Does YOUR ENTERPRISE Have problems with Owner Neglect?

When times get rough at your enterprise, do you dive in and tackle the issues head-on? Or, are you much more likely to stand back and expect the best?

On a recently available bout of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue , restaurant expert Jon Taffer finds himself at Champs, an aging sports bar sited close to the movie studios in Burbank, Calif.The bar has been going downhill for a long time.

The decor inside and out are "right from the 1970s," as Taffer says, with goofy megaphones tacked to the exterior walls and diagonal strips of wood trim. Worse, owners Joe and Helen Handy have delegated the work of ramping up sales to a bevy of buxom barmaids who are rude — and over-serving liquor to the tune of $1,600 weekly.

And Joe sits in the trunk drinking a beer and watching it happen. It’s a chronic case of owner neglect — as problems mount, the dog owner is overwhelmed and withdraws.

What is it possible to do when you’ve tested and allowed your business problems to multiply? Here’s Taffer’s prescription for a turnaround:

  • Focus on the worst thing. Focus on the worst thing. The largest money-waster at Champs is over-pouring and offering liquor. So the first rung on the ladder is to retrain bartenders to pour only the liquor that’s designed to maintain each drink. Top mixologist Tobin Ellis even teaches a few tricks to make it appear to be you’re pouring more when really, it’s likewise amount.
  • Own up, you’re the problem. Insufficient leadership rubs off on your own employees and leads them into apathy, too. "Businesses that are not looked after fail," says Taffer.
  • Don’t say "I cannot." At one point the bar runs out of Heineken, among its most popular beers. But Joe insists it’s too difficult to improve the keg in the center of a busy night. Taffer teams up with the cook and gets it done in 3 minutes flat.
  • Maximize your space. Reorganizing where glasses, ice and beer taps are enable bartenders to serve faster and make increased sales. Ditto for your kitchen, which improved its prep setup in order that more ingredients are nearer to hand. Out in the seating area, a fresh ceiling-high kiosk of televisions offers a center point and adds excitement.
  • Study the winners. Taffer takes the Handys to 1 of the very most successful bars in the region, Barney’s Beanery, showing them how a mature bar may become classic instead of dated. Key takeaway here: Barney’s is famed because of its wide selection of beers and 35 kinds of burgers. "If you are known for something, you can last forever," Taffer notes.
  • Tweak your concept. From a vague sports-bar idea, Taffer transforms Champs in to the bar that provides the excitement of the ballpark. The menu boasts the very best dishes from the ballpark, including Dodger dogs and garlic fries. Rather than random punk outfits, staff now sport snappy referee uniforms. So it is still about sports, however now it’s more pleasurable.
  • Upgrade your technology. To update the idea, Taffer introduces a video trivia game that’s played on handheld devices that post results on it screens above. If it is time to play, Joe gets on a megaphone and makes announcements. This gimmick helps T.G.I. Friday’s fill seats at happy hour and gets patrons to order more drinks and hang in there.
  • Work nonstop. Whenever a business is in big trouble, you can’t execute a little occasionally. It’s going to need a 110 percent of your energy for some time to get things back on the right track. "I must teach Joe to work forever, not in five minute spurts," Taffer says.

How perhaps you have overcome feeling apathetic about your business’s problems? Leave a comment and tell us.

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