Someone out there is sitting on a gold mine - the idea for the next great restaurant. It could be a fast food chain or a revolutionary five-star French bistro. But that person probably doesn't have the money or resources to turn their dream into reality. That's where we come in. Five big-name investors put their own reputations and money on the line and the contestants' ideas to the ultimate test. Experts such as celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay will not only judge quality, flavor and ingenuity, but the ability to replicate and ultimately grow into a real, operating business. In the end, one contestant will survive elimination and receive the biggest reality prize in television history, a new restaurant chain.
It all starts with a dream of building the great American success story! In 1952, Harlan Sanders drove cross-country, selling his revolutionary chicken frying equipment. Today, KFC pulls in over $7 billion annually, and has 5200 restaurants in the U.S. In 1965, Fred DeLuca borrowed $1000 from a friend to open his sandwich shop, and now there are over 28,800 Subways worldwide. Steve Ells borrowed $83,000 from his dad in 1983 to open one of the first fast casual chains in America. Today, there are over 1000 Chipotle restaurants, which earn $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Now, one lucky person will have the chance to open a new fast casual chain in three cities. So who has the next billion-dollar idea?
The Top 10 contestants enter Restaurant Row to meet with Bobby, who lays out this week's culinary challenge. It's time to get ready for their first big lunch rush - the players will present their food to 1,000 very hungry and discerning customers at Universal CityWalk. They'll also need to create brand awareness for their restaurant concepts by working with a graphic designer to create a mouthwatering, eye-catching logo. As judged by the American public at Universal CityWalk, the most popular restaurant concept will be safe from elimination. But first, there are 17 chefs waiting in the kitchen. The contestants will interview them and decide amongst themselves which chef they want to work with.
The remaining nine contestants arrive at a Chipotle restaurant, not sure what to expect. They're met by Bobby and Steve; clearly, this isn't a lunch date. Steve, the founder of Chipotle, explains the vision behind his restaurant chain, "food with integrity." Steve believes that just because food is served fast doesn't mean it has to be a "fast-food experience." In addition, Steve notes that all restaurant owners should have the experience of working behind the counter, and should be able to deliver top-notch customer service. To illustrate his point, today's challenge is handling the lunch crowd at Chipotle. The investors are keeping an eye out for the contestants who can work effectively in a high-pressure environment.
The eight restaurateurs must design and construct a miniaturized layout of their proposed eatery while also creating a complete meal. They then unveil their mini-design and meal at a food event in Los Angeles.
The seven remaining restaurateurs design uniforms, and create their restaurant's image in a photo shoot.
They're creating their own food trucks and taking them to the streets of Los Angeles
The five remaining contestants create kid-friendly meals, and toys to go with them! On hand is their toughest critic yet, Bobby's daughter Sophie.
Venture in Vegas
The four remaining contestants travel to Las Vegas where they must hire two employees to help them serve their dishes to a couple hundred diners.
The final three restaurateurs create minirestaurants for their soft opening; investors Bobby Flay, Steve Ells, Lorena Garcia and Curtis Stone offer advice; the winner is chosen.