Gordon Ramsay knows food…probably. I’ve never eaten at any of his restaurants. He also knows good television. That I do know for sure. I enjoy Kitchen NightmaresHell’s Kitchen and Hotel Hell. Ramsay is really just a great TV character and an excellent host for those shows. I recently discovered the UK version of Kitchen Nightmares on Netflix and have been enjoying the uncensored Ramsay quite a bit. Watching these shows, I know I’m glad I’m not in the restaurant business. I’ve also learned enough to share these Benchmark 5: Things Kitchen Nightmares Teaches Us About Business.


  1. Change the person, not just the marketing. Without fail, the person in charge always needs to be yelled at by Ramsay until they have an eye opening epiphany that they need to look inwards for change. All the work Ramsay does will be for naught if the person in charge after he leaves can’t step up to the plate. What’s that old saying? Be the change you wish to see in the world. Or, in this case…your business.
  2. Don’t turn a blind eye. Nearly every episode, Ramsay goes into the kitchen and discovers an absolute mess. Mess might even be generous. It’s usually not the only issue, either. Owners just don’t want to see the bad, so they ignore it or pretend it isn’t there. Be honest with yourself. You’re doing your business a disservice otherwise.
  3. Simplify. Sometimes, a restaurant will have such an extensive menu that they simply can’t put everything out in a timely manner and food spoils in the kitchen. Ramsay cuts it down to help make them more efficient. Look at all your processes and procedures. Think about what you can do to cut out unnecessary work to be as fast and effective as possible.
  4. Know your product. In a restaurant, the waitstaff is like your sales team. They need to know the menu inside and out, how things are prepared and more. Just think, “would I pass the test on my product if Ramsay was in my face grilling me?”
  5. Slap on a fresh coat of paint. It’s all about appearances, really. Customers don’t want to eat at an establishment that looks dirty or feels old. The product might be good, but it needs to look good too. Be cognizant of the brand you put forward. Sometimes, all you need is a fresh new design.