The televised version of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen may be doing well in the ratings, primarily due to American Idol's lead, but The Herald reports that the infamous chef's network of restaurants may not be so lucky.
Ramsay, 42, is said to have bitten more than he could chew as more than half of his restaurants are reportedly either being closed or sold. More than 10 of his 20 restaurants in the US have closed, in addition to the 12 of the 22 in the UK.
To be fair to the foul-mouthed chef, Hell's Kitchen reeled in reasonable viewership on its last episode, second only to perennial ratings leader CSI. Hell's Kitchen had a better showing than NBC's 30 Rock, and reruns of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, and The CW's Supernatural.
NBC Los Angeles reports that Ramsay recently sold his sinking Hollywood flagship less than a year after it opened. According to a source, diners have been sparse, most of them visiting to get a peek at the infamous chef.
People would come in and ask for him and it was embarrassing to have to tell them he wasn't here, said a source, adding that most of the time, the restaurant staff outnumbered the customers.
With food prices increasing and customer counts decreasing in record numbers over the past several months, we were put in the unenviable position of cutting our standards below which we were comfortable, or else ceasing operations altogether, says John Ittenbach, owner of the restaurant featured in the second series of the Fox show.