Jon Taffer's 3 Tips for Running a Bar or Restaurant

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Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio
4 min read

If you've seen Bar Rescue on Spike, you know that many of the struggling bar owners had no idea how to run a business, causing them a lot of trouble. That's why they called service-industry expert Jon Taffer to help get them on the right path.

"This is a serious business," Taffer warns. "It's a hard business." It is a business that needs to be managed by the "moment" and isn't as easy as cooking food or mixing drinks (even that isn't exactly easy). Bars are businesses just like anything else and need to be run like one.

In the short video above, Taffer outlines his top tips for aspiring bar and restaurant owners:

1. Don't do it if you love the product.

If you're serious about getting into the bar or restaurant business, Taffer's biggest tip is this: "Alcohol isn't for drinking, it's for selling." Same goes for food.

2. Remember, every moment counts.

"If I don't fill a bar stool for two hours, those two hours are gone forever," Taffer says. "It's a business you have to manage by the moment."

3. Running a bar is more than just selling drinks.

"A bar is a factory, a marketing organization and a service organization all in one. And you have to manage all three," Taffer says. "You have to manage the factory (production), you have to manage the marketing and imaging and you have to manage the experience."

Related: 

Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer Says 'Every Excuse Is BS'

Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer on Why He's Such an Asshole

Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer: This One Thing Makes a Great Leader

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