Agave Juntion Cantina: One Million, Scoreboard: -10

ScoreboardIn 2010, entrepreneur Bryan and wife Michelle discovered their favorite hangout, Scoreboard in Norwalk, California, was up for sale. Michelle’s father, Larry, owned the building and lent the couple $300,000 to purchase the business. At first sales were high so Bryan left Michelle to run the business. Despite her degree in management, Michelle ignored any problems that arose such as unclean or broken equipment. Scoreboard quickly lost points with customers, revenues dropped and Michelle and Bryan stopped paying her dad back on loans and rent. Despite Bryan taking on handy man and construction work at the bar in order to cover the bills, the couple found themselves over $364,000 in debt.

Scoreboard has many problems that can be fixed with training and hard work; for example, the bar is filthy, there is no system for running food and the bartenders do not know how to make cocktails properly. The most challenging aspect of this rescue is embedded deep in the business: management. Michelle does not know how to manage a business in any aspect.

Taffer brings in an expert mixologist and professional chef to train the staff behind the bar and in the kitchen. Michelle and Bryan learn firsthand how to be actually be better managers when Taffer fills the bar so they can learn from their mistakes. Taffer decides to stick with the Hispanic theme and rename the bar Agave Junction Cantina. The sign for Scoreboard has a white backdrop and by inverting these colors with a dark background and colorful lettering, Taffer made the sign noticeable from all the way down the road. A red treatment was done to the roof so that people’s eyes are directly drawn to the door.

With the managers behaving like managers and the staff trained up, Agave Junction Cantina has turned into a success. Since the Rescue, food sales are up over 50 percent and tequila sales have more than tripled. Michelle and Bryan have paid Larry rent for the first time in eight months and they are well on their way to chipping away at the $364,000 debt.

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