Series 1 Nightmares Revisited - The Walnut Tree Inn
Series 172 · Episode 2
One year later Gordon revisits Francesco to see if he really has swallowed the Ramsay medicine and turned the Walnut Tree around.
Last year it was in BIG TROUBLE, with no head chef and dwindling customers, and Francesco had been forced to sell the family home to keep the place afloat. Worse, as things went from bad to NIGHTMARE, he tried to run the kitchen as well as front of house. With its Michelin star in jeopardy, Gordon's priority was to recruit a new head chef so that Francesco could concentrate on his customers.
It was tough but Francesco finally saw the light - too late though to keep that precious Michelin Star. But at least the future was bright...
But has the Walnut Tree Inn carried on where Gordon left off?
Business is still on a knife edge. Trade is slow and customers are still very thin on the ground.
But there is some good news. New head chef Spencer has clearly had a positive influence on the Inn's menu and food quality. And Francesco claims to have lowered his prices. So why are the customers still not coming?
The answer: the locals still think the Inn is too expensive for what you get, especially when compared to the competition.
And there's only one solution: drop the prices. Time for a Ramsay chat with Francesco... but he isn't listening.
So Gordon has to show just how easy it is to lower the costs of producing each dish WITHOUT compromising the standard. The target: the most expensive starter on the menu - griddled scallops and baby veg at £14 a go. Gordon cuts down the portion size (but it still looks big) and swaps normal veg for the baby kind that Spencer loves and the costs fall by a whopping £4 per portion. And there's an added bonus: the dish is tastier and adds a rustic feel to the menu, which is sorely lacking. Better still, Francesco can now reduce the price for this starter significantly without cutting the profit.
Unfortunately, the Ramsay lesson just doesn't sink in. Francesco's stubborn and wants to keep things just the way they are.
Looks like the Walnut Tree Inn is in for some more hard times ahead...