Bar Rescue: Raising the bar’s bar

Let's have a drink!

We do more than our share to support the bar scene, but we can only drink so much. There is an entire show dedicated to fixing bars’ mis-takes. Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” swooped down on Framingham-based Angry Ham’s Garage earlier this year, and now the crew is on tour with “Bar Rescue University,” a workshop for bar owners on how to track lost, stolen and wasted (for shame!) alcohol and stay afloat in the notoriously difficult business. Lost vodka is lost joy, so we caught up with show consultant Dan Smith.

How can owners control free drinks and overpours when it means better tips for their bartenders?

You want them to be able to give free drinks to guests that are spen-ding a lot of money. A bar can control this by giving the bartenders a “comp budget.” They get to ring up a percentage of comp drinks every night for these types of guests. As long as they control their comps, a business’ costs should be efficient.

What kind of drinks make the most money for bar owners?

Nondiscounted drinks translate to higher sales, which is going to be better for a bar.

There’s no shortage of great “bar food” in Boston. How can a new bar owner stand out with food?

We see a lot of tasty food in the bars we work with. Some of the creative spins we’ve seen in Boston are new takes on classics like French onion soup dumplings or veal parmesan sliders. The entire gourmet burger movement was generated out of making an American classic even better. …  To stand out, do what you do best — only better.


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