A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this restaurant challenge series is pretty mild overall but does include some sexually suggestive potential restaurant titles and some sarcastic exchanges (including occasional racist and sexist remarks) between contestants. Words like "hell" are audible, while other curses are bleeped, with speakers' mouths blurred. Logos like LG and Analon are prominently featured, and the Chipotle franchise is regularly discussed. Some teens may find the show interesting, but it probably won't appeal to most kids.
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What's the story?
AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT focuses on a group of potential restaurateurs attempting to whet the culinary and entrepreneurial appetites of potential investors in hopes of opening up their own casual restaurant chain. Twenty-one hopefuls attempt to impress a panel of would-be backers -- including Iron Chef America’s Bobby Flay, Take Home Chef’s Curtis Stone, executive chef Lorena Garcia, and Chipotle Restaurant founder Steve Ells -- with their restaurant concepts. Competitors are mentored and judged by the investors while participating in a variety of business and cooking challenges. Those who give unsavory performances are sent home, while the winner gets the chance to open a restaurant chain headed by Flay in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York City that will be based on her/his concept.
Is it any good?
The series offers a realistic view of what goes into developing and running a successful restaurant franchise, including having a passion for a concept, possessing a strong business acumen, and having enough ambition to take some big risks. It also reminds viewers of how easily a restaurant, when not well conceptualized, can fail.
Most of the show’s drama comes from the actual competition, but occasionally contestants dish out snarky (and occasionally offensive) comments to one another. Resistance to the chefs’ advice also stirs up some mild commotion. But overall, the show serves up an interesting and mildly entertaining reality competition.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it takes to start a successful restaurant chain. What are the steps that you have to take to go from a concept to actually opening a restaurant? What kind of skills do you need to establish a successful eatery? Do you need to be a chef in order to do it?
Talk about competition. What kinds of competitors do you see in this show? How do the show's producers play up the competitive aspects? Is competition good, bad, or something else?