Out of all the reality TV show hosts which pertain to flipping a poor performing bar or restaurant, I feel Jon Taffer is the best of the best. Not only do you have to be knowledgeable in in the food and beverage industry, you have to know how to motivate and inspire. Here are a few reasons why he is the man:
- Industry knowledge – Like many of the reality hosts, Mr. Taffer has years of experience and knowledge, however, he knows how to translate this into action. He knows how to separate his personal opinion against what is needed for each bar or restaurant to be successful. He looks at consumer data from the area, making sure there is an actual business need for the changes he implements. Unlike other celebrity chef or bar consultant types, he does not have a cookie cutter standard on each operation. He also knows how to bring in other industry experts to get the job done.
- Professional Chaos – If you really pay attention to him during his show, you will see that almost every time he introduces himself, he is EXTREMELY professional and proper. Anyone in the industry should follow this same demeanor. It isn’t until someone lies, cheats, or puts others in harms way, does he amp up into the beast he is know to be. He is full aware of all his actions and what the response will be.
- Motivation – Yes, he may verbally abuse a poor performing employee who has a negative impact on his or her establishment. Yes, he may bring people to the brink of tears or fist throwing. But what happens, after all of the yelling and screaming, when the unmotivated employee actually starts doing well? He is the FIRST to provide support and praise this action. He will 100% give credit where it is due, and if you have just spent the last 3 days being yelled at by the ‘enemy’ and then the ‘enemy’ becomes your support system, brings out the best in you, and inspires you to achieve what Mr. Taffer knew you could do all along…that is how you truly change habits, and bring a positive, reassuring attitude to the workplace, while also reassuring the credibility of your actions.
- Needs no credit – It takes a team to pull off a complete overhaul. Mr. Taffer always lets you know that company ‘xyz’ was the one who created your new sign in under 3 days, and changed all the plumbing, and added that cool new super cold tap in the bar, and provided all the kitchen equipment.
- Aware of his surroundings – A skill that many people DON’T have, is being able to spot when a true problem is. Maybe the chef or the bar staff is not lacking due to motivation, it’s because they haven’t been trained properly. An employee might continually be hostile to his manager because the manager is actually his brother, and there are underlying family issues involved. In order to fix a problem, you need to be aware of the root cause before changes can be made.
- Out with the old – It does not matter if you are an iconic brand, and have been in operation for years. If the establishment is performing poorly, things need to change, and that is sometimes hard to hear. Your grandfather built this bar from the ground up and it has a nostalgic value to YOU, but YOU are not the customer. Mr. Taffer teaches people to separate their personal preferences against what is going to ultimately make money and add value to the business
- Family Matters – A trend with many struggling businesses is that it is family owned and operated. This makes the manager/employee dynamic very difficult to follow. No matter the type of business, having a healthy family outside the 4 walls is equally important inside when running the business. Mr. Taffer always seems to find where the family bonds are broken, and uses the business success to mend it.
- Not above it – There is a certain expectation when opening a high class martini bar in Vegas, verses a biker bar in the middle of nowhere. Mr. Taffer is not above serving hot dogs and hamburgers because THAT is his consumer base, that is what the people want, and that is what they are willing to pay for. He does not expect to serve 10 courses when there is only a closet sized kitchen to work from, but on the other hand, he knows how to produce a high caliber product within any price point. If you are serving cheap hot dogs, they will be the best cheap hot dog, and they will make the business money.
Mr. Taffer, if you ever need a chef to come in and help a struggling bar or restaurant, i am your man. I get it :o)