine. “It’s the fear in the local community – how do we reassure customers? As a restaurant, we promise to take care of you when you walk in. If they close because the staff has COVID it will be more difficult. “
Irvine hopes the show can inspire people to support their local restaurants, especially during this hour of need.
“I ask and even advocate that customers support their local restaurants,” said Irvine. “Go out and help these workers – your servers, farmers, anyone – help people no matter what.”
“Restaurant Impossible: Back in Business” will be broadcast on Thursdays at 9 pm on the Food Network.