Celebrity chef Robert Irvine shares the No. 1 sign an eatery needs a 'Restaurant: Impossible' makeover

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Celebrity chef Robert Irvine shares the No. 1 sign an eatery needs a 'Restaurant: Impossible' makeover
Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and host of "Restaurant: Impossible" on Food Network.Gary Gershoff/Contributor/Getty Images
  • Robert Irvine is a celebrity chef and TV personality.
  • He has starred on Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible" since 2011.
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Celebrity chef and cookbook author Robert Irvine became a household name after his show, "Restaurant: Impossible," premiered on Food Network in 2011.

The show, which has had 21 seasons so far, follows Irvine as he steps in to try and rescue struggling restaurants by providing a makeover and menu overhaul. In an interview around his appearance at the 2023 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, he told Insider about the major sign he sees that lets him know an eatery is in need of rescuing.

"I think No. 1 is leadership," Irvine told Insider. "How do you lead something without direction?"

He said that most of the restaurants that appear on "Restaurant: Impossible" have no direction or accountability.

"We give that accountability by asking questions about why they are where they are," he told Insider.

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Celebrity chef Robert Irvine shares the No. 1 sign an eatery needs a 'Restaurant: Impossible' makeover
Irvine on "Dinner: Impossible" in Atlantic City in 2012.Bill McCay/Contributor/Getty Images

This idea of leadership, direction, and accountability has been part of Irvine's philosophy since the very beginning. In a 2022 Food Network video where the chef and his wife take a look back at the show's very first episode, there's a clip of Irvine saying a restaurant's team reminded him of "a ship without a captain."

Even though some of the core values have stayed the same throughout the years, there are other aspects of the show that have evolved.

"When we first started, it was about food, and it was about the place itself," Irvine said in the video. "Nowadays, it's about relationships, it's about food, it's about the beauty of the food, the plating of the food, the taste of the food, the service, and the restaurant."

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