A bad attitude and even worse food greeted acclaimed chef Colin Fassnidge when he arrived at Mumma Jo’s Diner – a tired American-style café in regional NSW – during tonight’s premiere of Kitchen Nightmares Australia on Channel 7 and 7plus.
Devouring the diner’s offerings of the ‘Elvis Burger’ and ‘Cheesy Dog’, Colin was left horrified by the low standard of food. Gobsmacked, Colin didn’t hold back his true feelings: “Burgers, fries, American-style diner, if this is what you are basing it on – the product that I got today – forget about it. I’ll open a pet shop.”
With only five days to turn the restaurant around, Colin was quick to get behind the counter to fix things up, but the gloves came off as he made one disgusting discovery after the other: “It’s a circus and Mumma Jo is the ringmaster.”
Uncovering the staff’s foul attitudes and poor work ethics, he saw the restaurant’s owner and staff taking jello shots on the job: “It’s like lunch time, we are all doing jello shots in the fridge. I drive all the way here, everyone’s f***ing half pissed at the joint.”
Colin’s honest words were not taken lightly, with an emotional Jo giving him a serving of his own: “If that’s your f***ing attitude, you can stick that up where the sun don’t shine. I don’t need that sh*t, I’ve got enough sh*t going on.”
Fortunately, Colin was able to see through her façade, discovering Jo’s partner Chris was recently involved in a serious truck accident leaving the pair in more than $100,000 of debt.
After addressing Jo’s drowning debt, Colin helped her rejig the rostering of her staff to ease some of her financial burden. With the first hurdle out of way, Colin turned his attention to improving the quality of food that came out of the kitchen, removing the ‘Elvis Burger’.
Colin surprised Mumma Jo and the staff 24 hours from launch with the all-new and improved menu, a 10-foot Mumma Jo billboard to entice tourists off the highway, and a brand-new restaurant fit out.
As the doors reopened to a flood of customers several team members slipped into old habits, unable to cope up with the pressure of a full-house, until Colin pitched in to help.
Following a superhit relaunch, a grateful Mumma Jo said: “My American-style diner dream has come true. The fact that the customers are as excited as I am, it means everything.”