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FLORENCE: Food courts bring in high traffic and big sales,
and owning a food-court restaurant
could make you a multimillionaire.
But the restaurant industry can be ruthless.
[Bleep] I burnt this.
Only got a few seconds!
You guys are working slow today.
I'm Tyler Florence, and I've been
in the restaurant business for over 25 years.
My job each week is to help two teams
of aspiring food-court entrepreneurs
get one step closer to their dream.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
[ Crowd cheers ]
FLORENCE: Over the next three days,
our entrepreneurs will prove to me
that they have a solid concept
along with a concrete marketing plan.
But, ultimately, the winner will be determined by
who brings in the most cash.
I'm just gonna cook from the heart right now.
Opening a restaurant is no easy task.
Bottom bacon is burnt. We're screwed.
[ Pan clatters ]
FLORENCE: But each week, one team will win
the opportunity of a lifetime...
I don't want to screw up.
...and own their very own food-court restaurant.
Come to me, masses. Let me feed you.
Welcome to "Food Court Wars."
-- Captions by VITAC --
Closed Captions provided by Scripps Networks, LLC.
This week, we're at the Citadel Mall
in Charleston, South Carolina, nicknamed the "Holy City"
because of its numerous church steeples.
This charming city loves its lowcountry cooking.
Let's meet our two teams.
My name is Topher Pecora. I'm 24 years old.
Okay. How are you?
My name is Kacie. I'm Topher's fiancée.
It's not our wedding day.
Topher and I, we met at college at Charleston three years ago
and have been together ever since.
And we got engaged this past October.
We're planning to get married December 7th of this year.
And so, we're very excited to start our lives together.
Whatcha doing, Dad? Eggplant?
My family's always been involved in the restaurant business.
My grandfather was a baker, my uncle's a baker,
and my father's a baker.
All right, next, chicken parms.
My dad's restaurant is primarily an Italian bakery and deli.
It's always been my dream to own my own restaurant,
break away from my father's,
and just keep the family tradition going.
We need some more chips, too.
We're down to just the little bags.
KACIE: Topher and I were together living in Charleston,
but he really knew
that he wanted to open a restaurant of his own,
so we both decided to move to Myrtle Beach
so we could get the training in Topher's father's restaurant
that we knew we needed.
All right. And there's your pizza.
TOPHER: Kacie obviously didn't want to leave Charleston,
which is her home, so I made a promise to her
that we could just go back to Myrtle Beach for one year
while I have a job in Myrtle Beach
and I'm secure in that job.
It's now over a year,
and Kacie's been pressuring me to get back.
And I did make her the promise.
You gonna let me put this one in?
KACIE: Topher and I are starting our life together,
and we really want to make sure that our start is in Charleston,
where my home is.
That way, we can be close to my family and friends
and where I grew up.
I'm extremely close with my family,
and it's very important to me
to have our life together with Topher in my hometown.
Now alternate your fists
and just pulling them apart from each other.
TOPHER: Kacie and I both are recent college graduates.
We both have a bunch of student loans.
The bills are gonna start piling up here.
[ Both laugh ]
KACIE: Money is just an issue at our age just starting out.
We are scared.
Finances are a huge thing.
We're trying so hard to go ahead and get on our feet.
Did good with that.
TOPHER: I could think of no better way to fund our dreams
than to have our own place,
have our own restaurant in Charleston.
I want to prove it to my family. I want to prove it to myself,
and I want to prove it to Kacie that I can provide,
and we can, you know, have a great life together.
[ Chuckling ] No, no. You slice yours.
[ Both laugh ]
I wanted the good one. [ Laughs ]
Can I get a beef cheeseburger?
Absolutely. One cheeseburger.
And I'm Monique.
And we own Charleston Gourmet Burger Company.
All right. Burgers on the grill.
We met around 10 years ago. No.
We met 16 years ago.
Yes, we met 16 years ago,
and we've been married for 10 years.
Our burgers have our burger marinade in the meat already,
and then, we grill it to give it flavor
so that your burger tastes awesome when you get it.
The marinade is what makes our burgers so special.
We just feel that a burger should be like a fine steak.
With the Charleston Gourmet Burger Company
is to have the flavor in the meat itself.
On a daily basis, we serve our burgers
at farmer's markets in the Charleston area.
It's better than my mom's. [ Gasps ]
[ Laughs ]
Oh, we're on our way.
I was a paramedic
in the New York City Fire Department for 25 years.
The morning of September 11, 2001,
I was sent down to the World Trade Center.
Hundreds of my co-workers that went down with me
in that initial wave, they didn't come out.
Hamburger for our friend.
September 11th just changed my view on life
and made me re-evaluate everything.
I quit my job to go full force with this restaurant.
Everything about our company is local from our branding,
our bottling, and our ingredients.
It was a risk that had to be taken
that changed the legacy of my family for generations to come.
MONIQUE: We have four kids,
two college, and two grade-school tuitions.
Having this restaurant would mean
complete financial security for us.
CHEVALO: Ashley, did you help make the burgers?
I made that one.
CHEVALO: The hard work that we do is really all for them
to make sure that they have a great life
and give them opportunity.
GIRL: After I'm done with all my food,
I'm gonna get up and do my "yummy" dance.
[ Laughter ]
KACIE: We walk into the Citadel mall feeling super nervous.
We need to fight like our future depends on it,
and our future really does depend on this.
MONIQUE: Chevalo quit his job so that we can live our dream.
All of our eggs are in this one basket.
We need this restaurant.
Welcome to Citadel Mall in Charleston, South Carolina.
Charleston Gourmet Burger Company.
Holy City Pizzeria.
One of you will be opening up your restaurant
right here in this very food court.
Over the next three days,
we'll first test your restaurant concept.
Then, on day two, work on your marketing.
Day three is opening day.
The team that makes the most money on opening day
wins their space rent-free for one year.
Today, you will be cooking your signature dish
for one important diner.
This entrepreneur started out just like you.
And now she has brought in
over $476 million in system-wide sales.
Teams, it is my pleasure to introduce you
to the queen of the food court,
Anne Beiler from Auntie Anne's Pretzels.
CHEVALO: [ Laughs ]
How are you? Good to see you.
Fantastic. Anne, meet our teams.
Hi, there. I'm "Auntie" Anne,
founder of Auntie Anne's soft pretzels,
and I'm so excited to be here today.
I started Auntie Anne's at a farmer's market.
Today, we're around the world in over 1,300 locations,
so good luck to you.
Look forward to trying your product.
The winner will get one-on-one time with Anne,
and I can't tell you how valuable this is.
You've got 45 minutes
to make the best impression of your life.
Are you ready?
Let the food-court war begin. Let's go.
Come on, let's go.
Okay, Kace, what do you think?
Want to do, like, a personal, Broad Street White Pie
and then maybe, like, an antipasto salad?
One of the menu items that's gonna be featured
is the Broad Street White Pie.
The name is based on
one of the biggest streets in Charleston.
It's a pizza without sauce.
It's got sausage, ricotta cheese, and soppressata,
which is an Italian deli meat.
And then, for the side,
we're gonna do the antipasto salad.
It's got Italian meats and cheeses in it,
as well as olives, roasted red peppers,
sun dried tomatoes, and a pickled giardiniera.
Antipasto good, Topher?
Yeah, yeah. Everything tastes good.
We got to make the best gourmet cheeseburger
and the best chips for Anne, and it's got to be perfect.
Today, for Anne, we're gonna make our signature
Charleston Gourmet Cheeseburger
with our Charleston Gourmet burger marinade,
garlic, peppers, and some homemade chips on the side.
How's the marinade going there, Monique?
Our burger is flavored from the inside out.
It's not just a plain, boring, tasteless slab of meat
with a bunch of condiments piled on top.
Just mix the marinade. I'll deal with the potatoes.
KACIE: 23 minutes.
TOPHER: 23 minutes? All right.
Really got to get started on this dough.
I want to make sure that I put this pizza in
with about 15, 20 minutes left on the clock.
I don't want to throw it in right away
because I don't want to be serving Anne cold pizza.
Make sure Anne doesn't get a pit.
Yep, they're all out.
I'm gonna get the potatoes on ice so we can chill them.
They're all washed.
Hold -- They're all washed, but I need to slice them.
We are struggling on our time right now.
We haven't finished the potato chips.
We feel we are behind.
I'm making six burgers
just so we could choose the absolute best one.
KACIE: 20 minutes.
We're good. We're good.
I'm a little bit nervous that I waited too long
to put the pizza in the oven.
It's all right. We have plenty of time.
Just got to get it out.
I'm really worried if this pizza doesn't come out fast enough,
we're not gonna be able to serve anything to Anne.
TOPHER: The pizza falls to the floor.
Now I'm fuming.
I don't know how I'm gonna recover from this.
You need another pizza going?
This could sink us.
What do you need?
Can you go get that pizza peel that I dropped up there?
Cannot wait till Auntie Anne eats these.
She's gonna love it.
Those few minutes sitting with Auntie Anne,
to us, will be priceless.
MONIQUE: 13 minutes. I don't want to mess up.
No doubt. We will get it done in 13 minutes.
TOPHER: Now I'm going into panic mode.
I need to get another pizza on.
I don't know if I have enough time.
I'm hoping that I can get a pizza out quickly
and still make it look nice.
KACIE: It's all right. We have plenty of time.
I need to stay calm and still serve Anne a great product.
You want to put three slices of soppressata on that?
MONIQUE: I can't believe we almost forgot the cheese.
That's the most important part.
Put a slice on each of those.
I think I have a perfect burger for our Auntie Anne.
TOPHER: I'm feeling really good
'cause I think we got, like, a minute left on the clock,
and I'm just about to take out the pizza.
That looks awesome.
MONIQUE: These are so good. I have to let you taste one.
Do you want me to replace this cauliflower, or is this good?
TOPHER: I've made tons of pizzas in my life,
but there's a lot of pressure on this one single pizza.
I really want to win this advantage.
I think it looks good just like that.
All right, perfect. [ Laughs ]
CHEVALO: Hey, Monique, ready for the plate.
Our burger has to be perfect
because, I mean, she's Auntie Anne.
That's nice. It looks good.
Out of all the burgers that I have made,
this one burger is gonna be the most important.
Hi, there. I'm Anne.
This is our Charleston Gourmet cheeseburger.
We believe that the flavor of a burger
should start in the meat itself.
All right. All right.
So, what we do is we marinate the meat
with a lot of herbs and spices,
and that way, the flavor is in the meat.
Anne, thank you so much.
Okay. Thank you.
That was so nerve-racking, wasn't it?
It was. I'm glad it's over.
How are you?
Now, I know this is supposed to be,
It looks pretty plain to me.
I hope the flavor's amazing
because that's sort of the big thing
that it's so delicious on the inside
that you don't need anything on the outside.
Half of one of them wasn't done.
I hope she didn't get that one.
It's well-done to me.
I don't like a well-done burger.
It's perfect for me.
It does have a very distinct flavor.
I kind of think it tastes like meatloaf.
I think I'm gonna try the potato chip and see --
Yeah, good deal.
Love the potato chips.
Like the burgers and gonna like the chips.
The presentation is a little bland.
When I eat this burger for the very first time,
it has to grab me. It has to be like,
"Well, I'm gonna go back and get another burger."
Anne, these are fantastic notes.
I think the pizza's ready.
All right. Very good. Thank you.
All right. Thank you.
Welcome to Holy City Pizzeria.
Thank you. Hi.
So good to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
And I see that you prepared your very special pizza.
And what makes it so special?
Well, I wanted to do something not so easy.
Got no sauce -- It's a white pie with soppressata,
ricotta cheese, and sausage on it.
You're so welcome.
I feel like any time you try food,
it has to grab you immediately.
It doesn't look processed. That's for sure.
So, let me just --
You did really well. You handled yourself great.
There you go.
You have to try this.
So, there's no sauce on this. It's a white pie.
This is the first time we've been timed in a kitchen.
And I was so nervous, but we pulled it off.
Dough is a little too thick.
It's a tad dry,
and I would love to see something
really pop off the top of that.
It's a bit beige.
I think that's something they can tweak.
Let's hope they like it.
That's all that matters at this point.
Sounds like we have two solid concepts --
pizzas versus burgers.
Some things were great.
Some things need some improvement on.
And, you know, it's a tough decision, but I think --
You have an answer?
I think I have an answer.
All right, let's go grab the teams.
Great work, everybody.
So, here's the deal.
You had to cook your signature dish
for Anne Beiler of Auntie Anne's Pretzels.
Anne will be determining which team will get the advantage.
Anne, what did you think about Holy City Pizzeria?
ANNE: The pizza had great presentation.
It was appealing. It looked great.
When I had my first bite,
it really grabbed my taste buds.
The pizza itself was a little bit dry.
The crust could have had a little more flavor,
but it's a great pizza.
Anne, what did you think
about Charleston Gourmet Burger Company?
I feel like the burger had good taste.
The potato chips were well-executed.
But it was branded as a gourmet burger,
and I was expecting a little bit more.
It seemed more like a backyard-burger concept.
So, Anne, there's just one question left.
Who's gonna get one-on-one time with you?
The restaurant that I have chosen is...
So, Anne, there's just one question left.
Who's gonna get one-on-one time with you?
The restaurant that I have chosen is...
...the Holy City Pizzeria.
[ Laughs ] Thank you.
So, Kacie and Topher, congratulations.
You've won some one-on-one time with Anne.
She's a legend in the business,
and I want you to take this opportunity and use it wisely.
KACIE: Winning this advantage and having time
with the creator of Auntie Anne's is absolutely priceless.
All right, teams. Tomorrow, you'll be tested
on the second element of running a successful restaurant,
and that's marketing.
You need to let the people of Charleston
know that you're here.
You'll each plan a marketing event
that will attract customers to your restaurant on opening day.
Remember, the most profitable restaurant wins.
Tonight, you'll have some time to plan your marketing event,
set up your menu, and then,
I want to meet with each team individually
to offer some advice and some support and some thoughts.
Thank you so much. You guys get together.
And then, you guys can head back to the restaurant.
I'll see both teams later.
I've walked in your shoes,
and I remember the very first day that I opened up my store.
It was just a farmer's market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Just a simple product, the pretzel.
The things that I learned in business life
were critical to the success of Auntie Anne's pretzels.
TOPHER: I'm so excited to win this challenge
because there could be nothing more valuable
than learning from Anne herself.
I've always found that hearing personal experience
teaches me so much more than any cookbook will.
I call it the three P's.
We started a business with a purpose.
And I don't know what your purpose is.
Why do you want to be in business?
It's been a passion to do something you love in life.
And you wake up every day,
and you're enjoying what you're doing.
So, purpose is really important.
Your product has to be great.
Great purpose, great product.
And the third piece for me was great people.
You need people that have a great attitude.
So, great purpose, great product, great people.
You cannot be successful without those three components.
We loved speaking with Anne tonight
and learning about the three P's,
and we're definitely gonna try to incorporate that
into our marketing day tomorrow.
So, congratulations, guys.
Thank you so much, Anne.
And good luck.
It's been great speaking with you.
Thank you. It's been a great day.
Thank you, Anne.
And good luck to you tomorrow.
That was a lot.
It's crazy that she was in our shoes 25 years ago.
How you doing?
We're a little bummed.
How about "devastated"?
Why are you devastated?
Because we wanted to win, and we wanted to wow Auntie Anne.
Here's the deal.
Just because you lost the first one
doesn't mean you lose the whole thing, right?
Anne's big thought that it didn't feel gourmet,
it really kind of felt backyard --
Have you ever thought about
to not have it as a marinade
but have it as a burger sauce?
I want this sauce to be on the burger...
...not in the burger.
And I want to see the sauce thick like ketchup,
and I want to squeeze it on top of my burger.
You're about to open a burger restaurant
with the name "Gourmet."
So, now you have to deliver the gourmet experience.
Can we come up with a couple of flavor components
that makes you really think about the South?
Fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, fried shrimp.
Sauce is great. I'm gonna put this in my suitcase.
So, how was your meeting with Anne?
She gave us some tips that were simple
and that we can definitely execute.
Fantastic. I like your food.
I thought your food was really great.
I know it's always kind of difficult
to get used to a new pizza oven, right?
Yeah. It was a huge challenge.
You'll know this machine by the end of the weekend.
So, to me, like, you're kind of
stepping into a category that is universal.
There's so much competition in that particular category
that it's difficult to stand out,
so I want you to redefine pizza
in this particular category.
You start off with a pizza
that has a beautiful salad on top of it.
If someone's looking for that kind of thing, right?
And then, you could have the meat profile.
It has a vegetarian, mushroom profile.
TOPHER: I'm on board with Tyler's idea
about the salad on top of the pizza.
I just don't know how the customers are gonna receive it
and Charleston in particular.
So, I want to see every pizza bubbly, hot,
and delicious, freshly made.
I want you guys to do well, all right?
Thank you so much.
And I'll see you tomorrow.
We're gonna actually serve it.
We need a place in Charleston.
My sister said they're going to Movies on the Beach
So, I think we should go there, sell our burgers there.
We can bring our postcards, our banners.
MONIQUE: Our strong point is marketing our business.
We need this to be a success
because we lost our first challenge.
It has to be, like, a spectacle.
Tomorrow, we have to fight
like our life depends on it because it really does.
KACIE: So, what do you want to do
for the marketing day tomorrow?
We need a lot of people. We need families.
We need people that would actually go to a food court,
that would go to the mall regularly.
Maybe like a festival or a sporting event.
The Spoleto Festival is going on right now
in Marion Square.
I really think that's where we should go.
TOPHER: The Piccolo Spoleto Festival --
it's a 17-day art festival in Charleston.
What about, like, a volleyball or a soccer ball,
maybe with our logo on it?
Yeah, that would be cool.
Marketing day is probably the most crucial day
because that's how we're gonna get the people
to come in on opening day.
How about we try to get the kids involved,
maybe paint their own art.
And then, we want to do pizzas
that are good for the whole family.
Maybe just cheese, pepperoni for the kids.
And then, maybe like a margherita pizza for the adults.
Anything else you want to do?
A simple salad.
We can do our homemade Italian dressing for it.
I mean, he's turning a whole brand,
identity, everything we stand for upside-down.
I think he's trying to just help us make it better.
When he talked about
not putting the marinade in the meat itself --
That's our whole philosophy.
This is our day. This is our big day.
CHEVALO: I'm hesitant to change our burger,
but we need to take this burger to the next level.
Tyler said that the marinade should not be in the meat.
So, we are taking Tyler's advice,
and we're gonna offer the sauce as a side
so people can either dip
or they can pour it on top of their burger.
All right. So, you do those.
I do the potatoes.
And that's it.
At Movies on the Beach,
we're gonna serve our Charleston Gourmet Burger 2.0.
It's going to be a burger which is gonna be brisket
that's ground twice, grilled to perfection
with lettuce, tomato, pimento cheese,
and we are going to serve it as a slider.
MONIQUE: Pimento is a pepper.
People in Charleston love pimentos,
so we're gonna take some good old pimento cheese spread,
and we're gonna slap it on our gourmet burger.
I just want to get the pimento cheese made.
I'm a little concerned because I want this to be perfect.
CHEVALO: Can I do that?
'Cause we got to get these chips done.
All right. Just put it in those bowls?
I got it covered.
[ Laughs ]
TOPHER: Today is marketing day,
and we are really sticking to what Anne told us.
So, this is, like, our one shot to really spread the word
and get a good business going tomorrow.
KACIE: Unfortunately, we aren't going to have any pizza ovens
at our marketing event,
so we have to make everything ahead of time.
For our first pizza, we're just gonna cater to the kids more
with a traditional cheese pizza.
We're also gonna have a pepperoni pizza
and then, more for the adults, a margherita pizza.
And then, were giving our guests the option to do
the salad either on the side
or on top of the pizza as Tyler suggested yesterday.
It's risky putting salad on top of a pizza,
but we're just keeping our fingers crossed
and hoping it'll work out.
Tastes like it does at home.
Hopefully, it will start to get thicker.
Tyler said he wants this thick like ketchup.
Yeah, that's thick. That's thick.
Think that's good? Okay.
And it's gonna get thicker when it cools down.
All right, well, if you can finish this batch
Okay, packing up.
All right. I think that's it.
TOPHER: You ready to start serving?
Hopefully the weather will hold up.
Yeah, I hope so.
As we arrived at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival,
the first thing we do is set up our area for the kids.
I've got finger paint, soccer cones set up,
soccer balls, some Frisbees.
It's a hugely important day because we have to make sure
our customers return on the opening day
to buy our pizza from us.
What do you have?
KACIE: We've got a cheese, pepperoni,
and a margherita pizza.
And then, we also have a side salad,
and we're trying to get people today
to try the side salad
actually on top of the slice of pizza.
Let me give you dressing on top.
Nobody's gonna come here if it's raining.
If the weather doesn't cooperate with us,
I don't know what we're gonna do.
Let's set up and get the burgers on the grill
and get the smell going as quickly as possible.
And I think that will start bringing more people over.
We want to tell people about our new gourmet-burger sauce.
This will be the first look.
Look how thick it is. Is that thick like ketchup?
It's just what Tyler said.
That is real thick.
MONIQUE: We're finally starting to crank out food.
If nobody's there to eat it, we're screwed.
It is starting to clear up.
However, I don't see anybody out here.
TOPHER: That's a margherita. It's a white pie.
It's got fresh basil, fresh mozzarella.
I'd like to try that one.
The festival's going off really well.
We have the families playing, we have people eating the food,
and we're serving with a smile.
And just come by tomorrow between 3:00 and 7:00.
We'll have some fliers for you to pass out.
Yeah, here's some fliers right here.
You like it?
Everyone really seems to love this idea that Tyler had
about the salad on the pizza,
so we really have to consider doing that tomorrow
on opening day.
How are you, Tyler?
Good to see you.
Did you connect with people? Did you tell them,
"We're opening a restaurant tomorrow,"
make sure that 100% of the people
that walked out knew it?
Yeah, we tried to get everybody that walked by.
And people loved it?
They felt like they got a good product?
They loved the pizza.
All right, guys. Thanks.
What's up, guys? How are you?
Those are awesome slices of pizza.
Mom, how's the salad?
It is delicious.
What do you think about it as, like, a concept?
I think it's really a great idea.
You like the idea of putting a salad on top of pizza?
It's pretty cool, right?
And the only thing I'm gonna ask
is I'm gonna try to get you
to come to the Citadel Mall food court.
Here's some fliers.
Try to bring as many people as you can.
How are you? How was everything?
You'd think that the salad would, like, make it soggy
or something, but it doesn't.
It actually adds to the flavor of the pizza...
...which is really good.
Fantastic. All right.
Well, enjoy your pizza. Thanks so much, guys.
All right, let's pack up
some of these salads on top of the cuts.
Hey. What's up, guys? How you doing?
You guys both seem very relaxed and confident and chilled out,
but I don't think you know what's coming up tomorrow.
And I've seen teams kind of get to this level
with a sense of confidence and calm, but then blow it.
What if you don't win?
If we don't win, I'm coming back,
and I'm gonna start a family with her
as an unemployed guy without a job.
Or you can come back as a business owner.
TOPHER: I promised Kacie we'd get back to Charleston,
but I don't know if I can follow through with that promise
if I don't have a job to go back to.
Your life could be dramatically different tomorrow,
and I want you to fight like your future depends on it.
We're afraid to fail.
I mean, that's our motivation.
It's nerve-racking thinking that I'm gonna start my marriage off
unemployed and looking for a job.
So, we do need to bring our "A" game tomorrow.
I'll see you tomorrow. Good job.
KACIE: Thank you, Tyler.
[ Sighs ] It's a big day tomorrow.
All these sliders are going, and they are going fast.
I -- Yeah.
CHEVALO: People started coming down to the beach.
We finally have people at our event.
Love the sauce.
MONIQUE: Ah, thank you. You like the sauce?
It's a huge relief.
People don't hate the new burger, and they love it.
I think it's awesome.
The special sauce on it
really made it delicious.
MONIQUE: We're feeling good about our marketing event.
[ Thunder crashing ]
[ People shouting indistinctly ]
...the skies opened up.
I can't believe it.
We are getting rained out of our event.
CHEVALO: Come on in.
Come on in, everybody.
CHEVALO: This is gonna mess up our marketing event,
and everything we've worked for we're going to lose now.
Come on in there, guys.
It is over. We are done.
We have to think of a plan.
Hey, everybody, we can't take the rain anymore.
Everybody head to the lobby.
We're gonna bring as many burgers in there as we can.
Rain or shine, we are serving burgers.
Who wants a burger? Who wants a burger?
Now we have a very captive audience,
so I'm gonna take this opportunity
to tell everybody everything I can
about Charleston Gourmet Burger Company.
You have to come back tomorrow at the Citadel Mall
and be there so that we get our own restaurant.
FLORENCE: Hey. What's up, guys? How are you?
How you doing?
Did you guys make it all right out of the rain?
What did you like about them?
WOMAN: The sauce.
The sauce, right?
Did you guys get a chance to try the burgers?
What did you think about them?
I love them. I love the sauce.
Thanks so much for coming out today.
I appreciate it, all right?
How you doing?
All right. How's it going?
Good. How do you think it went?
When the first person took a bite of the burger,
and I just waited,
and they said, "Now, that's a gourmet burger."
You know, that was the kicker.
You've got a competitive, big-arena,
tasty burger now.
Having him say those words to us just made us feel good
and made us feel like we could really win this competition now.
Do you guys have another job for another income?
This is it. We don't have any other job.
This is it. This is how we pay our bills.
This is how we pay our kids' tuition.
This is everything.
So, you got to really think through
how to serve a few hundred people tomorrow.
This is your shot.
I'll see you tomorrow.
Thanks a lot.
I want to be a great example to my children,
so I want them to see
how hard we're working for this restaurant
and how hard we're working for them.
We're doing it for Brianna.
We're doing it for Shannon.
We're doing it for Ashley.
We're doing it for Amber.
MONIQUE: Over the past few days,
Amen Inspired Designs have been working
on transforming our space
into Charleston Gourmet Burger Company.
[ Chuckling ] Wow. This is it.
Finally, we have our restaurant.
The designer really did a great job in transforming our space
and really making it look like
Charleston Gourmet Burger Company.
We're used to cooking in the farmer's market,
but seeing our new space
makes me realize this restaurant really could be ours.
Very, very happy.
TOPHER: There it is, our new restaurant.
And it looks great, better than anything I could imagine.
I love this. The pictures are great.
It's, like, really old Charleston.
Our name is finally on the restaurant.
I'm thrilled to break away from my father's restaurant.
it looks like something of our own.
It's ours. It's so exciting.
In a couple hours,
this food court is gonna be filled with people.
It's gonna be up to you
to get those people into your restaurant
and give them a great product and a great experience.
The team that makes the most money will walk away
with a restaurant rent-free for one year.
Teams, it's about to get real.
Good luck to both of you.
Let the food-court wars begin. Let's do it.
Wash our hands.
Our opening-day menu is our pimento burger.
We have our gourmet turkey burger, hamburger, cheeseburger.
For our gourmet cheeseburger,
we are marinating it in our Gourmet Burger marinade,
and we're gonna top it with cheddar cheese.
We use a local Charleston bakery to bake the buns.
And for our sides, we have fried pickles,
and we have our homemade chips.
So, I'm gonna start the homemade chips.
All right, so, you're gonna get started on the prep.
I'm gonna check the oven.
TOPHER: It's opening day, and I'm nervous.
Hopefully, everything will go smoothly,
and it will get off without any problems.
I can't get the oven to light.
I don't have time for this.
All right, call Uncle Jimmy. Call Uncle Jimmy.
We got no flame. We got no heat.
Hopefully, he can do it in time.
We have no oven.
Most likely, it's a gas-valve problem
or either a thermocouple problem.
My uncle does mechanical work, so we call him in right away.
He gets there to take a look at the pizza oven.
TOPHER: Even if it takes him 30 minutes to fix it,
it's still gonna take 45 minutes before that pizza oven gets hot.
I don't know what to do.
I really don't know how this is gonna work out.
Just go straight to -- Do the cheese first.
Topher and I go ahead and get started on prepping.
At this point, it's really all we can do.
Hey, guys. Can you use an extra set of hands?
Oh, my gosh. I'm so glad you're here.
CHEVALO: [ Laughing ] So glad you're here.
We have so much to do.
CHEVALO: We are so excited to see Monique's sister Torri
because we need an extra hand.
1 hour, 47 minutes until we open.
We got to move.
All right, guys. I'm here. What can I do?
You know what we're doing today?
We're making pizzas, right?
I don't have a pizza oven. I can't do anything.
My dad shows up, and I'm really happy he's there,
but right now, I'm so mad with the pizza oven.
Guys, I have some bad news for you.
It's gonna take at least a day or two
I don't have a day.
Got about less than two hours.
Finding out that the pizza oven isn't going to work today
is completely devastating.
Well, thanks for trying.
Thank you for trying though.
Y'all take care.
We have so much at stake and need this so badly.
What are we gonna do?
Do you know anybody?
Yeah, I got a buddy.
Yeah, he does.
Maybe I can cook them there, we can transport them.
I don't think we have much of a choice.
This ain't gonna work.
All right, come on, call him. Call him, call him.
Come on, let's go. Let's go.
Man, I'm in a bit of a little bind here.
I need some help.
We're supposed to be doing pizzas,
and we have no pizza oven.
Is there any possible way we can come over to your place
and bake some of the pizzas there?
All right, man. I'll be at your back door.
TOPHER: My dad was able to pull the strings,
and we get this favor called in.
His friend has a pizza restaurant
not too far from here.
Only problem is I don't know how I'm gonna transport raw pizzas
over to this other pizza restaurant.
I'm very skeptical about how this is gonna work.
Okay, where's the pans I brought?
They should be up front.
[ Sighs ]
I don't know what the problem is with these potatoes.
It worked so perfect yesterday.
Monique has trouble with the mandoline.
I'm only taking out the chips that look the best.
I can't just serve anything. This is important.
She ends up having to throw away a bunch of the potatoes.
That's a problem 'cause waste means money lost.
Everything is on the line right here.
I mean, we have to win.
Okay. These are gonna be a little thicker.
I can't get them that thin.
TOPHER: The menu for today -- We're gonna do a cheese pizza,
a margherita pizza, and finally,
we're gonna do an Italian-meat pizza
with some pepperoni and soppressata on it.
For sides, we're gonna do an antipasto salad
and a chopped salad.
And then, we're gonna give the customers the option
to add the salad on top of the pizza.
It's gonna look great, and it also is gonna add to our sales
because we're gonna up-sell it.
I'd like to see a little more cheese on the next one, please.
We're gonna prep the pizzas in our kitchen here,
and Phil is gonna run them back and forth for us
and get as many back on time
before the competition starts as possible.
Oh, my God.
I'm feeling good.
This will be done in a few minutes.
This is one thing we can cross off our list.
So, let me just thicken this up a little bit more.
It's good, but I just want it to be a little bit thicker.
CHEVALO: An hour in,
we should have more of the burgers prepped already.
The fried pickles and the pimento cheese
should already be done,
and we don't have all of those items completed yet.
What time do you feel I should start grilling?
10 minutes before opening, and then, I would say start the beef
'cause we want everybody to get nice, hot food.
TOPHER: I need to go call and check my dad.
I'm mad he's not back yet, but it's not gonna be his fault.
[ Cellphone rings ]
What do you have the oven at?
I'm not touching their oven. It's their oven.
They're doing us a favor. I'm not touching --
What temperature is the oven at, Dad?
Have we sent any pizzas out? Are you on your way back?
KACIE: I look at the clock --
There's only a few minutes left --
and realize we still don't have pizzas.
Aah, I'm so nervous.
TOPHER: Right now, we're just a pizzeria that only serves salad,
and I don't know how that's gonna work out.
Nothing we can do about it now, babe.
Oh, Chevalo, we're running out of time.
CHEVALO: Okay. Just keep your eye on the burgers.
KACIE: Just in the nick of time, Phil runs through the door,
puts the pizzas down, and we're ready to go.
Topher, we have one minute until serving time.
For our menu, we're gonna just do a margherita pizza,
meat-lover's pizza, and also a cheese pizza.
For the sides, we're gonna do
the antipasto salad that we did for Anne
and a chopped salad.
KACIE: As of right now,
all we have is six cheese and two margherita,
and we don't have the meat pizza in yet.
Due to poor planning on my part,
we didn't send him, in his first batch,
with all three types of pizzas.
So, right now, I got a menu behind me
saying I have three pizzas,
and all I have is cheese and margherita pizzas.
Listen, Chevalo, got to go over game plan.
You're gonna actually make the burgers, right?
Today, on the menu, it's gonna be
our Charleston Gourmet burger 2.0
with our new Charleston Gourmet burger sauce,
our Charleston Gourmet turkey burger,
our Charleston Gourmet cheeseburger,
and our Charleston Gourmet turkey burger with cheese.
Our sides are fried pickles and gourmet chips.
Welcome. Welcome to Charleston Gourmet Burger.
I'll just start taking people right over here.
WOMAN: I'm gonna go with just the cheese.
Just the cheese? All right. So, that's $5.
Do you guys want a side or anything?
A hamburger and a turkey burger.
Okay. A hamburger and a turkey burger.
Yes. Two fried pickles and two potato chips.
And two potato chips.
And you have to forgive me
if I ask you to write that down again
because I need a pad and a pen.
What would you guys like?
A margherita and a cheese.
All right. We got a margherita and a cheese.
Would you guys like to try a side?
WOMAN: Okay. A hamburger.
MONIQUE: Okay, she has one hamburger, two cheeseburgers,
one turkey burger, two turkey burgers with cheese...
You got it. This is one hamburger.
...two fried pickles and two potato chips.
CHEVALO: Service starts, and a line starts building up.
We're backed up in the kitchen
because we just haven't figured out a system.
The prices are up top.
MONIQUE: I have to keep calm in the front
because I'm the first face these people see.
I can't let them know we're falling apart back here.
Ma'am, can you give me one moment?
All right. We need to get some of this food out.
It's too much stuff backing up.
Did you guys get your orders yet?
Hey. How are you?
Good. Can I have the Italian-meat pizza
and then the chopped salad.
How's the status on the meat?
Do we have the meat ready yet, Topher?
We don't have any meats in yet.
KACIE: I'm starting to get really nervous
that if we do run out of what we have left
that we're just not gonna be able to win,
and customers are gonna leave.
MONIQUE: Two cheeseburgers, one pickle, and one chip.
Eric. Order for Eric.
We are losing customers. People are leaving.
I'm starting to call out orders,
and these people are already gone.
I got some more pizzas.
Kace, I got the Italian-meat, okay?
KACIE: All right. Do we have some margherita?
We got margherita and Italian-meat and cheese, okay?
MONIQUE: I have a cheeseburger for Joshua, two for Michael.
CHEVALO: The turkey burgers are coming up.
What can I get for you?
Here you go, young lady. Thank you so much.
And that tea is yours.
Chevalo's cranking out burgers. Torri's assembling them.
She's getting the customers fed.
I'm working the register.
We've finally found our groove.
Yes. Y'all 2 are 19.
Monique, how you doing?
We're doing good. We're getting through this.
Last big push.
Service is almost over, all right?
Last big push.
Hey, guys. Last big push.
Service is almost over. Sell every slice.
TOPHER: That's what we're trying to do. Thank you.
Here you go.
MONIQUE: Okay, thank you.
Thank you so much.
Ladies and gentlemen, the food-court war is now over.
[ Cheers and applause ]
For a while there,
we might have just been Holy City Salads.
[ Laughs ]
Holy City Salads and Sides.
Yeah. We fought with everything we had,
so that's all we can do.
CHEVALO: The people out there got an exceptional product.
I mean, we've done all we can do.
I just hope our line didn't cost us the restaurant.
Holy City Pizzeria, Charleston Gourmet Burger Company,
you both did an outstanding job today.
You've got your family and friends here to support you.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Chevalo and Monique, how do you think you did today?
I think we could have dealt with getting the line down
and organizing a lot better.
Kacie and Topher, how do you think you did today?
I think we did a good job.
We had our line moving quickly throughout the day
and really did our best to give a good product
and get a lot of people in the door.
Charleston Gourmet Burger Company,
the people of Charleston
welcomed your pimento-cheese burger,
and it was a perfect addition to the menu -- perfect.
[ Both laugh ]
However, you weren't serving people fast enough,
and you lost customers as a result.
Holy City Pizzeria, your pizza oven didn't work today.
But let me tell you,
you came up with a solid plan thanks to your dad.
However, poor planning
prevented you from serving your complete menu,
and that cost you valuable customers.
One of you is about to win a restaurant
rent-free for one year.
I've tallied up the money,
and the restaurant that has earned the most is gonna win.
And it all comes down to this.
[ Sighs ]
With a grand total of $2,212,
the winner of "Food Court Wars" is...
...Holy City Pizzeria.
[ Cheers and applause ]
This is the best feeling in the world.
You can't even describe it.
[ Laughter ]
To lose when it's right at our fingertips was just devastating.
This is not the end. This is not the end.
MONIQUE: It makes me even more determined.
We're still gonna open a restaurant.
We're still gonna be successful.
We're still gonna leave something to our children.
We're still gonna be okay.
FLORENCE: So, Topher and Kacie,
I want to introduce you to your new best friend.
This is Leigh Burnett from the Citadel Mall here.
LEIGH: Kacie, Topher, congratulations.
Oh, thank you so much.
On behalf of CBL and Citadel Mall,
I want to welcome you to the food court.
We are thrilled to have you here.
And I have a lease for you.
It's pretty insane that we're gonna have our own business.
We're gonna be business owners.
I want to present you with something really special,
the first dollar you ever made as a company.
That's awesome. We're getting married this year.
Getting married, moving back to Charleston,
getting a house.
This is, like, the best way to start our life together.
[ Cheers and applause ]