Terminal 3 of the Cancun airport is the $3 million testing ground for a U.S. celebrity chef’s first overseas outpost. Terminal 3 is where travelers heading from the Yucatan to the U.S. cool their heels before their flights boards.
Food Network star Guy Fieri created a culinary empire with more than 30 U.S. restaurants, from Baltimore to Las Vegas, and this weekend he officially opened Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar Cancun, in partnership with the MERA Corporation. The celebrity mingled with customers and posed for cameras yesterday.
The new outpost generated 250 direct and indirect jobs and has capacity for 320 diners; it is projected to serve more than 180,000 people annually.
The restaurant specializes in burgers and barbecue, generally offering comfort food based on the menus of the drive-ins and diners that Fieri has featured on television.
But reviews on social media, posted during an apparent soft launch before the grand opening, are not favorable.
“Service was poor. food was cold, and it took 35 min to get the food to the table. usually we wouldn’t bother with a review but I travel to Cancun on business often and was excited to see this place open. I hope management there gets things together there,” one customer wrote on Facebook.
Another was even more damning: “Ate at this restaurant last week and was probably the worst meal I’ve ever paid for (in my life). Will never be able to watch Guy on food shows again…..awful how he allows such bad quality at one of his places.”
The restaurant competes with fast-casual chains Johnny Rocket’s, Bubba Gump’s and Margaritaville.
The Columbus, Ohio, native, 47, was propelled to fame after “The Next Food Network Star” 2006. He became the “face of the network” soon after. But in 2012, his Times Square eatery was savaged in the New York Times, although to this day reviews are wildly mixed on Yelp.