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"Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares"


UK News Team
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Hey, wait a second.

Ramsay advises to cut on expensive raw material cost and gives as an example the Scallops!

The scallops are not the issue and the example chosen by ramsay is daft. The owner explained that the scallops are the wrong example as they dont have problem selling this item and he needs more concrete example than cutting down on scallops quantity and primeurs quality.

This isn't what Ramsay was getting at. Ramsay was addressing the issue of keeping standards high whilst lowering both the costs for the restaurant and also lowering the cost for the customer in the hope that lower prices would encourage people to visit the restaurant.

Sure the current dish sold to the few people in the restaurant but to them cost obviously wasn't an issue in the first place.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Yeah, you're right. I forgot the bloke's bottom...

Whether these type of restaurateur are a representative sample, I will not be able to tell.

On the other hand. This is a TV program and they tend to sense the market as to who would like to be on TV and such. We recently had a request for any restaurant that is planning to start up as it seems another TV program is being planned. Also it is important to note that such programs are so much mushed and edited to answer a particular ratings need that most of the time you end up with rubbish as an answer to the producer v director v diva v TV station/channel.

As for the dining cost being too high for the town people. This is a one star restaurant with one star prices and it would hardly be looking for random people in town to be potential customers! Ramsay should be more carfeull conducting a field research or sensing the customers as they are not the type you find in a local village market!

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unfortunately the restaurant had lost its star though, no? In which case, that would perhaps remove or at least reduce this as a justification for a possible premium?

There also seemed to be comments made that even as a one-star restaurant in its heyday, there was still a healthy flow of locals who provided a baseload of traffic for the business. So, if you can replace this with a smaller volume of higher spending customers then fine. however, it didn't seem like this was the case?

Although your comment has prompted me to wonder whether there is a "set" price level which you expect for 1 star, 2 star, 3 star establishments ....

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Does one accept a premium should be put in place once a star is achieved? Is it then like oil prices, and not to be reduced once the star is lost? Is double put in place when two are achieved? Mind, it explains The Waterside prices.

It was probably a good thing we didn't get any BCG matrices--they don't make terrific telly, and are complete bollocks to boot (he says, taking time off from his MBA dissertation). GR's management skills did come through in the way he was developing the two chefs (indeed, this is the strongest point of his management, the way he builds people up to believe they can really do it--unless he hates them of course). And perhaps that's why he gets such loyalty and respect?

As to the scallops--well, the current owner claimed he had no trouble selling them, but that was patently untrue. He had trouble selling ANYTHING when he was only getting 6-8 people through the door. He simply wasn't selling that dish, or any other.

Almass, the idea that quality=high prices except in the broadest terms is such self-evident bollocks that I can't believe anyone on these boards is suggesting it. GR was doing standard market research, almost a typical analysis of the local environment, to come to the conclusion the place was over-priced. There are few out-of-the-way places in this country that charge as much as was being suggested, and they exist because of a star chef/amazing press (L'Enclume as a recent incomer springs to mind). The Walnut Tree didn't have that. Hell, RHR charges (IIRC) £75 per head, which works out as, what, £35 for the main and £20 each for starter and dessert?? Suggesting the scallops starter in a non-one star restaurant was priced equivalently to the starters in RHR demonstrates why they weren't getting visitors.

As for GR not being entrepeneurial, bwa-ha-ha. And equally unpleasant snorts.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Ramsay's credentials as a restauranteur and entrepreneur can't really be questioned and one of his winning touches is that his food is not ridiculously priced. Claridges in particular, is forever being praised because the set menus are actually very good value.

Last night's owner clearly had a blinkered view of economics: the higher the price, the higher profits. What about lowering your price (and therefore reducing your profit per item) but as a consequence increasing your turnover. If more people come in to eat the same food for less money, he'll make more profit. This leads (in theory at least) to a virtuous circle where more bums on seats gives a better impression, which in turn leads to more bums on seats.

As such it's all very well being a destination restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays but you do need the random locals to maintain revenues - and profits - for the rest of the week.

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I hear what you are saying and my intention is not to bash GR but the TV program format and the fact that GR approach does not translate very well on a professional level.

Your position is that GR is a successfull entrepreneurial restaurateur with many restaurants under his belt. My answer is GR is the public face of these restaurants and there are other people involved on the financial and business side making a marketing success of GR image vide the restaurants.

GR is first and foremost a Chef and a lucky one to that matter and there is nothing wrong with being lucky. But to say that all the work, all the restaurant and all the marketing image is of his own doing would be doing a disfavour to some powerfull partners pulling the strings in the shadows.

At the end of the day, restaurants or no restaurants, this is strictly business with all the niceties hidden in the background.

This would be beyond the scope of this thread and let's take it to PM should you wish to take it further.

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As for the dining cost being too high for the town people. This is a one star restaurant with one star prices and it would hardly be looking for random people in town to be potential customers! Ramsay should be more carfeull conducting a field research or sensing the customers as they are not the type you find in a local village market!

Gosh, yes, it's so embarrassing when they come in chewing straw and asking for beans on toast with brown sauce!

Actually, while this seemed to be the owner's attitude, it's incredibly misguided. First, Abergavenny is not a village, it's a town (and one with an annual food festival). Second, my experience of provincial towns is that an increasing number of local people will support good local restaurants; some of them will even be very affluent and fond of eating out regularly. But above all, that kind of patronising attitude is astounding - do those of us who eat in good restaurants have some special kind of qualification? Are we above shopping in markets? And do our regional accents have to have been surgically removed?

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Your position is that GR is a successfull entrepreneurial restaurateur with many restaurants under his belt. My answer is GR is the public face of these restaurants and there are other people involved on the financial and business side making a marketing success of GR image vide the restaurants.

Delegation delegation, delegation. This is good management. Hiring the right people for the right jobs and being hands-off rather than micro managing everything is good management. That's how GR got to be a successful, entrepreneurial restaurateur (as opposed to just being a 'good chef').

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  • 7 months later...

He's back tonight on UK Channel 4 in a new series of Kitchen Nightmares (in case anyone hasn't heard of it, he turns up and tries to turn around failing restaurants)

It sounded like the same as the previous two series but some reviews have given away the fact that halfway through it turns out the chef has a problem with alcohol and this is contributing to the restaurants problems. Apparently Gordon Ramsay addresses it in a very considerate manner and brings attention to a little talked about issue in the restaurant trade.

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I think we're a couple of seasons behind on this show in Canada, but of the few episodes I've seen so far, I've actually enjoyed them. The Gordon on Nightmares is quite a different character than the Screamy McScreamerson we saw on Hell's Kitchen, which was my first introduction to him. He's actually endearing here, and I'll look forward to seeing more of him in this arena. From a businessperson's perspective, there's an awful lot to learn from him.

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I'm curious... Is this a batch of actual new shows or is this more in the spirit of Series 2, where 90% was re-running the first series and tacking on a re-visit?

Not that that won't stop me from watching...

Anna

------

"I brought you a tuna sandwich. They say it's brain food. I guess because there's so much dolphin in it, and you know how smart they are." -- Marge Simpson

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I'm curious... Is this a batch of actual new shows or is this more in the spirit of Series 2, where 90% was re-running the first series and tacking on a re-visit?

The first couple were definitely new shows, and I have a feeling that the Radio Times is showing these as "1/4", "2/4", or some other similar small number, which suggests that there may not be any re-visits.

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I'm curious... Is this a batch of actual new shows or is this more in the spirit of Series 2, where 90% was re-running the first series and tacking on a re-visit?

The first couple were definitely new shows, and I have a feeling that the Radio Times is showing these as "1/4", "2/4", or some other similar small number, which suggests that there may not be any re-visits.

They're all new shows. The two to come being a cafe in Blackpool and a "Venetian" restaurant in Derby.

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Final episode of the series tonight, and another interesting one it was.

This time a 51 year old chef that did not have a clue. I'm nearly astonished that this thread has not generated any comments from the UK chef fraternity - is this show representative of "the average" chef in the UK?

Perhaps this thread could be moved to the UK forum to generate interest/discussion?

Oh, and Gordy took his top off. :rolleyes:

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Final episode of the series tonight, and another interesting one it was.

This time a 51 year old chef that did not have a clue. I'm nearly astonished that this thread has not generated any comments from the UK chef fraternity - is this show representative of "the average" chef in the UK?

Perhaps this thread could be moved to the UK forum to generate interest/discussion?

Oh, and Gordy took his top off. :rolleyes:

Should be in the UK forum to get any interesting I fear.

But the show is fantastic, my favourite TV program. I love seeing the success and, sadly like the last episode, failures when he revists.

I have the cookbook of the show and the food in it, whilst simple or certainly, a lot simpler than his other books, is fantastic. I made the minestrone last night in honour of the last program; it was sublime.

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