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Edible Nerdiness - Kitchen Nightmare is a Nightmare for Restaurants

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 4, 2011 9:00PM

2011_8_4Ramsey.jpg In case you hadn't notices, we love infographics. Here's part of a great one from The Pizza Experts. Ever wonder how all of those restaurants fare after the reality TV stars pack up and leave? Apparently, not so well. The full size graphic has a lot more information. We remember an NPR story a few years back about makeover shows. After the home-makers on the shows left town, their shoddy work and rampant destruction came back to haunt homeowners, who were stuck with a gorgeous-looking but totally unsound house. The same apparently happens with restaurants - of the restaurants on Season 2 of the American version of Kitchen Nightmare, absolutely none are still in business.

Instead of turning them around, surprise surprise, they end up being grist for Ramsey's personality and the reality television machine. The quotes from restaurant owners are particularly heartbreaking. One owner said that, "the program makers told us the show would put us on the map. Instead, it put us out of business. The bookings just vanished."

Clearly some reality television does help businesses - the owner of Calumet Fisheries credits No Reservations with turning business around. Maybe that's because Tony Bourdain is a food geek who is eating what he loves, while Ramsey is an outsize personality who is throwing things and insulting people. Anyway, peruse the graphic for more facts and quotes.