“What I’m ultimately looking to see is who, actually, is going to stand up and tell me it’s a bad idea and have a conviction about it,” he says. “Best case scenario? Someone looks me in the face and says, ‘These are all terrible.'”
The two businesses are a restaurant called “Splurge” that serves 6,000-calorie meals and a social ratings site that aims to be Yelp for people.
Though each candidates voices concerns, no one takes an active stance against either idea. Instead, they raise questions about additional market research.
Buffie Purselle, known for her candor and confidence, comes down clearly in favor of Splurge, highlighting the potential for a social media campaign, and saying it’s a clear concept that she could support.
Even when Lemonis says he’s not going to invest in a restaurant that encourages overeating, she persists.
“I’m sick and tired of people always trying to tell me what I should do with my body or where I should eat,” says Purselle. “I don’t need anybody on this table, or Marcus Lemonis, telling me that’s wrong.”
Despite the fact that he disagrees with her and would not invest in a real version of the company, Lemonis holds up Purselle’s argument as the kind he’s seeking from a partner.
Her honesty prompts a more frank conversation among the candidates, who finally address the reasons the two companies wouldn’t work for Lemonis’ portfolio.
“I want to change, I need to get better,” says Lemonis. “I don’t have all the answers. That’s what a partner’s all about.”