A review of Bar Rescue.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not big on watching television these days. In fact, a few days ago I had thought it was better to watch 6 hours of 24 than watch anything that was on TV at that moment. Since most of my blog hits as of late come from my Restaurant: Impossible review from a few months back, I thought I might as well review yet another Kitchen Nightmares knockoff that debuted recently. This one comes from Spike TV and it’s called Bar Rescue.
Our host and expert for the show is a guy named Jon Taffer, who may not have a Wikipedia page but does have an official site that lauds him for managing and rescuing various bars. Certainly better credentials than Robert Irvine, anyway. Bar Rescue seems to follow some of the trappings of Kitchen Nightmares, where a famous chef/entrepreneur observes a failing establishment, tries to find the cause(s) of the problem, and fix them in the course of a few days. Bar Rescue feels different, and in a good way.
The show starts out almost identical to KN, where Taffer and his wife observe the booze and food, as well as the decor. Afterwards he meets up with the staff and tries to find out the problems of the bar, with help from a few specialists in mixing and food preparation. This isn’t a bad thing, everybody has their specialties and passing yourself off as a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none isn’t a good thing.
One other thing that I saw that Bar Rescue does compared to its competition is that they seem to show the “science” of running a bar. Showing that overpouring liquor can cost a bar money, that having common liquors in the same place result in serving drinks quickly, even how cooking certain foods can be a loss leader but still make money when people buy alcohol with it. This is something I wish shows of this ilk did more: Thinking about the business side of how a bar/restaurant works. That’s a slight problem with a lot of these shows: You can only improve the decor and clean the place up so many times before it becomes very boilerplate and repetitive every show. Showing precisely why your business is failing is something I wish Kitchen Nightmares touched on a bit more.
Is this show worth watching? I’d say yes. I’m not a bar goer, but watching this made me understand just a few reasons why some bars are successful and some look like absolute shitholes. It’s miles better than Restaurant: Impossible. But then again, you could do a local knockoff of Kitchen Nightmares and it would look a million times better than R:I.