Friday, May 23, 2014

Bar Rescue: Best Employees

Like Lazarus, my blog has risen from the dead......again!

I have become a huge fan of Bar Rescue. For those not familiar with the premise, Jon Taffer, an expert consultant to the hospitality industry, comes into a bar that is in danger of failing, identifies the problems, and remodels the bar and retrains the employees, ostensibly leaving the bar in better condition than when he came in.

This show has become so popular, there is a website devoted to tracking the success of the bars called Bar Rescue Updates. It doesn't always paint a pretty picture of every bar shown in the episodes, but it's a good place to go and get additional information and discuss the show.

I like this show so much, I have decide to do some Best Of and Worst Of lists. Today's list comprises the best employees shown in each of the episodes. By "best" I mean the ones who are shown as competent, caring, and loyal.

4) Zusie-The Shot Exchange. Zusie is perhaps the most competent bartender I've seen shown in any episode. Most episodes, you see the bartenders getting overwhelmed during the "stress tests", not able to make drinks correctly, not able to make multiple drinks at one time, etc. Not Zusie, she was able to do her job correctly and quickly during the stress test while the rest of the staff more or less went to pot or tried to burn the place down. During the episode, it's let known that she has been working at The Tailgate for 14 years. That's dedication! Plus, she's cute as hell! On the downside, she doesn't talk a whole lot during the episode, so I couldn't get a gauge on her personality.

3) Chloe-Headhunters. Headhunters was the most disgusting bar ever shown on the show. The rundown exterior, with the letters peeling off the marquee just screamed "DON'T COME IN HERE!" This was the episode where there's a cockroach in Mrs. Taffer's drink, and another in the bottle it was poured from.

The owner Steve is a sociopath (we'll get into that more in another post). He runs a disgusting bar, and worse he doesn't pay his employees! All the people working there make tips only. Chloe first starts to shine during the Taffer-mandated bar clean-up. When Steve starts to rag on the employees for not keeping the bar clean, she lights into him about his business practices and how since none of them get paid, none of them are willing to spend hours doing something for free. Most times, an argument like this should lead to someone getting fired. But she's absolutely right.

Chloe is barely functional as a bartender, but that has more to do with lack of training than deficiency in her character. Despite working for a despotic lunatic, she (and the staff) cares deeply for this place. When Taffer has a sitdown with Steve and the employees, he tells them that the only way he will perform a rescue on the bar is if the staff is willing to make a go of it. If they don't he says he will gladly help them all find jobs at another establishment. From this point in the episode on, it's clear that Chloe is the heart and the leader of this bar. With some training, I could see her becoming a really good bar manager for a much better place.

2) Bryan "Syck"-OFace Bar. OFace, infamous for #TafferWalks. I really felt for Syck. The burly security guard was the only person that seemed to be in tune with Taffer and care about him being there to help. This clip says it all.

Sure enough, he doesn't work there anymore, and I'm sure he's better for it.

1) One-Eyed Mike-Piratz Tavern. To be honest, I've thought about putting Bryan on top, but I've decided just based upon his edit in the show to go with Mike from Piratz. Here's a guy who, due to an injury taking one of his eyes, quite literally has limited him in his employment chances. Being a Pirate is literally one of the best options this guy has.

This is the biggest, most talked about episode of Bar Rescue (at least, until OFace came along). A bunch of people who basically ran a restaurant in order to live out a pirate fantasy. Now, don't get me wrong, I get the allure of playing pirate. I used to participate in ren faires and belonged to the St. Charles guild, whose motto was "Nobles by Day, Pirates by Night!" Name faire name was Commordore Luc Bonchere. However, playing pirates at the expense of an operating business is an expensive avenue to take!

Now, to be fair, Taffer took a tack that was 180 degrees in the direction of the pirate bar. I get why he did that; he wanted to get the corporate lunch crowd. It's a smart idea. But by flying in the face of the fantasy these people we trying to live was inevitably going to run into a wall of resistance. And boy! did he get it!

I put Mike at the top because of all the people at Piratz, he was the only one who appeared to actually give the new direction a chance (at least, in the episode). The man who stated flatly he wouldn't wear a shirt and tie, donned just that and went to the local businesses to pass out fliers for the remodeled restaurant. Plus, he had a charm about him that made him so likeable. I didn't get that from anyone else in the episode.

Well, that's it for this list. I know there may be others out there I've missed. Please feel free to make suggestions as to who else should be on here.