Restaurant Startup

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  • 2014
  • 3 Seasons
  • 6.4  (160)

Restaurant Startup is a reality television show that aired on CNBC from 2014-2016. The show follows two investors, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and chef and television personality Tim Love, as they search for the next big restaurant concept to invest in. Each episode features two teams of aspiring restaurant owners who pitch their ideas to Bastianich and Love, with the hope of securing the necessary funds to launch their dream establishment.

The show's format sees the two teams given 36 hours to set up a pop-up version of their restaurant concept, with a budget of $7,500. During this time, they must create a menu, hire staff, and decorate the space to showcase their unique brand and culinary vision. At the end of the 36 hours, the two teams present their concepts to a group of diners, who provide feedback on the food, service, and overall atmosphere.

After the pop-up event, the teams meet with Bastianich and Love to discuss their performance and answer any questions about their concept. The investors then decide whether or not to offer funding, usually in the form of a partnership deal that gives them a percentage stake in the restaurant. If both investors are interested, the teams must decide which investor to partner with based on the terms of the deal.

One of the unique aspects of Restaurant Startup is the fact that the investors frequently disagree on which concepts are worth investing in. Bastianich, who has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, tends to focus on the financial side of things, looking for concepts that are scalable and have the potential to generate significant revenue. Love, on the other hand, is more interested in the food itself, and is willing to take risks on concepts that may not have as much financial potential but showcase innovative and creative approaches to cuisine.

This tension between the investors allows for plenty of drama and suspense as the teams anxiously await feedback on their concepts. It also provides viewers with a valuable glimpse into the world of restaurant investment and the factors that go into making these high-stakes decisions.

Throughout its three seasons, Restaurant Startup showcased a wide variety of restaurant concepts, from farm-to-table bistros to soda shops to upscale seafood restaurants. The show also provided valuable insights into the challenges of launching a restaurant, from finding the right location to hiring and training staff to creating a profitable business model.

In addition to Bastianich and Love, the show featured a rotating cast of guest judges, including successful restaurateurs, food critics, and investors. These experts provided valuable feedback and advice to the aspiring restaurant owners, helping them refine their concepts and improve their chances of securing funding.

Overall, Restaurant Startup was a compelling and informative show that provided valuable insights into the world of restaurant investment and entrepreneurship. While it only ran for three seasons, it left a lasting impression on viewers and will be remembered as an important contribution to the world of reality television.

Restaurant Startup is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (27 episodes). The series first aired on July 8, 2014.

Restaurant Startup
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Too Hot to Handle
9. Too Hot to Handle
March 2, 2016
Two Miami chefs known for both their food and their fiery personalities vie for investment help.
Act Now, Before It's Too Late!
8. Act Now, Before It's Too Late!
February 24, 2016
Two teams that have found their dream location need money from the investors to sign their lease.
Cutting the Apron Strings
7. Cutting the Apron Strings
February 17, 2016
Chefs looking to make a name with a taste of Spain, and two friends trying to capitalize on an up-and-coming Manhattan neighborhood try to cash in with the investors.
Late-night Munchies
6. Late-night Munchies
February 10, 2016
Two teams with late-night snacks, one with a spin on the traditional eggroll and one with an old family rice ball recipe, look to impress the investors.
A Place in the Sun
5. A Place in the Sun
February 3, 2016
Replacing Tim Love in this episode, Elizabeth Blau joins Joe Bastianich. One restaurant is looking for more profit from opening a rooftop bar, and two brothers want to open a fourth location featuring small plates.
Fast, Cheap, and Out of the Box
4. Fast, Cheap, and Out of the Box
January 27, 2016
Replacing Joe Bastianich for this episode, Elizabeth Blau joins Tim Love to judge two teams pitching their different visions for fast-casual restaurants that are offshoots of pre-existing establishment and that they believe can become franchise empires.
From the Ashes
3. From the Ashes
January 20, 2016
An owner who lost everything in his divorce, including a restaurant, and an owner buried in debt from a hemp-centric restaurant try to get money from the investors.
A Star Is Born
2. A Star Is Born
January 13, 2016
One team has created an interactive culinary experience, and a Michelin-star chef is staking his comeback on truffles.
Raising The Stakes
1. Raising The Stakes
January 6, 2016
Looking to give “the stuffy steakhouse a casual makeover,” Joe Bastianich and Tim Love begin season three being pitched business plans for two different steakhouses.
Where to Watch Restaurant Startup
Restaurant Startup is available for streaming on the CNBC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Restaurant Startup on demand at and Peacock.
  • Premiere Date
    July 8, 2014
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (160)