Jon Taffer Reveals How He Got His Start In The Hospitality Industry - Exclusive

Jon Taffer's larger-than-life personality is one of the biggest draws on his television show "Bar Rescue." But that's not the only reason to watch. Of course, it's fascinating to tune in to watch him help a bar or restaurant learn what they're doing wrong and turn things around to save their business. And with eight seasons under his belt, Taffer has certainly helped a growing number of dining establishments (via Paramount Network).

While Taffer is known best for "Bar Rescue," that's not all he has his hands in. He also runs his own podcast, he's a best-selling author, he has developed numerous product lines, established the franchise Taffer's Tavern, and serves as a consultant to countless major food brands, per his website. It's fair to say he's neck-deep in the hospitality industry.

But just exactly how did Taffer get to where he is today, and what sparked his interest in the industry? We went straight to the source to find out. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Taffer dished on how he got his start in the industry and why he loves hospitality so much.

Jon Taffer started his career as a bartender

Jon Taffer is easily recognized as one of the top professionals and consultants in the hospitality business. But just how did he get there? He started behind the bar, of course. According to Taffer, his first job in the hospitality industry was as a bartender for a short time. "I started tending bar when I went to the University of Denver," he said. Taffer's first industry job was at a steakhouse restaurant called PT's in Denver. His first real nightlife job was a bit different, though. According to Taffer, he worked as a doorman at the Troubadour in Hollywood. "It was quite a way to start," he added.

With the experience, he was bitten by the hospitality bug and found a true love for the industry. "I never thought I'd be in this business when I went to college and such," he said. But the ability to make people smile with great food, drinks, and a great place to go made all the difference to him. "If you do hospitality right, you make people smile all day," Taffer said. "It's all so positive to me. I just love the premise of making people smile and giving them experiences."

You can now find the first dish from Jon Taffer's new "Enjoy at Home with Taffer's Tavern" line, the Signature Beef Shank, at Costco.