Rocks is Reborn as the Electrifying Power Plant.September 23, 2012 By: JoAnn Cianciulli
“Laguna Niguel is a nice area and this place isn’t nice. We are loosing a lot of business because of it.” - Jen (Bartender)
Scott Terheggen left his lucrative real estate career to open Rocks in Laguna Niguel, California. This beach community is located along the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by six different colleges. Situated in the city’s unseemly industrial park right off the 5 freeway lies Rocks. Back in the day, the local bar was a huge success due to a loophole in the city’s code that allowed customers to smoke indoors while the competition had to quit. When the loophole closed and the smoke cleared, Rocks was left in disrepair. Instead of adapting to the change, owner Scott checked out and became an absentee owner. By day Rocks is open, but empty and by night the staff’s rough and rowdy friends overrun it. The once successful bar and lounge has become known amongst locals as the “dive off the 5”.
Back in its heyday, the bar got a full crowd of college kids all the way up to adults in their mid 30’s. Sales were topping $50,000 a month, but now Rocks struggles to hit $30,000 a month. And to add insult to injury, rent increased from $5,000 a month to $7,500. Scott reveals, “It’s been a huge blow.”
Aside from the massive neglect and filth, Rocks is losing thousands of dollars daily. Good people don't make a great bar. Good employees do. The staff at Rocks is severely mistrained and misdirected. And it's Scott's lack of attention and leadership in not putting enough time into the business that has lead to the bar’s failure. But the staff doesn't get it themselves. They are sloppy pourers (often spilling more than ends up in the glass), give cocktails to their friends, and then cop attitude about it.
Jon calls in BevIntel liquor control system to track bar inventory and keep bartenders honest and accountable. Jon explains, “BevIntel is a great resource that I use to monitor bartender performance. They tell me if bartenders are over pouring or stealing. And they do it by weighing every liquor bottle in the bar. Numbers don't lie. It is what is. If 20 ounces of vodka was consumed, and only 10 ounces was sold, then 10 are missing. End of story.” In one night, the BevIntel report reveals that the bartenders gave away over $1,200 worth of liquor! Jon is furious.
Jon tells Scott and the bartenders, “Today is the day of change. Not only am I going to change this place, I am going to change you.”
Rocks is transformed from the “dive off the 5” to Power Plant, a sexy nightclub that targets the young, hip, college crowd that is so prevalent in the area. Jon Taffer explains to Scott, “The demographics of the area show six colleges close by with over 250,000 students. I wanted to help you tap into that market place by giving you a bar that these 20-somethings would find hip, cool, and safe. I wanted to create a party destination… a place they could come to dance and drink and ultimately, put lots of money into your pocket and your employees’ pockets.”
Inside, the bar has been transformed into an industrial-inspired dance club. We replaced the old buzzing speakers with a whole new sound system to make this place sound incredible. Clean sound is going to be more pleasant to the customers’ ears and keep them dancing and drinking longer.
The gross, disgusting carpet is removed. Once that was gone, so was the stale beer smell that permeated the place. Jon’s design team has also grinded and sealed the cement that was underneath the carpet, which goes with the new industrial look; that will be easy to keep clean, and won’t trap the smells of any spilled drinks.
With the new dance floor full and the customers enjoying the new drinks, Power Plant is on its way to becoming Laguna Niguel’s new nightclub sensation.
With the staff becoming better from the expert training they received, Power Plant launches successfully with the bartenders pouring accurately and DJ Green spinning keeps the party going.