Inviting a camera crew into the kitchen after the Black Summer wildfires and the ‘one-two punch’ of COVID-19 may seem crazy, but Bateman’s Bay business owner Andrew Johns thought twice .
His restaurant Ccooks at Corrigans will appear at Kitchen Nightmares Australia this season.
The show is hosted by award-winning chef and TV host Colin Fassnidge and based on the British show made famous by chef Gordon Ramsay.
Although the concept looks intimidating, Andrew said he had a clear goal in mind when he applied for the spot on the show.
“We had some menu and supply challenges that we would have liked to have had Colin guide,” said Andrew. “His experience is invaluable.
“After the fires and COVID, we have noticed that many of our staff have lost their passion for cooking and hospitality, their motivation has decreased and our head chef has lost confidence.
“It really worried me how I could help them fall in love again. I hope the show will boost everyone and that our chef will understand how important he is to the company.” I hoped that it would be useful for
“Thirdly, the restaurant has never been in the red, but it was operating at a minimal profit. It is.”
Andrew said he fell in love with hospitality around the age of six.
When his parents hosted dinner parties, Andrew loved nothing more than talking to guests, clearing plates, and restocking food.
“All I wanted was to be around people, and I’ve always been motivated by that,” he said.
After getting a job at McDonald’s at age 15, he earned a degree in hotel management and ran a cafe group in Sydney.
He is also a qualified cook and has 23 years of experience in the industry, owning and operating various hospitality businesses.
Ccooks at Corrigans is located inside the Corrigans Cove Resort managed by Andrew. He has a clear vision for his business.
“We want to offer a five-star dining experience with good food and excellent service in a casual atmosphere at prices that are acceptable to 80% of the population,” he said. rice field.
“Most of our market comes from the ACT, but Victoria and wider NSW are getting bigger by the day, but with resorts, families and businesses are our biggest focus.”
Andrew is very optimistic about the business and more introspective when talking about the last two years. Since 2019, during the 2020 wildfires, Andrew has opened doors and provided shelter to displaced people and trapped tourists.
Batemans Bay was often shut off from the outside world during fires. Access to electricity, water, internet, food and gasoline was limited.
Many staff were directly affected.
“None of us had ever experienced anything like that,” he said. “The psychological impact on a lot of people was huge.
“Then COVID came along and it was a one-on-two punch situation. You get hit once, the second punch kills you.
“It put us in a very challenging and unknown situation from which we had to find our way out.
“We feel optimistic that we have done a good job, but during that period, staff retention was a problem. Motivation was very low.”
After years of nightmares, when the opportunity arose to attend Kitchen Nightmares, Andrew wondered why not.
“I think you can find some kind of nightmare when you walk into any business in Australia,” he laughs. Honestly, I think everyone thinks so, but I was thinking of the name in terms of marketing.
“In my opinion, the word ‘nightmare’ is about getting people involved in these struggling restaurants across Australia.
“I wanted to bet on it and see if there was a positive outcome.”
So far, the bet seems to have paid off.
Andrew said restaurant staff are excited to host a watch party when the episode airs later this month. This is a big takeaway from Goal 2 that helps your staff fall in love with hospitality all over again.
“We can watch it together, share what we learn, laugh, report and have fun,” he said. So we can put what we learn into action.”
Kitchen Nightmare will premiere on Channels 7 and 7plus on Wednesday, October 12th.