Everybody knows what happens when Guy Fieri features a restaurant on his Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Guy rolls into town in a ’68 Camaro. He’s introduced to the head chef, and hovers nearby as the kitchen pro prepares one of the house specialties. All the while, the spiky-haired host marvels at bold ingredients and cooking techniques, heaping praise in the form of one-liners such as “welcome to Flavortown,” “that’s totally out of bounds,” and “[inaudible guttural noises].” A good time is had by all.
But how does an appearance on Triple-D typically affect a restaurant? And what is the Triple-D effect? On this, the eleventh day of The 12 Days of Guy Fieri, it’s time to look at what happens at these restaurants after the Platinum Prince hops in his Camaro and darts back to Flavortown.
‘Triple D’ is the gift that keeps on giving
For restaurateurs, appearing on Triple-D is like hitting the jackpot. Being featured on the show gives their establishments a level of positive publicity that would be nearly impossible to match with any advertising campaign. It seems just about everyone has the same experience. A few testimonials:
- “We had people calling the restaurant as soon as our segment ended the night it first aired,” Paul Malvone, whose restaurant, Boston Burger Co., was featured on the show in 2012, told Restaurant Hospitality magazine last year. “They were asking ‘Was this the place they just saw? What are our hours? What is our address?’”
- “The day after our episode aired, we were slammed,” Robert Fleming, chef-owner of Magnolia Pancake Haus in San Antonio, also told Restaurant Hospitality.
- “It was crazy,” Fred Guerrero of the Oinkster in Eagle Rock, California, told Grub Street in 2011. “As soon as the episode was over, the phone started ringing off the hook.”
- ”Our business just went crazy, Sarah Sanneh, co-owner of Pies ‘n’ Thighs in Brooklyn, New York, told Thrillist in 2016. “And it brought in so many new people that would have never visited us otherwise.”
- “People were lined up waiting for us to open,” Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis told Twin Cities Business magazine in 2015. “The first weekend was insane. We were open 11 to 11 and never not full.”
Obviously, if you are a restaurateur and Guy Fieri shows up on your caller ID, you should pick up the phone. While some chefs and owners quoted over the years have lamented the loss of their quiet neighborhood joint and the arrival of tourists from all over, they are pretty quick to admit it would be foolish to complain about having a wildly successful business. The Triple-D effect isn’t a one-time thing, either. Remember: Food Network airs old episodes all the time.
”We can always tell the day after our episode has been re-run,” Sanneh told Thrillist. “Like, all of a sudden we’ll be slammed on some random Tuesday, then we’ll realize, ‘Oh, they just replayed our show ... that makes sense.’”