Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I've become a fan of "Bar Rescue"

In general, I'm not a fan of "reality TV" however as of late I've become a fan of Spike's Bar Rescue. The host of the show Jon Taffer visits many failing bars around the nation and then attempts to turn them around. Sometimes the changes take and sometimes the changes don't.

Only in one case did Taffer walk away before rescuing the bar. Often when introducing the bar in trouble the narrator often note that a respective bar pull back the doors, and bust open the books and made a call to Bar Rescue. But since this is about TV no one made a call probably they had to get the attention of producers to say "Hey come check out our bar, we're in trouble".

I often laugh when Taffer and his experts - who are usually other bartenders & cooks - get livid because the workers at these bars prove themselves to be not very good with sanitizing their work areas. I realize that a clean establishment helps make customers welcome but Taffer's performances in those instances seem over the top and hilarious.

Most of what you see in these episodes makes for good TV. Besides if everyone just agreed with each other - bar staff and consultants alike - it wouldn't make for good TV. It's takes drama and conflict and sometimes creative editing. I write in editing because I recognize there are also two sides to every story, what you see on TV may not be what really happened.

Even then however, the business aspects of Bar Rescue is fascinating. Food keeps customers in the bar, if you pour too much alcohol that's pouring money down the drain, you can create a narrow enough passageway where people must interact socially, and on & on. In talking about Taffer's experience rescuing a bar is often noted on the series as not just a business but a science.

As stated earlier some of the changes Taffer has made to these many bars have taken and some haven't. In some instances the owners and management were too stuck on a concept that wasn't working. And perhaps in some instances Taffer missed his mark anyway. Besides you can't get it right all the time!

Still I hope aspiring bar-owners are taking notes on what it takes to run a successful bar. Perhaps Taffer can inspire future "bar scientists". :P

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