CNBC’s Restaurant Startup brings true reality to the viewer

Posted on January 14, 2015


Antonia Lofaso, Tim Love, and Joe Bastianich

Antonia Lofaso, Tim Love, and Joe Bastianich

“Restaurant Startup” Season Two premieres January 13 on CNBC at 10 pm ET/PT and was shot on a set that by Hollywood standards resembled the set of a low budget film. It’s not just that reality TV costs less to produce than scripted comedies and dramas but “Restaurant Startup” focuses on the real life drama of launching a restaurant.

And the set stayed true to the show’s brand. It was shot in a shell of a space along Melrose Avenue that’s narrow and reminded me of a college roommate’s architectural project. He had to design an eatery modeled after a similarly-styled restaurant in Washington, D.C.

I interviewed hosts Joe Bastianich and Tim Love, along with chef consultant Antonia Lofaso, and wrote about it in a separate article titled Restaurant Startup blends taste and investment potential for season 2.

Exterior signage was changed each week as were the colors and décor in the dining room.

Picking up the personalities of Joe, Tim, and Antonia was easy. They come across as who they are on the show and each one carries his or her own intense persona.

Sitting in the makeshift media room, Tim came across as a laid-back Texan and discussed the challenges of starting a restaurant in today’s regulatory climate. I’ll be writing up his interview for an article on my other site, Running a Small

Joe makes eye contact and doesn’t shift his gaze. He has a no-nonsense approach needed for operating his 40 restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Antonia is the show’s consultant for this season and talked about having empathy for the contestants.

One of the realities of this reality TV show is the money. Joe and Tim write checks of $250,000 or more for the concepts they think will make a profit and become successful. Of those that get checks, 1 in 5 will really make it.

It was an eye-opening experience to the harsh realities ad the excitement of starting up a restaurant.

Read my article on my LA Business News Examiner page and the article on Restaurant Startup.