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Guy Fieri has a tough job; he has to ride around the country in a red convertible, taste testing food from all over America. Well, that is at least what it looks like on the surface. The truth is we only see what the producers want us to see during the half-hour reality show.

Looks can be deceiving, because Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives actually takes a lot of work to produce. Not only does it take a team of people, but it also costs a lot of money. And we’re not just talking about the money the show spends, but the money each business loses when they agree to be on the show. In some cases up to $12,000, depending on downtime and food used.

Now to be fair, those restaurant owners usually make that money up once the episode airs, but that could be months after the taping ends. Some eateries have reported huge increases in sales, customers, and social media presence. 

You might be wondering how long Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives has been on the air, and how much work the show takes. Here’s everything you never knew including how much Guy Fieri makes per episode.

How long has ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’ been on the air?

The hit show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives has been on the air for 12 years. It turns out people love to watch other people cook and try new foods. They also seem to love Guy Fieri’s larger than life personality

Fieri has been hosting the show for 29 seasons, and some might consider him to be the face of the Food Network. All that success has come with some controversy as many people feel he has hurt the network. 

Before Guy Fieri won The Next Big Food Network Star in 2006, the channel was mostly known for its cooking shows. Celebrity chefs had an actual culinary background, and they showed America how to cook. Once he showed up, the network started adding reality type programming to the roster, and Fieri was the perfect host for the job.

How much work does each episode take?

One of the biggest surprises of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is the amount of time and work that goes into each episode. The show might only be 30 minutes long, but it takes four days to set up production and film the show. 

During those four days, the producers expect the restaurant to be closed so that they can control the shots. During the time that the establishments are closed, the company can lose a lot of money. They are not paid for their time, nor are they reimbursed for lost revenue during the taping.

In many cases, Guy Fieri shows up on one of the days for anywhere between two hours and half a day. He unusually wants to cook every menu item up to three times with the head chef to make sure they have enough footage. All recipes need to be made from scratch, and then Fieri will taste it all and decide what makes it into the show later.

Most of the B-roll and background footage with customers is filmed on day one. Guy Fieri also waits to introduce himself to staff until right before filming. He believes it helps keep their interactions more spontaneous. 

How much does Guy Fieri make per episode?

We don’t have an exact figure on the amount of money Guy Fieri makes for each episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, but we do have a pretty good estimate. On top of his role on Triple D, he also makes money from other Food Network shows, book deals, and special guest appearances.

According to Frostsnow, Fieri makes $10,000-$20,000 for each episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Not a bad number considering he has been hosting the show since 2007. 

He also makes a lot of money to show up to special guest appearances. “Fieri was paid $100,000 for a 60-minute appearance at the New York State Fair, according to contract documents,” reported The Smoking Gun, in 2012. 

With a net worth near $8.5 million, Guy Fieri has come a long way since winning The Next Big Food Network Star, in April 2006. He has become one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs, and his TV run doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon.