Operation for Mission Possible at O'Banion's Bar & GrillMarch 9, 2014 By: Mary-Kate Dunphy
O’Banion’s is a failing bar in Bellvue, Nebraska right outside of Omaha. The bar is located near a military base, housing only one bar and restaurant, O’Banion’s, they are still somehow failing to attract the 22,000 inhabitants of the base. Two brothers (Jerry and Dave) and one life-long friend (Steve) bought the bar by leveraging their houses.
The first two years at the bar went swimmingly; O’banion’s was pulling in roughly $25,000 a month. However, conflicting ideas and methods on running O’Banion’s has caused serious strain on the owners’ relationships and wallets. As business dwindled, they began to butt heads on how to save the bar. Jerry makes decisions without confiding in Dave or Steve who together own 60% of the business. If communication between the three does not improve, O’Banion’s will go under within seven months and they’ll lose their $160,000 investment. Unable to maintain a productive partnership they’ve decided to make the much needed call for help.
O’Banion’s has many problems, starting with the outside and working through every aspect of the business. To start, the bar has no clear identity. It looks like an Irish bar from the outside with clovers on the sign, and yet it’s certainly not Irish. In order to succeed, the bar must have the support of the nearby military base and a clear concept that this target audience will understand and relate to.
Working your way inside things don’t get much better. The staff is not well trained behind the bar or in basic hospitality skills. There are no POS systems and no kitchen due to the fact that Jerry sold all the equipment to pay rent. As we know from past episodes a customer will typically stay 52 minutes longer at a bar when there is food. O’Banion’s dies allow customers to bring food in from other restaurants however they are not reaping any of the benefits.
Left unsupervised at the bar, Jerry’s behavior took the party to an extreme which left all of his coworkers aggravated. Employees and customers joke about fake promotions such as “Drink on Jerry’s Dime Night” and “Wait until Jerry gets drunk and buys everyone rounds”. The most prominent problem O’Banion’s has is the 40% owner, Jerry.
The first step taken to turn around O’Banion’s is a hostile takeover; after seeing Jerry make a drunken fool of himself at his own business, Jon encourages Dave and Steve to take their 60% ownership and take the keys and the power away from Jerry. Jerry, outraged, leaves the bar in a drunken fury; he surprisingly comes in the next morning with a decent attitude and ready to work.
Getting down to business, Taffer surprised the team at O’Banion’s by installing full quipment in the unused kitchen. Essentially starting from scratch Taffer brings in mixologist Trevor Frye and Chef Nick Liberato in as his experts to start training the staff.
In order to full evaluate the staff’s skills a stress test ensues. During the stress test, Jerry came through in the kitchen, stayed sober and earned his keys back. Taffer seemed to inspire Jerry and really turn around his attitude; which was the biggest threat to the rescuing of this bar.
Taffer and his experts came up with a military theme for O’Banion’s in order to win over the service men and women down the road. The drinks are inspired by the armed forces and the food menu is full of All-American dishes. The experts successfully trained the staff behind the bar and in the kitchen; they are now able to make multiple drinks at once and run food to the correct table without confusion.
O’Banion’s Bar & Grill was transformed into Sorties Tavern by Taffer and his team. Sorties being a deployment or dispatch of one military unit, be it an aircraft, ship, or troops from a strongpoint.
During the relaunch, a large group of military personnel filled the bar with delight; they love the drink names and the hardy food choices. The staff never crossed 20 minute ticket times and Taffer could not be more proud of them.
Jerry has turned into a sober, likeable owner, Dave earned a deserved spot in the kitchen and Steve proved he can do more than just talk. The three are working together and if they continue to do so, there is no chance of failure.
Six weeks after the relaunch, drink sales at Soties have increased by 20% and food has increased by 100%. Jerry has continued on his road of sobriety and the three owners are successfully working together.