Spike TV viewers are getting a double shot of Tiffany Derry tonight. First, she's helping Jon Taffer save another establishment on Bar Rescue; then she's teaming up with Taffer and John Besh as the trio of entrepreneurs at the heart of the new series Hungry Investors, where two struggling restaurants go head-to-head and the winner takes home a much-needed investment. BFTV caught up with Tiffany last week to talk about Hungry Investors.
Tonight isn't Tiffany's first appearance on Bar Rescue, so did that have anything to do with her new gig? "I guess it's all related," she told us. "I knew Besh and Taffer before. We kind of all ended up hooking up and being interested in the same goals."
Namely, finding deserving establishments that are in need of help and giving it to them. Beyond just handing a monetary investment to the winner, the entrepreneurs coach both businesses during a series of challenges, imparting their experience as well. Each of them has different things that they focus on. "Taffer really works on the concept and branding. Besh is the restauranteur and chef as well," said Tiffany, who is best known for her two appearances on Bravo's award-winning Top Chef series.
Did her reality TV experience give her any special insight into helping the competitors of Hungry Investors? "A hundred percent," she continued. "There's no pressure like competition pressure. So many things are going on...But at the same time this is what you need to do. You need to run your business the best way that you can. You have an opportunity that many will not ever have.
"I try to coach them in the right direction," she added. "We do have the food element, but it's so much more about business and how to run a successful restaurant. A lot of shows, they make it look good...but at the end of the day those people aren't really changed. We really want to change lives. This is not something for us just to make a show. This has to mean something for all of us."
"I'm so excited because each [episode] was different. And each of them are like a little roller coaster," Tiffany enthused. "You become so invested. It doesn't even matter what type of food you're doing. You get to know [people]. You get to know their stories. It's not something you go probing; they just tell you. You spend so much time working with them one on one, you automatically develop a relationship working with them - but then you have to choose one. That's when it gets a little difficult."
And while she, Taffer and Besh may work as a team, they're not always on the same page when it comes to making that ultimate choice. "I think also the part that makes it great is that all three of us have different opinions sometimes, and we don't always agree," she added. "I like how we ultimately end up making a decision together that we all stand behind."
Helping others is not just something that Tiffany does on the show; it's what she's turned into her career. "Other than the show, I have a company, it's called Tiffany Derry Concepts," she told us. "I actually do this for a living. I go around and help small businesses, really just kind of equipping them with what they need. I love the restaurant business...I just love the opportunity to work with people."
Since we can't pick a winner or invest in a restaurant, what is she hoping the viewing audience takes away from Hungry Investors? "I think it's a learning experience," she reflected. "Many people say 'I want to open a restaurant.' And I think when you look at this show, you realize there's a lot that goes into it."
Bar Rescue airs at 9 PM ET/PT and Hungry Investors at 10 PM ET/PT tonight on Spike. Be sure to follow Tiffany on Twitter (@MasterChefTD) for more.