STRESS TESTS...My 1 complaint about BAR RESCUE

Posted in the Bar Rescue Forum

Frank Saponare

Royal Oak, MI

#1 Aug 13, 2012
To start off, I'd like to say that I really enjoy this show. I've been bar tending for over 10 years and for me (and others like myself), watching Taffer rip people new rectums over some of the dumbest mistakes imaginable makes me smile.

My problem is in these "stress tests". I've had to deal with similar situations in new bars (brand new menus, ingredients, management....no real time to take it all in before opening). That's fine! The one thing that doesn't happen often, and shouldn't, is a manager figure standing behind the bar with me, loudly pointing out every imaginable flaw right in front of the customers that I'm serving. Such an approach lacks professionalism and has the potential to make a bad situation worse. If there is a problem with a staff member, a manager should immediately TAKE THEM ASIDE, away from patrons and other staff members, and address their complaint one on one. If the whole crew is screwing up, hold a staff meeting the next morning and yell at everyone. Simple.

Why does the aforementioned practice lack professionalism? For one thing, its awkward and alienating for most customers to watch someone get reamed out in front of them...especially if it has to do with their order. For other staff members, it immediately puts them on edge, which creates additional service mistakes every time out of the gate. For the employee on the receiving end, who is stressed out enough, he/she is now humiliated in full view of the patrons, and in this case, on cable television. Do you think said employee is going to take management's public critique at face value and use it as a "learning tool", or is it more plausible that the visibly flustered server will break down in front of the guests, further complicating the night all together? If you picked the 1st choice, you're an idiot. Such an occurrence would give any server "an attitude problem", which it should. If my boss was to come behind the bar and yell at me to "Smile" or "Use less ice" in front of my guests, it would take every ounce of self control not to break his face. That kind of stress is not useful in the service industry no matter how you rationalize.

At the end of the day, BAR RESCUE is a reality TV show, which can't exist without "drama". The show is dramatic enough without this practice, which goes against the point of the program...showing the 9 to 5 public how a bar should be run.
-Frank
Big G

Pageland, SC

#2 Sep 26, 2012
I like the show, too, but I do have a question about the "soft openings" and the final "grand openings."

It looks like they must advertise these events very heavily and offer free drinks and food to all who show up, plus of course the chance to be on TV.

A business that's usually dead is not magically going to be packed two days later, or even a few days later after the remodeling and "make-over."

Has anyone lived in a town where Bar Rescue has been? How did they get the word out about the special nights and what did they offer to entice a bar full of "patrons?"
Obfuscate

Boston, MA

#3 Oct 24, 2012
Jon Taffer if you want a real challenge, I have a bar for you...lol...if you could pull this dump out of poverty...then I would really be impressed. This bar is the dump of all dumps, I once worked at for 7 years, and to be honest with you not one person including the owner knows what they are doing. This place has been a failure for the past 20 years, how the hell they stay open I have no clue. The bar if anyone interested is Theater Tap in Pawtucket, RI this place really needs help, google it, you'll find it...lol
Nerfy

Denver, CO

#4 Dec 11, 2012
Big G wrote:
I like the show, too, but I do have a question about the "soft openings" and the final "grand openings."
It looks like they must advertise these events very heavily and offer free drinks and food to all who show up, plus of course the chance to be on TV.
A business that's usually dead is not magically going to be packed two days later, or even a few days later after the remodeling and "make-over."
Has anyone lived in a town where Bar Rescue has been? How did they get the word out about the special nights and what did they offer to entice a bar full of "patrons?"
I actually recently attended a filming of Bar Rescue in Denver. I found out from a local online newspaper. I went to the stress test after they teach the bartenders new drinks and the chef new food. Basically what happened was they had some film staff outside asking people if they came for the bar rescue filming and they would have you sign release waivers to be filmed. Then they sent us to a bar next door to wait until they had enough people to make a "line" that they could film. After the line filming we were all instucted to rush the bar. They also told us to avoid talking to Jon and to not look at the cameras. Once in the bar we were told that we can only order from a list of 3 drinks that the bartenders were taught. The drinks were not free. It was 5 bucks per drink. It appeared that the bartenders were purposly trying to make people wait a long time for there drinks to make us upset. I was front and center for 40 mins with no drinks! As for Jon, he seemed pretty genuine. It didnt seem like he was "acting". He's just really good at yelling at people. The celebrity bartender girl seemed a little over the top. She was just constantly trying to irriate the bartenders. Some of them seemed legitimately stressed out. Well that was my experience with it. I was entertained. I'm planning on attending the reveal of the new bar tonight. I'll post my experience with that later.
Randolph Blarney

Dewitt, MI

#5 Oct 30, 2013
Right on Frank S! That segment seemed a bit unrealistic to me as well. Bartending for 15 years, I've had my fair share of stressors...none of which appeared in the form of an authority figure chastising me in front on customers. Isn't that what the office is for? Completely unprofessional.
ed c

Columbus, OH

#6 Feb 16, 2014
I like the show, but the stress test is a joke! Even the "best" bar would be stressed. You bring in 100 people and have 3-4 bar tenders. It would take over 1/2 hour to serve them all. Especially if they are serving a lot of mixed drinks. No bar has that many people showing up at one time all immediately wanting a drink. People migrate in over a period of time.
I wish they would come-up with something else to test the staff. They then try to present to the audience that after 2 days training that they can now serve 100 patrons wit the same staff in 5 minutes. Give me a break.
Herac

Columbus, OH

#8 Feb 23, 2015
ed c wrote:
I like the show, but the stress test is a joke! Even the "best" bar would be stressed. You bring in 100 people and have 3-4 bar tenders. It would take over 1/2 hour to serve them all. Especially if they are serving a lot of mixed drinks. No bar has that many people showing up at one time all immediately wanting a drink. People migrate in over a period of time.
I wish they would come-up with something else to test the staff. They then try to present to the audience that after 2 days training that they can now serve 100 patrons wit the same staff in 5 minutes. Give me a break.
you are correct the stress test isn't about can they handle it. there isn't any way to handle that. It does serve a purpose for two reasons. to help break them down and shake them up emotionally in order to rebuild them better supposedly ( there are other ways to do and nicer ways this but he uses it i believe for the speed factor and for drama for tv show which people like to watch) and the second reason is to exaggerate and point out the weaknesses they have. If you notice after the stress test Jon usually points out that they were not managing their staff of the order taking system was a choke point etc...

so there is method to the madness and the shock and drama for the tv blends well with the tactics.

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