'Restaurant Impossible' crew sets up cameras and lighting equipment

“Restaurant: Impossible” crew members set up cameras and lighting equipment in May for interviews with the staff of McLanks. The host of the show, Robert Irvine, could be seen on the set, planning for the first meal at the renovated restaurant. The episode featuring McLanks airs Saturday on the Food Network.

The name of the episode is “A Family Restaurant at War.”

McLanks Family Restaurant & Catering, which does business on Paris Road in Columbia, will be featured in the Food Network’s show “Restaurant: Impossible” at 8 p.m. Saturday.

McLanks’ owner, Sheila Lankford, said the restaurant will host a watch party for the episode. She said the family is excited to see it.

“I think it’s going to be a great show,” Lankford said.

Lankford opened McLanks in 2017 with help from some of her kids. Later, all five of her sons and daughters started helping with the restaurant.

“We do a lot of our bonding through food,” she said.

The building McLanks is in has a bad reputation because it’s really old, Lankford said. “Restaurant: Impossible” star Robert Irvine’s makeover gave the older space some much-needed updates.

The description of the episode on the “Restaurant: Impossible” website says Irvine came to Columbia in May to rescue the restaurant from shutting down.

“The restaurant is run by a single mother and her five adult children who fight constantly, and the tension is tearing both the family and the restaurant apart,” the description reads. “It’s up to Robert to fix their relationship and get them to work together before McLanks closes for good.”

Lankford said everything in the description is true. She said business has been better since Irvine and his crew came in. Several customers have said on McLanks’ Facebook page that they like the new look. Some, however, long for the old menu.

The network canceled Irvine’s show in 2016 but picked it back up again this year. This is its 15th season, according to the website.

Websites that track the success rates of “Restaurant: Impossible” and reality TV shows like it say that about 70% of the businesses they try to save end up failing.

The show was filmed over two days and had a budget of $10,000 to fix up the restaurant.

McLanks is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

  • General Assignment, summer 2019 Studying investigative journalism Reach me at krfhf6@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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