Tonight on Restaurant: Impossible, chef Robert Irvine and a slimmed-down crew are back to McLanks Family Restaurant to help them reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown as part of the new show Restaurant: Impossible: Back in Business.
Currently, Restaurant: Impossible has rebranded to Restaurant Impossible: Back in Business, which will be replacing the original show since production was shut down early in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic and chef Irvine was eager to get back in business as soon as possible to help those in the Restaurant: Impossible family.
In this temporary rebrand, Irvine and a small team of people traveling by bus make road trips through Florida, Missouri and Ohio and return to restaurants that were previously featured on the show. In the episodes, Irvine helps owners rebuild and restructure their restaurants with new cleaning and sanitizing protocol in place.
“You know, we normally have a big crew production, anywhere from 50 to 100 people,” Irvine said in the premiere episode. “And yet, here we are with 12 people… They’re doing double duty to make this happen. But guess why we do it: We care about our Restaurant Impossible family.”
McLanks Family Restaurant Was First Featured on ‘Restaurant: Impossible’ in 2019
The original episode of Restaurant: Impossible that featured McLanks Family Restaurant aired in July 2019. The restaurant is located in Columbia, Missouri and is owned by Sheila Lankford who is helped by her five adult children.
When Irvine arrived to the restaurant last year, he found that the family was constantly arguing with one another, which was ruining their relationships and their restaurants. As is usual with the show, Irvine had to step in to help fix the relationships in order to save the restaurant.
McLanks first opened their doors in 2017, but now they’re reopening in a new way after being closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’ll be like a whole COVID-19 show,” Lankford told the Columbia Missourian.
The show will revolve around placing new safety measures in place like using masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and performing temperature checks at the door. They have struggled during the pandemic because they shut down even earlier than required for the safety of their staff and customers.
“I mean, our business is gone,” Lankford said. “We haven’t had any, period. We wanted to reopen, we just weren’t sure, you know, exactly how to do that safely.”
McLanks Family Restaurant Update: The Restaurant Has Mixed Reviews
While reviews on both Facebook and Google are generally positive for McLanks Family Restaurant, the reviews on Yelp are more neutral to negative.
Recent reviews on Facebook say that the staff is friendly and the food is good, and reviews dating back to 2019 also talk about the “great food” and “awesome service.” The reviews that mention Restaurant: Impossible on Facebook tend to skew toward negative, though.
“The food isn’t good,” one person wrote. “Was disappointed with the menu after Food Impossible show was here to revamp restaurant. Still no business after show aired.”
On Google, the restaurant has an average of a 4.2-star rating. Recent reviews mention good food, especially focusing on the chicken wings. another user wrote that the menu is simple, but the food is great.
On Yelp, McLanks Family Restaurant has a 3-star rating, but that’s only based on 14 reviews, with the most recent having been left in 2019.
Tune in to Restaurant: Impossible Thursday, August 13 at 9 p.m. to see what changes Robert Irvine makes to the restaurant this time around and get an update on how they’re faring with the changes.