Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanner Herget.
Tanner, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My business venture started at age 14 when I incorporated my first business. I was a DJ for the local elementary, high schools and weddings. There really was no reason to be a full-fledged company, but I wanted to and my father helped. During college at The Whitmore School of Business at UNH, I worked with a suite-mate and continued business success buying items and selling them on eBay when it first became popular out of the apartment at UNH.
I joined corporate America being a sales rep for nationally recognized ADP and within a year I moonlighted being a silent partner in a martini lounge. Within a few months of it opening, I learned we were deeply in debt and decided to quit corporate America and revive the business.
After purchasing out my partner and reinvesting into the company year after year (and with help from many others including friends, family and staff), I started to turn a profit. This lead to the second place (2009), then the third (2014) and finally the fourth (2015) all next to each other in Portland, Maine.
In 2015, I decided to expand to other cities rather than flood the market with different concepts in Portland, Maine. The most successful brand, Bonfire Country Bar was what I decided to expand.
Starting to look in 2015, and finally finding a spot in late 2016, renovations were started in early 2017, finally opening in the fall, Bonfire Restaurant & Country Bar in Manchester, NH has been very successful. Offering the famous “Free Bacon Happier Hour” from 4-7pm 7 Days a Week with $1, $2, & $3 Food and Drink specials (and of course FREE Bacon!), it has changed the post-work environment for the better in Manchester.
Having ambitions of coming to Boston soon, Tanner is excited to bring this country concept to another city.
When asked what is so amazing about the concept, he answered with two parts: One “The seats, the open air concept and the vibe/aura you can’t beat it. It’s an enjoyable place for everyone and anyone to have a beer, drink or food.” Secondly he refers to a customer comment: “I dragged my husband in here; I love country and he hates it. But when he actually didn’t mind the place, that’s a huge win for us. We will be back” is what the wife said. Tanner added that anyone going from despising the place based upon the music and leaving not minding it is a win!
Has it been a smooth road?
No! Never is.
2006 to 2009: The goal was just trying to lose as little money as possible. For 5 years after opening the second concept, it was getting goals, procedures and policies in place.
Bonfire Country Bar was the perfection. Having worked on the concept for many years, it was what I had a chance to become the perfect element. Many people input their opinion including making it a country bar.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Herget Group – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Bonfire at both locations offers the famous “Free Bacon Happier Hour” from 4-7pm 7 Days a Week with $1, $2, & $3 Food and Drink specials (and of course FREE Bacon!).
Manchester is more focused on a restaurant with a family friendly atmosphere before 9pm with Portland being more a bar atmosphere. Kids in Portland are welcome with their parent but it’s more a bar in Portland, ME than a restaurant like in Manchester.
So overall our happy hour is amazing. Besides that, our atmosphere (vibe and aura) of the place is key. It’s enjoyable, fun and anyone is comfortable. From executive to blue collar. In Manchester, we did a huge game room downstairs that included giant jenga, giant connect four, Golden Tee, Big Buck Hunter, foosball, air hockey, bubble hockey, darts, chess, checkers, cribbage, and so much more.
In talking to people before we opened everyone seemed to be looking for a place that they could come to and be in a place that had something different. One of the best things about our happy hour is that it’s every single day of the week, it never changes and because of that people know that it doesn’t matter the day from 4-7 it’s happy hour.
We know that we are new and there is a vibe about being new but with the deals during happy hour it seems to be more than just being new. On any given day during our happy hour the bar and restaurant are full, people are crazy about our free bacon during that time. Our other deals which includes dollar tacos (meats listed) two dollar fries and three dollar burgers are being very well received as well.
We do like to show case some of food items during our happy hour but we also are lucky enough to offer a beer of the month at $2, $3 Glasses of wine every day as well as a single dollar shot of our Bonfire Whiskey.
During happy hour, we are seeing so many different demographics coming in the doors to be part of the experience. So many different men and women coming in and we are noticing that they are staying past the hour based on the feedback. Just to touch back on the different demographics quickly, we see families coming, we see the non-drinking customer coming in to take part of the food part of happy hour.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
In NH, I am still learning about the place, Boston, I am super excited to explore and become a part of the community.
- Appetizers: $4-$12
- Drinks: $6-$12
- Beers (Draft & Cans): $3.50-$5
- Meals: $9-$19
- Address: 950 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03801
- Website: www.Bonfire.Country; www.TheHergetGroup.com
- Phone: 877-653-7678 | 877-2-HERGET
- Email: Info@Bonfire.Country: Info@TheHergetGroup.com
Stewart Smith Photography