Jon Taffer doesn’t come to your bar to make friends. He doesn’t come to hold your hand, or tell you you’re trying your best and that everything will be okay. Jon Taffer comes to your bar to fix what you have broken, to clean what you have dirtied and to show you the path to financial success. Jon Taffer is the host of “Bar Rescue,” the most entertaining show on television.
Any 20-something who has spent an entire Sunday buried deep inside their couch in a pit of hungover depression has inevitably come across the greatest binge-viewing opportunity of the 21st century: the “Bar Rescue” marathon on Spike TV. ‘
For the poor, unfortunate souls who are not familiar with the show, allow me to explain. Every week, Jon Taffer, one of the world’s most prominent bar and nightlife consultants, ventures across America to a bar in need.
Most of these bars are losing large amounts of money every month due to bad management, bad bookkeeping, poorly executed concepts, or all of the above. Jon Taffer, along with his team of culinary and mixology experts, is then tasked with turning the bar around so that the owners can get out of their own way and start climbing out of the red and into the black.
The concept is not unlike others we’ve seen before. The genius of “Bar Rescue” lies not in the story, but in the characters. To put it simply, Taffer is the single most engaging character currently on television.
A man who has spent almost his entire professional career in the bar business, he has a deep knowledge and understanding of what makes a business successful. As Taffer states in the introduction of every episode, he doesn’t embrace problems; he embraces solutions.
He can spot a loser from a mile away, and he doesn’t hesitate to call ‘em like he sees ‘em, which more often than not, leads to some of the most hilarious and intense confrontations you’re ever likely to see.
He yells, berates, fires employees and gets in people’s faces, not because he’s inherently cruel, but because he has a limited amount of time to turn a bar from a dud to a stud, and there isn’t room for niceties.
There are three things Jon Taffer absolutely cannot stand:
1) When bar employees put their customers’ health in jeopardy.
2) When bar employees drink on the job.
3) When bar employees can’t own up to their mistakes.
Lucky for us viewers, most of the managers and employees featured on “Bar Rescue” find a way to commit one of Jon Taffer’s ‘Mortal Sins,’ which always leads to fireworks. They cross Taffer enough times to make us think that he’s going to throw in the towel, leaving the bar to be forever un-rescued.
That, however, is where the series can often take a sentimental turn and show us that behind Jon Taffer’s rough exterior, is the heart of a man who wants to help those who can’t help themselves. This is what makes “Bar Rescue” stand, head and shoulders, above any reality show of its kind.
The producers don’t just seek out any bar that’s losing money; they find bars that have an emotional aspect to their failure. Whether it be a chef who lost his will to cook after the death of his brother, or an investor who put their lifesavings into a bar only to watch it dwindle due to the economy. Jon Taffer always pinpoints the reason for why a failure is a failure, and he does his damnedest to smooth out the speed bumps and pave the way for future success.
Does every bar on “Bar Rescue” enjoy long-term success? No. Some people have an adverse reaction to Jon Taffer telling them they’re doing it wrong. They let their pride get in the way of realizing that they’re a double-bogey golfer who is getting a free lesson from Tiger Woods.
The bars that do listen, however, find themselves loaded with the tools they need to start turning a profit and breaking away from their emotional and financial woes.
Basically, it all comes down to this: there is no better way to spend an hour in front of the television than by watching “Bar Rescue.” It’s funny, engaging and immensely quotable. Do yourself a favor this week and rescue yourself from the Sunday blues by flipping over to Spike TV. You won’t be disappointed.
Written by: Peter Kane, Elite Daily