Itas A New Year! What Have You Done So Far?

EBar Rescue Insiderditor's Note: The following is one in a series of blogs provided by the experts who have worked incredibly hard to make Spike TV's "Bar Rescue" reality program, starring Nightclub & Bar Media Group President Jon Taffer, such a success. The Bar Rescue Insider blog series will deliver tried-and-true tips and tricks to help bar owners, operators and managers solve common problems and increase their bottom line. Tune in to for the next edition of Bar Rescue Insider!

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So…What have you done so far? For me I have rewritten my business plan, secured a new agency, readjusted my client base to work with a more positive group of people, reassessed my social media sites (deleting negative forces), reached out to a wider base of clients and have forced myself to look at my business not as a source of income, but a source of achievement.

There are multiple reasons why I have been so busy these past 16 days. And one reason is to tell YOU that as a business owner, not just a restaurant or bar or nightvlub owner, YOU need to look at your business with fresh eyes and see how YOU can do things differently. The New Year is a GREAT time for us as owners to look at the mistakes that we may have made and take a look at what we could have done better in order to increase revenue and guest satisfaction.  

It is common to have a slight dip in business 30 days after new year’s eve as individuals finally get back into a normal routine posts holiday season. This gives us as owners an opportunity to grab our staff and our managers, sit down and ask a few but very important questions.

1.    What was the high point of last year?

a.    Have each person in the room give examples of what they believe was the high point from last year.
b.    Make sure to designate someone as the note taker (or if feasible film/record the meeting).

2.    What was the lowest point of the year?

a.    You can break this into season to obtain a better understanding.

3.    Break down each month.

a.    January - Holidays, Feb – Super Bowl, March - St. Patrick’s Day, etc.
b.    Discuss how they could have been executed at a higher level.

4.    What improvements (according to the staff) need to be addressed?

a.    I.E. backbar, walk-in refrigerator, front entrance, tables and floor.

5.    What systems work and don’t work?

a.    I.E. server sidework, kitchen closing, POS is missing items.

6.    Conduct a blind session.

a.    Have all staff members write their top five concerns for the restaurant on a 3X5 index card. Then have them place the folded card in a box.

7.    Have a staff brainstorming session.  

a.     Allow the staff an opportunity to talk about some of their ideas.
b.    Allow them to be involved in the creative process.

8.    KEEP IT POSITIVE!! (you will see better responses this way)

Now the hard part! YOU need to accept what has been discussed and act immediately. In order to do this, take the key people in your business and delegate new and old responsibilities to them (i.e. Joan is responsible for the Super Bowl planning. Last year we did XYZ and this year we should do ABC. Have this done and planned by January 21 in order to marketing it properly). The more specific you are with the goals and expectations the more likely the promotion will be successful.

The point is that you want to grow from last year not only in sales but in brand exposure. You need to create the brand and create an experience that keeps people coming back. We can do a lot by ourselves but we can accomplish more if we utilize the team that we have put in place!! 

So get to work and I hope that 2013 is one of enormous experiences and profits!

I’ll see you at Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Vegas on March 19 – 21, 2013. Make sure to check out my Workshop – Running a Highly Profitable Bar Food Program on Tuesday, March 19th at 9:30am.

Also – make sure to watch Season 3 of Spike TV’s hit show “Bar Rescue” on Sunday, February 10!


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