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Producers’ Pick | Jon Taffer: Host of “Bar Rescue”

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2022 12:00 am

Producers’ Pick | Jon Taffer: Host of “Bar Rescue”

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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September 4, 2022 12:00 am

 Taffer’s Tavern

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This episode is brought to you by Whole Foods Market. Shake up your back to school routine at Whole Foods Market with fresh produce, snacks, supplements, and local favorites to jazz up any lunchbox or pantry. And with a big selection of ready-to-heat meals like vegetable lo mein and chicken tikka masala, it's easy to keep the family fueled up for the week. Always made with the high standards you trust from Whole Foods Market, like banning 230-plus ingredients from all food.

All the more reason to make the flavors of Whole Foods Market part of your routine. A radio show like no other. It's Brian Kilmeade. I'm not going to rescue this bar and write you a charge, but it won't be any good.

I don't have the money. This guy is so full of it's unbelievable. It's over because I don't trust you because you are a slime bucket. It's one of the best concept I've ever done and he totally it up. Yeah. Wow. That is some of the reality and part of the magic of Bar Rescue. It's real trying to help people, especially coming out of the pandemic.

There's not much more to for area, but put through help from from bad politicians and bad policy. And now you got to play the perfect game and Jon Taffer's there to help. But he's also there in the game. He's he's long talked about now finally ready for action with Taffer's Tavern opening up in Washington, DC. It's going to be right next to the Capital One Arena. When is opening day, Jon Taffer?

Oh, next week. I mean, we're there, Brian. You know, what's incredible is by the way. Hi.

Nice to talk to you, buddy. Always. So it's this restaurant was supposed to open back in November and that's an example of the supply side issues that we've had just getting it built.

Things like an electrical box, Brian, which you should be able to go to a home store and buy eight to ten weeks to get panels for lighting, all sorts of things. So getting this baby open is like a victory. It means a lot to us. We're incredibly excited and and DC is a great market. So is this just the beginning? There's going to be more Taffer's Taverns, right?

Oh, yes. So so Alpharetta, Georgia has been open now for almost two years. DC opens, as I said, next week. Boston and Watertown just opened this week. So we now have Boston, DC and Atlanta. Tampa is on the horizon and Las Vegas is on the horizon. So we're working hard to build them and find franchisees and partners as quick as we can.

And we're pleased. We have about twenty seven restaurants on the books now in various stages of development. So what makes you think you see all the struggles people are having, even when they try to do everything right, getting help? You mentioned supply chain, the prices of inflation.

What makes you want to get back in the game to this extreme? Well, you know, people still need to go out. And if you look at the markets, Brian, and I'm a big believer in cause and consequence. And if you look at markets across the country, some are down twenty five percent in sales to prepandemic levels.

Some are ahead up to 30 percent in sales compared to prepandemic levels. And it's the consequence from the cause of lockdowns and various political restrictions that were placed on the industry. So in very many markets, success is coming to those who don't necessarily deserve it because the marketplace is so alive.

And in other markets, failure is coming to those who do deserve success because of the lockdowns and the consequences from all the causes related to the pandemic. So we opened, we needed about 80 employees in Boston, Brian, and about one hundred and twenty in D.C. And going through the hiring process was very, very interesting in today's labor market. We did staff both restaurants one hundred percent.

It took us twice as long as normal. We didn't interview as many as we would like to come up with the hundred or so for each restaurant. But we did staff it effectively.

But here's what was really interesting. Finding employees was a lot easier. Finding employees was a lot easier than finding management. And we're finding that management is just not readily available today. I'm not sure if they're looking to be entrepreneurs, if everybody's looking for that next opportunity.

I know they're out there, but finding management is very difficult today. I did not expect that, Brian. Well, that's pretty.

That is amazing. A bit is surprising. Everywhere I go, I always ask how your staff and everybody says and everybody says I need people got a little bit better in the summer. Biggest question, John. And before we get into the concept of Taffer's Tavern, which is fascinating, is what do you think? Where did the people go in twenty nineteen?

Where did they go? I'm talking about I go to places on the water in beach towns and they're having trouble and you know how much money you can make. A lot of it is off the books because you don't declare all the tips. You know, you know, you don't declare all the tips you make.

So having said that, what is your theory? I can't understand that. I look at a steakhouse, Brian, where people make a thousand dollars a night as a way they're struggling to find people. And, you know, these are jobs. You don't take them home with you at the end of the night. It's a good income. You have no stress. You go home at the end of the day.

The day is finished. It's frustrating to me. The other concern is, you know, the restaurant industry has always been a stepping stone for people in life. Young people come into the industry and it's a stepping stone to get to that next level of your career. We're not seeing that that stepping stone activity much anymore. So it's a powerful change, Brian, and I can't answer where they are.

I scratch my head all the time. I'm looking for them. How are they surviving? But clearly, the future of any industry is going to be based upon human resources today almost as much as any other resource. Also, policies, complete policy reviews of human policy reviews. For example, in our corporate office, offices in Las Vegas, we just implemented a flexible PTO policy. We don't count PTO days anymore.

People need time off, they can have it, as long as they work and stay on top of it. Then we created a dog-friendly office. We've done all of this research. What does it take to retain employees in today's market? And it's not income, it's all quality of life issues that are driving people. It's a real shift, Brian, from just pre-pandemic levels.

How much priorities have shifted for people? It's interesting because it had Mike Rowan here and we talked to him about his book and people just wanted to work. There's glory in work and, of course, the push towards trades as opposed to going to college and get your art history degree and wonder what you're going to do with it. So it's the same story, but who's willing to work hard and the quietly quitting thing. Everyone was told to go home, not everybody, but a lot of people were told to go home, don't work, I'll pay you, and they were frustrated. Then they looked around and said, why am I working so hard? I don't really feel fulfilled in that job. And I can stay and my unemployment is extended and my rent is forgiven on hold and my loan is frozen for now. So people said this is quality of life.

Why should I get involved in that race again? I agree. When the financial pressures are lifted, one can do what they want to do much more than what they have to do. So let's talk about your concept with the Taffer's Tavern. You talk about what does your kitchen look like and you were talking about having a camera set up on your kitchen. Yeah. So we started this, as you know, four to five years ago.

And if we look back, Trump was president. Unemployment was incredibly low. We couldn't find employees. Restaurants couldn't sustain themselves with six, eight people in the kitchen anymore, Brian. The training was too much. We couldn't find the people. Many of the employees we found were new Americans, so there were language barriers in training.

It was a nightmare for us. So we said, could we reinvent the kitchen? So we looked at computer technologies, robotic technologies, food preparation technologies. We selected sous vide as a food preparation technique. It's extremely high quality Michelin five star. We take a great steak, for example, Brian. We season it.

We put it in a special plastic bag. We then take that seasoned steak, put it in a water oven at one hundred and thirty five degrees. That water oven cooks the steak to a perfect medium rare. We then take that steak and we finish it in these special combi ovens that sear the outside flawlessly and finish off the steak.

And when you eat it, it's as delicious as anything you've ever had. But for me, I can do it with less people in a more controlled environment to create greater consistency. So, Brian, there's no stove in our kitchen, traditional stove in our kitchen. There aren't traditional hoods or fire control systems in our kitchen. Everything is as high tech computerized as it can possibly be.

And the result is really great quality. I can't wait till I can get you into the D.C. restaurant to try it yourself. As soon as I can get there, absolutely. Or go up to Boston. When are you going to open up in New York? So we're working on New York now.

That's that's probably a good year, year and a half out by the time we get it done. But the final point is, Brian, the kitchen is air conditioned. So when you look at how do I retain kitchen staff? Well, an air conditioned kitchen, nice and cool.

That's one step forward. They don't have the depth of prep and all the things that other kitchens have because it's done in our commissary kitchens. So we find that we've created one of the most appealing kitchen jobs in the country then because it's a snowball effect. Since our ticket times are six minutes instead of 12, our servers aren't under pressure. So everybody just seems to have a better energy level and a better dynamic when there's less stress on everyone from a food production standpoint.

It's interesting to watch that dynamic change for people, but it's fun. And the whole point of the restaurant is when employees are having fun, customers do. And you'll be successful and get Bret Baier to go there. If I get Bret Baier into Taffer's Tavern, that will immediately guarantee success. Should I work on that?

Absolutely work on that. Now, Cavuto, I'm worried I'm not going to be able to keep away when he's in town. Well, the good news is Neil is still a New Yorker or a New Jersey guy. So you're going to have to catch up to him and do good luck with those taxes. Now, your opinion, John, on the state of our economy now, people have caught up in two consecutive quarters of negative growth. That's not what you deal with. You're in the real economy dealing with people in the biggest sports bar, in the nicest steakhouse, all needing help. What do you sense is going on in this country? Volatility. People are scared, Brian. Almost everyone you talk to feels that there's this tipping point that we're at right now.

And in the next 90 days, either we're going to start to inch away a little better or things are going to get a lot worse. And people have no confidence, no certainty, if you will. So a lot of people I know are getting into that pause mode again, Brian, sort of like when a pandemic started where people say, you know what, I'm not doing anything right now. I'm not investing. I'm not this. I'm not that. I'm not opening anything. I'm going to sit tight right now.

And that paralyzation, that pause scares me. That's hurt us a lot over the past few years. But what about interest rates, too? How does that affect you guys in opening, going into a commercial strip mall, whatever it is, your own building? You've got to take out that loan unless you have a lot of money and you can pay cash for that building or that property.

So you're going to go in there and you've got to cut a deal and you're going to sign that lease. But now the interest rates are up. Oh, and look at restaurant business.

And people don't realize this. A restaurant costs four times more to build than a retail store because of all the hoods and the equipments and electrical systems and all of that that a restaurant has. When you have to buy that level of equipment, Brian, and the kitchen costs six, seven hundred thousand dollars, the solution in the past has been to lease the equipment or otherwise finance the equipment. That's so expensive today. That's not a viable option. And that's going to change.

It's going to be more expensive again in a couple of weeks. Those are some of the fears of uncertainty that we're facing right now. I think there's an uneasiness across the country that stems from a lack of confidence. And I don't think people believe in leadership.

And if they don't believe in leadership, then they can't believe in the results or consequences of leadership. So I think that's what it stems from. This episode is brought to you by Whole Foods Market. Shake up your back to school routine at Whole Foods Market with fresh produce, snacks, supplements and local favorites to jazz up any lunchbox or pantry. And with a big selection of ready-to-heat meals like vegetable lo mein and chicken tikka masala, it's easy to keep the family fueled up for the week. Always made with the high standards you trust from Whole Foods Market, like banning two hundred thirty plus ingredients from all food.

All the more reason to make the flavors of Whole Foods Market part of your routine. Did you go to college? Yes.

University of Denver. Did you have to take out a loan? I did take out a loan. I worked my butt off to pay it off, Brian. I was looking this morning if I could pull a second on that on that financing so I could qualify for ten thousand dollars in free money.

But I can't get a second thirty years later. What's your reaction to this? I think it's very unfair. You know, I think if you look at our economy and tax programs over the years, there are groups that have been targeted in the past. Business groups and things like that for various types of relief. But typically those types of investments are made because those individuals are investing in the economy. They're investing in equipment. They're investing in the creation of jobs, etc. I find this incredibly unfair. And I find it personally as a way to placate the supporters, his political supporters. And academia is a large supporter of this policy and the party that drives this policy. And I think, you know, the money moves from one pocket to another in the same pair of pants. That's interesting.

And I'll say this pretty personally. There were two colleges I wanted to go to, Syracuse, NYU. When I looked at the numbers, even with the loan, I couldn't afford it. I went somewhere else that I could afford. I went to NYU and I could afford it and it worked out. So everybody I know dealt with that. Yeah, I got in, but I didn't get enough money.

It's, you know, whatever it is, that's a higher end. So if you get into George Washington University and you get an $82,000 bill for a middle-class family, you're not going to George Washington University. And even if you take out a bunch of loans, you have to know what you're getting into. Now we're going to the fundamentals of that deal and saying, don't worry about it.

What if you're the 17-year-old, go, Mom, Dad, don't worry about it. We're going to get it forgiven. Yeah, I think how about the fact that there's $22 billion in college endowments. And think for yourself, college endowments are leveraging hedge funds, right?

They're short-selling stocks. They're using every financial tool that they have to grow these endowments. They've created an industry of managing college endowments. And all those endowments were created, Brian, when college loans were started years ago and colleges realized, okay, this is government money, we can up our tuition. So, you know, this has been caused by the whole premise of college loans. College loans increase college tuition to the level that they have $22 billion in endowments and they're charging these obscene prices to go to college every year. I think the solution should be, dare I say, some type of regulation upon college admissions. They shouldn't be able to build endowments of that level on the backs of students who are borrowing money to go there.

I hear you. I mean, some of them don't have the Harvard, Yale endowments, the Stanford's, I get it. And other ones, they should be somehow justifying their price. I think with Mitch Daniels, who was former OMB director and governor of Indiana, headed up Purdue. And the first thing he said is, I will not increase tuition. And he cut other places, a lot of it was administration.

And he was able to keep that price down and make it possible for kids from Indiana especially to go. So we just solved the world's problems, or at least we give the world an opportunity to solve their problems. Let's see if they take you up on every other solution you offer, John Taffer. I hope so. All right.

Pick up Power of Conflict, watch Bar Rescue, and then of course if you're in Washington, if you're in Boston, if you're in Maryland, go see Taffer's Tavern. And it'll be... Go ahead. Well, I got you. I got to say, I've been loving One Nation, Brian. I love the show. I think it slipped into a great format.

I don't miss it every week. Well done. Thank you so much. John Taffer, an unsolicited compliment. I will pay you later. Brian Kilmeade Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 07:20:11 / 2023-02-15 07:28:00 / 8

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