Last Restaurant Standing

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Last Restaurant Standing TV Poster Image
Business competition is honest, but lacks flavor.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series focuses more on successfully running a restaurant as a business than on cooking good food. The contestants are competitive but usually polite, though they bicker considerably when under pressure. The couples consist of husbands and wives, mothers, siblings, and friends and colleagues.

Violence

Bickering between contestants and with the judges. Occasional arguments between the contestants and clients.

Sex

One couple offers to hire strippers or belly dancers to perform at a specific function.

Language

Words include "damn" and "hell." Watch for stronger language in later episodes.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, champagne, beer, and mixed drinks are served and consumed during meals.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this British reality competition series focuses more on the business side of restaurants than the food. While usually polite (especially according to American standards) when under pressure, the contestants bicker among themselves, with their competitors, and at times with the judges, which sometimes leads to insults and tears. Language includes words like "damn" and "hell," with the potential for some stronger terms in stressful circumstances. Alcoholic beverages are served and consumed during meals.

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What's the story?

LAST RESTAURANT STANDING is a British reality show in which nine couples compete for the chance to open their own restaurant with the backing of world-renowned chef Raymond Blanc. Over 14 weeks, the hopeful pairs -- who range from spouses to friends to colleagues -- must each open and successfully run an upscale eatery under the watchful eyes of restaurant inspectors hand picked by Blanc. Each week the novice proprietors of the three lowest-ranked restaurants compete in a challenge designed to help them regain their restaurants' reputation. The one that fails to impress gets shut down, while the others struggle to stay open and be the last one standing.

Is it any good?

The series serves up a contrived but honest glimpse into the kind of detailed work that goes into a business where money, commitment, and, above all, reputation is everything. As a result, it lacks some spice -- watching the inexperienced couples struggle over the mundane work necessary to keep their eating establishments afloat isn't exactly edge-of-your-seat TV. And the judges' table isn't that exciting, either, as Blanc's comments about the contestants' restaurateur skills come off sounding more preachy than helpful. Even the moments of higher emotion -- when the frustrated pairs lose their cool with clients, bicker with each other, or shed tears of frustration -- feel more awkward than dishy.

Though under seasoned, Last Restaurant Standing illustrates how it takes more than just being a good cook or enjoying good food to run a profitable restaurant. It may not have a lot to offer young kids, but teens and adults interested in food or the restaurant biz may like the actual reality on this reality show's menu.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of food-related TV shows. Why are they so popular? Do you think these shows will inspire people to cook more? Open their own restaurants? Families can also talk about the restaurant business. Do you think that starting a restaurant in real life is 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?

TV details

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