Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer met with fans at Spirits on Bourbon April 18 to sign copies of his new book. All photos by David Minsky.
Yesterday was Easter Sunday, or in other languages, “resurrection day” and you know how much that means to us. One year ago we were dying, almost dead, but our man Jon Taffer brought us back.
On Friday night, Taffer returned to Spirits on Bourbon to sell and copies of his new book, “Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions”. As soon as we heard he was coming, we put the word out. Apparently it worked, because the line of people went out the door, across the street and almost wrapped around the corner to Toulouse Street.
See Also: Bar Rescue Executive Producer and Host Jon Taffer Returning to Spirits on Bourbon April 18 for Book Signing
Taffer got here in the early evening and kicked it out back in the courtyard for about an hour before the signing began. Starting at seven o’clock, he gave a small media reception for the handful of reporters that were there.
Bar Rescue Executive Producer Jon Taffer being interviewed by the media at Spirits.
Taffer is no spring chicken when it comes to rescuing bars. On our Bar Rescue episode, Taffer said he has opened, conceived, operated or marketed more than 800 bars. Taffer reflects on the progress of Spirits to WGNO since being rescued: “It shows that Brad and Steve could take the work that I did and bring it to the next level.”
The signing began promptly at 7:30. Once the book signing began, it was pretty much pandemonium for the next several hours as the bar was completely packed. People who purchased a book were able to get it signed and have a photo opportunity with Taffer, as well as receive a free People kept coming and the line kept getting bigger over the course of the next few hours.
Spirits owners Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan being interviewed by WGNO on Friday evening.
Many people came and went and bought copies of his book, which we highly recommend reading by the way. Taffer lays out his philosophy on reaction management and the bar and restaurant industry. A must-read for anybody who has a stake in the business. We’re not sure how many copies he sold, but it was a lot.
The view from the inside.
Things started to die down around 10:30 p.m. The remaining stragglers came and went. If you still were not able to get a Taffer book, we still have them on sale at Spirits for $26, although it does not include an autograph.
View from the outside.
We were just so honored to have Taffer come to our bar and promote his book. It was great having him back. And it was great seeing everybody come out for the event. It’s always a good time.
One lucky fan with his brand new copy of Taffer’s book, “Raise the Bar”.
“Jon Taffer could have done his book signing anywhere,” said Spirits owner Brad Bohannan, “but he chose New Orleans and Spirits on Bourbon. He has become a true ambassador of New Orleans and Spirits on Bourbon was proud to be his host. We have an obligation to represent Jon Taffer for all has done for us.”
Copies of Taffer’s book sold fast.
We managed to sneak in a few questions while he was here and he was more than willing to help us out. Here is a short Q&A session.
Spirits on Bourbon: You talk about the science of reaction management. How much is the scientific method incorporated into your method for success?
Jon Taffer: It’s in everything. I live it. Here it is. Blue. Different than any mug in town. Blinking lights. This wasn’t about a drink, this was about pulling your eye, this was about branding you uniquely different than anyone else. This was about uniqueness. It only wound up a blue cocktail in a skull glass because of those reasons. It didn’t start with a blue cocktail, it started with science. Everything that we did here is about science. If this cocktail was the same as everyone else’s, it wouldn’t be the same.
Was it based on experience or trial and error?
No, it was based on market research. It was based on looking at Bourbon Street and realizing that every cocktail was either read or green. And simply saying, ‘what could we do that when people walk by is uniquely us?’ How do I brand us in the street? How do I brand us two blocks away? And this is how we do it. And when these blinking cups go up and down Bourbon Street, everybody knows where their from, don’t they? That’s science.
What is reaction management?
It’s managing the reactions of others. And the premise is that he or she who creates the best reactions in life wins, end of fucking story. The bar that creates the best reactions wins, the girl who creates the best reactions wins, right? And the manager who creates the best employee reactions. We’re not in the business of selling food. Ryan in the kitchen might think he’s making an entreé, he’s not. He’s making a reaction; he’s achieving it through the entreé. When then entreé doesn’t create the reaction when it hits the table, then it ain’t worth shit. So I suggest that everybody in the business is wrong. We’re not in the food and beverage business, that isn’t our product, that is our vehicle. The product is the reaction.
We even made it on WGNO Saturday morning. Check out the video.
There you have it, folks. We thank everyone for coming out on Friday night, it was a blast. That’s it for now, but be sure to drop by and say hello. Until next time, here is a picture of a pair of hot twins to keep you occupied.
We love twins.
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