The Nightclub & Bar (NCB) University Rescue Tour shot out of the gate this week, hosting a sold-out crowd of more than 230 attendees on its first stop in Chicago. Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” star and NCB Media Group President Jon Taffer energized a group of bar, nightclub and restaurant owners and operators, managers, bartenders, chefs and other industry professionals with a wealth of tips, tricks and industry science.
“I’m not going to change what you do, I’m going to change the way you think,” Taffer says. “You’re here for a reason: You want to change.”
With a bark that is one part bite and two parts inspiration, Taffer discussed the erroneous hiring procedures that many owners and operators practice. According to Taffer, a true industry professional will hire an employee for his or her personality, not experience.
“You can’t change average when it’s bred into a personality,” he says. “You need winners. I can’t invest weeks [of training] into average.”
Taffer’s “Bar Rescue” co-stars, Chef Brian Duffy and expert mixologist Michael Tipps, also checked in to give their take on how to develop money-making food and beverage programs.
According to Duffy, engineering a food menu can have a huge impact on an establishment’s bottom line. Boxing an item on a menu can increase its financial return by up to 20%.
Although they may not have the same cache as house-infused spirits, Tipps says glassware and presentation are his favorite subjects. Finding ways to create great guest reactions through colors and garnishes is key, he says. Using an orange-lemon-lime wheel combo on the edge of a glass can spark an “ooh” or “ahh” out of almost any customer.
Getting a patron to say, “I’ll have what he’s having,” is exactly the response owners and operators should be aiming for, Taffer notes.
“He or she who creates the best reaction wins,” he says.
Sponsored by BevIntel, TurboTap, AMI Entertainment Network, 2TouchPOS and Bg Certified TIPS Training, the Rescue Tour will head to Philadelphia on Oct. 18 and round out the schedule with a finale in Long Beach, Calif., on Nov. 1.
Judging by the nodding heads, applause and impulsive shouts of “Yes!” from the audience, Taffer and company gave attendees exactly what they were looking for: the tools needed to pave the way to profitable change.
For more information or to register for future events, check out www.ncbshow.com/rescue-tour.