How Long Does It Take For Restaurant: Impossible Episodes To Air?

"Restaurant: Impossible" gives its viewers an inside look at the hard reality of owning and running a restaurant. Fans get a first-hand glimpse at the hardships families often endure when trying to keep their failing restaurants afloat. Enter Chef Robert Irvine, the show's host who swoops in to mentor the owners and revamp the entire restaurant.

Some fans may wonder if the restaurants featured on the show are truly in that bad of shape. The answer, at least according to Irvine, is yes. Business Insider reports that Irvine won't even commit to helping a restaurant unless there's almost 100% certainty of failure without him. And while it may seem like bad or bland food is the number one culprit, it's actually just one of many. Irvine has identified high food and overhead costs as a common issue that struggling restaurants face, and terrible customer service doesn't help either.

TV magic helps it look like Irvine just appears at a struggling restaurant, but it's quite a process. In an interview with BUILD, Irvine shared that restaurant owners must first submit a written or video application to be reviewed by his team. After they are properly vetted, it can still take over a year for the owners to be contacted, according to Reddit user u/infamouslival. Getting everything in order to start filming a "Restaurant Impossible" episode clearly takes time, but once the episodes are complete, how soon do they actually hit TV screens?

Restaurant: Impossible episodes air quickly after filming

Last June, Robert Irvine took to Twitter to answer fans' burning questions. Twitter user @philrsteel asked about how much time passes between filming and airing of a "Restaurant: Impossible" episode, and Irvine replied saying, "Normally 6 to 8 weeks prior to being on tv."

By reality TV standards, 6-8 weeks is a pretty common time frame from filming to airing. What viewers may not realize is the length of time for the actual construction and redesign is longer than what's shown on tv. 

"Restaurant: Impossible" follows Irvine and his team as they completely revamp a restaurant within just 48 hours. According to Robert Irvine Magazine, the construction and design crew arrives 24 hours before Irvine and the film crew. The designer and contractor spend time walking through the space to get an understanding of how they can best rework it. By the time Irvine arrives the next day, the tools have already been set up. 

One of the most mind-boggling aspects of the show is the tiny $10,00 budget. Anyone who's watched renovation shows knows the budget is often just a starting point. According to Irvine Mag's interview with construction manager Tom Bury, the team does stay as close to budget as possible. Of course, if there's a major unexpected hiccup, they may dip into their contingency budget. 

Even with plenty of on-screen drama, the show manages a relatively high success rate. Per Reality TV Updates, 40% of the restaurants featured on the show are still open.