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Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions Hardcover – October 8, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fascinating and practical guide to what actually makes a bar into a great bar (and much can be applied to any service business). Jon doesn’t present ‘canned’ answers, he provides a way of methodically evaluating and challenging every aspect of what lies behind a great bar. He seamlessly blends data-backed insights with hard earned experience to create a template of how to construct a plan for success. It is so refreshing to read something which doesn’t present standard answers to non-standard issues." —Nick Shepherd, CEO Carlson restaurants/TGI Fridays

"When I was young and still learning the nightclub and bar business, I always went to Jon’s seminars and learned so much. Jon Taffer really had a big impact on me and my success and I still think of things he taught me. This book can do the same for you. It’s fun but make no mistake, Jon is all business as he fills the pages with great stories, practices and his proven formula for success." —Jesse Waits, Managing Partner of XS Nightclub, TRYST Nightclub, Botero Restaurant, Las Vegas

About the Author

JON TAFFER is chairman of Taffer Dynamics (www.tafferdynamics.com), president of the Nightclub & Bar Media Group, and host of Spike TV's wildly popular Bar Rescue.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544148304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544148307
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Cutter on October 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So, I do not think that Jon Taffer is the world's best restaurateur - BUT anyone studying business should read this book. All too often we see a ivory tower idea behind business decisions, while Job lays out pretty clear objectives. Do I think he is right all of the time? No... but he maintains a strategy which more business schools should focus on.

This is a good read (and if he actually wrote it as opposed to a ghost, he is a more articulate writing than I would have guessed). Do not go out and think that he is teaching you how to run your business... but listen to his ideas and customer focus, very important lessons in how this all works.

Well worth the money.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book nails it. John Taffer is smart, funny, and quite seriously devoted to helping people learn how to do customer service, especially in the bar and restaurant industry. His show, Bar Rescue, made me a fan. This book made me a student. Taffer's persona on the show is not the real, thoughtful, intelligent man who wrote this book. I understand his show method, because I am also a student of Milton Erickson's "sudden therapy." Taffer, if you will pay attention, will show you how to not screw up.

His principles are basically no-brainers. They include giving your customers what they want, providing attentive service, and paying attention to what's going on.

If you want a good look at the business of running a bar or restaurant, this is the book for you.
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In the words of Fat Amy in the trailer for Pitch Perfect Two when she crashes down the dormitory stairs on a sledding disc, Jon Taffer also “Crushed it” in his book Raise the Bar.

I’ve never watched the show, Bar Rescue, however who isn’t familiar with Taffer and the work he’s done to help turnaround failing bars and restaurants across the U.S.? My business partner and editor, Michael Perlis, covered one of Taffer’s packed conventions in Vegas last year and was equally impressed. (Read Michael’s coverage here: http://evewine101.com/2014/05/03/perlis-picks-2014-nightclub-bar-convention-trade-show)

Taffer actually came to my Santa Clarita neighborhood and worked changing The Tailgate into The Shot Exchange. (The story: http://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-news/business/tv-show-bar-rescue-features-santa-clarita-bar-shot-exchange-39833 update: http://www.barrescueupdates.com/2014/04/bar-rescue-shot-exchange-tailgate-update.html and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theshotexchange)

The biggest takeaway I got from Taffer’s book was how his business acumen could apply to much more than the bar industry. My notes are below, in digestible one-liners:

Proper clothing on the staff and makeup for women is seen as professional.

Delays in being seated or after requesting the check affects the overall perception.

Problems encountered by customers are not always voiced, they just don’t return.

Being a “Foodie” is not a qualification to run a restaurant.

Your business must have procedures and manuals in place.

A customer’s laughter is a sign of success.

Focus on your guest’s reactions (on social networks or in person) not on spending money on advertising in media.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While we all know the reality shows are made primarily for entertainment, I have made some mental notes about the lessons learned from watching the shows. When I purchased the book, I was eager to find out what wisdom Jon could share from all those businesses he tried to rescue and how closely my notes come to coincide with those nuggets of wisdom.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that many things Jon discussed in the book are consistent with what I learned from the shows. I think his advice can be helpful not only to the bar business but also to other types of business. The recommended business practices in the book resonate well with me.

While customer reaction and standard management are crucial, the book also emphasizes the importance of hiring solid employees who will fit well with your business and help everyone succeed. Although some interactions in the shows sometimes can get a bit superficial in front of the cameras, overall, I am convinced that Jon's recommendations in the book are solid and actionable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for a Bar Rescue fan and decided to read it since it arrived well before Christmas when I am going to give it to them. Overall the book may have some useful advice if you work specifically in a bar or restaurant but even then the advice given is highly questionable. If you have watched an episode of Bar Rescue you already know everything that is stated in this book and have no reason to waste money on it.

If one thing is certain after reading this book Jon Taffer thinks he is a god and is absolutely in love with himself. The entire book is bragging about his accomplishments primarily using examples from the show Bar Rescue. The following quote from page 211 gives an idea of what you will read on every page about how much Taffer loves himself “As a professional consultant, someone who has owned a lot of businesses, and president of the largest bar and nightclub trade show in the country." If you think Jon Taffer is the most fantastic human being to ever walk on this earth this book will definitely reinforce your thinking. It’s like he is in a job interview with you and reiterating his accomplishments from his resume over and over again.

Bars that have failed after being “rescued” by Taffer are blamed as the problem he accepts no type of responsibility in any failures throughout the book. Anyone with an internet connection can look up the reality of what happens after an episode of Bar Rescue has been filmed. Some bars have been sued because Taffer failed to get necessary permits, others have failed because the window dressing he provides can’t save a bar that is in a horrible location, read up on it if you have been believing the great success that is reported on each episode at the end.
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