It is likely that Daniel Saffron from Kitchen Nightmares’ Burger Kitchen has kept his life private to avoid all the conspiracy theories.
There are plenty of people to feel sorry for in Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares franchise.
But between all of the frustrated owners, the staff members working under controlling management, and even the chefs who have been belittled by Ramsay’s sharp tongue, none are quite as sympathized with as Daniel Saffron.
Daniel has occupied a special place in the minds and hearts of many Kitchen Nightmares fans ever since he was introduced as the co-owner of Burger Kitchen in the fifth season of Kitchen Nightmares.
To cut a very long story short, Daniel claimed that he had been forced to try and make things at the failing family restaurant work after his father, Alan, had taken $250,000 of his inheritance money to invest in the business.
The Saffron family conspiracy theories
The story of stolen family inheritance with mob-ties has always intrigued Kitchen Nightmares fans, but a 2011 article by The Mille-Lily Blog suggests that there may be more to this story than Daniel explained in the episode.
Besides explaining that Alan had his own inheritance drama, when he inherited less than some of his father’s other children, the blog also points to a comment left by a Daniel Saffron in a Serious Eats article (which no longer exists).
In this comment, he said, “this is something we want to do, and have a passion for,” which would imply that Daniel had been working at Burger Kitchen willingly all along.
However, a comment left under this blog post from a person claiming to know the family explains the opposite, stating that Daniel really was “taken advantage of after Alan wasted his 500k”.
Whichever of these stories you believe, Daniel has likely chosen to set his social media accounts to private and remain out of the public eye in order to escape all of these different theories after a lifetime of dealing with the Saffron family drama.
Alan and Daniel sold Burger Kitchen shortly after Ramsay’s visit
Burger Kitchen is certainly not the first restaurant in the Kitchen Nightmares franchise to be sold to new owners, but it is one of the few which was sold before its two-part Kitchen Nightmares episodes even got the chance to air.
This perplexing timeline can be summarized as follows:
|Alan and Daniel Saffron first open Burger Kitchen
|August 22 to August 31, 2011
|Burger Kitchen is sold to new management
|New chef and new menu introduced
|November 4, 2011
|“Burger Kitchen, Part 1” Kitchen Nightmares episode airs
|November 11, 2011
|“Burger Kitchen, Part 2” Kitchen Nightmares episode airs
The Saffron family drama continued even after Burger Kitchen was sold
There are many reasons why the Burger Kitchen Kitchen Nightmares episodes remain favorites among fans of the series so many years down the line. Though one of the biggest reasons is the intriguing Saffron family drama.
Those who watched the episodes will know that the inheritance that Alan took from Daniel actually came from Alan’s father – the notorious mobster, Abe Saffron.
But it seems like the tension between Daniel and his own father did not subside after Ramsay and his crew left. Daniel filed a breach of contract lawsuit against his father in 2013, though the case has since been dismissed.
Alan Saffron passed away a few years ago
Alan Saffron passed away on April 19, 2020 of a heart attack. Although the Saffron family evidently had their ups and downs over the years, his obituary does state that he was “surrounded by his family,” the Chaplain, and medical staff in his last moments.
So it seems like they were all able to put their differences aside to bid Alan adieu.
This obituary also referred to Wendy, who viewers may remember as Daniel’s girlfriend from the Kitchen Nightmares episodes, as his daughter-in-law, which indicates that Daniel and Wendy got married sometime after the restaurant was sold.
Did Daniel ever get his money back?
Wading through the history and conspiracy theories which surround the Saffron family and the Burger Kitchen episodes from Kitchen Nightmares, can – as Ramsay would put it – be headache-inducing.
But the reality is that since Daniel and Wendy keep their online lives so private, there is really just no reliable way to know whether Daniel ever got the inheritance money, which Alan may or may not have taken without his knowledge.
It is, however, quite likely that Daniel would have shared in the profits from Burger Kitchen’s 2011 sale, or that he would have inherited new money when his father passed away.