Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer is doing a renovation on his reputation after a controversial Fox News interview where he compared unemployed bar and restaurant workers to “hungry dogs.”
Taffer apologized on Friday after video of his interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham went viral. In the interview, Taffer and Ingraham blamed COVID-era unemployment benefits for staffing issues in the bar and restaurant industry. “I had a friend in the military who trains military dogs,” Taffer offered. “They only feed a military dog at night, because a hungry dog is an obedient dog. Well, if we are not causing people to be hungry to work, then we’re providing them with all the meals they need sitting at home… These benefits make absolutely no sense to us.”
After a sizable backlash, Taffer tweeted out an apology: “Regarding an interview I did yesterday, I want to sincerely apologize for using a terrible analogy in reference to the unemployment situation. That was not my intention and I greatly regret it. My comment was an unfortunate attempt to express a desire for our lives to return to normal. I recognize this has been a challenging year for everyone, and I am eager for the hospitality industry to come back stronger than ever.”
Taffer, a longtime food and beverage industry consultant, has been the host of Bar Rescue since 2011. On the show, which began on Spike and currently airs on Paramount Network, Taffer takes over failing bars, remodeling them and retraining the staff before a grand reopening. Season 8 premiered in May.