Why You Might Not Want To Be On Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives

Many fans will attest to the fact that "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" can be really fun to watch. The show's basic concept is fascinating: Chef Guy Fieri visits different food establishments across the country with his team and tastes different food items. The TV show is such a huge hit that many fans have spent a lot of time working on different websites as a tribute to the show. Some sites basically let you keep a track of all the restaurants featured on the show, making it easy to schedule a visit.

Filming the show is hard work. It takes at least two days to finish working on one episode for "Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives." Even before this happens, business owners have to be willing to participate in meetings and engage in phone calls with the team behind the show. According to some restaurateurs who have been featured on the show, it can be a daunting experience in unexpected ways.

It can be really tough financially

According to a report by Twin Cities Business magazine, some business owners don't actually know what they're getting into when they agree to work on an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." While some people only have to deal with a little bit of food wastage and inconvenience, there are many eateries who end up suffering a lot more. This might be on account of the fact that several eateries run every day of the week and are open all day.

For them, agreeing to work on the show means that they are not able to escape some costs. The owner of the Northern Waters Smokehaus restaurant in Minnesota, Eric Goerdt, said, "I think [the show] cost us nearly $15,000 in wasted product and costs associated with cleaning." Another entrepreneur, Josh Thoma, who is the man behind Smack Shack in Minneapolis, said that it cost him approximately $12,000 to be a part of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."

Another glaring issue? Many people have to be patient and wait long periods to have their episode screened. This means that there is a long period of uncertainty for restaurateurs as they hope for the best. The goal is for the episode to be successful and for more customers to take an interest in the establishment, which may or may not happen.

It may not always lead to success

While it may seem like a no-brainer that being featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" can do wonders for an establishment and its profits, this isn't always the case. Some restaurants have been forced to shut shop on account of eventually suffering heavy losses despite being on the TV show. Per Flavortown USA, scores of eateries that once made an appearance on the show have now closed down for good.

One of the restaurants that didn't make it was Fat Ones in Orlando, Florida. A disappointed visitor wrote on Trip Advisor that they specifically visited the restaurant because it was on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." The scathing review made their displeasure clear. "Cheese sauce came out of a can and tasted like it and the other ingredients were at the same level. It COULD have been a good meal........but it wasn't even close," it read. 

Another restaurant, Red Planet Diner in Arizona also decided to cease operations. A skeptic wrote that they did not enjoy the food at the restaurant and were not surprised when things went south for the business (via Roadside America).

It can be a bit misleading

According to Reddit, the essence of an eatery is sometimes lost when they're featured on "Diners, Drive-ins And Dives." A fan complained that the show was simply not authentic in the way it portrayed restaurants and the food. "Since Guy Fieri always, always praises every single food he tastes, I honestly thought that the restaurants he visited paid him to film and taste the food," they wrote.

Another Reddit user said that a local eatery made it to the show, but they knew for a fact that it was stressful for the restaurant and its staff members to be a part of the filming process. "One of my friends was working when they came and filmed. She said that they took a lot of time to get just a few minutes of footage," they wrote. For another restaurant owner, working with Guy Fieri wasn't a good experience, and they felt that he simply acted nice in front of the camera and didn't care otherwise. Basically, he was difficult to work with as far as they were concerned.