Kitchen Nightmares: Lido Restaurant & Bar

Chef Gordon Ramsay goes on another mission to help the owners of a restaurant improve their business situation before it is too late.

Manhattan Beach, California.

A 28-year-old woman is frustrated with her restaurant and her business situation because she isn’t making money. Lisa, the owner of Lido, is a vegetarian; she doesn’t know how to run a business, although she graduated from USC Business School. After graduating from college, she decided that she wants to be her own boss. When she was 23 years old, she bought a restaurant, and her father co-signed the documents.

Damien, a server and bartender manager, says that Lisa is just inexperienced. He is also her boyfriend.

Bruna and Priscilla are the other servers.

Day 1, 12:00 PM: Ramsay enters Lido Restaurant and he meets Lisa. They chat as he tries to get to know her better in order to figure out how to solve her problems. She tells him that the restaurant hasn’t changed much from its previous owners. She gives him a menu, and she recommends some dishes. He orders some food dishes.

Ramsay tastes the Baked Eggplant Roll and spits it out. It tastes raw, undercooked and crunchy. Then, he tastes the next dish, Ahi Tuna Tower Appetizer. He comments that it looks compressed as well as it tastes gross because it is not fresh. Although Priscilla tells him that this dish is fresh tuna, Ramsay tastes frozen tuna. And later, when he asks the kitchen crew, they tell him that it really is frozen tuna. Then, he tastes the Chicken Pasta Tortellini Salad. He says that it tastes like rubber. It is also hideous and cold. He asks Lisa to taste it. She tells him that she likes it. At the end of the lunch service, he tells Lisa that the food is terrible. It is an embarrassment because they cook frozen food.

6:00 PM: They constantly have computer malfunction in their computer system. Their computer is outdated because it is 30 years old. It belonged to the previous owners. The buttons don’t work on the keyboard. They often get stuck. All the servers hate this computer. The dinner service doesn’t go well. Customers don’t like the food, saying that their food dish tastes either “gummy” or “frozen.” After the dinner service, Ramsay inspects the kitchen. He notices that the meat is cooked and sealed on Monday, and then stored until it is ready to be heated and served. It looks old and not fresh. Lisa tells him that she isn’t aware of it. No one told her about it. Ramsay also notices that the kitchen is dirty. Dust is everywhere. Ramsay becomes irate because Lisa is in denial and he brings some customers into the kitchen to show them the dirty kitchen. Lisa starts to cry. She fights with Ramsay because he embarrassed her in front of her friends and customers. One hour later, Ramsay cancels the dinner service and he tells everyone to go home. Then, he tells all of the employees to clean the unsanitary kitchen. Lisa remains in the bathroom, and she refuses to come out because Ramsay had humiliated her in front of many customers.

As the dinner service resumes, Bruna goes to the bathroom door and she tells Lisa to come out. Many customers are getting aggravated because they have been waiting too long for their food. Some of these pissed off customers decide to leave the restaurant, and they walk out. At the end of the night, Lisa finally comes out of the bathroom. Ramsay talks to her, telling her that she is in denial. She tells him that she is just not sure what is missing as well as not sure what she is doing wrong. He tells her to make a list of five things that she wants to change in this restaurant in order to make it better.

Day 2: Lisa reads to Ramsay her list that she wrote. He praises her that she notices her problems. That is the first step toward recovery. Next, Ramsay brings out the computer system as well as a sledge hammer, and they all take turns smashing and thrashing it. Then, Ramsay teaches them how to cook some dishes. Lisa enjoys it. She feels that she has learned a lot from Ramsay.

5:54 PM: Lisa now has a positive attitude. They decide to serve these two specials that Ramsay taught them to cook for today’s dinner service. Ramsay tells Lisa to work in the kitchen today in order to be in charge of cooking the specials. At first, she becomes confused, but she eventually enjoys it. By 7:00 PM, customers love the specials. But they don’t like the food on the old menu, and they end up sending their plates back to the kitchen. The food is always cooked wrong, such as they get meat that is cooked rare instead of medium rare. Ramsay notices that the dinner service is a disaster because no one is taking control of the kitchen. But the customers love the new specials, saying that the food is now very tasty, fresh, and very good. Ramsay also notices that the two chefs, Aturo and Luis, are lazy.

12:00 AM: Ramsay brings in his crew to remodel the restaurant.

Day 3: The employees enter the restaurant to check out the new decor. They all love the new look. Ramsay changes the look to a fun hangout. The restaurant looks very open with easy mobility as well as it has new seating and dishes. Lisa also loves the new menu. Customers enter the new restaurant for dinner service. Twenty minutes later, they are waiting for their food because orders are piling up. By 6:30 PM, the kitchen crew are not communicating. By 7:00 PM, the kitchen crew start to argue together. Plates are being returned to the kitchen because the steak dish is either cold, overcooked, or undercooked. The customers are unsatisfied with their food. Frustrated chefs give up, quit, and they walk out. Ramsay tries to go after them to bring them back. But they disappear. Ramsay calls his friend, Chef Scott, to come and help them out.

8:20 PM: Aturo and Luis eventually return. Chef Scott teaches the chefs as well as all of the employees how to cook different dishes and handle kitchen duties. Scott gives them better direction to help them better handle their situations.

At the end of the night, Chef Gordon Ramsay tells Lisa that she showed him she is committed to her restaurant as well as she is a fast learner. She handled everything well in such a short time. He is proud of how far she has come in this short duration. Chef Scott stays on with them for a month or so to continue to help them. They experience an increase in revenue, and they consider this progression as a step in the right direction toward success.

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