As Seen on TVa|.

Have you seen your bar on TV lately? Chances are, you joined the more than a million viewers who tuned into Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” each Sunday to watch Nightclub & Bar Media Group President Jon Taffer save a bar on the brink of disaster. The show finished its first season with far more fanfare and viewers than we even hoped for, garnering rave reviews and drawing a lot of attention to our business.

So I have to ask, did you see yourself or your place in any of those episodes? Did you recognize some things that you and your staff are doing — or not doing — and some areas of your operation that are crying out for an update or a sharpened focus? Did you go into your bar on a Monday morning and analyze the number of steps your bartenders take to make a cocktail? Did you go into the kitchen and check for grime and grit? Did you scrutinize your pour costs, keg yields, walk-ins and drink menu, looking for waste and lost opportunity? If so, you’re not alone. I’d love to hear what you were inspired to inspect and change as a result of watching “Bar Rescue” — email me at [email protected].

While the bars and stories changed with each episode, a few themes were undeniably consistent:
• Cleanliness is required, from front- to back-of-house.
• Every drop counts, so account for every drop of liquid poured.
• Stale décor will stall sales.
• Know your clientele, and be clear about who you are, as well.
• And finally, absentee or inattentive management/owners is a recipe for disaster.

Time and again, Jon Taffer demonstrated that bars fail when their owners or managers are not paying attention to the business. Are you committed to cleanliness, cost controls and sound management practices, not to mention customer service, concept relevance and quality products that draw a crowd? If you communicate those priorities to the bartenders and staff — through words and actions, as well as by holding them accountable — your bar will succeed. If not, the bar is running itself — and you — into the ground.

This month, Jon Taffer takes his show on the road with NCB University Rescue Tour stops in Chicago (Oct. 4), Philadelphia (Oct. 18) and Long Beach, Calif. (Nov. 1). Here’s your chance to learn tried-and-true tactics for running your bar successfully.
The TV show is fun, but it also demonstrates this is a serious business. Pay attention to your business, and it will pay you back handsomely.

See you at the bar!

Donna Hood Crecca

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