Reality shows offer helpful hints for your bar or restaurant

Spike TV has a show called “Bar Rescue” (Time Warner Channel 27) and Food Network has a show with celebrity chef Robert Irvine called “Restaurant Impossible” (Time Warner Channel 45). While I am as tired as anyone of reality TV shows, I must admit I learned some interesting and useful habits about the bar and restaurant business.

Did you know that the cleanliness of a draft glass affects the size of the head on the beer and the aroma given off to the customer? A small amount of soap residue from the dishwasher can reduce head foam from 1-2 inches down to 1-2 millimeters.

Did you know that bar stools with backs impede social interaction between customers? Bars are where people go to meet, socialize and date. Bar expert John Taffer explained that the bar business is about the art of creating social interactions. Everything about the layout, furniture and food needs to encourage good feelings in the customers and their experience. Good experiences bring people back. For example, he discussed a bar menu with food that is easy to eat.  Imagine being on a first date or out with friends clicking photos on a cell phone. The last thing a girl wants is dirty fingers, stuff hanging out from her mouth as she bites into her food, or to have to tilt her head while she is eating.

As true as these things are, I never gave them a second thought. If you want to gain some free insight of expertise on the bar and restaurant business, these are good shows to watch and learn some of the science behind this challenging business segment.

Do you have some advice or good practices to share?