My Restaurant Rules
|My Restaurant Rules|
|Presented by||Curtis Stone (series 1)
Ian 'Dicko' Dickson (series 2)
Cindy Sargon (series 1) Caterina Borsato (series 2)
|Opening theme||"We Used to Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||63|
|Running time||60 minutes (including commercials)|
|Production company(s)||Freehand TV|
|Original network||Seven Network|
|First shown in||2004|
|Original release||15 February 2004 – 29 May 2005|
|Related shows||My Kitchen Rules|
The series pits five couples, one each from Australia's five largest cities, to compete against each other in opening a successful restaurant.
In initial episodes of the show the couples are given a vacated restaurant space in their home city that must be renovated. They also compete for additional money that can be used for renovation from a panel of judges based on a presentation of their mission statement and plan for their proposed restaurant. The judges also make further appearances later on in the series in both critiquing the restaurants and offering rewards to the contestants.
After a number of weeks the elimination process begins in which the restaurants (and their owners) are reviewed and judged for nomination. The nominated restaurants then compete for votes from a phone poll, with the victor moving on and the loser being forced to shut down. This process continues until a single competing restaurant remains.
Despite the process of elimination that sees almost all competing restaurants shut down, it is interesting to note that every single restaurant featured in the programme was successful and operated in the black. This may be because of the exposure the restaurants are given via the show. Moreover, some eliminated restaurants managed to re-open at new locations.
The first series of My Restaurant Rules aired in 2004 and featured the five following restaurants and couples:
- Nick & Emily – The Red Sea, Adelaide
- Simon & Nathalie – My Little Kitchen, Brisbane
- Peter & Tayissa – Seven Stones, Melbourne
- Ash & Amanda – Room Nineteen, Lake Street, Perth
- Sam & Catherine – Cucina Vera, Sydney
In UK and Ireland, this series aired on Good Food. In Poland, this series aired only on Viacom Blink!
Series one hosted by Curtis Stone.
- Sydney won the phone poll during renovations where they won $50,000. The losing teams won $10,000. Brisbane tried to cheat by making it look like they won $100,000.
- Sydney was the first to shut down against another strong restaurant, Perth. This was deemed to be a big surprise for both restaurants to be in the bottom two.
- Brisbane was the second restaurant to shut down against Perth again. This was another surprise for Brisbane as they were a strong restaurant.
- Adelaide was the third restaurant to shut down against Perth and Melbourne. Many thought Melbourne would be the next to shut down.
- Underdogs Melbourne was the last to shut down. Perth were declared the winners.
The second series of My Restaurant Rules aired in 2005 and featured the six following restaurants and couples:
- John & Justine – The Greedy Goose, Melbourne Street North Adelaide
- Todd & Francesca – Restaurant Louvre, Brisbane
- Dan & Rob – Two Words, Melbourne
- Andre & Sandy – Mint Leaf, Perth
- Evan & Bella – Pink Salt, Sydney
- Nathan & Georgia – Whisk, Melbourne
After a spontaneous audition, Danniel Viney and Rob Gangi were given the opportunity to showcase their culinary talents, opening the restaurant Two Words in St Kilda. Following several weeks of turmoil, it quickly became evident they were not cut out for the pressure of opening a reality based restaurant and were the first team eliminated from the competition as judged by celebrity chefs Matt Moran, Patrick Collins, Caterina Borsato with the incomparable Ian (Dicko) Dickson. A highlight of the show was a controversial scene where Roberto accused judge Patrick Collins of "Playing up for the benefit of the cameras".
Following Melbourne's departure, Nathan and Georgia was merged the new restaurant Whisk. In the series finale, Adelaide's The Greedy Goose and owners John and Justine were declared the winners, beating Evan and Bella of Sydney's Pink Salt.
- Adelaide won the first bank, winning $50,000. Melbourne and Perth were the worst, gaining $8,000 and $7,000 respectively.
- Brisbane won the second bank, winning $50,000.
- Nathan and Georgia are introduced to the couples as the secret sixth couple. It is announced that the first restaurant to be eliminated will not be shut down, but instead taken over by them.
- The five restaurants were critiqued by the judges when they arrived by surprise. The criteria or their assessment were service (10pts.), atmosphere (10pts.), and food (20ts.) Two Words and The Mint Leaf scored the lowest, and faced the public vote.
- Two Words and The Mint Leaf faced the public vote to decide which restaurant would be taken over by Nathan and Georgia. Two Words received many of their elimination votes from Victorian numbers (each state had separate voting lines, to make the competition fair). This suggests that Victorian fans, believe that Nathan and Georgia would be better management for their local restaurant, and increase their chances of winning. Two Words was transformed into Whisk by Nathan and Georgia.
- The five restaurants are reviewed by a secret judge, who was a professional restaurant critic, unknown to the couples until after his visit, he used the same scoring system as the judges, except he had one extra criterion, which was "Wow! Factor" (2pts.) He scored The Mint Leaf lowest, followed by Restaurant Lourve, and Whisk in equal second to last.
- Perth was the first to shut down against Brisbane and Melbourne.
- The female half of each remaining partnership visited all four of the restaurants together. When visiting Adelaide, Franchesca refused to drink local water, and instead only from her bottle.
- Upon their return to their home city, each female contestant ranked the other three restaurants in order from best to worst in the categories, service, atmosphere, and food. Pink Salt, and Restaurant Lourve had the lowest final rankings. Controversy arose when Justine, Georgia and Bella were accused of 'ganging up' on Brisbane, by all ranking them lowly.
- Brisbane was the second restaurant to shut down against Sydney. This episode was known as The Big Chop, and the outcome was revealed on Channel 9's A Current Affair, before the screening of the episode on Channel 7.
- The final assessment was done by the judges, on the original criteria, and their visit was expected and announced. One of the judges was upset by Pink Salt's "cheeky" waitress Anna, and subsequently, gave them a low service score. Ultimately, Pink Salt ended up in the bottom two restaurants to face the public vote for potential elimination, and were joined by Whisk.
- Melbourne was the third restaurant to shut down against Sydney.
- Both Pink Salt, and The Greedy Goose faced the final public vote, as they were the last remaining restaurants. This marked Pink Salt's third time facing the public vote, more than any other restaurant for the season (falling short of Room Nineteen's record of four elimination survivals, and eventual win in season one). Adelaide faced the public vote for the first time, and were believed to be disadvantaged in that they were inexperienced in promoting themselves. They used The Giant Rocking Horse in Gumeracha, and the Giant Orange to hold banners for their support.
- Sydney was the fourth to shut down against Adelaide. Adelaide were declared the winners.
In late 2005, Seven announced in their Seven in 2006 brief on their corporate site that they were developing new episodes of My Restaurant Rules to broadcast sometime in 2006. However, no new series of the show materialised during the year. When Seven released their Seven in 2007 brief in late 2006 or Seven released their Seven in 2008 brief in late 2007, My Restaurant Rules was not mentioned at all.
In 2010, Seven Network was considering reviving the format to cash in on the success of Network Ten's MasterChef Australia. This came in the form of the successful, My Kitchen Rules series. In 2015, Seven produced a new restaurant reality show known as Restaurant Revolution
After the show
In early 2005, series one contestants Ash and Amanda of Room Nineteen discovered that the site that had been allocated to them by Seven was booked to be demolished in December of that year. They were unable to sell the restaurant due to a clause in a contract they signed and the cost of moving the restaurant to another location was too high, so Room Nineteen closed its doors in June 2005. Interestingly, the building that housed Room Nineteen has not been demolished to this day (January 2010).
In contrast, the series two winning restaurant The Greedy Goose continued to stay in business for several years after the show. However, in February 2009 they declared that they would be closing up business after an unsuccessful attempt to open a second restaurant in the beachside suburb of Glenelg. The poor performance of the second restaurant (focusing on gourmet hamburgers) and the 'harsh economic times' put the winning couple into a position, they couldn't recover from.
In addition, despite Sydney's defeat in series two, contestants Evan hansimikali and Bella of Pink Salt opened a new restaurant (under the same name) on 22 March 2006, at a new location in Double Bay from the original suburb of Manly. They were featured as one of the best restaurants in Australia. The new restaurant also includes a cocktail bar and is currently having more success than it did on the television series.
Evan hansimikali bought Bella's share of the business in 2010. Pink Salt in Double Bay has been operating for over nine years and Evan hansimikali now runs Pink Salt on his own. In October 2014 Evan hansimikali temporarily closed Pink Salt for a complete renovation, new concept, new style of food and with a new team. The restaurant has received great reviews and this new Pink Salt seems to be thriving. The Sunday telegraph reviewer rated the restaurant very highly. Apart from Pink Salt, none of the other restaurants in series 1 or 2 are still operating.
vtm started broadcasting Mijn Restaurant (My Restaurant) on 4 March 2008. The show is presented by Rani De Coninck. Five couples started their own restaurant in Leuven, Ghent, Hasselt, Antwerpen or Oostende. The jury consists of the famous Belgian chef Peter Goossens, the head editor of the culinary magazine "Ambiance" Dirk De Prins and the General Manager of a hotel Christel Cabanier. Leuven won this season.
vtm started broadcasting the second season of "Mijn Restaurant"("My Restaurant") on 3 March 2009. Restaurant "Dell'Anno" (Kortrijk) with Claudio and Gaëlle won. As after winning they started renovating earlier than the counsel allowed them, works were put on hold. November the restaurant opened again. As it is such a success, no closingdays. "Bigarreaux" (Sint Truiden) with Tom and Ann were runner-up. They have recently opened a new restaurant.
The first season of Mein Restaurant (My Restaurant), began airing on 10 October 2008, with subsequent episodes airing every Tuesday and Friday at 20:15. The series premiered on VOX with five couples from Munich, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig. The Munich team from the "Grinsekatze" restaurant won the first season contest.
The first season of Mijn Tent is Top (My Shed is Best) started on 18 January 2007. The winners of the first season was "Coquille" in Den Bosch. The second season was aired in 2008 and "Flinstering" in Breda was the big winner. In 2009, "De Pastinaeck" in Amersfoort won this third season. RTL 4 broadcast the series and it was presented by Herman den Blijker.
A series with a similar format entitled "The Restaurant" in the UK first aired on BBC Two in 2007. A group of couples compete for the chance to set up a restaurant financially backed and personally supported by French chef Raymond Blanc. The winning couple are given their own restaurant to run, in Oxfordshire, near to Blanc's own Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons.
- Dale, David (17 May 2004). "Reality TV feels the pain". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Pink Salt: Selected Restaurant". Bestrestaurants.com.au. 29 January 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- "Pink Salt website". Pinksalt.com.au. Retrieved 2011-05-29.