What does it take to run a successful bar? Owners of taverns and pubs have been asking that question for decades and many are still searching for answers that seem impossible to find. One man who knows the answers and has a proven track record of success is television personality Jon Taffer. He has helped bring back hundreds of bars from the brink of extinction and he shares his formula for success in the pages of Raise the Bar: An Action- Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions.
Building a Better Business
Jon Taffer is a man who knows a thing or two about running a successful bar and he shares his many years of wisdom in the pages of this book. Written as a guide for bar business success, Raise the Bar offers no- nonsense advice on the do’s and don’ts that can either improve sales and profits or send your business spiraling toward bankruptcy.
I have never owned a bar, but I have worked in them and I remember all too well the struggles that owners and managers had as they tried to find ways to make the bar more attractive to more customers. To an outsider, the solution may seem simple and obvious, but once you are behind the bar, mixing, shaking, conversing, and trying your best to satisfy customers, the situation becomes far more complex. A drink special or expanded happy hour or ladies night might work, but only to an extent. Once the excitement wears off, everything often returns to normal and managers find themselves in the same frustrating position; looking for ways to spark interest, convince more people to walk through the front door, and build a viable business.
Jon Taffer has saved hundreds of bars from closure and many recognize him as the host of the popular Spike TV reality show Bar Rescue. Taffer wants to help bar owners achieve the greatest success possible and he shares his advice openly and candidly in the pages of Raise the Bar. He explains why simple price maneuvers like the ones I described in the previous paragraph will not usually work for long and he explains why conventional wisdom is often very misleading in the bar business. He lays everything on the line, explaining what is likely to work, what is not likely to work, and how a bar can often achieve greatness with just a few simple changes- changes that grab customers’ attention, cause a positive reaction, and keep them coming back for more.
Creating customer reactions is, in fact, the main theme behind Raise the Bar and it is one to which Taffer returns again and again throughout the book. If you stop and think about the bars you have visited over the years and the ones you liked best, chances are the best ones stand out because they produced a reaction that could not be easily forgotten. It could be a clever theme or a very comfortable atmosphere. It could be an extraordinary level of service never before experienced. It could be an amazing meal and drink combination that blew you away. Whatever the cause, these reactions matter more than anything because they drive customer satisfaction to new levels and convince people to return in the future.
No Time for Rest
Raise the Bar is a little different from other business books, but in a good way. This is not the sleep- inducing management book you dreaded reading and couldn’t finish in graduate school no matter how hard you tried. This book is better because its advice is solid, reasonable, and innovative. Taffer is not afraid to challenge business convention and he readily takes on some of the more conventional wisdom by which many business owners operate. His advice is clear cut and I like that it can be applied to other businesses besides bars. Like I said, I have never owned a bar and no longer work in them, but the advice offered in Raise the Bar is practical enough and applicable enough to make the book useful to management in many industries.
Running a bar is hard work and it is an obvious but unfortunate fact that many entrepreneurs who open a bar do not have the faintest idea how to run them effectively. Jon Taffer knows the bar business quite well and he offers up some very sound, very useful advice in the pages of Bar Rescue. You may not agree with everything he says as you read, but Taffer’s heart and experience are both in the right place. Follow his advice and your business will be well- positioned for future success.