The food and beverage industry has become so competitive that restaurant and bar owners need to really stay at the top of their game in order to be successful.
Jon Taffer, a highly esteemed, long-time, food and beverage consultant recognized this need and in July 2011 launched Bar Rescue. Jon has flipped or owned more than 600 bars or clubs in his career and is more than an expert in the industry. Bar Rescue is an American reality series which has taken the industry by storm. In fact, Jon Taffer has been referred to as the Gordon Ramsay of the bar and nightclub business. In each episode Taffer helps transform a failed, fruitless bar into a vibrant, successful business by utilizing all the tricks and tools of the trade. Taffer offers not only his expertise but helps with renovations, equipment, future planning and so much more.
Taffer has an incredible eye for detail and after a complete analysis of an establishment will suggest improvements to even the smallest of components. From the height and width of the bar, to the music, to the brands behind the bar, to the intricate science of pouring, the décor and the food. Mirroring Ramsay’s attitude in Kitchen Nightmares, he doesn’t hold back and doesn’t leave a cushion unturned! He is assisted by a team of experts including celebrity chefs, mixologists, interior decorators and most importantly by his lovely wife Nicole.
Bar Rescue have put together an incredible 6-step plan to rescue any bar. These should form the guiding foundations of any establishment:
The 6 steps are:
“#1: Beware the dangers of over-pouring
#2: The importance of proper staff training
#3: Keep the food menu short and simple
#4: The owner and/or staff are employed to work not to party
#5: The bar manager needs to be respected and retain control of his bar at all times.
#6: The bar must have clear outdoor signage/decor which clearly indicates its offering.
For now we are going to take a closer look at steps 1 and 2:
“#1: The dangers of over-pouring.
Over-pouring is probably the most detrimental mistake that many bars make. It literally can halve your profits and in fact Taffer refers to it as a form of stealing. It is that dangerous for a bar business and can be caused by two things: either by staff trying to please customers by giving more alcohol than requested or by pure absentmindedness.
If staff are trying to please customers and increase their tips by over-pouring, they are in essence stealing from the establishment. In addition to this free shots and or drinks are sometimes given out and sure enough, little by little, these add up. Owners and managers need to be particularly careful of this as in one episode of Bar Rescue a bar gave away free bottles of spirits to groups of 6 or more only to find out weeks later that they were rewarding the same 6 customers every week! This resulted in chunks of profit being eaten away at with every bottle awarded.
The other cause is simple. Carelessness in the form of spillage is very common; you would be surprised by how much profit ends up on the bar counter or on the floor at the end of a busy night. Wastage in any shape or form is unnecessary and can be avoided with properly trained staff and efficient pouring tools such as spirit measures and high quality pourers.
Be careful and avoid these problems, both you and your business will be grateful. For more on how to increase your profits in the bar business watch here:
#2: The importance of proper staff training
Although it may not look like it, the bar industry is a professional industry and it needs to be regarded this way particularly by bar owners themselves. The sad fact is that this is rarely the case.
Your staff are your biggest marketing tool, and it is the way they do their jobs that will ensure return customers. How can owners expect this to happen if they won’t invest in proper training?
As a customer you want to know that you are being served timeously, efficiently, politely and that your cocktail, drink or food is good quality and has been prepared with care. If these basic needs are not met it is not likely that you will return.
It is simple, without properly trained staff bar owners cannot expect to be successful. It is vital to not only ensuring the popularity of your bar but also in actually keeping its doors open.
Keen to brush up on your bar-tending skills or make sure your bartenders are up to scratch? Click here for Bartending 101: