Though reality television shows claims to depict real-life situations and follow everyday individuals, not every series is as authentic as it claims to be. Yes, reality TV shows typically come equipped with writers, producers, and storylines that the creators look to capitalize on to make it more entertaining for viewers.
Is 'Kitchen Nightmares' scripted? Everything on TV may not be what it seems.
In 2007, the British chef ventured across the pond in a new reality TV show, which showed the outspoken cook helping struggling restaurants across America. Gordon and his team would retrain the staff members, remodel the business, and help the owners take back their eatery.
One of the biggest highlights of the show was when the chef would butt heads with staff members and fight with stubborn owners. However, was it real... or fake?
According to Reddit user @mikethewalrus who attended a "before" service of the New Orleans-based restaurant (Oceana Grill), "very little was staged."
He continued: "I was expecting there to be a larger production team in there, but it was mostly ceiling-mounted cameras and 2 small camera crews, who were non-invasive. We were told to call the producer over if we wanted to send anything back, but were otherwise left to our meals."
The commenter wrote that he did not witness actors being used, adding, "Everything that I witnessed was the real deal & was shown on the show, including him shutting down the kitchen mid-dinner service."
The Reddit user also claimed that people were charged for the meals and it was not comped by production.
"The meal wasn't that great, but wasn't the worst I've had. ... The worst part was that we had to pay for it," the person wrote. Though the dinner service was shut down, the patron claimed that he/she tried to get the meal for free, but the waiter only gave the group a round of free drinks.
Adding, "The scene where Ramsay shuts down the dinner service literally happened right in front of me. It was intense."
An editor for Medium.com opened up about having his dining experience filmed for a 2013 episode of Kitchen Nightmares. "There were cameras everywhere capturing everything. With this being reality television, I knew there would be, but not sure about how natural it would feel. It was quite unnatural," Greg Taylor wrote.
Though, the writer noted that what happened on the show was not fabricated. He recalled: "This behavior that you see (or will see) on the show is 100% true to form and not doctored for TV."
Unfortunately, many 'Kitchen Nightmares' restaurants closed.
In 2018, it was reported (via Mashed.com) that only 15 restaurants out of 77 that Gordon "fixed" on his TV series were still open.
"You don't ask to take part in a show called Kitchen Nightmares if your restaurant business is booming and therefore it is not surprising that many of the restaurants which Gordon has visited over the ten years are now closed," a spokesperson for the chef told The Daily Mail in 2014 after the show ended.
Well, it seems like some problems just can't be fixed.
In a 2017 interview with The New York Daily News, Gordon stated that he ended the hit series after seven seasons because he was facing a lot of backlash after restaurants he fixed kept closing.
He explained, "I woke up one morning and I thought 'f--k it, I'm done.'"