Bar Rescue & The Research Behind Owning a Bar

I don’t watch too much reality TV. I used to be a fan of Keeping Up With the Kardashians although I haven’t watched the show in years. However, one of my favorite reality TV shows right now is Bar Rescue. Bar Rescue is similar to Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares but for bars. Bar Rescue is hosted by Jon Taffer who visits failing bars and revamps them in order to save the bar. Me and my husband love this show and every time we watch an episode, we learn a little bit more about alcohol and how to make various cocktails.

Jon Taffer hosts Bar Rescue and teams up with various mixologists and chefs to save failing bars. According to Jon’s website, he’s an entrepreneur and owner of Taffer’s Tavern based in Georgia. I have never heard of Taffer before until I started watching Bar Rescue. With each rescue, Taffer brings in data and research to help the bar find its niche audience. For example, does a certain city cater to college students or young, working professionals who have money to spend. This helps design a bar to entice the community who live in that area.

With every reality TV show, it’s unclear how much is real and how much is fake. Some bars smell bad, other bars had problems with insects. I’m not sure how much was set up for the drama aspect of TV versus what was going on at each bar. In each episode, a bar is thrown into what’s called a “stress test” Jon has a crowd of people waiting outside to come into the bar, so Jon can observe and see how well the bar does when it’s busy. Some bars navigate through the stress test with minimal issues, and some bars have their tests ended early because they fell so far behind. It’s interesting seeing how management or an owner reacts when a bar is busy.

Bar Rescue has also taught me a lot about alcohol and what goes into a cocktail. For beer, the foam otherwise known as the head of a beer should be between 0.5-1 inch. Whenever I visit a brewery and I’m served a beer, I have started to pay attention to the head of a beer and what it looks like. Another important aspect that I have noticed from Bar Rescue is having proper drinkware. Last summer, I ordered a watermelon mule. A mule is served in a copper mug or a smaller glass. The watermelon mule I ordered was served in a pint glass. The problem with serving a mule in a pint glass is it’s watered down. I can’t have half a pint glass filled with vodka, so more soda or ginger beer is added which makes the drink sweeter. I ended up not finishing the drink because it was too sweet. Bar Rescue has made me more aware of alcohol and what tastes good in a cocktail.

Bar Rescue is one of my favorite shows to watch. Me and my husband will compare notes throughout each episode and see if the bars from the episodes are still open. More often than not, the bars are closed after the episode premieres. Jon Taffer may be successful in real life, but clearly, his rescues aren’t sustainable. With any reality TV, the goal is making the show entertaining to watch and that applies to Bar Rescue.

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