America's Next Great Restaurant Failure Being Blamed on Chipotle

08/03/2011
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(TMZ) His restaurants failed miserably just two months after opening their doors -- and now, the winner of "America's Next Great Restaurant" is blaming the entire culinary disaster ... on Chipotle.

Jamawn Woods tells TMZ, Chipotle -- an investor in the NBC reality show -- was supposed to provide a management team to run his three Soul Daddy restaurants for one year ... but they really screwed the pooch.

According to Jamawn, Chipotle hired a bum management team with NO experience cooking soul food OR running a soul food restaurant -- and his restaurants tanked as a result ... closing soon after.

J hasn't filed any legal papers yet -- but he's telling friends ... the show owes him $46,000 for a year's worth of salary ... and still hasn't paid a dime.

A rep for Chipotle tells TMZ, "The Soul Daddy restaurants were generating significant negative cash flows and, after a careful review of the business, the investor group made the decision to close the restaurants."

But there's a light at the end of the tunnel -- sources tell TMZ, Jamawn and Chipotle are currently hammering out a settlement deal. more on this story

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