Jon Taffer, host of the popular TV show “Bar Rescue” and longtime entrepreneur, is looking to get in on the restaurant industry himself with an interesting new business venture.
Taffer’s Tavern, a new franchise with a classic neighborhood tavern atmosphere, is slated to launch soon. The restaurant is on track for a soft launch in late October in Alpharetta, Georgia, while an official grand opening is set for November.
Taffer won’t be alone in his new business venture. Instead, he’ll be partnering with some big names in franchising and the restaurant industry with the upcoming launch.
Premium foods company Cuisine Solutions, known for its pioneering sous vide cooking methods, will be assisting Taffer, as will franchise development firm Fransmart. Previously, Taffer and Cuisine Solutions worked closely together for two years as the entrepreneur helped develop its latest menu.
Notably, Fransmart has extensive experience helping brands grow quickly through franchising. The company is credited with taking the Five Guys Burgers chain from a few select locations to over 1,200 in just a couple of years. Specifically, Taffer’s Tavern will be operated by Five Guys Tavern, a franchisee with extensive experience.
Additionally, Cuisine Solutions itself has signed a multi-unit deal as a franchisee in the Washington, D.C. area starting in 2021, while the BG Hospitality Group is also poised to operate five units in Boston and its neighboring suburbs soon. Plans for locations in suburban New York City are also in the works for the future.
Taffer, in addition to his new business venture and TV hosting experience, has also operated a number of restaurants, including the Crowne Point, Indiana sports bar Mighty Mick’s and the Alamo Grill, a steakhouse restaurant located in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Taffer explored a number of concepts for his new business venture, but settled on a tavern, noting that they provide much more food options for patrons than bars do as well as a more relaxing, laid back atmosphere.
Speaking of the mindset for Taffer’s Tavern, the entrepreneur says “Our slogan is, a bar is a bar, but a tavern has soul.”
Taffer also pushed back against the idea that opening a new restaurant franchise in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was a bad idea, saying that Georgia and other key markets are recovering and that a vaccine will usher in a new wave of restaurant opening as people go out and celebrate.
“I think it’ll be a boom time for new restaurants. After the pandemic, all the loyalty will be gone. The ones that build the right brand and connect with customers present an opportunity to get noticed,” he says.
To ensure the safety of patrons and employees, Taffer’s Tavern will require staff to wear disposable masks and gloves, have their temperatures checked on a daily basis, disinfect its facilities frequently, and use the latest technology available for contactless delivery.
Per Taffer, the three key ingredients to the success of his new business venture will be a quality experience for patrons, an engaging atmosphere, and keeping labor costs low.