Tag Archives: Bar Rescue

Money TV, WEB

If the Price is Right: Reality TV’s effect on local businesses

An appearance on reality TV can be an effective marketing tool for any business. However, it sometimes comes at a price. There are many considerations for a business to make before exposing itself to public curiosity and scrutiny.

Arizona has seen many of its businesses take the risk of appearing on TV, whether its Amy’s Baking Co. making its now-infamous appearance on Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares” or the bright-eyed youngsters of MistoBox who successfully pitched their business to Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank.”

While the experiences vary, there is a general consensus that the marketing power of reality TV is unparalleled, as not only does it often offer further reach than at the disposal of most small to medium sized companies, it is also completely free.

“Even if you look bad, you still get exposure,” said Connor Riley, co-founder of MistoBox, a company that distributes a variety of artisan coffees to monthly subscribers.

Riley’s experience with reality TV is unique.  His business, which he co-founded with Samantha Meis, was started as a project for the University of Arizona’s entrepreneurship program. They were offered the opportunity to pitch their business to the investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a show where startups can pitch their ideas to celebrity investors Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary.
Given that the show offers an opportunity to gain much needed capital, there was much more at stake than just marketing for Riley and Meis.  Nevertheless, he said that the marketing has proven to be significantly more crucial to the company’s success than Mark Cuban’s investment.

According to Riley, when the episode first aired his website crashed after having 100,000 unique visitors, 5 percent of which converted into sales.

“Our business grew 300 percent in a week,” he said.  “We’ve had pretty steady growth since and we haven’t had to spend a ton of money on exposure and advertising.”

Riley said, based on his experience, he would recommend any business to give reality TV a shot.

“You have nothing to lose,” he said.

Some would argue on the contrary, however.  One factor that seems to change the experience of the business appearing on a reality TV show is the nature of the program itself.

Howard Hughes, owner or Stand-Up Scottsdale, had a markedly different experience than Riley.

“It was ridiculous to see what story was told,” he said.  “It was just bogus.”

While he agreed that the exposure was beneficial, he said that there are other factors of a TV appearance that often get overlooked.

Last year Hughes appeared on “Bar Rescue,” a show that renovates struggling bars across the country. While he acknowledged the show did bring the bar exposure, he thinks that the actual changes to his bar might have caused more harm than good.

According to Hughes, the show made a lot of thoughtless alterations, including removing chairs and a grill that had to be replaced.

“We still get five to 10 people who come in each week because they saw the show,” he said.  “But, without fail, every single person who has come in, when I give them a tour of the place, they’re dumbfounded by the reality of the changes.”

He speculated that a lot of the changes made were for TV aesthetics, without concern for the actual benefit of the bar.

“They have a story they want to tell, and they’re going to tell that story,” he said.  “Had they aired my disappointment in the reveal, people would have got a totally different story.”

TV personality Zane Lamprey is on the other side of things.

Host of shows such as “Three Sheets” and “Drinking Made Easy,” he has acted as the medium of exposure for many small bars across the country.

While filming for “Drinking Made Easy,” he visited several bars in Arizona including Four Peaks Brewery, Aunt Chilada’s, and Chuey’s Mini Bar.

When shooting for any of his shows, Lamprey recognizes the unspoken negotiation between the show and the business.  In the ideal “win-win” scenario, the show gets free content and the business gets free exposure.
“We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t beneficial to them,” he said.

There is a third party involved in this negotiation, however.  While the bar would like the show to highlight it’s amenities as much as possible, the program cannot not do so at expense to the audiences enjoyment.

“Our objective is to feature the brewery, but also have fun,” he said.  “The TV show has to be entertaining.”

Lamprey said that he avoids scenarios like the one faced by Hughes on “Bar Rescue” by being as convenient as possible for the bar.  He makes sure that he only films during off peak hours and does not enter with any kind of agenda.

He said that experiences like the one Hughes faced are frequent with other programs.

“If someone says they don’t want to appear on my show it’ almost always after a bad experience with another show,” he said.  “We make sure we’re the easiest show that could ever some through these places.”

Although Hughes said he wouldn’t go on “Bar Rescue” again, he still acknowledged that the free marketing that correlates with a TV appearance is powerful.

“I wouldn’t do a show where they come in and run things how they want again, but I’d do one that just offers the exposure,” he said, adding that despite the annoyance of fixing the damage caused by Bar Rescue’s renovations, Stand-Up Scottsdale still “benefited a little bit.”

The effect a reality TV appearance can have on a business depends greatly on the nature of the show and the business itself.  The rewards can be massive though, particularly for a startup that lacks the funds to subsidize a serious marketing effort.

“The opportunity to get the 6 million or 7 million live viewers is something we’d have to spend millions of dollars to duplicate,” he said.

beer

Phoenix firm helps bars tap into profits

A Phoenix business’s device keeps the spirits from overflowing in bar profits.

Aaron Post and his team at Bar Vision produce innovative bar technology. Devices track pouring measurements to prevent bartenders from over pouring. Bar Vision designs products that improve “pour profits” rather than detect “pour loss.”
“Every industry in the world tracks its most important asset, yet the bar industry is one of the last industries to track its most important asset,” explaining the company’s overall concept is to teach bars how to understand numbers to keep bars profitable.

All company products are made in the Phoenix area. One of their most successful products is the pouring spout, which is custom made for each bar depending on the brands of alcohol is served. Every spout is custom designed to fit the bottle.

The company also designed a time tilt device to measure beer. Post said beer is the biggest seller but it’s also more subjected to theft. However, the device doesn’t measure how much is being poured, but it measures what is being poured. According to Post, measuring the amount of alcohol used will help bar owners save money.

The system is used to notify owners of certain trends occurring in the bar scene. They can determine employee work ethic and gender ratio at certain times of the night. For instance, Post said the system records what time certain alcoholic beverages are in demand based on guy-to-girl ratio. This information helps owners keep track of their employees and profits.

The system keeps track of the time of pours. Since there is a lot of theft in the bar industry, the company constructed a system for owners to monitor when theft has occurred.

Todd Manger, bar manager at Tilted Kit in Peoria, said the system is very beneficial for managers to keep track of numbers, noting, “The system is an efficient way to continuously watch counts and provides us physical evidence.”

Bartender Jackie Kopp also commented on the product’s efficiency, saying, “It gives bartenders a sense of how much alcohol is being used, making it easier to count and prevent over pouring. “Overall you get a better visual of numbers,” says Kopp.

Since 2007, Bar Vision has grown from a local business to an international manufacture. Products are sold in Greece, the Middle East and China.

In 2012, Bar Vision was featured in Spike T.V.’s Bar Rescue. The reality show featured bars in the U.S. seeking guidance in order to save their business. Post said he hopes to see more interest in Phoenix area and to grow more as a company.

after bar room

Stand Up Scottsdale Featured on "Bar Rescue" Airs April 14

Despite being a small and little-known comedy club, Stand Up Scottsdale features national touring comedians who are talented enough to capture the laughter of comic enthusiasts.

Ever since Owner Howard Hughes took over the mantle of the club last March, the club has been a destination for those seeking laughter and a good time. Unfortunately, being little-known boasts a challenge that Hughes couldn’t overlook.

“Not many people know about it,” Hughes said. “People who came, they loved it, but we just needed more for the marketing, and it’s obvious that this is a very old building.”

Searching for a solution to boost the club’s publicity was a challenge in and of itself, but little did Hughes know that the solution was right in front of him.

One night, Hughes was watching Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” one of his favorite TV shows, and when the announcer turned to the audience and asked for a bar in need of help, Hughes didn’t hesitate one second as he crafted an email and sent it to the show.

A month later, he got in touch with people who ran the show. Three months after his email, he shook hands with the ones he talked to on the phone, and 36 hours later Hughes gazed at the changes that were made to the club.

Before "Bar Rescue"

Before “Bar Rescue”

 

After "Bar Rescue"

After “Bar Rescue”

The upcoming episode of “Bar Rescue” airs on April 14 featuring Stand Up Scottsdale, and Hughes hopes that the bar will get the shot in the arm that it needs to boost publicity and popularity.

“Overall, I think it’s going to be good once the show comes out; I think people will be curious and they want to come in,” Hughes said.

To celebrate the airing of the episode, Stand Up Scottsdale will have a free show beginning at 8 p.m. on April 14, featuring comedians that are on the TV show, followed by the screening of the episode at 10 p.m.

Before "Bar Rescue"

Before “Bar Rescue”

After "Bar Rescue"

After “Bar Rescue”