As luck would have it, there was a mini-marathon of Ramsay's show on BBC America on Monday, and so I put it on in the background for a few hours as I read. And as a result, I am now prepared to offer to you the 5 Golden Gordon Rules of Resuscitating Restaurants:
1. A restaurant is a business, not a family, a hobby, a lounge, a home, or anything other than a business.
2. Quality is far more important than novelty (I suspect that Ramsay wants to kill the person who coined the phrase "Wow factor").
3. Traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic. Oh, and traffic.
4. Five adjectives that should describe the food: local, organic, rustic, clean, honest.
5. Finally, in a bad situation, there is almost inevitably one or more persons whose talent is going unexploited, and one or more persons whose talents are wildly overestimated. Kitchen nightmares are made, not born.
That comes close to summing up most of the episodes I've seen, only with a lot more swearing and bleeping, although BBC America doesn't, apparently, find "shithole" a necessary bleep. More than one episode demonstrates this fact.
That is all.