Flip That Restaurant

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Flip That Restaurant TV Poster Image
Business-focused spin-off has some tense moments.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

While the series shows the hard work that goes into the restaurant-flipping process, much of the discussion is focused on profit. Restaurant flippers are male and female; many of the construction teams at the sites are Latino.


There's some yelling, screaming, and arguing when things go wrong.


Audible language includes "damn" stronger words -- like "bulls--t" and "f--k" -- are bleeped out.


Visible product brands include Silk soy milk, Barolo wine, Mr. Expresso, and Peerless Coffee & Tea. Other specific products are also discussed, like Spudwear eating utensils. Some restaurant owners sell/promote their own cookbooks.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wines are tasted for menus; cocktails are mixed and tested. Opening nights feature patrons sipping alcoholic beverages.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality spin-off -- which offers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into flipping a restaurant -- isn't quite as mild as parent series Flip That House. The show focuses more on the high pressure associated with opening a restaurant than on the actual construction. Frustrated flippers are sometimes shown yelling and screaming at laborers, designers, and others working to complete the renovation on time. Some of these moments lead to cursing (words like "bulls--t" and "f--k" are bleeped out). The show is somewhat entertaining, but kids probably won't find it particularly exciting unless they're interested in construction or cooking.

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What's the story?

FLIP THAT RESTAURANT follows hopeful restaurateurs after they purchase old or failed restaurants in hopes of turning them into a profitable business. Working with investors, designers, and restaurant producers, the entrepreneurs update kitchens, improve the décor, and create a menu that will entice people's taste buds. Perhaps the biggest challenge? After the flip is over, the proud new owners have to make sure that customers keep coming through their refinished doors.

Is it any good?

This Flip That House spin-off highlights some of the real challenges associated with any property flip -- like dealing with contract laborers, bad weather, and shipment delays. But unlike people who flip houses, restaurant owners must also make sure that their kitchens meet city codes, that they obtain appropriate business licenses, and that anxious investors are satisfied after they've sunk money into a high-risk venture. Also unlike buying and selling a home, restaurant owners continue to feel the pressure of staying open and turning a profit in a business where few succeed and reputation is everything.

Not surprisingly, challenges like endless and costly permit delays, union labor issues, and budget-busting construction mistakes lead to some yelling, screaming, and cursing as restaurant owners go from being excited about their venture to experiencing all-out panic when things go wrong. The cursing is bleeped, and many of the problems are solved, but these tense moments aren't ideal for young viewers. Still, for those who are interested and/or mature enough to handle it, the series does offer an honest, mildly entertaining look at what goes into opening a restaurant.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to own a restaurant. Do you think it's as challenging as it seems on shows like this one? What do you have to consider besides what food to serve? What skills do you need to succeed in this business? Families can also discuss food and food-related shows. Do you think shows like this encourage or discourage people from going into the food industry? What's the appeal of watching people deal with the kind of challenges faced in this series?

TV details

  • Premiere date: March 8, 2008
  • Cast: Cam Clarke
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: September 19, 2019

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