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Episode Recap

Taffer Exchanges The Tailgate In for a More Youthful Bar

April 6, 2014 By: Mary-Kate Dunphy


The Tailgate

The Tailgate is a bar just north of Los Angeles, California owned by two siblings, Mike and Diane. Almost every employee the siblings have hired is a family member, including the operating manager, Pops, their father. Instead of helping the family business, the new employees encouraged bad behavior causing The Tailgate to spiral out of control. Mike, Diane and Pops have clashing managerial styles which causes animosity. Now facing a $200,000 debt, Mike and Diane are only three months away from closing their doors for good and fracturing the family beyond repair.

There are many challenges to overcome when rescuing The Tailgate. To start, the exterior is completely unappealing and looks like a DMV, which no one wants to go to. Next to no one that works at The Tailgate has had any formal training, particularly the cook, Robert. The kitchen is completely unsanitary and one big health hazard. The most pressing issue The Tailgate faces, however, is the family drama; Mike, Diane and Pops cannot seem to agree on anything.

Jon Taffer brought in culinary expert Brendan Collins to train Robert and brought in Phil Willis to train the bartenders. Unfortunately, Robert could not step up in the kitchen; after causing a grease fire it was clear that he did not belong, so Diane acted like a real manager and fired him. Taffer, Collins and Willis came up with a fun, interactive concept that would attract the proper demographic (21-34). Diane finally accepted that she cannot be best friends with everyone and now daughter, son and father have put their differences aside and found a communication system that works for them.

Taffer transformed The Tailgate into The Shot Exchange. The entire bar was redone, from kitchen equipment, to the dance floor and the bar top. Six weeks after the relaunch, food and beverage sales have tripled. Robert has not been back to the bar at all and there is a new cook with no family affiliation. Most important for business, the family drama has stopped and The Shot Exchange has a bright future.


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