In 2012, Jon Taffer was called in to rescue Extreme Sports Bar & Grill, a bikini bar in Orange, CA teetering on the brink of failure. The bar was $180,000 in debt; Taffer immediately took charge and addressed the major issues with Owner Terry and Manager Gary. Taffer then implemented new food, drinks as well as uniforms for the bartenders turning the once failing Extreme into Second Base and as a result sales skyrocketed. However, at the height of their success, Second Base was thrown a curve ball when multiple sports bars opened nearby and began losing $4,000 a month.
As sales dwindled, Terry and Gary began blaming each other for the shrinking customer base. Focused on paying off his debt, Terry neglected to put any money back into the bar. Once again, the bar began to fall apart. With the clock running down and having been rescued by Taffer once already, Second Base is in need of a pinch hitter.
Taffer faces many internal and external challenges in order to rescue Second Base for the second time. There is no sidewalk presence whatsoever to this bar; the sign is not even lit up. If people do not even notice a bar, how does one expect them to walk in and spend money?
The last rescue, Taffer convinced Terry to empower Gary as the manager so blame automatically fell on him when Terry denied fault. The rancid smell of Extreme has returned, there is no longer a cocktail menu and the food menu that was created for Second Base no longer exists. The staff reveals that Terry actually has been actively neglecting Second Base; he does not know his employees’ names, does not replace the kegeratgors and does not acknowledge the lack of sanitation behind the bar. The employees at Second Base, including Manager Gary, are passionate and willing to work.
To start this second rescue, Taffer brings in Lisa Marie Joyce, TGI Fridays 2014 Bartending Champion, to train the staff and assist in cleaning. Fruit flies have caused much damage to the bar equipment. Fruit flies are attracted to a process associated with the fermentation of yeast. As yeast acts on the sugar that has been added during the brewing process it produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. With the scent of carbon dioxide serving as their guide, the fruit flies attract to the yeast and lay their eggs on the surface. The larva then grow and begin to feed on the yeast organisms for protein turning their food into a semi-liquid sludge and endangering bar patrons.
Terry ended up disrespecting Lisa Marie, leaving the staff to clean and set up by themselves. Terry’s ignorance mixed with his stubbornness is a recipe for disaster.
While Joyce acknowledges that Terry is an egotistical, arrogant human being, she still comes back to train the staff because both her and Taffer recognize they are hardworking and willing to learn. Taffer devises a plan to rescue Second Base. He chooses to keep the name because three name changes in three years indicates a failed location which draws away customers. He plans to redo the entire outside because the current Second Base is a botch. Research shows that people are willing to spend 20-30% more at establishments with wood and stone finishes so Taffer plans to do just that.
Taffer also wants to add a dance floor, blow out the beer coolers and plumbing to completely replace them. He then tells Terry he plans to put $100,000 into Second Base but there’s a catch; Terry has to prove he cares by putting in $30,000.
Terry deliberated, however he told the staff and Jon Taffer that he could not come up with $30,000. The staff of Second Base does not believe this to be true as Terry owns other successful bars that he often puts his own money into. Regardless of renovations, an enthusiastic staff or all the money in the world, if an owner doesn’t care about a business, there is no chance of success. Terry put blame on other people and was not willing to learn from the experts. Taffer plans to help the girls and Gary find jobs in order to help their futures.
Six weeks after Taffer left Second Base’s second rescue, sales are still on the decline and Gary continues to work hard as the manager. Gary and the rest of the staff are actively seeking other employment opportunities. Terry still has not invested any money into the bar.
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