The Truth About Reality TV and Bar Ownership
Is there anything better than binge-watching reality TV?
Reality TV has been great for bar consulting firms like Barmetrix by introducing our services to the world.
If nothing else, these popular shows have made people aware that running a successful bar operation is damn HARD.
But the exposure hasn’t come without a cost. It’s also created a slew of unrealistic stereotypes around what bar and restaurant consultants actually do for their clients.
Help for Struggling Bars and Restaurants
TV kitchen and bar “gurus” take viewers into the businesses (and personal lives) of struggling bar and restaurant operators, and reveal to the world all the stress and shortcomings they face as owners.
The shows purport to demonstrate what it looks like when distressed businesses—losing thousands of dollars each month—call in “experts” who turn them into profit-making machines.
A handful of viewers who watch these “save my store” shows will be able to see through the drama-soaked episodes and learn from a common thread:
Most businesses in the hospitality industry run into trouble when they don’t focus on (to name a few):
- liquor inventory control
- staff & management training and responsibilities
- speed and efficiency
- customer service excellence
- bartender training
It is those few enlightened viewers who will pick up valuable tips and might even be inspired to implement systems based on what they’ve learned from the shows.
Creating a Monster
There is another—perhaps larger audience—who believe the TV version is actually how all bar and restaurant consultants treat their clients.
The TV gurus tend to use the “motivation by intimidation” technique.
No doubt the TV “professionals” have put in enough time to boast street cred, but it’s the way they deliver that expertise that causes problems in real life.
Great for TV—but not ready for prime-time in the real world.
It’s this stereotypical in-your-face persona that makes bar managers and owners throw on the brakes when approached by real food and beverage consultants.
It brings into question their effectiveness to not only their clients but to the industry as a whole.
Reality TV is not reality.
The purpose of the shows are (in order):
- to create revenue for hosts through ads and product sponsorship
- increase their own brand awareness
- provide solutions for featured bar operators
The recipe for these shows is simple:
1-part struggling venue
2-parts unorthodox teaching skills
plus the piece de resistance
- a big ‘ol scoop of drama
- a heavy dose of in-your-face-cussing, ranting, raving, and belittling
- a dash of paint and lighting for good measure
How We Differ From Reality-TV
With almost every new Barmetrix client, we end up in a conversation about the TV shows. Most operators are just not interested in someone coming into their venues busting bottles, yelling at staff, and running off customers.
The Barmetrix Difference
Possibly the most important distinction between Barmetrix and the others, is that one of our primary objectives is that we want to create a massive change in the hospitality industry.
Specifically, we want to LIFT UP the industry.
We treat our clients like family—or better.
The way we approach our clients is with kindness, humility, and a genuine intent to best serve their needs using all our tools and experience.
Much like you would sit down with a child, sibling, or dear friend who is facing some challenges or going through a rough time—you don’t berate someone who’s struggling to get them over the hump.
Maybe you lend an ear or a hand or give advice based on your own experience.
You are supportive and encouraging.
Often we are there to help implement a change in the way a business operates, but we do it through education, data-backed support, coaching, and without ranting, raving, and making people feel small.
Barmetrix is interested in you and your business. We provide you with real data you can use and help you set and achieve goals.
All bars and restaurants have to control their inventory in order to stay in business. But each business has very different needs based on its own unique operation and goals.
It isn’t up to us to set goals for your business. We want to enhance what you’ve already built, help you identify where opportunities lie and set achievable goals that will get you from where you are to where you want to be.
We become part of your management team.
Another myth around what bar consultants do is that we come blazing in on day one and start making changes.
We start with gathering intelligence. That’s why we begin every client relationship with liquor inventory audits over (usually) three consecutive weeks.
That tells us what you have coming in (purchasing), what you’ve sold (sales), and what’s missing (variance).
Once we know where you are, we can help you establish a game plan to reduce your losses and increase your profitability.
But there’s more to running a bar than counting bottles and kegs.
We invest a lot of time coaching your management and bartenders, too.
We make it fun for everyone, because—well, isn’t fun the best thing to have?
Don’t take your leadership cues from reality TV.