Skip to main content

Profit is the Name of the Game on "Last Restaurant Standing"

I know I am going on and on about BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing like a broken record, but you would not believe the number of emails I've gotten from readers who have tuned in to the new reality series (airing Tuesdays on the digital cabler) and fallen under its spell.

This week's episode found the eight remaining teams trying to turn a profit on their new restaurants by introducing some special cocktails and desserts. For some teams, like twin sisters Laura and Jess, it was an opportunity to prove themselves to mentor/head judge Raymond Blanc after he called them out for not challenging themselves in the first installment. Together, these two managed to sell their specialty cocktails (which looked amazing) to no less than 71 out of 73 customers that night. And they played it smart by using simple, inexpensive ingredients to keep the per-portion price way down and then made £3.50 profit on each dessert. Bravo, girls. It was no surprise that Laura and Jess walked away with the Restaurant of the Week award; I was dead impressed with the two of them throughout the episode as they managed to be smart, economical, and creative and front of house and the kitchen were beautifully in sync, unlike many of the other eateries this week.

Speaking of which, Sam and Jacqui once again proved their ineptness, delivering inedible food to the customers (which most refused to pay for), ghastly cocktails and desserts (two of which had to be scrapped as they were vile), and basically making another mess of it again this week. To add insult to injury, Sam once again neglected his duty as the restaurant's chef to focus on setting up his drum kit, disappeared from his station at the pass, failed to prep any ingredients (he had to run to the supermarket two hours before service to buy everything) and then fired his sous chef for failing to keep it all together without proper supplies, help, or guidance. Smart one. I do have to give Jacqui credit for trying to hold everything together in the front of the house and for realizing that they had to price out each portion of dessert in order to, you know, make a profit, a question to which Sam just shrugged and asked "why?" Need I say more?

Also disappointing: Martin and Emma, who failed to follow the brief and did not create any cocktails or desserts ahead of time. Emma was saved by her Italian waitress, who quickly concocted three specialty cocktails, complete with winning names, but Martin outright refused to offer desserts. Even more shocking was that he seemed to think that Raymond wouldn't call them out for this, a bizarre oversight that made them ripe for sending through to the challenge next week.

Also placed into the challenge are mother and son team Nicola and Tom. Poor Nicola can't seem to gain the upper-hand in her own kitchen and her confidence has been sorely dented by last week's performance. Instead of rallying behind making improvements and implementing change in the kitchen, she's become subservient to her own sous chef and hired even more staff, driving their overhead even higher and sending profits plummeting. I really want to see them make this work and with a beautiful space for their restaurant (a centuries old former monastery) I would hate to see them give it up so soon.

While Jess and Laura walked away with Restaurant of the Week, the unofficial prize for most improved has got to go to Lloyd and Adwoa whose Ghanian restaurant showed the biggest signs of 180 degree transformation from the opening weekend. Their restaurant was convivial, buzzy, and the punters were genuinely happy to be there. Well done!

But for previous winners, Jeremy and Jane, this week was a wake-up call as things in the kitchen hummed along beautifully but the front of the house was falling apart at the seams. Poor Jane did her very best to keep it all moving along, but--thanks to sub-standard staff (who did little more than stand around gossiping while Jane did all the heavy lifting) and lack of support from chef Jeremy--they found themselves nearly sent into the challenge. These two have got to find a way to work together better and complement each other's domains if they have hopes of regaining their lost title.

Next week on Last Restaurant Standing, Sam and Jacqui, Nicola and Tom, and Martin and Emma must battle to keep their restaurants open as they are tasked with serving a large-scale lunch for hundreds of scientists; as one team discovers they've forgotten some basic ingredients and another bemoans the lack of oven space, the pressure is on to make the most profit... or give up their dreams of owning their own restaurant.


Anonymous said…
I have fallen head-over-heels for this gem of a show which proves that not all reality TV has to be trashy. I only wish that it was on for two hours every week like it was the first week!
JJB said…
I started watching Last Restaurant Standing at your suggestion, and I love it. Thank you. Keep singing its praises; you'll turn on more people.
Anonymous said…
I didn't think it was possible but Sam and Jacqui were even more irritating this week. At least Jacqui has some sense of what needs to be done but Sam? Get a clue, man! Not only did he put all of the blame on his sous chef but then fired him as well, getting rid of the only person who was holding the restaurant together. I can't wait to see how they try to get along without him!
Unknown said…
I don't understand HOW Sam and Jacqui can still be in this competition - they are clearly unfit to be in this business. Jacqui is horribly annoying and shrill and Sam is just a clueless dunce. Here's hoping they lose the challenge next week.

Popular posts from this blog

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous season

Pilot Inspektor: CBS' "Smith"

I may just have to change my original "What I'll Be Watching This Fall" post, as I sat down and finally watched CBS' new crime drama Smith this weekend. (What? It's taken me a long time to make my way through the stack of pilot DVDs.) While it's on following Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights (10 pm ET/PT, to be exact), I'm going to be sure to leave enough room on my TiVo to make sure that I catch this compelling, amoral drama. While one can't help but be impressed by what might just be the most marquee-friendly cast in primetime--Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Franky G all star and Shohreh Aghdashloo has a recurring role--the pilot's premise alone earned major points in my book: it's a crime drama from the point of view of the criminals, who engage in high-stakes heists. But don't be alarmed; it's nothing like NBC's short-lived Heist . Instead, think of it as The Italian