Robert heads to Providence, R.I., to save Mainelli's, a former neighborhood-favorite Italian restaurant with bad service and an extensive menu of dishes the kitchen just can't get right. Upon discovering food safety issues, Robert closes down the restaurant until further notice. After attempting to teach the cooking staff basic techniques, Robert enlists design help for a much-needed interior renovation. With time ticking away, Robert needs to pull out all the stops to complete this mission and keep Mainelli's from closing for good.
Robert must overcome the impossible to save the formerly venerable Flood Tide Restaurant in Mystic, Conn., which has earned a bad reputation due to its coarse owner. Robert evaluates an evening of service during which he finds many problems including a dirty kitchen. While encouraging the staff to take pride in their work, he tackles the kitchen mess. Then, he updates the menu and décor and retrains the staff to make better use of their time and materials. As the clock winds down it becomes a race to the finish to see if Robert will be successful.
A new restaurant with young owners keeps Robert on his toes in this mission. Salt Works II in Wilmington, N.C., prides itself on serving down home cooking, but when Robert steps into the kitchen he finds that they only cook canned food. He immediately jumps into action modernizing the interior and changing the menu while urging the staff to work as a team. In hopes of attracting a new client base to go with the younger feel of the restaurant, Robert hits the streets to bring in the nearby college students. With time running out, he needs to confirm that the staff can execute the new menu so this restaurant can stay afloat.
Robert travels to Rascal's BBQ & Crab House in New Castle, Del., where many pass by but almost none stop to eat. Rascal's hides behind mountains of trash and one of the dirtiest kitchens Robert has seen. He orders a mass cleaning, and as the trash sorting begins, some treasures surface to update the restaurant's aesthetic. Robert also introduces fresh dishes and a new catering menu to help revive this dump. As the mission comes to an end, Robert still needs to do some serious work to triumph over the trash.
At Meglio's in Bridgeton, Mo., near St. Louis, Robert finds an Italian restaurant stuck in the past with a laundry list of problems. They claim to cook old family recipes, but Robert discovers that the extent of their cooking involves opening frozen food bags. After getting over the initial shock, he attempts to retrain the cooking staff and explain why they should provide quality food for customers using a smaller menu and fresher ingredients. With a last-minute design dilemma and an unfocused owner, Robert faces tough odds to make this mission a success.
Down in Jacksonville, Fla., Robert strives to save The Secret Garden Cafe, a failing breakfast/lunch locale owned by partners Zack and Michael. From the get go, it's obvious that this restaurant has no clear direction or theme, less-than-thrilling dishes, disorganized staff, and haphazard decor. Robert spins into action by putting staff through the wringer, creating new dishes, updating the decor in massive ways, and marketing the restaurant while working tirelessly to ensure all is set for a successful grand re-opening. With countless ups and downs throughout, this mission could prove impossible.
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