Jon Taffer: Before There was Bar Rescue

Jon Taffer, Bar Rescue

Before there was Bar Rescue, before people celebrated me or hated me for my – let’s just call it ‘direct’ approach – on the show, I was a guy who created reactions.  Working in the entertainment and hospitality business for years, I became focused on the principles of reaction management that, ultimately, made me a success. 

The notion that I was making an impact on others by teaching reaction management was, and is, what drives me to continue in this treacherous industry. I realized the passion I’d gained from the industry prompted me to continue to help others succeed. It’s truly gratifying to have a substantial impact on someone.

So, before I ever saved a bar on the air, I was saving bars at the Nightclub & Bar Show.

As a founding member of Nightclub & Bar, now celebrating its 30th Anniversary March 30 – April 1, 2015 at the Las Vega Convention Center, the event has become more than a business opportunity. I have an emotional and nostalgic connection to it.

Our beginnings were modest. Why? Because at that time, there was no show for the bar industry. No common voice or base of industry resources. And we needed to change that!

We nurtured the Nightclub & Bar magazine and show in Oxford, Miss., with a bunch of college students from Ole Miss. Our first shows had about 100 booths and a few hundred attendees — and we were thrilled! Each year, we added more and bigger booths, more educational programs and keynotes and the greatest group of evening events and parties of any convention anywhere. Along the way, Nightclub & Bar became important...very important.

Now, our show attendees represent more than 200,000 locations from the United States and 55 other countries, with combined annual beverage sales of nearly $20 billion! The depth, power and reach of our show exceeded even the greatest visions of the founding Advisory Board Members. I know it exceeds mine. 

My fondest moment over the years was the 25th Anniversary Gala. We gave away industry awards and hosted a special 25th Anniversary party.  I had just become the President of Nightclub & Bar Media Group and I was looking forward to bringing the show to new heights of excitement and energy as we continued to make the annual event the center of the greatest industry in the world.

We’re an industry that’s very fragmented and one of the last independent businesses. The Nightclub & Bar Show plays a very important role in a community that doesn’t change or communicate with each other very often. Nightclub & Bar is truly the one time of the year where industry professionals can grow and exchange ideas. We live in a promotional industry; we live from trend to trend, product to product. This show is the only instrument out there to keep our industry current. And if you’re not current then you’re giving your business to your competition.

If you don’t come to the Nightclub & Bar Show, you don’t grow your business. If you truly want to be part of this industry, part of the ideas, you come to the show. If not, when your competition kicks your butt, you’ll know why. 

About the Author: 
Energetic and commanding television star, businessman, author and orator extraordinaire, Jon Taffer is the famed host of Spike TV’s highest rated show “Bar Rescue,” a Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author of Raise The Bar and host of the new hit Spike program “Hungry Investors.” An internationally recognized, award-winning restaurant operator, owner and concept developer, Taffer is the leading industry voice with over 30 years of hands-on experience in the restaurant, bar and nightclub business, having consulted for over 800 business in his career. As one of only six inductees into the Nightclub Hall of Fame, Taffer is also the holder of such distinctions as “Pub Master,” “Operator of the Year” and winner of “Property of the Year.” Taffer also serves as President of Nightclub & Bar Media Group. 


The Nightclub & Bar Show is the industry's largest annual gathering of bar, beverage and nightlife professionals. The 30th Anniversary Event will take place March 30-April 1, 2015 in Las Vegas. For more information about the Nightclub & Bar Show, visit