Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s show Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA has been a huge hit, garnering thousands of American viewers and elevating the chef’s celebrity even further.
Unfortunately, the restaurants he’s supposed to be helping are dropping like flies in the wake of his black widow touch. The show’s premise is to bring Ramsay’s expertise and creativity into a struggling restaurant and turn the place around.
But it was revealed recently that over half the restaurants that have appeared on the show have since gone out of business.
Some owners and managers complain that Ramsay’s management style, which includes making everything fresh every day and using high-end product and ingredients, created a standard too expensive to maintain in a down economy coupled with rising food costs.
Other victims of the show are less diplomatic, calling Ramsay a jerk who thinks he can impose his lofty standards on any restaurant. Some are even suspicious it doesn’t really matter to him whether a restaurant on the show makes it or not, as long as ratings remain high, which they have through multiple seasons in the U.S. and the U.K.
Perhaps the most important lesson to take away from the Ramsay “kiss of death” is that every restaurant is different, and managers and owners have to account for the many divergent factors that make up the success of any establishment.
Of course, the ideal situation is to be able to attain Ramsay-style high standards and still make a profit, but any restaurateur will tell you that the situation on the ground is hardly ever ideal. Instead, being highly adaptive, creative, and flexible are the traits that will eventually spell success in the food service industry.