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How Many Kitchen Nightmares Restaurants Are Thriving Today?

businessman hanging open sign
businessman hanging open sign - Noam Galai/Getty Images

Anyone who's seen an episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" has likely been equally horrified and amused at terrible conditions in many establishments, as well as impressed by host and chef Gordon Ramsay's ability to turn them around. Well, at least turn them around temporarily. With a new season of the show hitting the airwaves, you may be wondering just how many of the show's subjects eventually go under despite Ramsay's help. We've got your answer.

Per Reality TV Updates, just a dozen of the show's 77 "nightmares" are still operating as of mid-2023. That means just 16% of restaurant rescues carried out by the show were truly successful in the long run. The issue seems to have gotten worse over time, as a Daily Mail article from 2014 found much healthier 40% of the restaurants still operating.

Part of this may be due to the natural lifecycle of restaurants. Research has found an overwhelming majority of independent restaurants close within their first year, and those that survive still only average about five years before shuttering. With the most recent season filmed in 2014, it would make sense that a significant portion of even the restaurants Ramsay fixed would naturally go under. And there's no doubt the disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic caused even more problems in this challenging business.

Read more: What Gordon Ramsay Really Eats

Other Factors At Play

Business man hanging open sign
Business man hanging open sign - Andresr/Getty Images

For better or worse, the success or failure of many spots may have relatively little to do with Ramsay's interventions or even unexpected events like the pandemic. The real reason so many "Kitchen Nightmares" restaurants fail is that they're simply in very difficult financial straits to begin with. Even becoming moderately successful (which still isn't a given, despite Ramsay's efforts) may not be enough to dig out of the substantial debt many have racked up, leaving restauranteurs no choice but to close their doors.

While many are grateful for the whirlwind revival attempts of the show, others find the entire process leaves them with indigestion. An untold truth of "Kitchen Nightmares" is that Ramsay and the show have been sued numerous times by owners claiming their or their restaurant's reputation was harmed by their portrayal, while others say regular customers scorned the updated menus.

Still, there's reason for hope for the eateries on the newest season of "Kitchen Nightmares." Denver pizza joint Pantaleone's and Yanni's Greek Cuisine in Seattle are both thriving years after their appearances, with TripAdvisor rankings in the 4-5 star range. With the new season, though, you're bound to see some eye-popping situations that may have you cooking at home for the foreseeable future.

Read the original article on Mashed.