Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer Takes On Some Of TV’s Favorite Bars
Running a (fictional) bar is not just a business -- it’s a science. Jessica Liese imagines what he might have to say about watering holes on scripted TV shows.
The Space: A cozy, but downmarket, Irish pub on the Upper West Side of Manhattan serving a full menu of pub fare
This zip code boasts one of the highest per capita incomes in New York City -- who the hell's coming up here for five-dollar Rolling Rocks? Besides, half-assed Irish dives are a dime a dozen in this city, so you need something to set you apart. I've envisioned a new concept for you: you're now a gastropub with upscale comfort food and an extensive craft beer menu to better attract the area's upper-middle-class residents.
The Space: A free-standing building with extensive seating and a Cajun-influenced menu of bar favorites
That's not to say you shouldn't be looking to serve vampires and other so-called dangerous subcultures in the area. This is the only bar in town, so you should be a welcoming place for everyone! The local vampire population has a lot of disposable income, and if you make this an attractive destination, they'll spend it here. But to keep them coming back, and to keep them from killing your human customers, you've got to keep them happy. You can't just plunk down a bottle of TruBlood. We need to create some additional perceived value. Pour the blood into a special room-temperature martini glass, let it aerate for a moment, dash of bitters, add a garnish, and you have an artisanal cocktail. Make it a late-night drink special for your after-dark crowd.
Also, if you add a brunch menu, you'll effectively double the number of hours during which you can be making money. What's more, you're providing a service that's attractive to your human customers, but since they're visiting during daylight hours, they won't risk becoming someone's meal.
The Space: An upscale Italian restaurant with an extensive wine cellar and additional seating at the bar
Now let's talk about your staff. Tom, you started off as a very hands-on owner with a good head for business, but your tendency to prioritize being a mogul and living what you refer to as "the swag life" over actually dealing with the day-to-day minutiae of running your business is the main reason your bar is failing. You also need to stop feeding your friends for free: this Jean-Ralphio guy never leaves, and he's scaring people off. Also, I know you told your sommelier to tone it down, but he won't stop yelling at customers, and while his passion is admirable, he's absolutely not cut out to work front of house.
The Bar: Paddy's Pub, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Space: A nominally Irish bar in South Philly with a cavernous interior, a pool table, and a basement full of rats