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'Restaurant' Winner -- Back Up Plan After Culinary Fail

7/1/2011 3:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Despite the fact his THREE restaurants closed within 2 months of opening, "America's Next Great Restaurant" winner Jamawn Woods has a job offer on the table ... from one of his biggest supporters.


Woods is still technically an employee at the Chrysler automobile assembly plant in Michigan -- where he worked as a fork lift operator before trying out for the NBC reality show.

When Woods made the finals, Chrysler presented him with an award for his accomplishment -- and granted him a one-year leave of absence to pursue his dream.

But now that all of Jamawn's "Soul Daddy" restaurants have closed their doors -- a rep for Chrysler says the company intends to hold up their side of the bargain if Woods wants to come back to work ... adding, "He is still a part of our family."

So far, no word from Jamawn.


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joey _ I love TMZ 'til ya piss me off!    

wtf happened?

1209 days ago

Team eM Zed    

that's just awful for him... but it also means the show couldn't have been that good!

1209 days ago


Lucky he worked for a Company that really cares for its' employees (Chrysler).

1209 days ago

some guy    


How long till he makes Manager?

1209 days ago


He will a bit embarrassing for him if he goes back. However, it just goes to show you that the restuarant business is one of the hardest business to be successful in. Even Gordon Ramsey has had many restuarants closed within the past few years. People should think twice before going into that business and study restuarants that have made it cause most of the time the food business can drain you financially and emotionally.

1209 days ago

bobby smith    

Chrysler Corp. GOOD FOR YOU! If you could only make the front end of my Chrysler 300 better.
Ball Joints replaced, struts, squeekie noise when I go over bumps, the heated seat stopped working. Plus, between oil changes I have to top it up by a litre. Damn thing burns oil. I've got a 2008 with less than 80 miles on it.

1209 days ago

RJ Hunt    

Why did he ope up 3 restaurants at the same time...what an idiot. And to only keep them open for 60 days...His next show should be called "America's Next Great Failure"...LMAO.

1209 days ago

Celeb Gossip Addict    

Did he win any money on the show? He should open his own small restaurant. The soul food restaurants in my city are very popular. For the past 12 years or so whenever I go to New York I make sure I visit Manna's in Harlem. They are doing just fine. It sounds like "the company that owned the restaurants" was trying to get a chain started. He needs one small restaurant where he actually cooks and supervises all the cooking. And if he didn't even own the restaurant what did he actually win? Sounds like a sham and shaft to me. Anyway, its nice that he can go back to his job, but I think he should give his dream a chance because the network and "company that owned the restaurants" certainly didn't.

1209 days ago


I went to his restaurant in New York and thought the food was amazing! The reviews online were poor, but they seemed to come from people who never went to the restaurant and were just sour fans of other contenders on the show.

1209 days ago


I wish the guy the best of luck in the future! He will be fine!!

1209 days ago


I watched this show. If the show wasn't on one of the big 4 networks I never would have watched it.
With that said, 2 months is not a very long time to establish a business.
Also, what does it say for the judges who where on the show. Where the judges sooo bad and incompetent at their job (on the show) that they picked the wrong person?
If this show returns it needs 3 new judges who know what they are doing. If the 3 restaurants closed before the paint was dry on the buildings it proves any 3 bums off the street could have done just as good as these 3 judges!
I also blame NBC for not promoting the restaurants after the show ended. I never saw one thing about the restaurants on air after the show ended.

1209 days ago

Kyle Beasnoir    

Bobby and his consortium of restaurant investor wanna be nimrods must feel like complete idiots as Jamawn Woods, "Soul Daddy" went down in flames. Actually, the first season was a bust because all the contenders sucked!!!

1209 days ago


Your fifteen minutes is officially over.

1209 days ago


No wonder the restaurants failed. He is a member of the UAW and in the restaurant business you have to actually work unlike the UAW auto industry.

1209 days ago

Delaware D    

poor guy. But, hey, kudos to him for going out there and living the dream. Not too many people can say they did that.

1209 days ago
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