Kitchen Nightmares: Restaurant’s message to celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge

Home Economy Kitchen Nightmares: Restaurant’s message to celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge
Kitchen Nightmares: Restaurant’s message to celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge

The owners of a seriously struggling restaurant have issued a surprising message to celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge following their appearance on Channel 7’s Kitchen Nightmares.

The Aussie reality program, fronted by Fassnidge, features a range of ailing local eateries which undergo dramatic makeovers over five days in the hope of reversing their fortunes.

Kate O’Reilly and Jonny Bundellu, who run the Guru Life restaurant on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, applied to be featured on the show after their venue went “downhill” during “the hardest few years we’ve all faced”.

But while Kitchen Nightmares has made headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, Ms O’Reilly and Mr Bundellu were full of praise for the program and team in a recent Facebook post.

“Thanks for everyone who has supported and encouraged us through the hardest few years we’ve all faced. Against all odds, we managed to pull through,” they posted on the Guru Life page, accompanied by a photo of the pair with Fassnidge bearing the words “not actually a nightmare”.

“Some of you question why Guru Life went ‘downhill’. Let us just say this, we have always been here to make a difference, to provide a great place for the community to enjoy.

“And we have always put others first ahead of ourselves, continuing to believe that it is going to work out in the end.

“The war is over now and we have got a lot of rebuilding to do. Everyone suffered and everything changed. Our menu suffered, our reputation suffered, our sanities suffered, our pockets suffered, but we survived.”

The pair explained that unlike other participants on the program, they had had a positive experience.

“We applied to participate in Kitchen Nightmares and the mentoring that was offered with dear Colin. Aside from what was aired on the show and all jokes aside, we have got to thank him for truly caring about us and giving it everything to help get back on top,” the post continued.

“We lost our way, we had tried everything imaginable, and that’s the truth. We’re back now, stronger than ever.

“All we’ve ever dreamt of doing out here in Rosemount is providing a nice environment for people to enjoy. A very simple dream, turned extremely hard. Times are changing, and life is becoming easier for us all, once again. Proud to be back to our roots and proud of Guru Life.”

The post was flooded with messages of support for Guru Life and for Kitchen Nightmares.

“Enjoyed the show … hope you guys are thriving.. look forward to a visit sometime,” one viewer wrote.

Another posted: “Good honest post guys. Really enjoyed watching the show. We love coming to Guru Life as it’s so close to us in Diddillibah. We look forward to (the) new you and agreed with some of the stuff that was aired. You have (our) support.”

The comments come after Virginia Cheong, the owner of Cafe de Vie in Homebush, which was rebranded to Cafe Tabouli during its own Kitchen Nightmares makeover, claimed the program had ultimately cost her thousands of dollars in business.

She told news.com.au earlier this week that the first week after the store reopened under the rebranded name Cafe Tabouli, they saw a $6000 drop in business.

“Slowly people started to come back and we’ve been able to get back to, not close, but we’re better than we were before,” Ms Cheong said.

“However, having said that, we cut all the prices so our margins – if they were bad before – they are even worse now.”

It also emerged this week that Araucaria restaurant in Winmalee in the NSW Blue Mountains – which featured on episode six – actually closed down soon after filming wrapped.

Owner Anthony Davies told news.com.au that while he didn’t blame Kitchen Nightmares for the closure, he had also been left “confused” by some of the advice provided by the program, claiming it failed to address the very real financial pressures the business was under.

News.com.au contacted Guru Life for comment.

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