Cafe loses thousands after ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ makeover

Cafe loses thousands after ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ makeover

The proprietor of a Sydney, Australia cafe has revealed her struggles after showing on Channel 7’s Kitchen Nightmares Australia, saying she has misplaced 1000’s of {dollars} in enterprise after this system rebranded and renovated her cafe.

Virginia Cheong, the proprietor of Cafe de Vie in Homebush, not too long ago appeared on the Channel 7 program hoping to get some professional recommendation on find out how to higher run her enterprise.

Throughout the week of filming again in Could, this system fully rebranded her cafe right into a Lebanese restaurant, altering the title to Cafe Tabouli and overhauling the menu – a transfer that has seen the enterprise confronted with much more troubles than earlier than.

Kitchen Nightmares Australia relies off the favored Gordon Ramsay sequence, with the Aussie model being hosted by chef Colin Fassnidge.

The episode with Cheong’s cafe aired final Tuesday, greater than 5 months after filming occurred.

Virginia Cheong, who owns Cafe de Vie, reached out to Kitchen Nightmares within the hopes of studying find out how to run her enterprise higher.Google Maps

Talking to, Cheong mentioned, whereas the enterprise wasn’t going nice earlier than the present, the cafe was nonetheless experiencing an excellent turnover however she wasn’t drawing a wage on account of quite a few issues and inefficiencies.

“The turnover was there and that’s why it didn’t make sense. We have been hoping to get some sort of readability on how we do issues and streamlining (the method),” she mentioned.

The primary week after the shop reopened with underneath the rebranded title Cafe Tabouli, they noticed a $4,000 drop in enterprise.

Cheong mentioned she and her husband thought folks might not have realized they’d reopened after being closed for per week throughout filming.

“The second week we’re down $2,713, so we picked up a couple of thousand {dollars} however that was it, we couldn’t go any additional,” she mentioned.

“So it was always down all down for a complete practically two months.”

One other main change made by the present was to do away with the cafe’s espresso nook that allowed clients to order instantly from the road.

Cheong mentioned the cafe would get quite a lot of enterprise this fashion, as folks passing by would cease to order takeaway espresso or meals.

Throughout the renovations, the Kitchen Nightmares staff moved the espresso machine to the again of the shop, inflicting the cafe’s espresso gross sales to drop immediately.

“We have been doing on common between 30 [66 pounds] to 38kg [83 pounds] per week of espresso. Within the first week it dropped to 5kg [11 pounds]. The second week, perhaps slightly extra round 7kg [15 pounds],” she mentioned.

The cafe proprietor advised that they thought serving conventional Lebanese meals would enchantment to the Lebanese demographic, however as an alternative members of the group have mentioned it was a “silly concept”.

She mentioned others had even branded Cafe Tabouli “a joke.”

The proprietor mentioned she has been making an attempt to speak to clients to determine what’s inflicting the large downturn in enterprise.

She mentioned when clients do are available they are saying the meals is “superb” and that the portion sizes are nice and the whole lot is “very recent”.

“Slowly folks began to come back again and we’ve been in a position to get again to, not shut, however we’re higher than we have been earlier than,” Cheong mentioned.

“Nevertheless, having mentioned that we reduce all the costs, so our margins, in the event that they have been dangerous earlier than, they’re even worse now.”

‘Not everybody’s going to outlive’: Fassnidge hits again

Fassnidge has responded to Cheong’s claims, defending the present whereas speaking to Nova FM radio hosts Fitzy and Wippa.

“It was a Chinese language owned cafe serving horrible Center Jap bread and Italian meals. It was additionally shedding,” the chef mentioned.

He mentioned the proprietor ought to be reactive to the response the cafe is getting and alter issues round if wanted.

“(Her) husband is a tiler and his wage was retaining the cafe going. So this factor of they’re shedding all this cash as a result of we moved the espresso machine, mate – transfer the espresso machine again,” he advised the radio present.

Fassnidge mentioned the fact is that “not everybody goes to outlive” within the business, even with rebranding and a brand new menu.

“That’s the brutality of the business we’re in,” he mentioned.

Virginia Cheong’s cafe reworked right into a Lebanese restaurant by Kitchen Nightmares.Seven Community/Youtube

Fassnidge mentioned he “actually favored Virginia” and it was a “disgrace” she was nonetheless experiencing difficulties after the present.

A Seven spokesperson mentioned the purpose of Kitchen Nightmares was to “encourage all Aussies to get out and help native enterprise”.

“Kitchen Nightmares Australia has given six struggling enterprise homeowners on the point of collapse entry to business experience, recommendation and options to assist put them again on their ft,” the spokesperson mentioned.

Proprietor ‘trusted’ TV present consultants

Cheong took over the enterprise 4 years in the past when the earlier proprietor – her cousin – skilled a coronary heart assault.

After the rebranding, all she heard from workers and clients was that she shouldn’t had gone together with the modifications and that they wanted to deliver again the outdated menu.

She mentioned she resisted these calls as a result of she trusted within the Kitchen Nightmares consultants and didn’t need to undo all of the arduous work that had gone into rebranding the enterprise.

“I used to be trusting. I mentioned what, I’m going let my ego and the whole lot go after which let the consultants in. If they are saying that is the way in which to go then they will need to have achieved the analysis and that’s the way in which we should always do it,” she mentioned.

The proprietor advised the present was initially meant to air again in July, after filming completed in late Could.

Regardless of her preliminary pleasure, Virginia Cheong mentioned she misplaced 1000’s of {dollars} after her restaurant rebranded by Kitchen Nightmares.Seven Community/Youtube

“So Could to July wasn’t an enormous hole and we thought we thought when the present goes to air it should all make sense,” Ms. Cheong mentioned.

“However in reality it didn’t. It didn’t make sense in any respect. We have been left with this for six months earlier than the present went to air.”

Cheong mentioned she is now scared to make any additional modifications or selections in regards to the cafe and feels as if she is “caught between a rock and a tough place”.

Nevertheless, she mentioned she actually didn’t need to throw the Channel 7 present underneath the bus.

“The branding is there. I don’t need to low cost something Kitchen Nightmares did, they do have a degree and they aren’t solely mistaken. It’s simply there are some things I feel have been missed,” she mentioned.

“The most important factor is that we’re predominantly a restaurant they usually actually modified us right into a Lebanese restaurant. We have been a contemporary cafe serving every kind of meals after which all of the sudden a Center Jap restaurant.”

The proprietor mentioned folks from Kitchen Nightmares staff had advised her to “be affected person, await the present, individuals are going to see you”.

Nevertheless, Cheong mentioned she was getting blended messages. She had additionally been advised the purchasers that may go to after the present should not more likely to be locals who will flip into common clients.

“It’s a tough state of affairs and I feel I do want to talk to a branding professional,” she mentioned.

Cheong mentioned everybody was telling her she ought to remorse happening the present and rebranding the cafe however she didn’t need to assume that approach.

“I don’t need to really feel like I’ve failed and I do need to really feel like I’m working by it,” she mentioned.

“That is just a bit hump and hopefully with the help of the purchasers, they can assist us get by.”

About Muji Sakawari

Check Also

Meadow Walker’s tribute to dad Paul Walker 9 years after death

Meadow Walker’s tribute to dad Paul Walker 9 years after death

Meadow Walker honored her beloved late father, Paul Walker, 9 years after his tragic loss of life. The 24-year-old mannequin took to social media to share a heartbreaking put up [...]