What Really Happens If A Restaurant On Restaurant: Impossible Closes

TV host Robert Irvine continues to be dedicated to his mission of helping struggling eateries make a comeback on his Food Network show "Restaurant: Impossible." It's not easy, though — Irvine and his team have to deal with lots of challenges along the way. For example, they need to come up with a foolproof plan in just two days that considers several factors, such as the restaurant's ambience, its staff members, and menu items (via Sphera).

Irvine told Sphera that many business owners across the United States request to be on the show, and producers select the eateries based on how long they've been operating and how badly they need Irvine's help. The host explained, "A restaurant that's been a local mainstay and fallen on hard times would get priority over, say, something that opened just a few months ago and never had much of a customer base."

However, what happens to all the money "Restaurant: Impossible" spent on an eatery if it shuts shop after being featured? Irvine recently tackled this question on Twitter — and offered an interesting response.

The show leaves everything as a gift

A fan on Twitter recently asked "Restaurant: Impossible" host Robert Irvine, "...What happens if a restaurant is refurbished etc etc and then later they decide to close? Is the money spent just wiped clean? How does it work?" In response, the chef explained that his team doesn't take back equipment or money spent on the business. He wrote, "Yes we leave everything, it's...[my] gift and eventually if they do close...someone else benefits."

The New York Times reported in 2012 that restaurants' fates are not as cut and dry as they might seem on the screen. Some business owners really struggle to keep things going after the cameras leave, while others taste success after appearing on "Restaurant: Impossible." 

For example, entrepreneur Timothy Queisser had to shut down his Indianapolis restaurant Snooty Fox after being in business for almost three decades, according to the Times. The restaurant owner wasn't pleased when Irvine added British food to his menu and gave his eatery the look and feel of a pub — he later revealed that his chef-brother was sure that existing customers wouldn't like the new model. Queisser added that the business went downhill in just a few weeks. 

However, he didn't blame Irvine and his team. Queisser even complimented them: "They did a good job redecorating. They gave us a badly needed shot of P.R." And, according to Irvine's recent Twitter statement, they also left everything the show added to the business.