(CBS Local) – Bar Rescue returns for season eight on the Paramount Network and host Jon Taffer is excited to be supporting bars in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. While COVID-19 has affected every part of life across the country, the pandemic has been particularly severe for small business owners who run bars and restaurants.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith caught up with Taffer to get a preview of season eight, discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the bar and restaurant industry, and how this summer could bring a big economic boost to small business owners.
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“It’s amazing. I thought I was going to do a pilot and go home,” said Taffer. “That was 11 years ago and it crossed 200 episodes. It’s an incredible sense of accomplishment. I’m in production right now and spoke to my crew about how we feel after each episode. We really help people and these hugs I get at the end are real. “
@ JonTaffer is doubling those bailouts. The new season of #BarRescue premieres on Sunday at 10:00 p.m. on @ParamountNet! pic.twitter.com/wH5ymbcaOt
– Bar Rescue (@BarRescue) April 30, 2021
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Taffer has heard all of the reasons bars fail and he said no one ever takes personal responsibility. He says the common denominator in bar failure is an excuse. That being said, the host of “Bar Rescue” acknowledges the massive toll the pandemic has taken on the popular bar and restaurant industry.
“If we blame it and make an apology, we only reconcile our own failures,” said Taffer. “It’s the way we feel warm and fuzzy when we fail. Owners must be personally accountable and take care of business. Too many come into business for the wrong reason. It’s not an easy business to get into and then we had a surge in wages and salaries before the pandemic. Unemployment was low before the pandemic and we were having a hard time finding employees. It’s been a tough couple of years in the industry, it not only devastated us but also made us inoperable in some cities. We’re going to lose 38% of 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 very excited about what’s to come this summer.
“I think this summer is going to be a boom town,” said Taffer. I think restaurants will be full, but restaurant capacity will be 38% less. Those who do it will do really well. This is a great opportunity. “
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Watch season eight of Bar Rescue on Sunday, May 2nd at 10pm EST / PST on the Paramount Network.