Barefoot Bob’s Before Kitchen Nightmares
Opened in 2004 in Hull, Massachusetts (a small town just outside South Boston) Barefoot Bob’s was created by a husband and wife team of Marc and Lisa. Both had been in the restaurant industry for quite some time before buying their own place and quickly realizing that a summer spot is hard to keep open during other months. It appears their troubles first began when in an effort to save some cash, they fired their main chef and Marc ended up working the kitchen, while Lisa took care of the front. Most of the staff see Marc as a hard worker, while they see Lisa as someone who’d rather be anywhere but there. Not surprisingly, this has put a huge strain on their marriage. With issues both personal and professional, Chef Ramsay starts in.
Barefoot Bob’s on Kitchen Nightmares
The episode begins with Chef Ramsay meeting Lisa and Marc separately, and things don’t look good. Marc says he started by marrying his best friend, and things began going down. Lisa states her first concerns are about the winter season’s income and claims she’s doing a lot, while Marc disagrees with that idea, saying she comes in 2 days a week while he comes in 7 days. Marc still loves Lisa but doesn’t know if it’s reciprocated anymore, and the final straw may be this joint closing.
When speaking to staff, Marc’s side is confirmed by Lisa’s lack of work. The menu is the first thing Gordon notices when sitting down, as it is filthy. There was a typo on the menu as well, which isn’t a good start. When inspecting Barefoot Bob’s while he’s waiting for food, he notices that all the knickknacks are caked in dust and debris. When the food does come out, it’s about as impressive as the décor. Marc accepts the criticisms given by the waitress, while Lisa seems to laugh them off. Gordon is absolutely stunned with how much lobster is in the lobster roll, with nearly a pound of it between bread. The ironic point is that when it comes to the Clam Chowder, there’s no claim to be found but plenty of flour.
Soon after, he calls a full staff meeting. It gets quite fiery, as Ramsay states that Barefoot Bob’s is a “waste of an ocean view”. Soon after, dinner service is starting so the owners can’t quite recover from the criticism, and Ramsay is again floored, this time by the fact that a Psychic has set up shop to attract more customers, at the expense of Marc and Lisa. Talking to the psychic went about as well as anyone would expect, with a good number of cringe-worthy moments to be had in a very short time.
Returning to the Kitchen, Ramsay asks the staff more about the ownership and it’s revealed Marc has fallen ill due to heat stroke due to overwork while Lisa has rarely appeared. Clearly, the returning stress is too much, as there is a lot of issues with the food including cold centered food, unsafe food storage has occurred, all to the engagement of the Chef as it’s a public safety issue. He asks Marc to show him the other cold storage areas, which continue to disappoint him. Even the ovens are terribly filthy, which not only are a safety issue but when combined with the rest of the set up is just a money sink.
When bringing it back to the owners to discuss financial information, it’s clear Lisa has no idea, nor does Marc, what even the break-even mark is for Barefoot Bob’s to continue existing. This makes Gordon Ramsay leave completely flustered, and Marc return to the kitchen while Lisa goes to the office. The kitchen staff begins the cleaning process, clearly a bit more broken than they had felt when this all began.
The next day, Gordon Ramsay make Marc and Lisa do some couples therapy for the sake of Barefoot Bob’s. Both of them agree to work together, as opposed to driving each other away. Gordon brings in a friend who is an accountant, which is a great benefit as they need a business plan and budget. With the business side is taken care of, Gordon goes into the kitchen to retrain the kitchen staff in how to prepare some proper seafood. Even from the screen, the food looks hundreds of times better. Now, the following problem to be tackled is the winter season. His solution? A marketing campaign for “going barefoot all year long”, with a smaller menu to help cut costs while increasing traffic.
After the meet and greets, Barefoot Bob’s set up has been redone in a more Massachusetts feel as opposed to the cheap Tiki Bar appearance. It includes a new Point of Sale system with plenty of new technology, which can aid in inventory, purchasing, sales, and ensuring that budgets are kept. When going for the new menu items, even the reluctant assistant chef is psyched about the new dishes. However, there is one member of the team who hates all this change: Lisa’s brother, Robby. He believed that the look is too fancy, as is the menu, and Robby the Bar manager quits on the spot, just minutes before the relaunch.
Ramsay meets with Robby and addresses his concerns, and shows Robby his own arrogance and continues to be arrogant. Marc speaks to him and gets him to calm down enough to stay on, and the opening beings. The POS system makes the system much smoother, and the menu seems to be doing great. However, this is putting a lot of pressure on the kitchen. As a result, Lisa tries to slow table taking a bit, which relieves a great deal of pressure, showing her initiative and support. The episode ends hopeful, with the staff feeling more confident, and both Marc and Lisa showing they can put up a great fight when faced with what would have been overwhelming stress before.
Barefoot Bob’s After Kitchen Nightmares – 2024 Update
When Gordon Ramsay initially visited Barefoot Bob’s, he found a restaurant in disarray. The food was subpar, the service was lackluster, and the overall atmosphere was far from appealing. Amidst the chaos, what stood out was the undeniable passion of Marc and Lisa for their establishment.
They eagerly accepted Ramsay’s critique and made drastic changes to their menu and restaurant ambiance under his guidance. The transformation was met with positive comments from customers which seemed to suggest a promising future for Barefoot Bob’s.
Gone were the over-complicated and underwhelming dishes that Ramsay so vociferously criticized. In their place was a selection of simple yet delightful dishes that perfectly capture the essence of beachside dining. The restaurant has also improved its customer service, with patrons reporting a noticeable improvement in staff friendliness and efficiency.
However, in a surprising turn of events, Barefoot Bob’s announced its closure less than a year after their appearance on Kitchen Nightmares. The news came as a shock to many viewers who had seen the restaurant’s seemingly successful makeover on the show. Speculations were rife about whether Ramsay’s intervention had anything to do with this outcome.
While some believed that Ramsay’s changes were too drastic for Barefoot Bob’s to sustain, others argued that the restaurant’s underlying issues went far beyond what any reality TV show could fix. As of 2024, there is a new restaurant called Tipsy Tuna at their old Massachusetts location.
If anything, the closure of Barefoot Bob’s is a reminder of the harsh realities faced by many struggling restaurants. Despite the brief glimmers of hope offered by television makeovers, sustainable success requires more than just a temporary boost in publicity. It requires dedication, adaptability and above all, resilience in the face of adversity.
While it is sad to see Barefoot Bob’s close its doors, its journey serves as an invaluable lesson to other struggling restaurateurs. It underscores the importance of not only accepting changes but also ensuring these changes align with the core values and capabilities of the establishment.