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"Next Great Restaurant" Winner

CHIPOTLE SABOTAGED ME

8/3/2011 12:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0801-jamawn-woods-NBC-ex
His restaurants failed miserably just two months after opening their doors -- and now, the winner of "America's Next Great Restaurant" is blaming the entire culinary disaster ... on Chipotle.

Jamawn Woods tells TMZ, Chipotle -- an investor in the NBC reality show -- was supposed to provide a management team to run his three Soul Daddy restaurants for one year ... but they really screwed the pooch.

According to Jamawn, Chipotle hired a bum management team with NO experience cooking soul food OR running a soul food restaurant -- and his restaurants tanked as a result ... closing soon after.

J hasn't filed any legal papers yet -- but he's telling friends ... the show owes him $46,000 for a year's worth of salary ... and still hasn't paid a dime.

A rep for Chipotle tells TMZ, "The Soul Daddy restaurants were generating significant negative cash flows and, after a careful review of the business, the investor group made the decision to close the restaurants."

But there's a light at the end of the tunnel -- sources tell TMZ, Jamawn and Chipotle are currently hammering out a settlement deal.

43 COMMENTS

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16.

Lori    

They set the winner up to fail...all three restaurants were in horrible locations. The one in Hollywood was hidden away and the one at Mall of America wasn't near the other food court type places but sandwiched inbetween two nice sit down restaurants. The day after the show, they published his menu and it contained several spelling errors. This whole enterprise was about making ad money on a TV show and writing off the winner as soon as the show was over.

1146 days ago
17.

Stupid People Hater    

I didn't think any of the ideas or people were any good. The problem is that the good people who would run a successful restaurant already are or do not want to have an investor group controlling everything. You are basically just an employee in that case and not an owner.

1146 days ago
18.

Stupid People Hater    

I didn't think any of the ideas or people were any good. The problem is that the good people who would run a successful restaurant already are or do not want to have an investor group controlling everything. You are basically just an employee in that case and not an owner.

1146 days ago
19.

bay area    

this story is an example of why you really shouldnt comment if you didn*****ch the show. to the people claiming chiptole is popular so they knew what they were doing..are you retarded? successful businesses never have ideas that flop? uh clear pepsi anyone?...the fact is, during the season steve ells FORCED jamawn to change up his entire menu. if you look at yelp pix of the food, it looks like a chiptole platter!! thats not soul food. they didnt even let him make fried chicken when the consumer trials showed that everyone loved his original menu b/c he won challenges with that original menu. bobby flaw was obviously apprehensive bout jamawn switching up his menu b/c bobby flay knows american comfort food. he allowed curtis stone(foreign), the latina chick(foreign) and steve ells(pretentious) to ruin the whole idea. All three of them were clueless on southern comfort food. go watch the first few epiosodes on HULU!

1146 days ago
20.

miss_me    

uh laura, if no one likes southern food/soul food then why is paula deen so successful???

1146 days ago
21.

Michelle    

Did any of you actually watch the show? Jamawn was a hard worker who absolutely deserved a fair shot at this. There was NO WAY for him to be successful opening THREE restaurants at one time. He no control over any of it and it's so unfair to him the way things turned out. :( So many of the contestants had great concepts and it was an interesting show, but they were setting him up for failure. If they finally pay him, he should open up a restaurant in his hometown and NOT give up on his dream. It'd be a chance to do it his way and not the way the judges wanted it. Keep your chin up, Jamawn!

1146 days ago
22.

middleagedcrazy    

Have no idea of how good/bad the food is.

Just want to mention that two months is an impossibly short time for anyone to even know that a restaurant is there.

Maybe Chipotle is buying up and trashing any potential competition?

1146 days ago
23.

thehoch    

First of all Chipotle is some of the worst dog food I have ever eaten. The burritos are cold and absolutely gross.

Watching the show, you can see that the owners of Chipotle is a compete douche bag, I mean complete. I have no doubt the failure is because of the owner of Chiptole. The black dude has a good idea, he should contact someone in the industry and try again, with his original menu and in urban areas where he'll get the biggest bang for his buck. Good luck!

1146 days ago
24.

Carl    

If you can't manage a restaurant then you probably shouldn't be running a restaurant. Maybe he needs to just get a job as a cook somewhere. Even being a head chef would require a lot of management ability.

1146 days ago
25.

Jason Phillips    

How hard is it to make fried chicken, collards, mac-n-cheese, cornbread and other such goodness? I make all that all the time! They should have hired me to cook.

1146 days ago
26.

Abe    

Hope he takes Chipotle to the cleaners.

I refuse to eat at Chipotle ever since I saw their slimy, creepy, a-hole founder on that show. He made me want to vommit every time he was on camera. Yech!

1146 days ago
27.

northern gypsy    

i remember walking through some cleveland (yes cleveland) neighbourhoods and stopping dead in my tracks when i got a whiff off the home made bbq on the streets !!!
and was lucky enough to have some falling off the bone ribs and melts in your mouth home made black bean pie...it was delicious !!!
what my point ??? authentic food always survives and so will this fellow so keep cooking and people will come !!!

1146 days ago
28.

PETER LEE    

HE PERPETUATES THE BLACK STEREOTYPE..NEVER ACCEPTING BLAME FOR THEIR OWN FAILURES..SEE IT ALL THE TIME...IF YOU READ THE YELP REVIEWS OF HIS LA HOLLYWOOD HIGHLAND LOCATION BLACKS WERE COMPLAINING THAT THEIR WEREN'T ENOUGH BLACK WORKERS IN HIS RESTAURANT. I WANT SKILLED EMPLOYEES NOT THE RIGHT RACE. GO TO WALMART IN LA AND SEE WHY HE HAD WHITE WORKERS NOT BLACKS.

1146 days ago
29.

Sonja    

If they called the closing after 2mths and agreed to run things for a year then they should settle with him. Can't blame him, they crowned him the winner.

1146 days ago
30.

Jim in Cali    

Shouldn't they have started at just ONE restaurant first? Seems like they over played their hand by going with 3 restaurants.

1146 days ago
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