Editor's Note: The following is the fourth in a series of blogs provided by the experts who have worked incredibly hard to make Spike TV's "Bar Rescue" reality program, starring Nightclub & Bar Media Group President Jon Taffer, such a success. The Bar Rescue Insider blog series will deliver tried-and-true tips and tricks to help bar owners, operators and managers solve common problems and increase their bottom line. Tune in to Nightclub.com every Wednesday for the next edition of Bar Rescue Insider!
Although it's important for patrons to be able to see and find your establishment, what happens when a customer walks through the door will make or break you. Welcoming staff and a good selection of spirits is a must, but don't neglect the visual and olfactory impressions. In the first 20 seconds, your customers will see enough and smell enough to make a judgement on your business.
If your bar has carpeting, spend the money to have it shampooed regularly; if your establishment has high ceilings, be sure to keep a ladder for regular cleaning and dusting of light fixtures and fans. Additionally, if your bar has wood flooring, keep it maintained and spend the money to refinish it if it is looking worn out; if a ceiling is experiencing water damage, pay to have it fixed and repair the ceiling. The term "dive bar" is no excuse for neglecting your obligation of a sanitary environment.
The wood floors at The Abbey in Chicago were in desperate need of refinishing (top, before; bottom, after). Fortunately, "Bar Rescue" was there to help! For more on The Abbey's "Bar Rescue" episode, click here.
I live in my home with my husband, three children, two dogs, and a cat. When company is coming, we race about to straighten up and clean because we want our friends to see us at our best. Think of your business the same way! If you want your company to stay — and more importantly, return — take the time to keep your space at its best.
I cringe when I think about some bars I saw when working on Spike TV's reality show, "Bar Rescue," that weren't run this way. Many times we found mismanaged or neglected garbage stashes that not only smelled horrible but attracted the wrong four- and six-legged clientele.
Bar owners: Please don't stash your trash — throw it away!
The local health and safety codes for businesses that prepare and sell food and beverages can vary from county to county; it's important you know your county's rules and regulations without having to look them up. You are responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of your equipment, the handling of all food and beverages and the cleanliness of all preparation and service surfaces.
It is essential your space gets a good cleaning each day, but it is wise to hire professionals for regular deep cleaning as well. Cleanliness is key: A lapse can result in anything from turning off customers to spreading disease to closure of your business by a health inspector. "Bar Rescue" star and Nightclub & Bar Media Group President Jon Taffer and I can tell in the first 20 seconds of entering if a bar is maintained for cleanliness, and so can your potential customers.