(CBS Local)– “Bar Rescue” returns for season eight on Paramount Network and host Jon Taffer is excited to provide assistance to bars in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. While COVID-19 has impacted every part of life across the country, the pandemic has been particularly hard on small business owners running bars and restaurants.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith caught up with Taffer to preview season eight, discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the bar & restaurant industry and how this summer could provide a major economic boom for small business owners.
“It’s incredible. I thought I would do a pilot and go home,” said Taffer. “That was 11 years ago and it has crossed 200 episodes. It’s an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I’m in production right now and I was sitting with my crew talking about how we feel after each episode. We really help people and those hugs that I get at the end are real.”
— Bar Rescue (@BarRescue) April 30, 2021
Taffer has heard all the reasons why bars fail and he said that no ever takes personal responsibility. He says the common denominator in the failure of a bar is an excuse. That being said, the host of “Bar Rescue” acknowledges the massive toll the pandemic has taken on the beloved bar & restaurant industry.
“When we pass blame and make an excuse, we’re just reconciling our own failure,” said Taffer. “It’s the way we feel warm and fuzzy about failing. Owners need to be personally accountable and pay attention to the business. Too many get into the business for the wrong reason. It’s not an easy business to get into and then we had payroll rates going up before the pandemic. Unemployment was low before the pandemic and we had a hard time finding employees. It’s been a tough couple of years in the industry, this has not only devastated us, but made us non-functional in some cities. We’re going to lose 38% of the restaurants across the country and maybe 42-44% of independent bars.”
While it has been an extraordinarily difficult time for those in the restaurant business, Taffer is really excited about what is to come this summer.
“I think this summer is going to be boomtown,” said Taffer. I think restaurants get packed, but there’s going to be 38% less capacity of restaurants. The ones that make it are going to do really well. It’s a great opportunity.”
Watch season 8 of “Bar Rescue” Sunday, May 2 at 10pm EST/PST on Paramount Network.