An episode of Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible” that features the Egg Harbor City, N.J., property will air tonight, showing how the property was transformed for $10,000 in two days.
Food Network celebrity chef Robert Irvine filmed a “Restaurant: Impossible” makeover at the Pomona Golf & Country Club in Egg Harbor City, N.J., in May, and the episode will air tonight, the Pleasantville (N.J.)-based Press of Atlantic City reported.
It’s the first time the former Atlantic City casino chef brings his talents to reform a southern New Jersey business, and it’s the first time he’s taken on the task of making over an entire country club instead of just a restaurant, the Press reported.
“It was a great episode. People are going to love it,” Irvine said. “People are going to see some cool stuff, it’s a new style show.”
While the task of making over a country club is different than reforming the way a restaurant is run, the basics of both projects are essentially the same, Irvine told the Press.
“The industry is really simple,” said Irvine, who has been hosting “Restaurant: Impossible” since 2011. “Any time you try to fix business, the principles are very similar. No matter what you do, the product, people, technology equals profit.”
What’s also similar—and what adds drama to every “Restaurant: Impossible” episode—is that even though business owners seek to be on the show and get Irvine’s help, they aren’t always thrilled with what he recommends. Irvine knows this and doesn’t take it personally, the Press reported.
“Change is always difficult for people,” he said. “When you want to change a restaurant—or any type of industry—the people don’t want it. It’s a funny thing, they want help, but when you get there, they feel that everything they have been doing has worked great.”
In the case of the country club, the drama comes as the owners debate among themselves about the changes Irvine is proposing and whether or not to invest money to makeover the business. Irvine only has $10,000 and two days to do his work, the Press reported.
“The one thing is that change is going to happen, or you don’t succeed,” Irvine said.
While the chef was familiar with the country club because of the years he spent living in the area, he walked into the situation as unfamiliar with what was going on as if it had been in another part of the country, the Press reported.
“I’ve driven past it many times, but I’d never been in there,” Irvine said. “I was surprised because it was a little gem of a place, but they were relying on their mom and dad’s way of running it. When you go from 400 members to 100 members, they realized that something is going wrong.”
Still, looking back on the experience, Irvine said he was pleased with how he handled it and how the project turned out, the Press reported.
“It’s always tough to get through to people who are set in their ways, but I did leave on good terms,” Irvine said. “Restaurant: Impossible takes real people with real problems and gives real solutions.
“When you see the episode, you will see what a huge change we made.”
C&RB reported on the filming in May (“Pomona G&CC Gets ‘Restaurant: Impossible’ Makeover“).
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