Here's How The Pandemic Changed Restaurant: Impossible

The restaurant industry has undergone a period of upheaval in the past year and half. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many cities and states began implementing lockdown orders beginning in the spring of 2020, forcing many restaurants to limit or close down indoor dining and pivot towards a more takeout and delivery-focused model. This has had many negative repercussions for the restaurant industry, with many places being forced to limit their hours, lay off staff, or even close their doors entirely. But restaurants are now looking to the future as restrictions are being lifted and diners — particularly those who are vaccinated — prepare to return to some degree of normalcy.

Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and host of Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible," recently took to Twitter to assure fans of the popular show that they have remained committed to helping struggling restaurants throughout the crisis. While reflecting on 10 years of the show, Irvine took some time to share his thoughts on the past year of filming during the ongoing pandemic, and what might be in store for the restaurant industry's future.

Restaurant: Impossible's mission never changed

On "Restaurant: Impossible," Robert Irvine has seen his fair share of restaurants that need help. The show's focus has always been on improving struggling restaurants, and he explained that even amidst the pandemic, their core mission to help turn around failing restaurants did not ever change. 

"During the pandemic, nothing changed mission-wise. The people did, obviously because it was a smaller crew, only 12 of us on two buses, no volunteers. It's the protocols that changed," he said in a video on Food Network's Twitter. "How do we open a restaurant with a film crew, and have ... the right amount of people in the restaurant based on the state or city? So I think all the protocols changed, the mission never did change," Irvine added.

He also went on to advise restaurant owners on how best to be prepared for the upcoming challenges they will face in the next few years, as things slowly return to normal, saying their main focus should be on "just getting consumer confidence back ... New paint, new paper, new menus, making the place look great, and keeping it safe." Like just about everyone else, Irvine and the "Restaurant: Impossible" crew were forced to adapt to the unexpected changes brought on by COVID-19. But while their day-to-day operations may have been disrupted, their goal of helping restaurants has remained the same since the show first aired in 2011.