Mondays, on Channel 5
The Restaurant Inspector is a documentary series where a restauranteur goes undercover to sample a venue, food and service before revealing his identity and offering advice.
Fernando Peire offers advice to a couple whose decade-old Italian restaurant has been struggling for the past three years. In the early days, diners came from far and wide, but now the 100-seat south London venue is proving difficult to fill. As the Ivy boss observes, the chairs are uncomfortable, the salmon pink decor is gaudy and the menu is too complicated - to say nothing of the food itself, which leaves a lot to be desired. But while one of the owners is inspired by Fernando's ideas, the other proves resistant to change. Last in the series.
Alexandra's, a 23-year-old Italian family business in Ramsgate - so he checks it out on the internet. The results are not encouraging. Travelling incognito to Ramsgate, Fernando is pleasantly surprised. A new fast rail link is bringing in London custom and the seaside town is picturesque. Owned by mum Maria and son John, the restaurant in need of rescue has a harbourside location with a terrific view. But inside is a very different scene. As the family blames the recession for their lack of customers, Fernando takes Maria around Ramsgate, talking to other restaurateurs and customers. He also makes the family imagine they are new customers: what would they change about their restaurant? Then comes his bombshell: a restaurant relaunch in two weeks' time. The clock is ticking, so Fernando decides the first thing he must tackle is all the memorabilia and clutter, some of which is 25 years old. As the relaunch night approaches, Fernando talks to influential local hoteliers and restaurant critics, and redoubles his efforts to convince Maria to put the customers first. Will he ever persuade her to get rid of her beloved salad bar? Will the 50 VIP guests like the new-look restaurant? Will Luciano's new menu be a success? Will he be able to cope with the onrush of customers? And, most important of all, will the customers be impressed?