By Nick Fosberg   |   July 14, 2014

As you may know, I recently read Jon Taffer’s excellent book, “Raise the Bar”. In case you missed it, here’s Part 1 of my video review of his book. I’ve got more lessons and takeaways from that book, so listen up.

Here’s what you’ll also learn by watching this video:

  • How to think about transactions as more than one financial deal
  • How to stop the frustration that sometimes comes with running bar every day
  • Thinking beyond the money and grind and instead thinking about customers

Here’s the video’s full transcript:

Hello and welcome to another episode of Bar Owner TV. Today I’m going to cover part 2 of the profitable advice I learned from Jon Taffer’s new book ‘Raise the Bar.’ If you haven’t watched part one I suggest you click the link at the bottom of this video and watch that first because today’s episode is inline with part one.

So lets get started. Chapter 3 of Jon Taffers book ‘Raise The Bar’ is named ‘Money Is In Reactions, Not Transactions’ and the very first quote in this chapter is from Sam Walton, founder of Walmart. I quote: “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

As soon as I read that I couldn’t do anything but fully agree. Within this chapter Mr. Taffer says that if you think of transactions purely as financial exchanges, you’re missing a big piece of the picture. He says that every transaction should be a building block in a long profitable relationship. He also said that every transaction has to feel personal and memorable if you want them to lead to repeat customers and referrals.

I completely agree with Jon, but this got me thinking of the first few years I was a bar owner and how I missed this 100%. I was doing everything in my business. Payroll, ordering, scheduling, bartending, cooking and some nights I pretended to be a real DJ and put on a nice upbeat mix.

With me doing everything within my business, I got tired. I was frustrated. I wasn’t happy and I lost motivation at times. I didn’t realize this until after I read Jon’s book but when I was working behind the bar, seeing the same people over and over, I got annoyed with some of those regulars. I got annoyed with some of the new customers who were extremely needy and honestly annoying.

My personal gestures I’m sure were a turn off. I wasn’t smiling, I wasn’t carrying on a conversation, I just wanted the day or night to be over. Because of this, I’m sure I made a lot of bad customer reactions and lost customers to my selfish attitude.

Jon Taffer also stated that slow service and inattentive servers are the two most unpleasant experiences they have in a bar or restaurant and that 35% of neglected customers say the treatment is enough to end their relationship with a business. More than 60% who hear or see negative comments are influenced to NOT give the business a chance.

Those are some pretty scary numbers when you think about it!

I never did realize what I was doing to my bar business when I was tied down to working 50-60-70 hours a week. If I could do it all over again from the start, you bet I’d do everything in my power to make every communication I had with any customer, sales rep, or employee a pleasant one.

So are you tied down to your business? Do you find yourself annoyed with customers? Maybe you have managers who’ve taken over? Are they annoyed with customers? Are they frustrated working all the time?

What I learned from this chapter is no matter what you do in your business, every personal communication you have with anyone within your business results in future growth and profits. If you can’t put the stress aside and put on a happy face, you better put someone in your shoes that can to run your business or soon you won’t have one.

If your staff can’t smile, say hello, and be friendly, start looking for others that can. Today customers have more choices then ever when it comes to going to a bar or restaurant and it’s not just about price like most owners think. If you run your business on lowest prices, you’ll be struggling to keep your head above water.

I suggest you keep your prices in line with the successful operations in your area who are not slashing prices to get customers in the door and focus on the customer service and consistency of that service.

I’ll see you on the next episode!

Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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