Bar Rescue - Drunken Donkey Bar & Grill / Butcher & Brew Pub - OPEN

Bar Rescue Drunken Donkey Bar & Grill

In this Bar Rescue episode, Jon Taffer visits the Drunken Donkey Bar & Grill in Louisville Texas.

Drunken Donkey Bar & Grill was opened by best friends Chris and Nick in 2014.

Nick grew up watching his father work in night clubs.

Chris put in close to $500,00 of his retirement funds into the place.

Nick’s wife picked the name and the bar is decorated a questionable shade of green.

Despite this, the business started off well but Nick is critical towards the staff.

The bar has been neglected and customers are no longer coming in.

They have lost over $1m dollars annually and are $3m in debt.

Jon comes in with expert chef Tiffany Derry and expert mixologist Mia Mastroianni.

They are immediately turned off by the green in the bar.

Jon fills them in on the owners and they meet the staff.

Enrique is the kitchen manager, Kat is the bar manager, Lauren and Brittany are bartenders and Mackenzie is a server.

They have over 70 beer taps at the back of the bar which looks decorative but is impractical.

Jon has two DJs, Scotty K and Brett Mega come in to recon the bar.

The Drunken Donkey have 16 pages on their menu and 75 beer options.

The DJs go for a Tennessee tea but the bartender has forgotten what is in it.

Their drinks are too strong and too sweet.

They order a special called donkey balls which are supposed to be cooked from scratch but it is made in the microwave.

The eggs of the meal are runny in the center, which is bad for devilled eggs.

Nick blames the staff for the returned meal.

Jon goes in with his experts and Tiffany goes to query Enrique in the kitchen.

Mia goes into the bar storage that is feeding the taps while Jon meets with Chris and Nick.

Jon talks to them about how much has been invested.

He points out how Nick’s noncommitment is shown by his choice to wear flipflops to work.

Tiffany reports to Jon that almost all the food is pre-cooked and frozen, with a lot of inventory.

Mia also reports she counted over 70 kegs of beer without labels, dating on them or even a sense of organisation to them.

Jon finds out there are four managers and he suggests they fire some managers.

He also thinks they should reduce the number of beers on offer and reduce kitchen inventory to manage costs.

The next day, Jon comes in gets to know the managers.

The four manage various things from the floor running smoothly, scheduling to opening and closing the bar.

They are not aware of their labour costs.

Mia and Tiffany come in and tell the staff the menu is too large.

They think that they need to create a signature dish and start serving cocktails so they can make more money.

The inventory report from Sculpture over the weekend shows they lost about $3692 with projections of $16,000 a month and $192,000 a year.

A manager Harley is let go from the bar.

Mia comes in to train the bar staff on the basics of cocktails to create a baseline cocktail menu.

Tiffany takes the kitchen staff through making fried ribs with fresh ingredients.

This would be fast food and take about 6 minutes to fulfil as ticket orders.

For stress test, Nick is to be tested, especially as he is the point person both in front house and in the kitchen.

Nick gets flustered and Kat helps Nick put in orders in the POS system.

Orders are dumped on the kitchen and bar so they are swamped almost immediately.

The bartenders are over pouring so they quickly fall behind.

Nick is called to help with service.

Food is coming out on time but customers still don’t have drinks to go with it.

The stress test is a bust and customers are sent home with apologies.

Nick feels humiliated at the end of the night and wants to leave.

Jon gets into it with Nick and they get into a screaming match.

Nick is not facing up to how dire things are at the bar.

The next day, the staff training begins.

Tiffany trains the kitchen on a new recipe for the donkey balls to make it simple and flavourful to bring in customers.

Mia trains the bar staff on simple and easy cocktails.

Nick arrives still upset about the night before and admits he is feeling stress because of the loss of both of his parents.

Jon asks him to refocus his energy on making the business work for his new, growing family.

It is relaunch night and the name of the bar has been changed to Butcher and Brew Pub.

Image Flow Sign and Graphics worked on the new sign that is visible from afar.

Ever Lawn set up the Astroturf for the outdoor sitting area.

Inside, it has been upgraded with accents of gold.

There’s a bar and dining room now and there are fewer taps on the wall and a liquor wall.

The menu has been reduced from 16 pages to just one page so they can focus on doing a few things very well.

They now have new workstations, 5 POS systems and a lifetime subscription to Sculpture for inventory.

There are digital table tabs from OneStone for PR and specials and East Coast Chair and Barstool for furnishings.

Enrique gets a new customised chef’s jacket as well.

The relaunch begins and bartenders are on top of drinks, fulfilling orders within 10 mins.

The kitchen is doing well with every item on the menu being sold.

Nick is acting more like an owner and manager.


What Happened Next at Drunken Donkey Bar & Grill?

Six weeks later, Nick is working at the bar every day.

Kat is thriving as a manager with the support of staff.

Customers love the new name and concept.

They have kept the name Butcher & Brew Pub.

Reviews after the show are excellent with the drinks in particular getting high praise.

Click for more Bar Rescues

Previous episode - Harbor Point Club & Grill / JB Taco

Next episode - Buffalo City Bar & Grille

This post was last updated in May 2021.

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