The final episode of Season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares was the hardest yet. This season was different because the problems for the restaurant come from the personal issues of the owners. This episode definitely followed this trend.
Zócalo is located in Philadelphia and is a traditional Mexican restaurant. Greg is the owner and chef and literally spends 19 hours a day working. His wife, Mary, works 10 hours a week and was threatening Greg that she would move back to Mexico if he failed at the business. The family is $750,000 in debt and has not made a profit in years.
The food was bad but not horrible. It was the cuisine was the reflection of a burnt out man. Mary was the true chef but she refuses to work in the kitchen, as it’s “too hot”. Greg was trying to replicate her dishes and failing. Mary also kept raising the prices, which ended up driving customers away.
At the dinner service, Gordon Ramsay learnt about some sad secrets of the back kitchen. Most of the equipment was broken or damaged and Greg could not cook properly. He worked alone, even with other cooks in the kitchen. He was taking the whole responsibility of the kitchen, the restaurant, and his family on himself.
Gordon Ramsay spent time a lot of personal time with Greg and Mary working through their relationship problems. Gordon confronted the family to make them understand that their lack of support for Greg is damaging him as a person. They finally began to communicate. Gordon brought in brand new kitchen equipment and Greg could then properly cook his food. He was also supplied with two culinary students as a co-op placement for kitchen support.
The re-launch of the restaurant was rough, but promising. Mary was overwhelming with her micromanagement of the kitchen. With Greg’s new staff, he did not need Mary’s nagging anymore and she was just getting in the way. Gordon asked her to reconsider her communication and she really stepped up to the challenge. They both worked together brilliantly after that.
As Gordon left, he expressed his overwhelming desire that the restaurant would do well. He said that he had never rooted for any couple more than Greg and Mary. Over the next few weeks, the service became smoother and the restaurant began to make money again.