Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Fight to the Finish at Stella's Dine-Inn Restaurant
After hearing from her daughter that Stacey, the owner of Stella's Dine-Inn Restaurant, needed help, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible crew ambushed Stacey in an effort to rescue her New Kensington, Pa., eatery. When Robert arrived, he and his team were not only forced to contend with an oversize space that required a massive transformation, but also a sister-brother feud between Stacey and Dom, the cook at Stella's. Read on below to hear from Stacey a few months after Stella's reopening to see how the business is faring today.
Business has improved considerably since Robert and team completed their renovation of Stella's, according to Stacey. "The first week after the show we did over half of our September sales. The second week we surpassed our September sales," she explains. "The third week we did more than all of July and August." She adds that the updated decor has gone over well, as she notes that the look "is so open and fresh."
Today the menu at Stella's is a mix of the restaurant's original offerings as well as those that Robert made, Stacey says. "We redid the gnocchi by combining his recipe and ours, and they are selling very well."
As for the staff at the restaurant, Stacey notes, "Dominic oversees the cooks and keeps things running smoothly," while she explains that Jamie Lynn "hired several new servers and bartenders and has implemented a two-week probation process for new hires." As for her own role at the restaurant, she says: "I have stepped back considerably. I no longer do any ordering or scheduling, and my time in the kitchen is limited to a few items, such as our dressings and desserts."
Stacey says that the team is feeling "energized" after the Restaurant: Impossible transformation and looking ahead to the future. "We want to keep the menu fresh and exciting so that our customers will have a variety as well as the old favorites. We want to do more promotions and special events to increase the bar customers," she explains. "As a family, we are committed to growing the business."