Kitchen Nightmares

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Kitchen Nightmares Episode Recaps

Burger Kitchen Pt. 2

Burger Kitchen Pt. 2

Aired: 11/11/11

Last week Chef Ramsay met the fractured family running the Burger Kitchen in Los Angeles, California. Chef Ramsay has discovered that the owner, Alan Saffron, took money from his son, Daniel, to run the restaurant without his knowledge, causing much tension in the family. And despite the fact that his money financed the business, Daniel feels that his father and mother, Gen, treat him like a child. The restaurant is a complete disaster, and the family is falling apart.

Chef Ramsay takes a distraught Daniel out back to talk about the situation. The chef remarks, "I've never seen such a fragmented business." He tells Daniel that while none of the mess is his fault, he's the only one taking responsibility. Chef Ramsay advises Daniel to refuse to tolerate his parents' treatment of him any longer.

The next day, Chef Ramsay gathers the family at a theater for a not-so-subtle wakeup call. They are introduced to the Yelpers, whom Alan has accused of plotting against the restaurant by giving poor critiques and deleting five-star reviews. The website's community manager assures Alan that all of the critiques on Yelp are real, and a number of reviewers give their personal opinions about the Burger Kitchen. Alan still refuses to believe these customers.

After yet another argument, Chef Ramsay introduces the family to the owner of the Foundry, a successful Los Angeles restaurant. The Foundry owner gives them insight as to how he deals with negative Yelp reviews, explaining, "You can't look at these as personal attacks." He says he uses the criticisms instead as inspiration to improve his business. Alan does finally admit that he's been wrong and will try to learn from the Yelp reviews in the future.

Now that Chef Ramsay has gotten through to Alan by disproving his "Yelp Conspiracy" theory, he moves on to a much bigger problem: the tension in the family. He sits down with Alan, Gen, Daniel, and Daniel's girlfriend, Wendy, to talk about why there's so much anger. Daniel finally opens up to his father that the idea that his money was used without his knowledge is the underlying reason for his mistrust. But the conversation quickly erupts into another battle. Daniel begs, "I want you guys to stop making excuses and trying to win . . . Admit that what you did was wrong."

Chef Ramsay then pulls out a book that Alan has written called "Gentle Satan," which is about Alan's relationship with his own father After reading several passages, Alan realizes that he is repeating the same patterns with Daniel, stating, "Like father, like son." He then apologizes to both Daniel and Wendy. They all promise to do their best to get along and move forward, to repair their family bonds, and focus on the restaurant.

After what appears to be a major breakthrough, Chef Ramsay can finally turn his attention to the food. He gives the entire staff a lesson in preparing a proper burger. When the family tastes his creation, they are amazed and happy to make the small change in the right direction.

When dinner service begins, Chef Ramsay assigns Daniel the task of expediting in the kitchen, a position he's more than happy to fill, although he's nervous that his father will interfere. Thanks to Daniel's leadership in the kitchen, food is making its way out to the dining room. And while Chef Ramsay's special is a hit, items from the old menu are getting the same complaints as before.

When things start to fall apart, Daniel takes charge and begins to reorganize the system. Alan still feels the need to step in and criticize his son, but Chef Ramsay reminds him that he has vowed to change. Alan finally takes a back seat, and Daniel pushes the last orders out of the kitchen. Chef Ramsay compliments Daniel on a job well done.

Chef Ramsay's crew works through the night to transform the nondescript restaurant into a trendy L.A. hangout. When the family arrives the next day, they are blown away by what they see inside, including a wall covered with pop art murals and colorful, contemporary seating.

Now that the Burger Kitchen has a cool new look, Chef Ramsay has devised a revamped menu to match. The family and staff sample the new dishes. The chef makes Alan swear with his right hand in the air that he will not change any of the recipes.

With a renewed sense of hope, Chef Ramsay shares some exciting news. Tonight for relaunch the restaurant will be filled with bloggers from Yelp, Tasting Table, Chow, Urban Spoon, Serious Eats LA, and Blackboard Eats. They can transform the business all in one night.

The kitchen is off to a fast start, and burgers are making their way out to the diners. Daniel has things running smoothly, but Alan has left his post at the bar and is back where he is not wanted - barking orders in the kitchen and mingling with the customers out front. Alan's meddling has taken Daniel's focus off the kitchen, and unsupervised burgers are making their way out to influential bloggers. When the writers for Chow complain about the food, Chef Ramsay loses his cool, yelling, "Slow down and focus."

As Daniel takes back the reins, Alan is back behind the bar, and orders make their way to the hungry critics. The dining room is full of rave reviews.

Chef Ramsay begs Alan to recognize that Daniel has proven himself as a leader and to let him continue to do it. Gen promises not to interfere, and Alan happily hands over the business to his son.

After Chef Ramsay leaves, Alan and Gen keep their promise and leave the business in Daniel's hands. Under his leadership, the Burger Kitchen is finally generating positive buzz in the neighborhood.

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