Jon Taffer has pretty much seen it all. The president of Nightclub & Bar Media Group and host of Bar Rescue on Spike TV opened a bar outside Philadelphia in the '80s called Pulsations where a 27-foot, four-ton spaceship flew into the room and dispensed a robot who danced with women.
On the day the spaceship made its debut, Taffer realized he was crying. "I looked to my left and tears were rolling down his face. I looked at security and tears were rolling down their faces. I learned that through the use of technology, I created as close to a religious experience as possible… I learned at a very young age that reactions I created in other people controlled their destiny."
And that's what his new book Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions ($26, New Harvest), coming out today, is all about, what he calls Reaction Management.
He talks about Morton's, the steakhouse. "At Morton's the lights are low, the waiter walks slow.
If the waiter walks faster, the steak wouldn't be worth $60. The pace of the server is directly related to price."
After all, whether it's a nightclub, a bar, a restaurant, a boutique, all can create a defining moment.
He describes what people experience within their first three steps into a place. "Eyes can bounce all over the room. The eye goes to brightest spot in the room, then swings typically to the left. I know what you're going to see and not see… If you don't feel connected in the first three steps, you'll never feel connected."
Taffer will be at Tryst Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas this Friday night signing copies of his book from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Here he talks about the bar he wants to open on the Strip, his new show Hungry Investors and whether Bar Rescue will be coming to Vegas this season.
The Vegas food scene is heading to the middle. Are there advantages to keeping a bar or club super fancy, or are following trends a good idea?
In the bar business, you follow trends or you create the trends. I like the word ride rather than follow the trends. We can sense when trends are going.
The deejay trend out of control. Sixty percent of the billboards in Las Vegas are for deejays. It's almost like drafting too many football players.
The pendulum will swing back. Somebody's going to sign major contracts and three to four months from then they will lose value. They're going to look at the economical return on investment as compared to what they're making.
To read the full interview visit Eater.