Jon was called in by Barry DeMelo, who had his $300,000 retirement savings on the line if this bar fails. Jessica runs the place with her brother David, her business partner who tends bar in his spare time. They named the bar Libads after their father’s childhood nickname. When they opened they had success by being the only watering hole in this old New England fishing town, made famous for its whaling industry.
Making $40,000 a month their cousin Lenny was a great cook, and hit some personal problems and took his life, and they closed the once-thriving kitchen for good. They then hired more family to help out, but they took advantage of Jessica’s trust by over-pouring for tips and performing stupid tricks behind the bar. Now they are ready to let Jon come in and get this place back on its feet.
This is the first-time Jon ever did a recon with the owner in his car, who told him that he came here from Portugal, worked hard all his life, and does not want to see his kids fail. Jon brought in Peter O’Connor, the whiskey master to help retrain the staff. He sent in a friend Tony Gemignani, from the area who is an award-winning chef and owns and operates several bars and restaurants in San Francisco. He will be attempting to reopen the kitchen, but will first come in as a spy with another bar professional named Brenna.
Barry pointed out his son David, his daughter Jessica and her roommate Shannon. The observed Shannon over-pouring a drink that should have been blue, but had too much whiskey that made it green. Then they observed a mechanical bull that had seen better days. Barry pointed out that his son purchased it for $20,000. Brenna gave it a try, as Jon was appalled that a town made famous by Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick, would have a mechanical bull in their bar. It just did not make sense.
David and Jessica were sitting around the bar as one of the bartenders took a shot from his shoe while customers cringed. When he asked the proper questions about costs and profits, they had no clue what Jon was talking about. They ran the bar for seven years by being absolutely clueless. No financial statements were available, and both brother and sister were shocked that Jon was called in by their dad.
After the bar was emptied of customers, he called a staff meeting. Peter had each bartender they observed over-pouring pour a one-ounce shot in a dark glass. Each one did it exactly, meaning they knew that they were over-pouring when they made the drinks; this action infuriated Jon. They also had the bottles weighed each night for a week and pointed out how much alcohol was given away by the staff. One night they lost over $700, another night when Shannon was tending bar, they sold $1,500 and she gave away $976. This comes to over $8,000 worth of liquor in a month’s time, annually this is just short of $100,000. Shannon also has an attitude problem, and if she does not like someone, she will not serve them.
Peter taught the staff to make drinks to appeal to the fishermen in the area. They also told Jon how other bars in the area serve food, and they are thriving. Jessica and David have the downstairs kitchen like a mausoleum because of their cousin’s suicide and even had a bartender on staff who is a cook with culinary experience who could take over the kitchen.
For the stress test, Jon had lines of people outside waiting to come in. They had Peter behind the bar putting stickers on the staff who did not make drinks properly. They had a glassware crisis and as people waited for drinks, they got less and less patient. Eddie had three stickers and was removed from behind the bar. Shannon did a better job than anyone and stepped up to the plate. They had no POS system there, and people waited an hour for a drink and some already left. Jessica was no help to Shannon, who asked for help more than once.
Jon gave Shannon kudos for her job and pointed out what a failure Eddie was. Jon met with the owners the next day before they started intensive training. Jon found that their beverage cost was the second highest of any other bar he ever helped. Then he took them downstairs to show them how they fixed up the kitchen that was professionally cleaned and refurbished from top to bottom with a picture of Lenny proudly hung on the wall.
Tony G came back to get the kitchen going. Danny and Josh will be training with Tony to perfect pizza like Lenny used to do and make his special tribute pizza to highlight their menu.
Peter got to work training the staff behind the bar giving extra help to Eddie; who was the worst and was seen drinking from his shoe.
Jon then took them outside to see their new sign with a whale on the sign and tweaked the name to Libad’s Seaside Tavern. To see pictures of the work in progress, check this link.
When they went inside to see the changes, they were astounded by the nautical décor, the bull was now a whale. Three POS systems, an entire stock of new glasses, and a complete premium alcohol set up behind the bar. The pizzas were flying out of the kitchen. Eddie was still having a problem, but his nerves got to him, and Jon fired him. Eddie knew he was not a good bartender, but he needs the job and ran orders from the kitchen and as long as he stayed away from the bar, he was un-fired.
One month after Jon left; the "Bar Rescue" staff reported that sales were up 50% and food sales are bringing in $4,500 a month. Eddie still works at Libad’s as a runner and works the bar on slow nights, best of all the drinks are being poured perfectly, but only in glasses and not shoes.
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