Restaurant Reality *VS* Reality TV

In case you think yelling, swearing, ego and humiliation seen on restaurant “reality” shows has anything to do with how operators succeed in our business, check  out how many US restaurants “rescued” by celebri-chef Gordon Ramsey are still open.  From the first 5 seasons, out of 59 restaurants only 17 are still open today (28%).  The most recent 6th and 7th seasons bring up the average to 38% still open, but it’s likely those seasons are too recent to show the eventual full failure rate. 

Of course any consultant can tell you it’s tough to rescue troubled businesses, but that’s not the bigger point to be made here:

Truth is, Reality TV is far from Reality of Success in the Restaurant and Bar Business.  They are marketed as showing “experts in action,” but there is not one “rescue” show on TV that properly captures what real operators and consultants do to succeed.  Screaming at people is not on the list of keys to success.

Stop yelling, TV Celebrity Consultants, you look like idiots.  And even as mindless entertainment it gets boring pretty quickly.

Yelling for ratings, not venue success.


We at A-List Marketing are proud to have offered assistance to more than 100 bars, restaurants and beverage brands from pre-launch through sometimes 10 or more years of success.  With very little turnover and nearly 100% success and retention of our services long term.  Need help?  Reach out, we will be there for you.  Not yelling.


2 thoughts on “Restaurant Reality *VS* Reality TV”

  1. Nice quick-to-the-point blog post.

    I still love watching these types of “rescue” shows because the one thing most of the TV consultants are good at is quickly cutting to the core of issues, even if they can’t always make it stick because they are not around to ensure the relationships stay on the right path. In addition I use them as a comparison when I consult so clients can understand what I am about and how I conduct business differently. This provides a level of comfort and safety while managing expectations immediately.



    1. Well it’s clear they are popular – can’t argue with that. I agree many of the issues pointed out are valid, but I think the way they are handled on the consulting side is pretty much fantasy for entertainment, especially the show “Bar Rescue.” Just to name 2, (1) Screaming at everyone does not work, and (2) of course if you do a major remodel and reconcept you will get a bump. Bar Rescue trumpets 30% sales gains after a remodel but I would consider that weak after a major remodel – would it even pay off the work if it was the operators’ money? You have a great approach I think, in using the shows to help relate to your clients, since so many do watch them. I have to keep that in mind! Cheers and thank you for the comment. Tim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s