In the show Raymond Blanc puts nine couples through their paces to see if they have what it takes to run their own restaurant. More than 1,000 new restaurants open every year in Britain; unfortunately, approximately 50% close within two years.
The Restaurant features couples, some of whom have little or no experience other than cooking at home and throwing dinner parties, but whose dream is to run their own eatery. They have to create their perfect restaurant and then open the doors to the paying public. Their first crucial decision – who will take on the kitchen and who is best equipped to run the front of house?
It's a dream that many couples have entertained. Secretly perhaps we all think we could run a restaurant. It's so simple. Lots of us can cook. We have all been to restaurants. We all think we know what people like to eat. If only we had the money and the opportunity. For one couple this programme will realise that dream.
During the eight-week series every decision, every mistake the couples make, every argument they have, will be caught on camera. They are working and living together 24-hours a day, under enormous pressure. Each of the nine couples takes over an empty restaurant, makes it their own and will open their doors to the paying public.
Every week each restaurant is visited by Raymond's panel of "inspectors" – restaurant industry experts Lee Cash, Sarah Willingham and John Lederer. Raymond will then select the three restaurants he judges to be the worst performing and they will be given a tough specific challenge. They must prove in this challenge that they are good enough to stay open.
Each week, one of the restaurants will be eliminated from the competition by Raymond, acting as judge and advised by his panel. The restaurant that fails the challenge will have its doors shut. Raymond's decision is the one that counts. By the end of the series just one couple and one restaurant will be left.
The winning couple will be given the opportunity to set up a brand new restaurant, financially backed and personally supported by Raymond Blanc.