In the Season 9 premiere, a friendship is falling apart over the struggles of the 3-year-old Fork Diner in Calhoun, Ga., which chef Robert Irvine deems unsuccessful because of boring food, a lack of cleanliness and a staff that's disinterested.
A restaurant in Atlanta has the false reputation of being strictly for Muslims, which is keeping potential customers away. Another challenge Robert faces is the owner, whose experience in catering isn't translating into running this business. Also: A fight breaks out amongst the design team and the makeover is put in jeopardy.
Paul's Bar and Bowling in Paterson, N.J., a family-owned neighborhood staple since 1929, needs help getting out of an 8-year slump. In order to succeed, Robert tries to take the business into the 21st century, beginning with a total design overhaul.
Robert Irvine arrives at the Pomona Golf and Country Club in Egg Harbor City, N.J., a nine-hole golf course and clubhouse being run by three cousins, and is tasked with coming up with a business plan for the financially and emotionally strained owners to attract new and younger clients.
The divorced owners of the Country Cow Restaurant and Bar in Campton, N.H., are on their best behavior for Robert's visit, but the staff and behind-the-scenes footage reveal that animosity between the couple is a problem that needs his uttermost attention.
Robert deals with an owner who fancies himself a stand-up comedian and is more focused on telling jokes to customers than paying attention to the quality of food he's serving at Uncle Andy's Diner in Portland, Maine.
Robert travels to Fort Bragg, N.C., on a mission to breath new life into the Green Beret Club, one of the only full-service restaurants on the post. Among the challenges he faces is finding a way to keep tradition alive while making some necessary changes.
Robert deals with feuding sisters at Mamma Lucrezia's in Bellefonte, Pa., which despite excellent food coming from the kitchen, is losing thousands of dollars a month and faces competition from a nearby Italian restaurant owned by their brother.
The owners of a four-year-old restaurant in the resort town of South Padre Island, Texas, offer both food and music at their establishment, but fail to do either very well. Included: Robert asks his design team to get rid of tacky tiki bar decor.
Robert offers help to the owner of Abudanza Restaurant in Wilbraham, Mass., a proud man with years of executive chef experience, but who is burnt out from the demands of the job and caring for a sick child.
Robert Irvine deals with an explosive family that's about to implode while trying to keep Papa C's Eastside Cafe in Fairport, N.Y., in business. Included: The owner and his three sons play the "blame game" rather than do their jobs; inches of grease and grime need to be removed before the restaurant can be reopened.