Bobby Flay's looking for the 'Next Great Restaurant'
February 10th, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Bobby Flay's looking for the 'Next Great Restaurant'

Celebrity chef and restaurant owner Bobby Flay believes that just about every American has one thing in common: an idea for a great restaurant.

"The restaurant business is about the people who have the drive to make their eateries work," Flay says. "Anyone can make a good pitch, but do they have the personality and drive to make it work and grow?"

That's the concept of "America's Next Great Restaurant," a reality competition show premiering March 6 on NBC. Each week, Flay and three other judges - Chipotle founder Steve Ells and chefs Curtis Stone and Lorena Garcia - will mentor contestants who each have their own restaurant concepts. The winner will see their concept come to life with a three-restaurant chain financially backed by the four judges.

"We're not just judges, we're investors," Ells says. "We have a strong interest in making sure that the person who wins this will be successful. They're not just winning a three-restaurant chain, but the opportunity to grow that chain and make it more valuable."

Flay says contestants will have to show more than just a great concept to win.

"We challenge the contestants on what it takes to run a successful restaurant. You'll see cooking challenges, but you might also see them tested on menu creation, uniform development and finding the right slogan. These are real-life issues when it comes to opening a restaurant."

Adds Ells, "The challenges help us understand the character of the contestants. We want to determine how passionate they are about the restaurant business."

Both men say that it takes a special person to compete on this show. "If you just want to be on TV, you're out," Flay warns. "A successful contestant is one that's driven to spend the rest of their career in the restaurant business."

Flay, whose busy schedule includes running 11 restaurants in the U.S. and the Bahamas as well as his Food Network shows, saw "America's Next Great Restaurant" as a chance to give back.

"I've spent my entire life in the restaurant business," he says. "I dropped out of high school, went to work in a restaurant and I've been in the business ever since. I feel like I'm giving back for all I've done. I want to pass down what I've learned."

Filed under: television

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Brooke

    Bobby Flay,
    I am wanting to open a BBQ restaurant in McDonough Ga. I have really no experience in this business and I need help finding a place and capital. Is that what you do? Can you help me?

    July 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Reuben Laws

    I think my restaurant would have a shot. Please, check it out and write to me.

    October 31, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SoccerTime

    Добрый день
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    На портале вы сможете увидеть футбольные новости, информацию о стадионах и игроках.

    October 29, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Abulfulsescup

    Мы работаем напрямую с импортерами парфюмерии в Россию, минуя перекупщиков. Это является гарантией реализации без наценок и каких-либо процентов.

    Лицензионная парфюмерия производства ОАЭ – это имитация оригинальной селективной парфюмерии и духов.Настоящая лицензионная парфюмерия имеет хорошее внешнее общность и практически идентичный аромат оригинальной парфюмерии, содержит натуральные ОРИГИНАЛЬНЫЕ масла. Сообразно стойкости аромата она не уступает оригинальной парфюмерии.
    – Документы на товар;
    – Низкий % брака (принимаем возврат);
    – Конструкция расположен в Москве, работаем с регионами РФ;
    – Вероятно работать по договору и отсрочке платежа;
    – Отдельный подход к каждому клиенту (скидки оптовикам).
    Как начинать особенный парфюмерный бизнес?

    September 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angelic Lawrence

    I think that the judge really messed up the winner concept. The reason for him getting on his show was the Fried Chicken and waffles. Now it's not on the menu. the problem to me is that they tried to make it like Chipotle and not a soul food restaurant. The only thing soulful is the name.

    May 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Trish Koodrich

    Dear Bobby,

    I have America's Next Great Restaurant already Picc-A-Deli Cafe & catering company. When you walk into our cafe you feel like you have crossed the Atlantic and stepped into a cafe in London. From the design to the incredible menu of fresh made soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and more with both an American and International flair. My husband and I started this concept 9 years ago with no professional training and now how have 2 going on 3 locations. we are constantly asked is this a chain, because of the look and concept. So please, please, please, give me a chance to prove to you and your partners that this is a concept that will not only be accepted in America but world-wide. Check out our website Thank you Trish Koodrich

    April 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shirley Vogt

    Love your show. Please, the music is just too loud and sometimes drowns out the conversations. Way too loud .... really!!

    April 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Megan Krache

    Dear Bobby/CNBC,
    I run my own successful mobile food vending business and I am currently trying to turn it into the type of restaurant the investors area seeking. I have a 40 page business plan and already have put my self out there and scene first hand what customers want. The name of my company is Bad Dog's Bone Yard. We may be appearing on Cake Boss and you will get to see what we do. My website is I have a marketing/PR degree from Penn State and I am currently working on getting my real estate license. My fiancee is a chef and has worked in restaurants all of his life. Together we came up with a great concept that will be very successful if we can get a hold of the capital to make it happen. Someone please email Megan at for more information.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. olafemi

    Hi Bobby, Everyone has such good ideals.I'll share a few of the compliments about my product... "if I don't get another I'll die!!!" ..".I love these things they're tastefully addictive." ..." they're good (pause another bite, chew , swallow, pause) exceptionlally good!" and one of my favorites is the 8yr old girl that said "I love ribs and these are better than ribs!" I hope to meet and compete with some of you the very next go round of The Next Great American Restaurant ! Keep stirring up goodies for America I love ya! PS Bobby I've watch you on Iron Chef, Throw Down etc I Know you will love my product!

    March 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Suzanne Brennan

    Bobby, my family has been operating one of these such eateries for the last 50 years. Our products have been featured in newspapers and magazine, as well as road food books. Last year our restaraunt was featured on "The View" when Marc Summers did a show about america's favorite dogs. Is there any way to still be involved with the show? It would be something that I know would make my grandparents proud. Please forward me any details if possible.

    March 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joseph Richardson

    Bobby are you still excepting ideas and if so how do i go about it.
    thank you

    March 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Raymond Pena

    Bobby, I have a great concept that is working. I just need the right people to show the world. I will give you my web and take a look. Hope to hear from you.

    March 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mrs. McLeod

    Hi Booby,
    I heard this morining on Y-100 with Elvis Duran. I understand that you are looking for a great idea for a resturant, and boy do I have one. How can I share my great idea with you? Just remember the word "Irie" where everybody is always feeling good. Please contact me and let me know how i can go into details with you. Thank you in advance!!!

    March 3, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ms Mellee

    I would love to be on this show. I have a really unique idea for a restaurant that will give new meaning to "The American Way" and being able to get involved would be amazing. How do I apply? Is the contest still open? Will someone please let me know about rules and regulations? Thank you so very much.

    February 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MJ Barnes

    I must be on this show! Anyone know the rules? I see the schedule of States but no rules and or regulations.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  16. GayNation

    Finally. A show bi G A Y people for G A Y people.

    February 11, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  17. jules

    Have they already picked the folks for this show?

    February 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  18. 2 star eats

    Bobby Flay is a good,he probably shouldn't be subjected to the marquee blog.

    February 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |

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