The Bullpen is in Need of Relief

The Bullpen before being relaunched as Oak Tavern.

This year, 6,500 bars nationwide will close their doors for good. If things don’t change soon, the Bullpen Bar in Sparks, Nevada will become just another statistic. In 2013, retired Major League Baseball pitcher Dan Serafini opened up the Bullpen Bar. Desperate for a new career after losing his $14,000,000 fortune through a series of bad investments and a bitter divorce settlement, Dan convinced his parents to take out a $240,000 loan against their house to buy a bar.

To handle the high volume of customers, Dan hired trusted family friends Wynter and Tara who also live with Dan and his wife. Riding high off his early success, Dan stepped away from running the bar’s day-to-day operations to devote more time to his new wife Erin. As the staff continued to party, Dan saw his profits dwindle and now finds himself $300,000 in debt. On the verge of losing his bar, his house and his parents’ house, Dan is down to his final out. So, he’s agreed to pull back the doors, bust open the books and make a call for relief to Bar Rescue.

Dan’s staff treated his bar as though it were a playground. The bartenders would routinely drink on the job. One bartender in particular, Jessica, blew a 0.21 when Jon Taffer administered a breathalyzer test. The four bartenders were tested for drink production by Jon and one, Wynter, was fired for being the slowest. It turned out Jessica, bartending sober, was the fastest of the staff behind the bar. The space, once an uninspired dive, was given a new life as a cozy local bar named Oak Tavern.

The Science

Most bars make about 70% of their revenue in just 16 hours per week. These hours take place during Friday and Saturday nights. Because these evenings are – in the vast majority of cases – the busiest, bartenders need to be fast and accurate when it comes to producing drinks.

Speed and accuracy can be measured via DPA (Drinks Per Average). The formula is rather simple: sales time divided by number of drinks produced, which is then divided by the national average of 40 seconds to produce a drink. A bartender with a DPA of 1.00 is average. A bartender with a DPA over 1.00 is below the national average and therefore slow; bartenders with DPAs under 1.00 are fast.

Vic Vegas explained chemical meat tenderizing. Tougher cuts of meat benefit from tenderizing as the breaking down of enzymes leads to meat that cooks faster and tastes better. While manual tenderizing works just fine, using garlic, green onions and oranges not only imparts flavor, the acids break down the enzymes and soften the fibers in the meat.

The Result

Six weeks after the relaunch of Oak Tavern, owner Dan says the business is up over 70% in sales. Bartender Jessica has tripled her sales due to bartending sober. Additionally, the foreclosure notice is off of Dan’s house.

Suggested Articles

New reports have an updated forecast on the total sales lost from COVID-19 and restaurants are pacing ahead of retail and beauty businesses that are c

Leaders come together to share creative strategies and tactics as the industry reopens.

We discussed how bars and restaurants can structure their menus with Allison Varone, VP of Belvedere Vodka for Moet Hennessy USA.