Chef Robert Irvine heads to Starlite Restaurant and Pizza in West Orange, N.J. after receiving a plea from the owner Patty's son. Patty has worked there since she was 13 years old and considers it home, but hasn't made a profit in almost ten years despite cashing in her retirement and mortgaging her home. When Robert arrives, he finds an extremely dirty kitchen and an old-school staff that is completely unwilling to change, including Patty herself. Will Robert be able to return this beloved restaurant to its former glory, or will the Starlite shine no more?
For his next mission, Chef Robert Irvine responds to a call from Tamara, whose mother Raquel owns De Rican Chef in Virginia Beach, Va. Raquel wanted a restaurant that specialized in authentic Puerto Rican food and expanded her business with help from her son, Reuben, but they are barely making a profit and their relationship is suffering. As Robert tries to get to the bottom of their problems, Raquel drops a bombshell about why she has lost her passion, leading Robert to try to heal the family and restore Raquel's love for her special piece of home.
Chef Robert Irvine receives a heartbreaking plea from Megan, who owns the BFE Bar and Grill in Waynesboro, Ga. with her husband, Mike. The restaurant is deep in debt and their family is suffering, but when Robert shows up, he also finds out that the state suspended their liquor license for not paying their taxes. Robert quickly learns he will have to pick and choose what to fix: their reputation is in the dumps, they're understaffed, and food service is painfully slow. It's a fight to the finish as he desperately tries to fix as much as he can and the owners try to pay back their taxes before the grand reopening.
After receiving a plea for help from an employee, Chef Robert Irvine and his team head to Peppino's Ristorante Italiano in Oviedo, Fla. Owners Susan and Luigi bought the restaurant hoping that their son, Nato, would eventually take over, but they feel they can't trust him due to his poor work ethic and attitude. With just two days and $10,000, Robert has his hands full with updating the decades-old menu, service, and decor, as well as figuring out whether Nato is even capable of running the business.
Sarah and Justin only opened SiP Bistro in Holly Springs, N.C. three years ago, but their business is already hurting. Though Sarah has a background in hotel and restaurant management, her husband, Justin, is demeaning to the entire staff and hasn't allowed his wife to take control or make decisions. On top of trying to mend their relationship and negotiate a healthy balance of control, Chef Robert Irvine and his team must also do a full dining room renovation and find a way to make the extremely small kitchen as efficient as possible.
Chef Robert Irvine receives a desperate plea from Ayana, the oldest daughter of Luvina and Jameel, owners of So Natural Organic Restaurant and Market in Harker Heights, Texas. Luvina and Jameel opened the business because they are passionate about healthy food, but with zero restaurant experience, they've quickly fallen into debt and cannot afford to hire staff outside of their own family. After a disastrous lunch service test, Robert finds he must not only teach the owners efficient operating procedures but show them how to turn their okay-tasting healthy food into great food that just happens to be healthy.
Chef Robert Irvine receives a pressing plea from Jamie, best friend of Cray Eatery and Drinkery's owner Crystal in Columbus, Ohio. Crystal opened Cray after being inspired by infused liquors from Cambodia, but her lack of experience and dismissive nature have led to her being unable to pay bills and begging for free labor from friends. Robert soon discovers that the restaurant is also unclean, the food service is slow, and the liquor infusions are nauseating. While the restaurant concept is unique, Robert must find a way to solve all of its other problems and help Crystal put her failures behind her.
Chef Robert Irvine receives a heart-wrenching plea from Yianni, the son of the owner of Broad Street Bistro in North Versailles, Pa. Owner Tasso has only had the restaurant for a year and a half, but he's struggling to keep it afloat as it is dirty and dark with subpar food and a helpless staff. Tasso's wife, Kathy, is unhappy with all of the time he spends at the restaurant, and Yianni, a trained chef, tried to help out but his father would not listen. After ambushing both Kathy and Tasso, Robert plans a third surprise ambush that will keep everyone guessing.