The Restaurant first broadcast on 29 August 2007. The second series finished on 29 October 2008 and the production team are currently filming series 3.
How are our couples chosen?
There is a web-based application form that is open to anyone. For series two, hundreds of couples registered. On the basis of those applications we invite small numbers of couples to meet the production team at various places around the country where they are interviewed. From this we end up with a shortlist of around thirty candidates who are invited to a secondary interview stage where they are asked to perform various tasks. We check their references and make other checks. All candidates are assessed by a psychologist.
Who thinks up the weekly tasks and challenges?
The tasks and challenges are designed by the production team in consultation with Raymond Blanc and his inspectors. They are designed to test every aspect of running a successful restaurant business.
When does the shoot take place?
The shoot takes throughout the spring and summer before transmission.
How does Raymond Blanc decide who the winner is?
Raymond Blanc gets regular feedback from his inspectors and meets the couples on a weekly basis. He decides which couple wins based on their performance in running their restaurants over the course of filming and their performance in challenges.
When do the winners know they have won?
Because there is a gap between the end of filming and the transmission of the programme, it is important that the winners' identity is kept secret. For that reason two endings are filmed. Raymond Blanc writes down the name of the couple he has chosen to win. That document is lodged with an independent law firm. Raymond's decision is revealed to the finalists just before transmission of the final programme.